WARNING: What follows is a bit of a political rant, but you should read it anyway. Don’t worry, I threw some humor in there.
There are those who would claim that politics are a necessary evil, but I say that’s bullshit–no evil is necessary. Let me explain what I mean . . .
Merriam Webster defines “politics” thusly: “activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government.” At least, that’s the first definition given. I’d like to point out that it says nothing about actually accomplishing anything, and there’s a focus on “keeping power.”
Nowadays, politics is solely about staying in power. Politicians no longer have the common good of the human species in mind, nor even their individual regions or countries. All they want is to keep the power they have, and possibly grow it a bit over time. Watch the blatant lies in political ads this year–it’s like a couple of eight-year-olds throwing insults at one other in front of the class to make the opposition look stupid in some sort of lame attempt to win a popularity contest. There’s no substance.
Seriously, crap like this is an embarrassment to our country:
And check out this lovely story about castrating hogs (really):
Yeah, yeah, I understand that these politicians are (rather blatantly) pandering to what they see as their “base,” but that’s not what a person that governs should be doing. These don’t have anything to do with running our country–they’re just cobbled together videos filled with buzzwords that data analysts have said would win these two points with their constituents.
And therein lies the problem. The ads, the inaction over ISIS, the idiodic gridlock in congress, and so much more prove my point about keeping power quite nicely, but if you’d like a more comedic (but still sad) take on things, let John Stewart explain the way we “go to war.”
Our “let’s protect Americans at any cost” politicians (leaders is really the wrong word) can’t take action against tangible threats to our national security because they’re too scare it’ll hurt their chances at the polls. I seriously don’t understand how these people sleep at night.
OK, so what am I getting at? Simple, we shouldn’t have politicians running our government. Instead, it should be made up of our peers–people like you and I. The 99%, if you will. The people governing shouldn’t be filthy rich, they shouldn’t be taking money from super-pacs, and they shouldn’t be airing “Say Yes to the Dress” commercials! I want scientists making scientific decisions about our science. I want economists making decisions about our economy. I want teachers making decisions about our education. You get the bloody idea. Do your job, and let your work speak for you. If you do it well, we’ll keep you in office.
I know I’m an idealist, but come on. How can someone make difficult, delicate, and complex decisions on situations like ISIS while they’re spending 90% of their time campaigning for the next election? They freaking can’t (as Mr. Stewart so eloquently points out above).
Look, because of a few loud-mouth extremists that somehow pull in ratings, our “politicians,” make idiotic decisions on a regular basis. Again, I turn to John Stewart for examples:
We’re busy freaking out about Ebola because it sounds like a hundred zombie/virus outbreak movies we’ve been scaring ourselves with for years, and the news media is playing on those fears to get ratings. Is it a dangerous virus? Hell yes! Should we work now to contain it before it mutates and becomes scarier? Hell yes!
We’re freaking out about ISIS despite the fact that there are a whole lot of other people out there that hate us just as much and are possibly more capable of doing damage here on American soil, but the news media is showing us explosions and scary looking guys with guns (along with TONS of flashy graphics).
Our politicians are working with our news media to make sure we treat news like TV shows or movies. The more dramatic or explosive, the better the ratings. The better the ratings, the better the chances are that the people driving those ratings will get elected.
So, what do we do about this? We quit being a part of the problem. When some vacuous talking head pops up on the screen, preceded by some ostentatious graphic with lots of explosions, we can simply change the channel (or turn the TV off). When you go to vote, take an hour out of your life over the course of a month to Google the candidates ahead of time. Don’t just vote for the name you recognize, because that doesn’t freaking work.
In the words of the ever-wise Bruce Willis (from Die Hard), “Now, you listen to me, jerk-off, if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem. Quit being a part of the fucking problem . . . ” Let’s all quit being a part of the problem, and start taking a tiny but of our time to do something other than stare at the pretty lights they put in front of us. We live in an age of information. Let’s use it to actually learn things, and start putting people in charge of this country that will do the freaking job instead of worrying whether or not they’ve used the right buzzword or that they’ll ruin a sponsorship (campaign donations aren’t really “donations,” because they come with obligations).
Politics have become a big show full of meaningless rhetoric designed to do one thing: be the popular kid. That’s why they suck. We need governance, not politicking.
Incidentally, if you want proof that Dr. Evil has taken over, just look at what they’re doing to sharks now-a-days!