When politics is inevitable you might as well lay back and enjoy it
advice for the politically annoyed
I am going to tell you something no almost no one is saying. If you don’t know much about politics …don’t vote. Not this time. It is NOT your duty to vote ..it is your duty to be an informed voter. If you can’t figure out what is going on …which is likely because it is very difficult to figure out what the hell is going on, you are harming things more by voting. You want to be a good citizen, stay home..pay attention…learn…vote next time.
Voting based on meme’s or tweets or a bumper sticker or what your loud mouth friend who seems to know allot is the surest way to be a tool. You should be insulted that anyone thinks a meme or a tweet is supposed to change your mind. It shouldn’t. It should make you think maybe…but a well laid out argument after much research and consideration by yourself …should be what forms your opinion. Your opinion should be YOUR opinion and not based on one source no matter how big a loudmouth or how seemingly informend. We all know that twenty something men don’t go to the doctor unless there arm is falling off. And yet the moment health care became an issue the internet was chuck full of twenty something men who where instant experts on the subject of health care and arguing with each other…do you honestly believe anything they were spouting was THEIR opinion? Is a twenty something male the person you should go to for facts on health care? Don’t be a tool, figure things out for yourself.
For now, just watch. Pay attention. Who wants to do what? Who has one idea and who has another idea. Then watch …which idea worked, which idea didn’t…why? Who actually tried to do what they said, who didn’t…why? Things change, situations change. Watch …decide for yourself, who is full of crap, who got cut off at the knees…who was lying and who was genuine. What worked and what didn’t. THEN VOTE.
Your vote does matter because “all politics is local politics”. Obama was just a state senator awhile ago …probably won by less than a few thousand votes. GW was first elected as a governor…so was Romney. Paul Ryan is just a congressman from Racine Wisconsin…and here is the biggest example…the man in the dark smoke filled room controlling the innerworkings…the Republican national chairman…well a few years ago he was just the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Organization. How many people do you think gave a flying crap who was in charge of the Republicans in Wisconsin? He probably got that job with the backing of about 20 more people than his competitor. LOCAL politics is the future of national politics. Think Obama is a unqualified jackass? Think Paul Ryan is a heartless nob? Each of these men could have EASILY …EASILY been stopped long ago and without much effort by local people paying attention. And if you think these are good men ..consider that they might have never gotten the chance to lead if not enough locals voted for them. In the end…we ELECT THESE PEOPLE. No one can become president, congressman, state senator …unless they get people to vote for them. WE are responsible for all this. The idea of “buying an election” should be absurd …SHOULD…because no amount of advertising will convince anyone that Andrew Bougut is a better basketball player than Michael Jordan was. Why? because WE PAY ATTENTION TO SPORTS. We pay attention to sports, movies, music, we know who is in the cast of “GLEE”…do we know the last bill our state senate passed? They can’t “BUY ELECTIONS” if we all pay attention to what is going on. The more we pay attention the less the money will matter.
It is all going to seem frustrating at first. It is going to seem like a big pissing match where no one can get anything done. THAT is how it is SUPOSED to be. The founding fathers, in all their wisdom, set up a system where hardly anyone can accomplish anything because they knew that most men who sought power were full of crap, greedy, envious, foolish, short sighted and so on…This system is designed to be very difficult to accomplish anything to protect us from stupid ideas. So when you see things taking forever consider reacting this way… “GOOD, this might end up being the worst idea ever.”
Nothing happens in a vacuum, lets say some well meaning senator decides to pass a bill to feed all the hungry in Detroit. He is simply going to have the government buy corn and give it to Detroit’s hungry. Nice idea right? We all want to feed the hungry right? It is a nice idea…but there are more bells and whistles involved than simply the corn and the hungry. What farmer gets the order for corn? Does this massive order allow him to put his competing farmers out of business? Does it jack up the price of corn for the rest of the country? the rest of the world? Who makes the machines to cull, process and deliver the corn? does that order screw up the market on those machines for his competition? How much bribery will be involved? Everyone who dislikes corruption should be against this plan because without the power to decide and buy enough corn for Detriot..there would be no one coming along to bribe that person. Bribery and corruption follows power. The less power an official has…they less people will benefit by corrupting him.
Now, what about Detroit…who decides who is poor enough to get the corn? How long does a person have to be living in Detroit? A year? a week? what happens when the poor populations of all the neighboring States pour into Detroit for free corn? Who houses them? How do the hospitals and police keep up with a massive influx of people? How do they keep up with the demand for free corn?…you cannot simply teleport corn into Detroit on a wish. Corn has to be grown, and shipped. what happens while all the newly arrived poor sit and wait for the free corn because Detroit ran out? Who is going to produce more free corn? the competing farms may now be out of business or at least too broke to simply produce a glut of corn. What happens to the rest of us because the cost of corn went up 50% because a huge chunk of supply of the “supply and demand” has been taken by the government? Allot more of us are going to be too broke to by corn and flooding to Detroit. See how a simple well minded idea can turn into a giant clusterf*ck?
As you watch over the next two or four years and see one guy propose a “help the hungry” bill or something else that sounds like a no brainer, and someone else votes “NO”. Consider that he might not be voting “no” because he is evil and wants people to starve. he might be voting no because the bill isn’t very well thought out and will create a giant mess.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking everyone who disagrees with you is evil or stupid. There is more than one way of looking at things, more than one way of doing things. Sometimes both ways are right, sometimes both ways are wrong. The percentage of people out there who ACTUALLY hate anyone is very very very tiny. How many people do you know personally who actually have hate in thier heart? a pretty small percentage right? yet if you turn on the news or listen to political descussions you would thing 50% of the population is full of hate. That is not the case, people disagree because they disagree. I’m conservative…I have had plently of liberals in my life lent me a hand…according to politics though, they are all communists who want to strip away my rights and hate me for what I believe in…simply not the case. You have no doubt been told us conservatives are close minded, uptight, hateful bigots…do I seem like that to you? People have reasons for what they believe and 99.999% of the time it has nothing to do with wanting to harm their fellow man. Falling into the trap of thinking peple disagree because they “hate” or are “stupid” is the surest way not to learn anything…and the surest way for the other person not to learn anything. I learn allot as time goes by because I am willing to change my mind, admit when I am wrong, and not assume the other person thinks the way they do out of simple hate or ignorance.
Ignore name calling- racist, communist, bigot, socialist, liberal, conservative. Ignore that nonsense. If your building is on fire and a skinhead full of racist tattoos runs in and yells “the building is on fire” are you going to sit there and burn to death because a racists had the idea of leaving the burning building? Focus on the ideas…even a “hypocrite” by definition is correct 50% of the time. IS the idea going to work or not…that is all that matters.
Lastly …decide what matters. Gay rights may be important to you, is it more or less important than national defense? Is national defense more or less important that abortion? Is abortion more or less important than the economy? These subjects are ALL important and only YOU can decide what order they should be in for YOU. AND consider the likely hood of the politician in question actually ever touching the subject that is at the top of your list…”Roe vs Wade” (I hope you know what that was about) happened before most of you were even born, and yet every presidential election each side yells about their opinion on the issue as if they are ever actually going to do anything about it….this has gone on for decade after decade after decade …politicians get votes based on their opinion of a court case…that they will never even sniff at while in office. There are a handful of issue like that for both sides. We had an election here for public works supervisor where gay rights was brought up…what I ask you …does gay rights, unless they are going to use rainbow colored concrete, have to do with public works? It’s already against the law to discriminate for jobs and promotions based on sexuality…the public works supervisor can’t do anything pro or con about benifits…yet some people out there voted for one over the other for public works supervisor…based on gay rights …FAIL.
There is never going to be a fairy godmother politician that agrees with everything you agree with in the order in which you think they should be in. There simply will never be one like that, nor should there be …because YOU, ME, THEM…at any given moment could be very very wrong (remember the corn thing?). Look at your own freinds…do you all agree on everything and the order? Of course not. So don’t think that you are going to find a politicians like that. Decide on the order and find the person running for office who is closest.
Just do your best, and I’ll do my best, and they will do there best and things will work out. If we all use our heads …everything will be fine. How do I know that? Because for the past 200 plus years …everything has pretty much been fine. In comparison to human history we are doing pretty damn good in this country. Remember that. Me, you, them, we are by and large doing pretty good. 300 million people managing to keep advancing and righting mistakes and learning and righting mistakes and learning is pretty amazing, and unprecedented in human history. We are doing okay…and we will start doing better in four years when YOU vote with a brain full of knowledge, thought, and information. Get started though, we can use the always use the help.