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The Ruttle Report - Politics + social media = Buzzkill Central

It's a mixture that goes together about as well as Coke and salt.
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Picture yourself sitting in a rocking chair.

That rocking chair sits on the dock of a lake, and the evening air feels just right as it swoops up under your feet. No need to pull on some sweatpants, though. The blanket you have nestled in your lap covers you perfectly. The sun is glistening off the water. The loon can be heard in the distance. The odd jump or sharp turn by a fish or two in the water causes the lake surface to just ripple. The lush, green leaves on the tree branches sway ever so slightly to the direction of the breeze.

You're sitting there, and nothing else matters in the world. No work drama, no family conflict, and no one to tell you that you're doing this wrong or that there's some other bad things happening in the world that you should be worried about.

You're alone out here in the wilderness. Yes sir, you decided to answer the call of the north, and you find yourself in a secluded log cabin. You spend your days reading, writing, going on hikes around the area, and discovering parts of this world that you haven't experienced. You take the camera along too, just in case you see anything that tickles your fancy. This is a beautiful part of the world, after all. You want a keepsake to hold onto for later, when things aren't this beautiful, serene, and quiet.

You do some more reading, you do some more writing, you do some more hiking, you shoot some more photos. The only person whose time you're on is your own. You don't answer to anyone out here. Time is only what you make of it in this place.

In short, it just feels like Heaven. Or rather, what you would perceive a place like Heaven to be like.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? Did you realize what wasn't present in that dream scenario?

Technology. This person wasn't head-down on their phone and didn't have their eyes glued to a laptop screen. As a result, they just felt......better.

There's a lot of good going on in our world these days, but sadly, what seems to take center stage all too often is politics. Turn on your local news station, flip through the pages of a national newspaper, and of course, hit up your preferred social media website, and there it is, all in its messy, 'who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, again?' glory.

Politics are ugly. Politics are divisive. Politics are boring. And politics, in my humble opinion, really don't matter in the long run.

But we live in a world that seems to believe that they do matter, perhaps more than ever. We'll break it off with our girlfriends and boyfriends, end business relationships, and cut ties with our own family members based solely on the fact that he/she voted for this person or that person in the last election. They shouldn't have done that, you see! This politician isn't going to spend as much money on education, while MY politician is going to spend more! This politician isn't putting a bigger focus on health care, while MY politician is making it his biggest priority!

We'll start arguments that go nowhere, throw out baseless facts based on already-outdated information that we read on Facebook, and in the end, no one will feel like they "won" the argument. The only thing left on the table are hurt feelings, with probably some bitterness thrown in for good measure. My, what a productive exercise that was! Thanksgiving dinner's going to be a real treat this year!

Take the whole Twitter fiasco going on right now, for example. Multi-billionaire tech giant Elon Musk bought Twitter, you see. Or, rather, he was forced to buy it after initially hem-hawing on the deal. Anyway, he bought it and has started to dole out a new system of operation as far as verifying legitimate profiles and doling out that oh-so-precious blue checkmark that tells you if a profile is authentic. As well, he's overhauling the site's criteria as far as banishment goes, with banned profiles getting reviewed and perhaps even given a second chance. As a result, people like Donald Trump are back on the site. Hey, I'm not a fan of the guy either, but that's what that handy little 'ignore' button's for.

As a result of these new Twitter machinations, people are all up in arms about it, and based on a lot of the posts I'm reading, they seem to fall into the realm of 'Elon Musk must be a Republican because only a Republican would operate a website in this manner!' Well, based on some basic research, Musk doesn't really belong to any political party. He's voted Republican in the past, but he's also voted Democrat, too. As well, the way that he's been playing with the new verification rules and giving banned profiles a second chance has been rubbing many people the wrong way.

In short, what all the drama comes down to is this: "I don't like this person's politics, and since they're now back on Twitter, I don't like Twitter, so I'm going to leave."

People have been leaving Twitter, including celebrities who make sure to announce it like they're at an airport terminal, but the crazy thing is that Twitter's user numbers have only gone up in the third and fourth quarter of 2022.

It really does come across as childhood drama of yesteryear. "This person's in my sandbox and I don't want them here! I want to leave now!!!" People, can we be adults about some of this stuff, please?

Politics and social media mix about as well as Coke and salt, and the taste that reading any of it produces is about the same. They just don't mix.

My politics are easy - I don't have any. I just never found any true reason to put my support behind any one particular person, party, or ideology, especially when in the end, don't we all want the same things in life? Lower taxes, better services, funding where it belongs, and more money in our pockets? Well, this party over here is promising just that....oh, and so is this one, and this one, and that one. The only difference between political parties is the order in which things get addressed.

The world would be a lot more relaxed if we didn't put so much damn stock into believing that politics are the most important thing in the world. Because they're not. They're really, really, really not.

Time to head back to that cabin in the woods.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.