It’s all good, my friends
I got a little down about this election. It struck me as depressing that people voted for the party of economic exploitation, the billionaire 1% who feed on the blood of the workers and piss in the pool of nature’s sanctuary. The party of intolerance, aggression and divisiveness.
Sure, I see how people could like the stated values of those oiliest of politicians, but it seems clear to me that their rhetoric is as heartfelt as a vampire’s claim of vegetarianism. “We believe in freedom!”, except for anyone we don’t like; and “we believe in liberty!”, except for gays; we believe in low taxes…on those with all the money, and we believe in small government, except for the parts of it that pay our friends, or that we use to watch everything you do…
That sort of thing. They feel like the party of luxury yachts with Cayman Island flags and armed guards to keep the drowning refugees of wars they started from spoiling their caviar cocktail hour.
But then again, who do I vote for? I vote for a party whose spoken rhetoric is tepid at best, whose platform boils down to The Lesser of Two Evils, and I believe their promises only slightly more than I do those of the yachtsmen. Slightly.
All this bullhockey politicking and deception, distraction and destruction, it makes you want to quit, walk away and get your kicks in before the whole shithouse goes up in flames, as the iconic and ultimately useless Jim Morrison intuited. So I’m going to go with that.
But don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not giving up. In fact, this is actually the way forward. I will still care about these things, I will still vote, I will still voice my human ethical opinions, but politics? They are not the answer. They never have been.
Because humanity’s problems are not political.
Humanity’s problems are philosophical (and/or spiritual, if you’re into that sort of thing). They are made of evolution and love, not dollars and contracts. They are compassion and personal growth, not ballots and slogans.
Politics holds such seductive promise. For the ethical, it seems a way to pull positive change into the world, and for the im/amoral, it is a mechanism to preserve the status quo of privilege and legitimize their greed. Sure, it is capable of both these things, but only on a very secondary level. It’s in the minds, hearts, souls (or lack thereof) that these things really happen.
We call them our “leaders”, but how often do they actually lead? Very rarely. More often, they are dragged like obstinate children behind the forward progress of our species. Deep down, humans are good, humans love, humans want each other to be happy. It takes suffering, manipulation, and corruption to pull us away from our better nature, and politics is a player on the (small) squad that keeps us from it.
So, if our “leaders” are dragged behind our evolution, it seems to me that the best response is to keep on evolving. So I’m not really going to stress about the Senate, even as it moves into yet another period of insidious destruction through obstruction, and the pernicious betrayal of humanity’s promise (pretty much the way it was already doing). Instead, I’m going to devote my attention, my focus, my soul, to the positive progress of our species, one me at a time.
There are amazing people doing amazing things. And amazing people doing mundane things. And mundane people doing amazing things. But the mundane people doing mundane things? I’m not going to watch them on CSPAN any more. (Okay, I never did, but you get the point.)
It’s the tragic irony of modern humanity, that most of those who want to rule, are precisely those who should be given no authority whatsoever. If we didn’t give our leaders this power, if we sat in our beer halls and laughed at little Hitler’s rantings instead of letting each other think he mattered, things would be a whole lot better.
So whether our leaders lead or not, I’m going to lead my life in a happier direction, and do the best I can.
I’m with you there 100%
You didn’t talk me into feeling any better–I’m still depressed.
I think there may be only one part of this that I disagree with and that’s using the term “leaders” to refer to (the vast majority of) politicians. It may seem like an exercise in semantics, but I don’t think that’s the case. Calling them leaders implies that we expect them to, you know, lead, as you mentioned above. Referring to them as politicians keeps the focus on the obvious–the vast majority of politicians spend the vast majority of their time behaving in a political manner. (And why should we be surprised when POLITICIANS act POLITICALLY?) There are occasional exceptions, of course, but why point to the exception and expect it to be the rule?
We, in the greatest collective sense of the term, need to give politicians a political incentive to act differently. It’s the only language they understand.
And how do we do this? I’m still working on that…:)
I found the election depressing, too. Yet not unexpected, unfortunately. People don’t tend to pay attention to politics. When they are unhappy they just vote the party in power out. And since our president is a Democrat — and many thought that Congress was Democratic, they voted the Dems out. Did you see this post I wrote? I made this point:
A lot of folks are voting Republican this November in frustration with stalled wage growth.
Yet Democrats voted for — and Republicans voted against:
Projects to build and repair roads, bridges and schools — which create good-paying jobs
Raising the minimum wage
Equal pay for women
Union-friendly bills — which pressure nonunion companies to raise wages, too
From: Vote to Lower Your Wages http://broadblogs.com/2014/10/31/vote-to-lower-your-wages/
All those facts are enough to drive a thinking-mind crazy. But the myriad ways in which people voted against Republican policies, despite voting for them, to me (and you) very much show that they weren’t actually voting for Republicans, they were just voting for change. That’s an understandable urge. And maybe if we get some real candidates someday, it will help us make real change! In the meantime, I’ll focus on the steady growth of same-sex marriage as evidence that our species isn’t completely idiotic after all.
I hate the two party voting systems in place. It’s kind of similar in Australia, however we can still vote for independent politicians which is where my votes usually go.
I’m not sure I’d cope with an either or kind of ballot.
I wish that we could totally overthrow the current voting structure and start all over again, although at least Australia isn’t quite as bad as what it seems to be with your lot. But still. Evil is evil no matter which way you look at it.
The two party system is deadly. We can vote for whoever we want too, but there’s a widespread belief that voting for anyone outside those two is a wasted vote. This makes it tragically easy to rig the political system, when the same (business, military-industrial etc) interests control both parties, and your choice is between the crappy options they deign to give you….but eventually, somehow, I think a populist movement is inevitable. Either that or widespread violence and anarchy. Personally, I’m hoping for revolution via a reinvigorated ballot box, cuz chaos gets real messy, real quick.
Positives are coming along though, just sloooowly. We passed a law in California this year to decriminalize some of the bullshit offenses that are putting thousands of people in jails, of which we built 22 in the last x years, while building only 1 university. It takes the saved money and uses it on prevention and rehabilitation programs with an actual chance of success.
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