Politics is Downstream of Character
You’re unusual. You made yourself unusual by the simple act of reading an online blog about current events and culture. You want to see more than another pretty face. You want to get “the meaning as well as the music.” The pretty face of a website, take healthcare.gov for example, does not mean there is any competence behind the glossy appearance. Technology and mastery are more than skin deep, and a graphic designer can make crap look shiny in our online world. I look at our government and think most of us are looking for a pretty little fantasy.
It is sad, but most Americans will settle for well told lies. Settle for? Hell, we’re eager to hear them. Five years ago we jumped for the mortgage lender who told us we could have something for nothing. Today we want our politician to perform magic. That’s why we voted for the politician who told us we are righteous to take what we want from others who can’t defend themselves. The politician simply plays to the where-is-mine generation in our dis-United States of America. How can we keep our freedom when a politician is eager to sell it at the next election? The solution is to demand less. I did not say “ask for less”; I said demand it. This article is written for the few who will.
What changed? There was a time when the United States government could do some good. More accurately, US industry could accomplish something worthwhile under a government contract. Those days are gone. The problem is more than our massive government debt; it is the depth of our political corruption. To do anything today, we have to find the perfect contractor with offices in all 50 states and a friend in the White House to accept kickbacks. We need a few think tanks to claim the project is environmentally friendly and promotes diversity. We also need a team of lawyers to fend off the expected lawsuits. That is the corrupt government we asked for. Now we accept half-truths from politicians on a daily basis.
Only 22 percent of voters think the government is headed in the right direction yet we elect the same sorry politicians again and again. The reasons are simple. We replaced the reality that is tough to face with a nicer fantasy.
Yes, our confusion starts with culture and the media. We have a celebrity culture where we spend hours a day nurturing our fantasy relationship with actors…while our real relationships wither from neglect. We have actresses go to Capital Hill and testifying before Congress about the characters they played. This is covered as news because actresses make great TV coverage…and deliver more viewers to the media advertisers.
We don’t ask tough questions. We ignore where things come from and only want to see the final magic trick of giving us what we want. We want our government to do more for us.. so, damn it, give me my Obama-phone and free healthcare right now! How can we do that when we have more people getting government aid than people at work.
We want the world to look safe and predictable. We are not willing to leave each other alone. Instead, more of us want to control those other people so they will finally act like us. We regulate where we are allowed to build our home, what we’re allowed to teach our children, and even the light bulbs we use to light our room. We pass more and more regulations while we claim to be “pro-choice.” We enforce government regulations at the point of a gun while we claim to be for “peace and non-violence.”
In short, we want something for nothing. The government should take care of the poor, but don’t ask me to donate my time and help the poor in my community. We don’t demand our local churches help the poor. Hell, no. Go tax some other rich guy and have the government do it instead.
We want politicians who say they care about us and act like they are our friends. Sure they care about us.. at least during the election cycle. Like a used car salesman, they tell us they care “Oh, so much!” Time and again we vote for the best liar on the political stage.
I don’t find it hard to tell when politicians lie. You probably can see it too. Unfortunately, most Americans have not studied enough to form reasoned opinions about current events and judge fact from fiction. Instead, they want someone in Washington who will think for them. There is always someone willing to take power and use it.
You’ve heard man on the street interviews where half the people interviewed seem stoned. I think we’ve become a society of adolescents who’ll do their chores.. ah..tomorrow. Rather than face the consequences of out choices, we ask our politicians to shift the consequences onto the next generation. A few of us know that a government big enough to give us all we want is a government big enough to take all we have. A sad majority of us welcome big brother since they expect to be given something and don’t care where it comes from.
Look at how America votes and you will see that we get the government we ask for. Our current failure to elect good leaders is not because we lack the tools to do better. The information is there. We as voters lack the character to see an unpleasant truth about our politicians. Our character as a nation leads our politics as well as our culture.
Some of us are informed adults. We worked to get where we are. We, and I humbly include myself in your company, we want to be left alone to raise the next generation without government interference. We want to build businesses and our communities. The media won’t give us credit for it, but we want to help our neighbors too.
Where should we start? We need to tell our fellow citizens to grow up and tell our politicians to do less and leave us alone. The rich won’t do it for us. That means we need to get up off the couch. Yes, I mean you and me. We’re the only one with the character to do it. Yeah, just like you, I had other plans. Darn it.
It isn’t pretty, but it has to be done.