So the political world is settling in for the long haul and what will eventually be the nomination of Barack Obama for his second term as President of this great nation of ours. Wait…am I too early calling this? Is there a dark horse out there who can pull the upset? A Republican who can speak from the heart and who is a straight shooter? Or maybe a Democrat that has been hiding in the wings, waiting for the moment to strike when the economy takes ANOTHER bad turn? Or possibly there is a liberal or conservative or independent nominee that we have simply disregarded (again) but who can put together a strong run to the Super Bowl?
Oh wait…I was talking politics.
Or…was I? Because honestly…isn’t politics a lot LIKE sports? You never know what might happen. Polls are released EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY that tell us who has gained or dropped in the polls, polls that were obviously taken by a third party company that has absolutely NO partisanship whatsoever and who counts each and every one of us when we fill out our January 2012 ballots? Wait…you don’t do that?
So where do these “polling companies” get their information? For that matter…where does ANY information come from that is in relation to politics? This is the #1 question I have in regards to politics these days. Not so long ago, we had to rely on a few sources for our information. First we had radio. Then we had the evening news, newspapers and a few political magazines. And now, here in the modern day, we have A GAZILLION sources that range from CNN to MSNBC to Fox to Time to AM Radio political “consultants” to The Daily Show to the local news to blogs to independent internet political sites to…hell…I don’t know…everyone from your neighbor to your mom has an opinion on politics these days. And THAT, in itself, is the problem. There’s TOO MUCH of it. And the more I see of it, the less I like what I see.
Imagine, if you would, that a paparazzi of news cameras followed you to your workplace every day. Eventually the world that is watching would start to see you for who you are. Not that everyone is corrupt, mind you, but I’m pretty sure at some point you’d be caught cussing out your boss behind his/her back, taking snacks from the snack bar without putting money in the “honest payment” box or using such poor language that you would come across as an idiot. This is, essentially, what has happened to politicians. We have so many different ways of watching politics that there is no longer any way of knowing which REAL politician we are watching!
Take for example the recent political debates. Honestly…I didn’t watch. I hate those things and think they are nothing but a second rate attempt at making all of the politicians look like the idiots that they can be. But the few clips that I DID see were obviously edited by whatever news channel I happened to come across and so whichever politician that news company has decided they would look favorably on got a positive soundbite on while the others either got their soundbites edited or didn’t get a soundbite at all or I was shown the ONE soundbite where they slipped up and called someone by their wrong name or forgot that they actually voted FOR something when really they voted AGAINST it 20 years ago. So now I am leaning towards politician #1 because he or she looks remarkably smarter than the other jerks who got busted saying something that the news source considers unworthy of their support.
Or am I? Because then I change the channel and politician #1 is reported to have said something slanderous in an interview in West Virginia (not really but go with me here) when cameras caught him attempting to be witty but instead his remarks, when set up by media company #2 before tossing to the soundbite, came across as pretentious. So now I dunno WHAT to think of politician #1…so I go to politician #2. And politician #2 is a longtime proponent of abortion but has recently seen the truth in his misguided ways so now he is against abortion but FOR more education in schools for sex ed! Except…well…in order to TEACH sex ed in schools requires more money and more money means more taxes and more taxes do not necessarily sit well with people who don’t have kids so….hmmm…guess politician #2 is out.
So then politician #3 goes on the offensive because polls taken by a reputable source (which will remain nameless to protect the purity of such polls) says that NOW IS HIS TIME and so he or she comes out with guns blazing on national television, attacking the views of politicians #4 & #1 and causing some whooping and hollering in the private sector as he slams the raising of taxes of ANY kind and trumpets that America WILL get back to it’s glorious self and the economy WILL turn around and all those homeless children in the poorer sections of our country WILL get the attention they deserve and so let’s go kiss babies and wave flags and WE WILL RISE UP AGAIN!
Blah blah blah.
And so the problem is this…
We already know too much.
We KNOW politics is corrupt on SOME level. Maybe it’s not as corrupt as some pundits would like you to believe but it IS a business being run by the wealthy. We can protest and stage sit ins and cry on television that we are NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE but the fact of the matter is…we ARE gonna take it and we WILL like it. It is entirely out of our control folks. We don’t have a voice really. Well…except for that one time that you get to punch that one ticket and then? Who knows? Not that anyone can SAY that, of course. But it’s all done in board meetings and Senate hearings and Congressional coffee breaks and there really isn’t a voice for ONE particular issue. They all revolve around each other. From the economy to our education system to the lack of monetary backing for housing for the poor to the military being sent to “assist” other countries from being invaded to who the hell knows what other topics but they are ALL involved in some degree. There are only so many hours in a day and there are only so many ways to approach so many issues and there are only so many ways that politicians can skirt the issues before they resort to the tried and true pressure points that seem to distract Americans more than any other issues that are ACTUAL issues and those are ABORTION RIGHTS and GAY MARRIAGE. You put a politician in the hot seat and bring up those 2 issues and they salivate and you know why?
Because they can use those 2 issues against you, that’s why. Doesn’t matter who you are you have an opinion on those 2 issues. You are a heterosexual male in New Mexico? You care about those issues. You are a teenager in Kentucky? You care about those issues. You are a homeowner in Omaha? You care about those issues.
I have no idea. Truthfully, I find it absolutely ridiculous how abortion and gay marriage STILL, to this day, seem to have an affect on ANYONE other than women and homosexual couples. Personally, I am more concerned with the fact that over 1 million people lost their homes last year (according to The Utopian. Is The Utopian a reliable source? Hell…I don’t know. It came up first in a Google search!). What happens to those families? I don’t care if they are gay families or if they have recently had an abortion in their family I just want to know…what happens to them? Where do they go? They are Americans, trying to live in America and are now out on the street or living SOMEWHERE. Where? I don’t know…but I hope they are okay out there, living under our bridges that are in dire need of repair but we can’t find the federal funds to take care of them so they are crumbling while the state attempts to raise taxes so that they can fix them and make them up to code.
Am I rambling here? Absolutely. And so are the politicians. They are all just biding their time. In all fairness, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 99% of all politicians got into politics so that they could make a difference. I believe every President, every Senator, every Congressman, every delegate, every intern and every person who has ever used their time to go out and support a political candidate has only one goal in mind and that is the betterment of our nation. That being said, there is only so much that can be fixed all at one time. And having so many different sources to pool your information from has got to be overwhelming. I don’t care how brilliant you are, even if you graduated from Harvard at the top of your class, the sheer amount of issues that we collectively have as a country and the millions of voices that DEMAND to be heard has got to be overwhelming! And so you must rely on others to help. And do those others mean to help or hinder certain causes? Is there truly enough hours in a week to attack so many issues without going insane?
I think not.
Truthfully…the idea of a President is to have a spokesperson, someone who stands alone as the voice of our country. But in this day of so many voices, that is impossible. There are SO MANY voices that they are drowning out those who need help and they are drowning out the voices of those opinions that might actually help make a difference. It’s a sad and sorry state we’re in actually and I can’t help but wonder where it’s all going to take us. We’re already trillions of dollars in debt. We’re already behind so many other countries in so many ways. It’s extremely disheartening to see how far our political system has fallen and is now simply a “He Said, She Said” sort of operation.
Can it be repaired? I don’t know. I didn’t graduate from Harvard and I don’t have a degree in politics or social economics. All I know is this…I’m a father of 2 children who I want to see have a chance in this “great” country of ours. We keep proclaiming how outstanding we are but we lag behind in so many ways. It’s unfortunate that we can’t come together collectively like we did the weeks after November 11, 2001 and take a stand and not forget what really ARE the issues and what really doesn’t matter quite so much.
The election season is upon us and I’m already tired of hearing about it. Aaaaand now I’m gonna climb off my soapbox and keep my political rants to myself from now on like the good monkey that I am…