Friday, May 28, 2010

Politics in General

Can I just tell everybody that I'm pretty tired of hearing how bad things are in this country/state/county/school district etc.? I was sitting around the other day shooting the breeze with a bunch of friends and as almost always happens, the conversation rolled around to the impending downfall of America into a 'socialist' state.
At that point I sat back and just took it all in as I generally avoid political debates among friends. Talking politics is a pretty good way to create ex-friends and so I've learned from unpleasant experience to leave other's opinions alone and keep them as friends rather than try to score points and run out of people to hang with. This is particularly so when they have wildly different views from my own and it's obvious that no amount of bickering will change their minds. Unless someone is willing to hear and think about another point of view, outright vocal fencing is probably a waste of time. Besides, antagonizing the few friends I have over their politics won't change the world but it sure makes for some tense rides when you have to spend twelve-plus hours in an 8 X 8 box with someone you've pissed off by arguing social agendas.

It does get old however when people who aren't doing too badly for themselves line up to take shots at the system under which they've done pretty well. So once in a while, I let go a broadside and at least get my two cents in. This time around though, the cooler side of my disposition prevailed, I steered the conversation into calmer waters and all was well but it got me thinking...always a dangerous proposition.

As I mentioned above, I've heard any number of times lately that we are in a free-fall toward socialism at best and communism at worst. This is usually a shot at our current president who happens to be unpopular among the well-off and well-connected for various reasons that have been thoroughly and truly hashed to death by any number of conservative outlets. I find this train of thought pretty funny because most of the ones doing the accusing don't have much concept of socialism or communism or any other '-isms' except what they've heard from Rush when he's not in therapy or Glenn Beck when he isn't sobbing into the camera.

We're a long, long way from socialism kids if you care to look into it a little deeper than the sound bites. Most public programs since the turn of the century have been labeled 'socialist' and predicted to be the downfall of the republic by assorted interests who stood to drop a percentage point or two on their earning statements. Even Social Security, which is now 'too big to fail' in itself was forecast as the end of all things democratic and capitalist when it went into effect. Seems we got along pretty well nonetheless.
Every program from minimum wages to healthcare; from gun control to border protection seems to get lumped into that catch-all by those who oppose them. I guess invoking the boogie-man works when you really don't have much else to go on. Anybody got any better ideas out there? Glenn, are you listening? Why don't we let Tricky Dick Cheney run the show? He's pretty good at second-guessing but what happens when he has a lick of power? Oh, that's right...his company has a part in the newly remodeled Gulf Of Mexico. And weren't they the ones who had something to do with certain astronomical no-bid, no oversight contracts in the Middle East when old Dick was hanging out at the White House? Hmmmm. How about Sarah P. then? If the argument against Obama is that he's out of touch and elitist, where does that leave her? Think she could come up with something constructive that she could actually finish? I'm sorry but she makes my skin crawl.
The point of all this is, everybody's complaining but nobody's come up with anything different. Come on...step up and give us some options. I dare you...Inspire me, challenge me, lead me. Do what you get paid to do. I have to or I get fired. Now there's a concept. Don't sit there and vote no on everything just because you can and call that leadership. Don't just sit there and call everything 'socialist' when you refuse to function democratically.

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