I've always been a proponent of putting in some effort in regards to politics. I've educated myself on issues. I've researched politicians. I try to talk with as many people as possible in regards to how they feel about issues and the world in general. I am starting to believe it's against my self-interest to do so. Why? Glad you asked.
What has being engaged gotten me? It has served to piss me off and jaded me against anyone who is running for political office. I have not seen the middle class and poor gain access to the same American Dream as our leadership likes to talk about. Every election cycle we hear that prosperity is just down the road. Yet, the multinational corporations still enjoy the fruits of the bailouts and tax loopholes. The wealthy, who we look to for job creation and the banks we look to for a flow of credit have started pinching their pennies making it tough for anyone to get a new business off the ground.
How many times in the last 30 or so years have you heard about the impending disaster that awaits if we don't change our energy policies? We keep getting promises of change, but we never quite get the results. Is that our fault? In good times, are we apt to forget that there are still issues that need our attention? Perhaps we are to blame in many ways. We don't hold the politicians feet to the fire until things turn sour. And when things do go south, we start picking at each other. We blame the poor for being poor and tell the homeless to "get a job", even as we look at 10% unemployment and college graduates working at Burger King. If we don't stand united on the issues we want addressed, why would we expect them to get addressed at all? Why would a politician risk his career by seriously engaging his constituents or the greater public on hot topic issues like Social Security, especially when we seem to stop caring ourselves after the elections?
I'd love to say that we should just vote out every incumbent in the November elections to send a message. Usually though, that message is misunderstood. In 2010, the nation turned to politicians who were running on a platform of economic responsibility. What did they do? They started turning towards social issues and became what they really were at heart; political animals. There have been exceptions, but on the whole, we are not getting any better results now than we were before the 2010 mid-terms. So, why even bother? They are all in the pockets of the same corporations and interest groups. Remember how Bush and Cheney were oil men who were in the pockets of big oil? Did you know Obama takes a lot of money from oil companies too, specifically BP? We put in an anti-war president in Barak Obama and still maintain most of the policies from the George W. Bush era. Even more liberty has been stripped from us in the name of security. There appears to be no end in sight.
Getting back to the main point, should we disengage and just let the monster run wild as we just try to live off the scraps that fall to us? Should we become more engaged and educated on politics? I would love to think that an educated public could put pressure on D.C. to make changes that reflect the will of the people. All one has to do is look at what television shows have the highest ratings and watch a couple hours of the cable news networks to know that we are not ready to truly take back our country. These things have me starting to realize that it may be time to "drop out". To stop being concerned with what is going on and simply live my life without regard. It goes against my nature, but it could help me to spend my time in more valuable ways that are less stressful and aggravating.
I'd love to hear from you guys. Feel free to post your thoughts below, but I'd rather not see any left versus right bullshit. How do you approach politics? Is it something you only care about every four years? Do you keep track of what's going on daily? Are you in the crowd who thinks it's all a scam by the two parties and the media to centralize wealth and power? Does knowing how sick the system is make you a better person or does it make you feel worse?
I'm still not certain on what I want to do or should do. I'm thinking about it more and more and usually, once I get an idea in my head, I have to try it out. Anyone who follows my blogs know that I usually change my mind within 60 minutes of any writing, so tomorrow you can expect a full run down of the Arizona and Michigan primaries!!!!
Until next time.....cheers!!!