You are more powerful than you think, but that power lies in day-to-day decisions and sacrifices that, statistically, virtually none of us are willing to make. When our hippie friend starts asking if the coffee at Starbucks is fair trade, we roll our eyes because worrying about that stuff is exhausting.
So yes, your frustration over the presidential election is valid. And yes, the situation is like this precisely because most of us care about politics on the same schedule we care about Olympic swimming. If you want more power, all you have to do is start treating every day like Election Day. Or, you can stay on this cycle of blowing off steam every four years by screaming at the opposing party for a few months and then hoping that the people affecting real change the other 90 percent of the time know what the hell they're doing.
Or, as my grandmother used to say, "If it bleeds, we can kill it."
David Wong is a New York Times best-selling novelist. Buy his award-winning yet ludicrous novel Futuristic Violence And Fancy Suits, and if you want to know when his next book arrives, join the mailing list. He won't sell your address to spammers.
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