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Monday, October 11, 2010

Political Fatigue: Or, America's Trash Problem

My God, man. What the hell is going on with this country?

I haven't been moved to write much about politics in the last couple of months. It just seems like the entire discourse in this county is getting more and more insane. Look, there are some deep policy and ideological disagreements in this country-- any rational human being can  understand that we all can't agree on every single issue. If we did, we would be like The Borg; and that's no fun. But I have watched the collective sanity of this nation veering out of control.

Look, we all have our "sides" we want to be on. In the world, we're the Americans. It's us, against...well, whoever "they" want us to "hate" at whatever point in our history. It used to be the Brits. Then the Injuns.  Then the Japs and the Krauts. The Jews and the Negros are always faithful targets. And these days it's the Muslims. There are the Queers too, but I'll get to that in a moment. But our hated for "the other" also manifests within our own. Politics seems to be the bloodsport of choice to express these feelings. It's the Blue v. the Red, as opposed to the Blue v. the Grey. Every election cycle, these silly news programs show us maps of the Divided/United States of America-- like a scoreboard for some goddamn sporting event. Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent to prop some ideological/corporate mascot to lobby for political positions that barely, if at all, work to serve the majority of the American people. And every election cycle, the misinformed and uneducated masses flip a switch to help elect some suited clown that they think is serving their best interests.

That's the biggest problem, and the most frustrating; lack of education. This is a country full of over-worked, under-paid, and exhausted people. For the last few decades now we have been denied the adequate tools necessary to properly educate our population. Every year, we drop lower and lower on the scale compared to other countries; Math, Science, you name it-- we are in the toilet. Why is that okay? Why are we not outraged? Sure, it's easy to get pissed at, and therefore blame the guy that's been in charge (so the speak) for a blink to solve the problems that's rotted this country from the inside for well over 10 years now. But our problems are bigger than that; and no one seems to understand, or care.

Now all of this anger-- that could rightfully be directed into something FAR more productive and fruitful-- is being culled to produce a crop of politicians that are dangerously unqualified, uneducated, dishonest, distasteful, crude, and ignorant. Politicians like Rand Paul, Jan Brewer, Marco Rubio, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and Carl Paladino are changing the political landscape into something truly ugly. Their trashy, hateful, bile-filled rhetoric is enough to make the blood boil. And this is a major reason why I have had to disconnect myself from politics.

It is incredibly frustrating-- you want to be able to find out what's going on, but they you wind up getting stories that focus heavily on "trash politics." To be perfectly honest with you, I really don't care about what some bigoted douche bag thinks about gays. I don't want to hear what some "holier-than-though" pseudo-religious blowhard's opinion of what they think good "values" are.  I am tired of listening to racists whine about "illegal immigrants" or "Ground Zero mosques" or "entitlement programs". All of these things are self-righteous, blindly-arrogant arguments that will do NOTHING to fix this country's problems. Religion is not going to keep corporations from shipping jobs overseas. Homophobes are not going to improve education in America. Racists are not going to improve this country's economy (not anymore, that is...). The only things that these intellectually-lazy social issues are going to do to this country is tear it apart. And ripping the social fabric of this country is only going to make us weaker. And then we will REALLY be in trouble.

We're are all furious about what has happened to this country. Is it Obama's fault? No. Was it Bush's fault? No. Was it Clinton, or Reagan, or Carter, or Nixon? No, no, no, no, and no. They are just men. They are human beings, just like the rest of us...all 99% of us. Who we're really pissed at are that 1% of people that don't want to give up their status. Politics is just a game. And the stakes are our livelyhood. And each and every one of us is responsible for ourselves.

It's true that there are a great many people-- no matter your race or ethnicity-- that are incapable of self-preservation. There are people that need help. And it's FAR MORE COSTLY to just let these people fall apart, than it is to make sure that every person is taken care of. The Housing Crisis, the Healthcare Crisis-- we cannot have people living on the streets, or dying in them-- REGARDLESS of their irresponsibility or mistakes. And don't get me wrong-- I don't want to coddle laziness or complacency. But I would much rather invest in our nation to take care of these people, rather than have these people breaking into my house, or robbing me, or anyone else because they have nothing else. And when you have politicians out there that are willing to throw these people under a bus, just so they can score some temporary political's a far scarier prospect. It's irresponsible, it's foolish, it's wrong.

We have real problems in this country-- I think that goes without saying. And when you have politicians that are offering stupid solutions, or NO solutions at all...when all they have to offer is hateful and irresponsible rhetoric to stir up people's anger and frustration for their own narrow-minded gains...well, we just can't have that. We need to THINK. REALLY THINK-- not just sit in our own piss and shit and anger. Be angry, be frustrated...but don't be stupid. Just because someone is saying something you WANT to hear, doesn't mean that it's the right thing.

How many times have you been angry and someone, and wanted to ABSOLUTELY KILL THEM? Did you end up killing that person? Hopefully not. And why? Because you understand that you were just angry at the time, and that daydream-- that temporary "solution"-- would have appeased your feelings for the moment. But when you snapped out of would most definitely regret it.

I've started watching and reading the news again. And it still makes me crazy to see what's passing for political discourse these days. And I'm sure it makes you crazy, too. But we all have a responsibility to make sure that we don't allow our collective temporary insanity lead this country. The crazies want to lead. Do we let them?

I'm not a religious man...but God help you believers if the trash wins.

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