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Stay sane in ’24 by focusing on the real fight

Stay sane in ’24 by focusing on the real fight
Photo by BoliviaInteligente / Unsplash

The stretch between Christmas and New Year’s day always feels like the necessary calm before a moment of great transition. The chaos of holiday preparations has come and gone, the children are still home from school, and work slows to a crawl as the world awaits the beginning of the next cycle.

The Christmas season can be hectic, but if observed correctly, it reconnects you to the things that really matter, like faith, family, and community. While it seems impossible after the rollercoaster ride of 2016 and the clown show of 2020, the 2024 election cycle will likely prove to be more insane than anything this country has seen in generations. This moment of calm reflection before the celebration of the new year is an ideal time to remember what we are fighting for before being plunged into the madness that will likely follow.Subscribe

The constant grind of the news cycle on television and social media can make it easy to think of politics as an abstraction. Algorithms select the hottest takes from commentators and the juiciest drama between candidates and feed them back to us as entertainment while we scroll through our devices. We cheer for our side and boo the other like they are sports teams — and engaging with politics in this manner can easily turn every issue into a way to score points or win an abstract debate instead of solving concrete problems.

The stakes of politics are very real, but when politics become a consumer product, it can be difficult to connect the ideological battles of characters we watch on television to the well-beings of the people in our day-to-day lives.

Avoid this mistake

All signs point to Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could still pull a massive upset, but if Trump converts his front-runner status into a win, chaos is likely to follow.

The left has built Trump up as a mad dictator who is out for revenge — a villain determined to end democracy and secure permanent dominion over the United States. This is a delusional way to view the former reality television star, but that hardly matters. Progressives have memed themselves into believing their own propaganda and feel justified in stopping Trump by any means necessary.

Democrats will weaponize the justice system, strip the political opposition off the ballot, and generally create a constitutional crisis if it means keeping the scary orange man out of office. Every four years, American voters must endure endless speeches about out how THIS election is the most important of their lives. But the rhetoric in 2024 will be truly apocalyptic.

It’s easy in this environment to bind our hopes, dreams, and identities to these national political contests, but that is a mistake. The problems our nation faces are deep, and superficial political change will not fix them. While it may be necessary to support DeSantis or Trump, neither of these figures will save us, nor is their victory the true goal. American communities have been torn apart as leaders of both parties burn the social fabric that once bound us together for votes and for profit. During the fever pitch of the election cycle, it can be easy to forget that the only reason these battles really matter is that they impact the people closest to us.

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