Sunday, May 23, 2010

What Constituents?

Politics is a realm where one can never be right. At least not completely right. Political parties exist, therefore it automatically means that one can never be wholly correct on any given subject. I suppose the same logic could be applied to our everyday decisions and opinions because a difference of opinion exists in the first place. But for now our collective focus shall rest on the twisted despair inherent in the political system.

You may be assuming that I will launch into a tirade concerning the US political system and it's inherent faults. You may also assume that I will side with one party or another. Some of you may even be so bold as to think that, since I am a Christian, I must be siding with the Republicans. You'd be wrong on all three counts. What I intend to do is address the overall failure of the governments of the world to act in the best interests of the people. When it comes to the United States of America, I will not choose party sides as my seat in the congress of my mind rests firmly in the isle. And for those of you who assume that all Christians are Republicans, a change in thinking is in order.

As a matter of fact, that makes a nice segway. A change of thinking is in order for the entire system. World governments have failed their people. North and South Korea are still at odds, the Middle East is still stuck in senseless bloodshed, Asian governments still lay restrictions on their citizens. What bothers me about the governments of the world is that we cannot seem to reach an agreement on anything. Deep within the soul of mankind, do we not all share a belief that taking the life of another is wrong? Do we not all long for starvation and malnutrition to end? Do we not collectively agree that each person, regardless of age, race, sex or creed, deserves access to the medical breakthroughs that could save their lives? Or do you look at each of the points above and become first concerned with the money it would cost? If I may, how much is a human life? Does the price go up or down according to age? If they were 73 and had a history of heart issues, does that decrease their overall value? Logically, of course. Now, assume this 73-year-old man was your father. The one who taught you everything you know, who raised you after your mother died giving birth to you and who worked two jobs at 70 hours a week just to insure that you had the access to a better life he never did. Does that increase the value of this man's life to you? Should we be so selfish as to pick and choose who is granted access and who is not? Do you deserve the power to decide who lives and who dies? For that matter, does anyone? Slave or master? Day laborer or business man? Immigrant or celebrity? Citizen or politician?

It is the heart of the issues we (all world governments) choose to ignore on a day to day basis. We allow grudges, mistakes, anger, loyalties, fear and money to rule our decisions and our lives. And as such no one steps up to make the decisions that will literally change the world. I am not alone in my recognition of the issues, nor am I alone in the desire for change. The themes are widespread. It is why a movie like 'Avatar' can sell out for weeks as some cry over a fictional tree being destroyed. It is why charity TV commercials know to project to you the images of sad and sickened children. It is why a movie like 'War of the Worlds' states that, "only at the precipice do we find the will to change." The knowledge exists. The hunger for radical change, both local and global, is pulsating within the wills of us all. But somewhere along the way, our wills have become brittle or broken.

As I am only privy to the way in which the government in the US functions, I can only realistically apply my opinions to the system in which I operate. First, let me state that I am fully aware that where humans are involved, so must be an allowance for human error. A political system made up of imperfect people can only hope to be imperfect. Knowing this, allow me to continue.

I have attained a very fatalistic view of our current political system. Parties on both sides of the isle have destroyed whatever was left of our once proud nation. In the face of fear, we have thrown away our freedoms little by little for a false sense of security. And for what? The system is more corrupt than ever. In fact, we joke about the corruption of Washington while simultaneously venting our dissatisfaction with corrupt politicians. We have become so complacent and detached from the idea that we can change the system, that we resort to making jokes about the way things are to mask our despair. I no longer laugh at political jokes.

Two paragraphs ago, I stated that, "our wills have become brittle or broken." Why? It is because we have allowed the notion that a lone individual cannot effect change to creep it's way into our minds. That is a lie, especially in this country. This country was once the envy of the world, not because of our wealth, but because we had a system which allowed a people dissatisfied with the government, to change that government. We boasted a government "by the people, for the people." We have allowed fear and pessimism to beat down our will to change the way this country functions.

The news media covers the current administrations actions, both positive and negative, with blatant fatalism. While the media must remain impartial to one side or another to survive, the tone in their voices echo's that of the rest of Americans. We are dissatisfied with the way things are, no matter who is in the White House.

In the 1960's a large section American citizens, mostly youth, rose up and decided to 'fight the man'. This generation of hippie's desired change for not only the progress of America, but for the betterment of mankind as a whole. They strove for change through protests, petitions, demonstrations, rallies and music. And change began. John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House and the will of the people began to take shape. Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement, intent on the equal treatment of ALL, regardless of their race. Both revolutionaries were taken down in front of our very eyes before any lasting change could take hold. Granted, given enough time in office, Kennedy too could have succumbed to the corruption of Washington. Given enough time, Dr. King could have began jumping at shadows of racism that weren't there to begin with, thereby discrediting his cause. But regardless of the outcomes of could-have-beens, these two individuals inspired a hope in the people that had been missing from the American political system since the revolutionary war. And when they were taken in front of the people, the spirit of change they instilled broke. Civil rights activists became angry and hippies dissolved into nothing more than spaced out drug addicts. Granted the civil rights movement effected the goal Dr. King set out to accomplish, but only through those who did not allow the world to break down what they stood for. Something poorly lacking in today's society.

The other day, while listening to the radio, I heard a 42 year old man call in and express his frustration with the way the government functions. This individual then stated that his frustration was the reason he never once voted in any election. In essence, this man hopes the system will mend itself together as others stand up as one and act, but he himself has done nothing to contribute. To quote a comic book I recently read, "Hope is nothing without willpower."

My non-involvement in the political process (except for the occasional voting) has jumped from flippant disregard, to utter despair. What hope does my generation have for significant, lasting change, when our parent's before us failed? The hippies massed together a movement that spanned the country from coast to coast, and now that they're grown up, the system remains broken still. The hippie generation accomplished many things, but in the face of fear (or perhaps exhaustion) they stalled. It has therefore fallen to our generation to effect the change the generations before us could not. And it starts here at home.

We cannot allow OUR children to face the same broken system. A system with zero accountability. A system that enters into wars we do not wish to fight. A system that bails out businesses with OUR money. A system that only jumps into action, when election day is edging closer. As trivial as it sounds, we must start our own, more effective 'hippie' movement. We start by listening to the opinions from both sides of the argument. We start by finding the facts. We make our OWN minds up and either run for office (be it small town school board or the White House) or vote for those who really do hold our beliefs as their own. We start small and vote big. It's time to make a lasting change in the way things work in our country.

Then the era of political ideologies focused on self interest and power can begin to revert back to a government "by the people, for the people."

1 comment:

  1. GOD bless that I LOVE....stand BESIDE her and GUIDE her... through the night with A LIGHT FROM ABOVE!!! That song plays in my head while reading this. Simply Awesome!