Prompted by a noticeable increase of disgust for the political season expressed by my friends of every political persuasion, I ask myself why is it that we are becoming increasingly hostile to opposing views or in some cases, seeking complete disengagement from politics? I like to think that it is becoming harder and harder, as deeper lines are drawn between political parties, to defend one’s point of view. We need the exaggerated caricatures created by the opposition to keep us safely positioned on one side or the other.
Perhaps we are over saturated with access to 24/7 media. What I sense is that more and more of us know we live in, for better or worse, a changing America. It’s a lot to digest and political identity offers a safe way to be in the change, either through the progress of moving forward, or believing in the America we thought we lived in. For myself, I feel deeply alienated from both parties. I don’t see any sense of integrity in either party. I think the Republicans and Democrats, both stuck in a system spiraling out of control, have no recourse other than to resort to lies and promises they think we want to hear.
We the people have been sufficiently fooled into believing there is somehow a difference in the outcome between the legislation and politicking of one party over the other. Neither party is capable of, and has little incentive to stop the spending and cheap credit frenzy. We the people have no power to stop them and have lost the power to elect anyone other than those willing and able to play the game of corruption. Just ask Ross Perot. Once elected, for a politician to stay in office s/he must garner the support of corporate interest and lobbyists for the financial aide necessary to get re-elected. The campaign finances can then be spent convincing you that they’re on your side. That’s easy, just appeal to our emotional Wish List and convince you they’re fighting for your side.
Our two party system has locked us into a perpetual “the rich win, the rest of us lose” circus performed by Democrat and Republican lawmakers predicated upon the idea of you believing they’re saving you from the corruption of the other side. What else can they run on other than promising us the moon, or delivering us from evil? Both sides play a pretty ugly game, and once elected do everything in their power to keep the corrupt system in place as long as they are able to benefit from it. Yet we still believe we should vote, and that We are represented by that vote? Not me. No more.
How long will it take before enough Americans realize that our political system is so broken that it is destroying the economy and the culture? Instead of cleaning up the corruption, both political and corporate, we trudge on, digging deeper and deeper into personal and national debt and a divisiveness that blinds us all. If anything, political parties profit off of our increasingly polarized views and they know this. But do we?
Let’s look at a few examples of phony programs we’re supposed to believe are doing us a favor. If you think I’m picking on the Dems, there are plenty of examples of legislative idiocy on both sides. If you’re rooting for the Dems, you don’t need my help thinking up your own examples. If we want to see what is really driving the system look for where the two sides agree: bailouts, passing measures to fund the military, and a hands off approach on whatever the Federal Reserve does.
During the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton, among others, repeated the mantra that the auto industry was saved by the wisdom of our government leaders through bailouts that created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Saving “more than a million” jobs sounds great right? Well sure, jobs are great, especially for the people who are lucky enough to have them.
But Americans are not only hurting because of unemployment, but because of their personal debt, and inflation, rising energy costs and a reduction in personal wealth. The same holds true of college costs. We should be thankful for making it easier to take out that $50,000 student loan? Who wants a college degree that costs a lifetime to pay back (provided you get a decent enough job to pay it back)? When sanity returns to the conversation we’ll be asking the much better question of why has college tuition sky rocketed in the last 40 years? Same for healthcare costs.
For an example of the failure of the governments typical economic solution, here is an article detailing what a recovery looks like in the US today. One more attempt to entice Americans into spending money we don’t have, touted as good economic news.