Because I’m told I have opinions, I must. Though I don’t believe they are the opinions I’m told I must have. They believe I must be interested in politics. I am, and I have preferences of who I want in power, to win in upcoming elections. Still, no matter who gets elected, to a certain extent, it will be business as usual. We perpetuate the arbitrary distribution of wealth and power as if it is the natural order supported by heredity. Nothing could be further from the truth. To maintain this fiction, already, candidates are telling lies, attacking each other, as well as their opponents, while making outrageous promises and claims. Those who aren’t corrupt, being the flavor of moment or bat-shit wacko probably believe they are sincere. Hell, they probably all do.
Someone will get elected and they will do what we want or what we don’t want. In either case, their promises will be weakened, neglected or completely forgotten. After all, they already have the job, so they no longer need to worry about our support. Even if they are completely invested in making the changes that drew us to them, they do not have the power to do so unilaterally. They must battle not only the opposition, but also members of their own party. Meanwhile, rich people will live in ways we cannot imagine, supported by war, crimes and on the backs of those who work because they must. Since these people work because they need to eat, need a place to live and a way to clothe and protect their families, our current congress can use this as an excuse to be traitors to our country’s founding principles. By denying Syria’s political refugees, they have proven to be small, narrow-minded bigots who are afraid of their rich and bigoted backers. While the people who are merely surviving feel that these cowards have done something to help them gain ground, while they can only afford basic needs. Yet, in our ad-driven, consumer society, we need transportation, but not just any transportation. We have been persuaded we need the finest, fastest and flashiest vehicles. We must be thin, beautiful people, eat fine food, drink the best wine and alcohol and act as if we are everything we are not. Somehow, those have been reduced to being wage slaves, believe they can become part of this elite.
This belief isn’t all bad, when it pushes us to strive to do our best. But, when it drives us to continually spend more than we can afford and end deep in debt, it borders on insanity. I mention all this to remind us that opinions alone are not enough to make the changes our politicians promise us, or stop those choices with which we disagree. Since our government is currently so dysfunctional, we are unlikely to see many of the changes promised. Even limited versions of the best case, such as the Affordable Care Act, can provide major benefits for many people. That, of course, also fits into the category of the winner doing what you don’t want done for some people. And if the person you favor loses, the person elected is a fool or worse, and out to ruin the country.
We are a young country with a good system which is going through growing pains. I believe we are in a troubled time where we have forgotten democracy requires cooperation and compromise in order to function correctly. That we are a nation founded by persecuted immigrants who have accepted people from other countries, especially those in need. We no longer recall Abraham Lincoln’s stirring words reminding us that: Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth. I support and urge you to support those candidates who are interested in helping people. The rich seem to be doing fine without further help from us.
Previously published on Daily Kos