Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh Look - A Shiny Sorta-Political Writing Thing

"A Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin

"Pardon the following grouch." -- Andy Decker

The founding fathers, warts and all, put together a pretty darn good system.  I know it's fashionable to trash our nation's founders and to review their work through all types of new prisms.  Yet to do so proves faulty and I would, if possible, trade our current batch of 'leaders' for what we had at that time.
Nor am I hopeful things are going to improve and the fault is ours.

'We the people' are the first three words of a little document known as the United States Constitution.  Have you seen them?  Not the people - but the words?  They stand out.  They're HUMONGOUS compared to the rest of the script.  Whoever wrote them either left his glasses at home that morning, or was making a point.
I know Gouverneur Morris (accredited with that portion of the document) and the rest of the crew were sticking a stick in the eyes of all the edict makers who would eventually get around to reading said document.   It would behoove us to reflect a moment on this device.  We the people are supposed to be in charge of the government and not the other way around.

That said:  democracy must be struggled for and I don't see it happening.  Hence the mess.
Note the 'Occupy' movement and the 'TEA Party'.  These two groups have/are receiving criticism… since day one.  This is what happens when the systems that be are confronted with those who will struggle for what they believe in.  And I say systems because, at this point, the individual personalities involved are far less important than we deem.  The 'leaders' of today are parts and can be swapped out for new ones.  The machines will carry on pretty much as usual.

All the more reason why struggling for democracy is not easy.  Yet it is necessary.
Nor am I throwing my hat in one direction or another.  Looking back and since I've been paying attention, for about twenty or so years now, I've been waiting for a third party.  I'm very certain I'm not settling for the corruption that passes for the current two-party system.  Nor am I convinced either of the new groups is 100% what I'm looking for.  It grows complex and the red-state / blue-state false dichotomy bottoms out quickly.

Consider messaging.  The Occupy Movement I have not heard much from in about two years.  Politically, that's eternity; they were little more than a slow-motion flash-mob now mostly forgotten.  I was never convinced about what they wanted.  It's difficult to agree or disagree with a group when one doesn't know what said group stands for.  That they camped out in downtown areas in big cities was most of what I could pick up about their concerns; that and something about how the wealthy don't deserve it.
The TEA Party (Taxed Enough Already) has a nice acronym in its name and continues to today.  As a tax-payer, I concur with the acronym.  Part of that success, in the face of withering pop-culture fire, is in their messaging and branding.  I do not see evidence that the TEA party is racist or bigoted.  I do see a group of people tired of paying what they consider to be more than their fair share and who would like to simply get back to enforcing the laws of the land.  Now there's an interesting concept.  Yet, the TEA Party flaw seems to be that they wish to go back in time.  Theirs is less a vision, more a reminiscence.

But note, again, the opposition to both movements.  Two groups struggling for democracy's sake have both been branded with derogatory terms.  Name-calling is the lowest form of argument.  At least debate the merits of what they're saying.  This would encourage more participation on everyone's part, but who has time to do that?
Instead, I see a purposely distracted nation.  Two examples should do the trick.

I am not today interested in horse racing.  I never have been.  Yet, only a short month ago, what was the name of the horse that might have won the Triple Crown?  Yeah, I forget too.  But I do know most people wanted that particular horse to win, no matter that very few of them had ever been to a horse track.  Why?  There's no logic to such desires.  There is, however, evidence of an electorate led by its nose to the latest pop-culture trough.
And, more recently, think about the efforts to convince the United States that soccer is interesting.  Ha ha ha ha (excuse me)!   It's 'World Cup' time and everyone should care.  Just ask the morning shows and tha whirld newz tanite!  But again, I didn't care about soccer last month and it is assured I will care for it not a whit next month.  It's just another fad backed by people hoping to make money, sandwiched between the latest vapid actress being 'interviewed' by a media-conglomerate-hired reporter working for a network that is owned by the company putting out the movie.  No strained interest there.

In the meantime, we'll keep watching and, mostly, not caring enough to do much about it.

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