This is my pessimistic post for the week. Sorry.
Every time I get on the Facebook, someone has posted a petition of some sort to complain about the gov’ment effing us over. There are lots of people sharing how Congress should take a pay cut instead of shanking everyone else. There are people calling to recall every elected official, to vote everyone out of office in favor of someone new. Apparently, people think that we can do something to combat the rampant corruption of the people in power.
I disagree. Here’s the thing. Let’s say you get everyone in the country to vote against the incumbents, to fill the Congress with new blood and clear out the rotten blood. Okay. Fine. You just voted in a few hundred people who are (possibly) not already inducted into the system of lobbying, bribes, and blatant commercialism. We might even pretend that they aren’t already owed by some corporation or another, that the fortune they spent to get elected came in small donations from The People and not from the large donations of “interested parties.” Does that guarantee and end to corruption? Does it even put a dent in the problem? Only if the new people you elected are morally strong, ethically motivated, utterly selfish in their desire for public office at that level. And the people who run for the offices (well above City Councils and other small-time posts) are well-known for retaining their integrity when they get to that level, are they? Isn’t the fact that they’ve made it that far up the political ladder to be backed by a national party or another indicate that they are thoroughly integrated into the system we despise so much? Even if someone starts out honest and decent at the beginning, in all likelihood, he/she has to grease palms to get beyond the local sector, to get high enough on the political food chain to justify mud-flinging campaigns against someone who has had years of experience for the job being fought for, yes?
Oh, and those campaigns. Yes. Let’s talk about those. I have heard people discuss politicians in familiar terms, as though their had been a picnic over the weekend which involved a little visit from a $1000-suit wearing, professional liar (sorry) wherein all important view-points were spoken of at length and with utter confidence. Here is the facts: politicians make promises (based on the stance of their party, the particular concerns of their constituents, or anything that their campaign manager has decided will get them elected) which they have no ability to keep. At least, not on their own. For instance, the president (current or otherwise) makes a load of promises over a long and expensive campaign that can last years. When he/she attains office, he/she can’t do squat if Congress is held by the opposite power. He/She can’t attain goals that aren’t feasible, cannot affect an ingrained system without years of strain, can’t do anything at all that can’t be undone by the next guy or stopped dead by childish antics by fat blowhards who want to keep fat for the rest of their lives. The “most powerful person in the world” is SOL if he/she tries to fix problems that the corrupt don’t want fixed. The checks and balances system, which keeps the president from becoming all George III/Louis XIV, also hamstrings the entire system. Make as many promises as you want. They are worth as much as salt at the bottom of the ocean when you get elected.
And where the eff does all the money come from? What does it go to? People are starving to death, losing their jobs, their homes, their faith in humanity and those people hold a fracking dinner to raise tens of thousands of dollars for their campaigns. With their substantial pay checks, why do they need to raise money at all? Why do my friends get screwed out of their retirement pay for your 30-second TV spot, personal jet, $600 shoes, and fancy cars, huh? How dare you get to vote for your own pay raise and then tell my battle buddies that getting shot at isn’t reason enough to receive benefits after they’ve given their physical and mental health for your flabby, lying, despicable, selfish, immature BS. (In regards to the claims that military personnel retire at such a young age that a secondary career is possible and therefore they shouldn’t be allowed to “double dip,” I offer you a middle finger and this: Try starting a secondary career at the age of 40, when everyone else you’re competing against is 20 years younger than you and 20 years ahead of you on training. How many people have been laid off from their job of 20 years and then immediately found a new career that pays them anywhere near what they were getting in their last job? Why are there so many people fighting for extended unemployment benefits if secondary careers are simply falling out of the sky for retired veterans?) In addition, this kind of betrayal, which you can justify all you want, is supposed to save a few billion dollars over the next ten years or something. Big effing deal, peeps. We are trillions in debt. Billions aren’t enough. If you wanna make unfair cuts, make them across the board. It sucks, yes. But it sucks for everyone, not just the people who signed a contract to put up with endless goat-ropes in return for a steady paycheck and benefits. (Note: I understand that public office is a demanding and grueling career, one which forces many sacrifices of mental and physical health. If it was so stress free, presidents would still have dark hair at the end of their first terms. I believe there are a lot of expenditures that are completely unnecessary to maintaining a political career, but what do I know? My point is, no government career is more important than any other, so if spending must be checked, it is irresponsible to pick and choose who you think can handle a pay cut. Savvy?)
It’s not going to happen, though. You vote out the corrupt in favor of someone either just as corrupt or completely helpless against the infection. You b*tch all you want on social media, but in a month, it will all be posts about some other scandal or outrage. You’ll forget who pissed you off so badly in October by the time the next chance to vote comes up. Complain and post humorous memes and startling figures. They’ll still vote for their own fracking pay raise and distract you from the real problems with crusades against abortion or marijuana or same-sex marriage or immigration or gas prices or global warming.
I’m not a member of a political party. I don’t see much difference between them (since there only appear to be two). I don’t get the die-hard loyalty people have to their party. Shouldn’t you be more concerned about whether a person can do the job better rather than whether he has the right animal mascot? Is it right for the system to gridlock because the sides are too polarized to work together? Why do we even need the fracking sides?
And in case you were wondering, no, I don’t vote. I can’t pick the lesser of two evils because there is no way for me to know which is which. The information age means there is just more misinformation that confuses and angers me. The system is broken and I am too discouraged and depressed to think that I can do a goram thing to change that. If you want to bash me for that, fine. I have two points for you. A. The Electoral College does my voting for me. B. Corporations are people.
Please don’t use what I’ve written here as an excuse not to participate.