I have found a new therapeutic tool that I never expected to be so cathartic: CSPAN.
I’ve been telling people this with giddy amusement and all I receive back are looks of confusion or frustration and a guttural, “Why?!”
My personal thoughts on the news: for the past year and a half, nearly two years, CNN has been flooded with virtually every single tiny tweet that the now-president does. It makes me feel like I am in the most pathetic bubble in the world with absolutely no access to inner-workings of the government or things that are happening outside of the U.S.
I also watch MSNBC and it obviously holds a leftist bent, but I at least appreciate the commitment to giving more details and background on a specific issue whereas CNN tends to just pit one conservative against a liberal and it grinds my nerves instead of exposing me to anything pertinent happening.
Alas, one day I was lounging in my living room frustrated watching the news and I thought, “CSPAN?” I turned on a hearing of senators questioning Tom Price, including my senator Bill Cassidy, and fell into a deep relaxation and calm.
Why CSPAN, of all calming techniques!?
1. I know a lot more about government after briefly studying law but there’s so much that seems benign that the news doesn’t discuss. When you watch CSPAN, it’s not bending anything any which way but just showing straight up what’s happening. I’m watching committee meetings, hearing the blatant disregard of global warming from a senator from Wyoming and the frustration of coastal Democrats trying to get something done to protect their state. I’m watching Independents asking questions during a Finance Committee meeting asking for clarity on issues that tends to be so partisan, like tax law, and it reveals that you don’t have to know all the answers to everything to get anything done.
2. It feels good to know that you’re not alone in your frustration right now. Seeing senators and representatives get just as fiery over issues and wrongdoings makes me not feel like I am so alone.
3. I think watching CSPAN and listening to people like Nancy Pelosi also makes me realize how I need to be more willing to compromise with people and not think of good as the enemy of great. It’s obviously a volatile political climate in the United States currently, but watching CSPAN makes me think if enough people can focus on specific issues with clarity, that we are not utterly doomed.
Also, I wrote my senator for Louisiana, Bill Cassidy, a letter recommending that he vote against the confirmation of now Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Here is his response: