I never promised I wouldn’t broach politics. Like you, I have strong opinions on the way this country stumbles along as the self-acclaimed greatest show on Earth (after the real circuses, of course). I have expectations living in this one nation, indivisible, blah blah blah, rah rah rah. That said, do not expect this blog to become another one-state, two-state, red-state, blue-state bashing free for all. It’s been done. To death. And by more clever people than I. Or is it Me… I? Dammit.
Moreover, I would venture a guess that if you’re reading this blog, you know me at some level. Even if it’s the “we’ve gotten drunk together before” level, or the “I say hi to that gay dude in the hall at work and sometimes he says something funny” level. My political views are well known, and well established, and no I won’t change my mind, let’s not have this conversation.
Long, long ago in the before time, I was required to take classes in civics and government. I learned about bicameral legislatures, electoral colleges, the presidential line of succession, and how Jackie Kennedy redecorated the White House always in that fabulous Chanel suit. I learned about Supreme Court rulings and the abuse of the filibuster and what Lady Liberty is wearing under that sexy toga of hers. (Hint… nothing, she’s such a minx)
But in the dusty textbooks and during the hours of lecture and debate and examination, I somehow missed out on the fact that, at its base, the federal government and those we elect to make laws, e.g., members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, have all of the decency, patience, and ability to compromise as a kindergarten class at 2:30pm that happened to skip nap and snack time.
I’m talking about the hand-wringing, deal-spinning, grandstanding sack of horseshit that is the looming “FISCAL CLIFF” and just about every news story and soundbite I’ve heard about it.
People. We live in a diverse, multicultural country with people of different races, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, boxers versus briefs, the list goes on. And I realize that my political views don’t match those of the evangelical Christian wife living in the rural mountains of West Virginia, or the cute lesbian couple raising organic flaxseed in Oregon. That’s the point. We’re all different. And we all vote different, so that there can be a diversity of interest and opinion when it comes to the laws that govern a flawed but ultimately kickass country. We expect that this diversity of opinion and <GASP> logic might actually filter up to those we elect to try not to run the whole damned thing into the ground.
So why is it that, given this diversity of opinion, this great American Melting Pot, this steaming pile of humanity has given birth to a political system that has but two main political parties; that at the moment seems to be split in two on the future of tax policies, entitlement reform, and increased government revenues; that espouses one cultural viewpoint where you’re either on my side or the enemy; that point blank refuses to compromise on ANYTHING which is why we’re facing the financial abyss yet again by our own making?
Why is it that after centuries, we continue to be our own worst enemy by pointing fingers and laying blame instead of sitting down, talking things out, and getting shit done? And, when the Powers That Be don’t do their job, why do they not only get paid, but get to go on vacation?! If I showed up to work on an average of 49% of the year, and didn’t get my grants written or my reports done or my data entered, you know what I would get? Nope, not private, subsidized healthcare and a pension for the rest of my life. FIRED. Yep, that’s right. When people don’t do their jobs, unless they work in Congress, they get fired. Funny story. My god I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! (Zoolander reference, nailed it)
No, I don’t have any answers, and yes I’ve signed 72 online petitions demanding an end to the current system with term limits and an end to Washington cronyism and all that jazz, and yes I’m frustrated and no I won’t buy a button saying I’m part of the 99% because dammit I want a real change. I want the slow grinding gears of DC to find a bottle of lube and get with the program.
In short, I want a unicorn: something that exists in stories and myth, but that no one outside of a cartoon has ever seen. If only my old civics textbooks had cartoons, I think I would have retained more.