as an average american, when i wake up in the morning, i don't really care whether my country is invading iraq or afghanistan. it doesn't have any effect on when i get up, how warm the water in the shower is, or how my eggy toast cooks. it's just some assholes blowing each other up thousands of miles away. not that i approve, mind you -- if it were up to me, that shit would stop pronto. but it's not up to me.
i vote most of the time like a good little lemming, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is that both sides are bought out by special interests. if, say, the democrats were to stop taking all corporate money -- go clean and honest -- the republicans would steamroll the democrats by massively outspending them on ads. so, they take the money. consequently, the republicans can run ads saying the democrats are crooked jerks. meanwhile, the republicans are in exactly the same situation themselves. whoever can point fingers bestest gets the presedential hotseat.
most americans, for the first few years of their life, are blissfully unaware of this. politics is some silly adult squabbling to little kids. then, as adolescents in school, we're painted a rosy picture of america. honestly, some days, i wish i were still duped by it. it's not a good feeling to break through that glass wall of cynicism, to realize that a system you had immense respect for, great faith in... is, in reality, a finely tuned engine of bullshit. this is the point where many people bail entirely, and excuse themselves from any knowledge of politics via cynicism. "oh, nothing ever changes... i can't do anything about it, really..." meanwhile, it's pretty much useless to try and work within the system by getting involved in the engine of politics. raising money, knocking on doors, phone canvassing... all of it is quite often time and effort down the hole. you wind up either cynical and disillusioned or angry and frustrated. what a gip, right?
that was about where i was, when i had the realization i started off this post with: rarely does any of this stuff effect me directly. it doesn't matter if we're in iraq of afghanistan. it doesn't matter if republicans or democrats are in the house, they both fuck us over in their own special ways. what DOES matter is, if my neighbor is a democrat and i am a republican, we distrust each other. we're both terribly afraid the other guy's side will take over and destroy the country. we argue about bullshit happening thousands of miles away, which we have absolutely no fucking control over, and scowl at each other. since no one's listening to each other, sharing thoughts, broadening each others' horizons, people become hermetic. isolated. they hide in their caves with television telling them what to fear.
it's corny, but the core of our -- civilization's -- current problems is the lack of community. bellows of fear pump panic into society, and no one trusts each other. when no one trusts each other, they can never work together, never unite and cast out the greedy assholes making everyone's lives miserable. i don't feel there's any "conspiracy" striving to keep us all afraid, just a lot of rich, powerful men that realize keeping fear in generous supply is good for all rich, powerful men. the only thing that keeps the greed from devouring everything at once is that each of these men want everything for themselves, and so they fight for riches and power. the riches and power keep changing hands like a hot potato, no one ever winning for too long. it's been this way for centuries. see the rise and fall of the roman empire, the british colonial system, etc.
this is getting long, so i'll get to the point:
if you quit your job and went to help with one of the big political deals right now -- barack obama's campaign -- you might help him get elected. however, because of dirty money's stranglehold on washington, even if obama has the best of intentions, he won't be able to do much. maybe a little, but it'll be like a striptease followed by a fart.
if, on the other hand, you put that same level of effort into meeting all your neighbors, inviting them over for lunch, throwing a BBQ party, then they may invite you back, invite each other for lunch, throw their own BBQs, and start TALKING to each other, instead of being talked into paralysis by the TV.
"give a man a fish, feed him for a day. teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime."
Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker