Especially since I think it took me so long to write it's gonna post on the twelfth. But sweet purple Jesus, I got something to SAY.

First, since not everyone seems to have been paying attention in high school, a definition: politics, n. the process of making policy.

In a representational democracy/modified republic, which is the system we have in the US, We the People fought to be the fundamental makers of our governmental policies, rather than having them made for us by some arbitrarily defined "elite." And yet, my fellow citizens choose to throw this hard-won right away every day -- not to mention other treasured rights, which I'll get to in a minute. Why? Personally, I think it's a misunderstanding of the definition of the word politics.

campaign muck is NOT politics )

There is as much endless glee in the human soul in picking apart human foibles as there is tiredness in the human soul for seeing human foibles picked apart. Please be clear, when lamenting the crap broadcast across our screens, whether you actually are lamenting muck and the raking thereof. In fact, muckraking's not quite the honored profession it used to be.

Campaign muck stays the same, different dates, different names. Now policy, that changes. Thomas Jefferson didn't have DishTV, so he couldn't be expected to come up with appropriate policy for it. See the difference?

Muck distracts us from some very important policy items, and I don't hear anyone getting vocal about these things. Who gives a shit how Biden worded his sentences today? Why do I give a damn what speech Palin gave to what fucking group? Now this, this affects policy:

Inspector General's Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok, Washington Post
"The oil industry holds shocking sway over the administration and even key federal employees" -- Sen Bill Nelson
Talk about an arbitrarily defined "elite!"

Anybody remember the Teapot Dome Scandal? Yes? Good. You get extra win points. No? You fail your citizenship test. Click the link.

Not getting the connection? Go back and read both articles very carefully. See where they are similar and where they are not. Teapot Dome caused a change in US domestic oil policies, and some protections were put in place. Which the present oil agency found ways around in order to benefit themselves -- pretty much necessitating some new, tighter policies immediately unless everybody's asleep at the wheel. And let's hope those policies are in place and encompass some sane way to deal with drilling oil in the Arctic Refuge. You think?

Did you notice I can advocate for sane policy without picking a side? Policy and political discussions do not necessarily have to be polarizing. It is not a zero-sum game.

Is anybody seeing my point about POLITICS yet? Does politics have one damn thing to do with who put lipstick on whose pig, or who fathered whose illegitimate child? I believe the only Father of Our Country was George Washington, and I'm pretty sure that was some kind of honorary metaphoric title. Contemporary writing says the man was a hottie in his day, but a fussy prude, so I guess he was Father-what-a-waste. Say what you like about Martha, and kudos to the boy for snagging a rich widow, but I'm pretty sure George never fucked an actual pig.

So much for history. Here's where we get to 9/11 and rights, and where I may or may not piss off anyone I haven't pissed off by this point. I mentioned earlier that I am sickened and saddened by my fellow citizens throwing away their hard-won rights to participate in the making of policy. Damn, all the stupid reasons people don't vote. Please do not list them, they will appear in your epitaph. But voting is not the only way to speak your voice and participate. You may not be able to change all the things that are wrong with this world, but you may be able to pick one thing and affect that. Until you try, you will get the government you deserve. [livejournal.com profile] syrjustus had an awesome post on just that subject...
which I'm gonna cut and paste because the link won't work )
Unfortunately, that leaves me with the government that you deserve. And since 9/11, somehow we have been conned into handing over our rights hand over fist to 1984 Orwellian Newspeak-named governmental agencies in the interest of some fictional vaporware "security" because of "those who died" on 9/11 and "because we had to do something."

Ahem. *bullshit.* ahem.

Is that the fucking legacy we want to leave them? Is that what those people fucking died for? So we could be mindless sheep who no longer think for themselves and pick our leaders based on soundbites about bullshit? Seriously?

Isn't that what those maniacs thought they were trying to eradicate? Didn't they want to erase a nation of selfish consumers who are parasites on the nations of the world, sucking the resources from the planet for their decadent excesses? Who don't even bother to vote in a country where they can?

Well, fuck that. Sadness and mourning was fine when we were in shock, but I'm not lighting a stupid candle, I'm not singing some asinine song, I'm not having some pissant moment of silence. People don't die for singing candle moments of silence. People die for rights, for ideals. Sometimes they throw tea in a harbor, and then they die for their rights.

None of those people chose to die on 9/11 though, and really, most of them weren't heroic. It was just tragic. But we can make something more than an uncomfortable Hallmark card of their deaths if we want to make anything of it at all. Not with a stupid candle, though.

So look. In theory, the Constitution is still in place. Cherish and love and use those rights we have if you want to keep them. If you loved those rights we had that got sneaked away from us, speak the hell up and fight for them back. We won them from a monarch once, it's not like they can't be taken back again. Government belongs to the people, and you are one of the people. If you didn't participate before because you didn't understand the word politics, you do now. If you're sick of muck, turn it off and find the issues you do care about -- they are out there. Make an informed choice. And if you need an inspiration other than the hundreds of thousands who have died for our freedom, then do it for a better 9/11 memorial than dripping wax and defacing the sidewalk.

I'm gonna use my brain. What are you gonna do?

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ladycaviar

April 2009

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