Every damn thing is political. Everything under the sun. In the clouds. We earth. Is political. Is this only in America? That’s hard to know because we live in In God We Trust America, the United States of America where God, trust and states are political.
It’s June, gardening time on Cape Cod, in America. Gardening is political. Plants get diseases and invite pests. Chemicals to kill the pests and get rid of the diseases are political as are the companies that make the stuff. Russian olive and burning bush shrubs are invasive. Who knew this decades ago? Now they intrude/invade neighbors’ properties and spring up among the mountain laurels and rhodies. Invasive plants are now illegal to grow. Things legal or illegal are political, so burning bushes and Russian olive shrubs are political. Nowadays, anything Russian is political. People are boycotting Russian restaurants and vodka.
Housing is political. Some showoffs build mansions and trophy houses here and on our islands. The term showoffs is political. So are the houses they have built by builders whose jobs are to build buildings that make them as much money as possible. Cluster housing is very political, and so are so-called low- and moderate-income housing. Congregate living, where living space is shared, is political, especially where people have to share bathrooms.
We know the politics of the big stuff like abortion, guns and Citizens United are political. We haggle over these topics ad infinitum, but it’s other things we didn’t know about that are now way political. Climate change, once called global warming, is so political it’s reached as far as the North Pole and as near as our local hotter summers. Some don’t believe in any of it, others are so passionate they make climate change their mantra. When you see videos of glaciers melting and polar bears stranded on slivers of ice, how can you not believe there’s a problem? Ask the deniers. They have their reasons.
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Plastics used to be the answer, the savior, the American way. Now we know they don’t disintegrate and they clog ocean reefs and wrap around turtles’ necks and clutter seashores. Plastics are political. Does recycling work? Is recycling political? Should we go back to glass bottles that break and leave cuts that get infected and can’t be cleaned sufficiently so as not to cause yucky stuff like mildew and mold? The question is political.
Cats are political, but they are so political in Iceland that the City Council of Akureyri approved a motion to ban off-leash outdoor cats beginning in 2025. Hereabouts, tempers flare over whether to allow cats outdoors at any time, whether to have them declawed and if they should drink milk.
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Entertainment is political. Politics and money go steady together. Professional sports are so much about money these days. Last week the PGA banned players who participate in golf in Saudi Arabia. Golfers protest. Should they play golf in a country where women are forced to marry men their fathers choose in addition to other civil rights incivilities? Rap music lyrics are controversial, some say racist, some say obscene. Because Russia is on our bad list, some orchestras are being urged not to play music by Russian composers, most of them dead hundreds of years ago.
Books and magazines and newspapers are controversial. Never mind the politics of the trees that are slain to make paper. For newspapers and magazines, their ad dollars have shrunk like wool in hot water because online ads have taken over. Media are deemed by other media outlets to lean left or right if not outright socialist or fascist. Even the word truth has been sanitized as alternative facts and other gibberish. If it’s true, there’s no dispute, right? Not necessarily and not always.
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The rule of law, which is supposed to be the standard of our courts, is political. What is or is not constitutional is political. Judges and juries decide based on how they interpret laws. In this country, it’s about whether such and such is constitutional. Our Constitution is not based on Sharia law, which is deemed fine in some places.
Book banning is political. I’m reading books that were once banned by American censors. It’s hard to believe “Huckleberry Finn” was one of them. Politics are often absurd.
Barbara Leedom, South Yarmouth