Saturday, July 30, 2011

I swear, I may never vote in another political election in my life.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Giving in to defeatism. Letting the bad guys wins. Go down swinging, and all that other rot. Not that I don't believe that there is a large amount of truth in each of those statements, or that I would encourage anyone I talk with to do the same. It's just me, on a personal level. I pretty much have lost faith in a democratic government where one half apparently is insane and their overall driving force is to destroy the other half. I can live with differences of opinion on how government should operate and differing points of view on policy issues. But I can't deal with a government that is being driven more and more to the right by a MINORITY of people who don't seem to have a clue about what governing actually means. And unlimited money coming in from undisclosed corporations, many probably foreign, just has so poisoned this form of government that very little will happen that will truly be for the good of the everyday citizen. It's all about how the rich and powerful get more rich and powerful. It's a rigged game, so why bother? That is the emotional state I am in right now.

Like many other Americans, I had just great hopes when Barack Obama was elected president. That was incredible feeling. I truly believed him when he was saying "Yes, we can." But that has turned out to be yet one more hollow campaign slogan, and President Obama has turned out to be a major disappointment. Whether this is because he truly believes in all the actions he is taking or whether he is just turning into a center-right politician because he so strongly desires to be seen as the "adult in the room," I don't know. He just never seems to catch on that negotiating with lunatics who really WANT to kill the hostage and get everything they want as well, which includes making Obama look bad on every single occasion, no matter how large or how insignificant it might be, DOES NOT WORK. All we ever seem to get is "political creep," where the country seems to start in one place and then is slowly dragged and coerced to the right, and we don't even seem to realize it's happening. Eight months ago, who would have thought we would have been looking at major changes to our social safety net to try to satisfy lunatics who think that the country defaulting on its financial obligations is a good thing? Yet, we all seem to have accepted that premise now, because the only thing that seems to matter at this point is to raise the debt ceiling, so worse things don't happen. And this is just what the extreme right wing of the Republican Party planned all the time. And we went for it.

Whatever Obama's driving motivations, we are now going to end up with a disastrous bill that will make major changes to Social Security and Medicare, neither of which add to the deficit, as well as make huge cuts in spending during a huge recession when we are getting close to 10% unemployment, and the Democrats are getting almost zero in return. There will be nothing in this final agreement, whatever it ends up looking like, that one could point to and say, "Look, that is a very progressive piece of legislation." No, it will all be big steaming piles of attempts at appeasing the radical right that really, really doesn't want to negotiate, even if negotiation were to give them 100% of what they want. The fact that they negotiated in the first place would be a major defeat for them, which is insane. That cannot continue if this country is to survive.

I don't know where this is all going to end and where the country will be when the Tea Party, a full 30% of the voting population of this country, gets its way. But I do know I probably won't recognize this country. At an emotional level, all I feel I can do at this point is to position myself as best I can, which luckily isn't that bad. I have a pretty good government job that will be there when I need it, unless the Tea Party decides that the FAA should be killed entirely, along with the EPA and all other government agencies that provide oversight and regulation of industry. I am not going to be rich in retirement, but it's beginning to appear that I'll do OK.

But actively trying to fight against this insanity that's gripped this country? And that's what it is, insanity.... I don't feel I can cope. My state votes exclusively by mail, so it's pretty easy for me to actually vote, so I might just throw it out there anyway. But really, enthusiasm about re-electing President Obama? Nope, my heart's not in it.

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