I See Politicians: How Watching “The Voice” Gave me Hope for America

I’m not ashamed to admit it, I went on a bad one after the election. I had hoped that the country would turn in a new direction and was shocked when the voters doubled down and gave Barack Obama a second term. I cried in my coffee the next day. I felt the optimism drain from my body. I didn’t want to care anymore, it hurt too much. So I did what I could to cope. I bought a pack of cigarettes, (I don’t smoke), and tuned in to reality T.V. in an attempt to tune out.

For me, the state of American politics had become embodied by the image of Nancy Pelosi carrying that freakishly large gavel after the Heath Care Reform Bill was forced through via Deem and Pass aka “Demon Pass”. I have four more years of “In your face sucka.” governing to look forward to. “Yippie.”  I want the blue pill. Hook me back up to the Matrix please.

“The Voice” would be my new Republic. The people were nicer, better looking and the choices they made on the show didn’t affect me. I put the kids to bed and waited for my husband to fall asleep. I put on my pjs and fuzzy socks and crept  into the kitchen to my computer. I couldn’t let my family know that my wound was so deep that I had turned to reality television. It felt GREAT to escape the stress of trying to convince the world to see things my way. I had always seen myself as a warrior against the swell of Communism, now I felt like the last Samurai. But something happened to me in those two hours that I watched the show. My optimism was stoked by what I witnessed. I think America is going to be ok. Here’s why.

The first thing that struck me about “The Voice” was how they chose their contestants. The contestants on the show where picked by blind audition. The celebrity judges were only allowed to hear them. Therefore, they were judged on the merits of their talent and nothing else. It is a process that I have never seen in either the entertainment business or the real world for that matter. I mean, rewarding someone based on their merit! Who does that??

Also, the singers that made it through were wildly diverse in race, age, weight- in fact you name it. It looked like The Great American Melting Pot cartoon from School House Rock had come to life. There may even have been a Republican!  The judges themselves are diverse as well. You have artists from Rock, Pop, Soul, and Country genres that coach the newbies. The coaching that they give the contestants has a humanizing effect on them. They become real people with something to contribute rather than self-absorbed idols wanting adoration, money and Cristal- not that I’m stereotyping…much.

My favorite contestant is a black woman who sings like Whitney Houston and is equally as pretty. She has a voice that rivals Whitney’s and Christina Aguilera’s but she likes to sing rock. Her performance of Aerosmith’s anthem “Dream On” was nothing short of epic. Talk about breaking free from political correctness and stereotypes! I have seen a lot of things that I didn’t expect on this show. My hope is that is a microcosm of the changing nature of our country.

Can you imagine a world where people are not judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character? A world where merit is rewarded? Where people are free to express and pursue the gifts that God gave them? What a concept. All of this is starting to make me think those jokes about making the political process a reality show might not be that crazy after all. Watching failed politicians win re-election and the nation drown in a sea of trouble and debt makes me think our current system can’t get any more absurd.

Why not give it a try? What do we have to lose? Instead of letting politicians fiddle while Rome burns- let’s make them sing.

1 comment
  1. The last line in this post is the best one; it seems to me that the choice of Obama for president isn’t one to cry over – Republicans have the House. From afar it looks to me like the inability of politicians on both to compromise and to negotiate in good faith has gridlocked the US government.

    A political world where the members have to sing though? That’s something I want to see…


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