Politics, this current election, the whole system…

without comments

Guest Post Week continues with Danny Thomas
Danny and I first met as 3-year olds in preschool, and I haven’t stopped looking up to him ever since.  He is an intellectual, an artist, a musician and a dreamer.  Although, I suspect if you asked him what he is that he’d say, “I’m a Father”.  When I asked him to write a piece for this blog, he sent me this note which—in his usual way of having his finger on the pulse of humanity—expresses exactly how I feel.

Politics, this current election, the whole system…

It’s got me feeling pretty disillusioned…

I mean look, I love this country, I love civics, there are things that make me swell with pride about America, but I am reading a book right now about how fat white men robbed this country – the black hills of South Dakota, in particular – from the First Nations people….

It has a dark side.

And worse than that – it’s just hard to believe or invest in the dogma any more – the system is broken, democracy and capitalism, it turns out may be just as susceptible to human frailty and dysfunction as any other thing that came along before…

I mean the election a couple years ago gave me Hope, it really did.  And, I really do believe in Obama, and his intentions.  I am just so afraid he is a great man with great ideas stuck in a system that is so mired down, so broken, so crooked and cached out that it can’t be fixed.  That all the great ideas, best intentions, reasonable compromise, and rational discussion in the world is only going to be either bought out by corporate power and money, or drowned out by loud-mouthed divisive pundits and extremists who claim to have the interest of the country at heart but, as far as I can see are in it for themselves…

The day after the election a friend had a status on Facebook that went like this:

Which person’s body inhabits a given political office is so totally irrelevant.

That totally resonated with me, but I needed clarification so I wrote this:

why? do you mean, because they are cogs? and pawns, and like that?

She replied:

With the system of partisan politics that exists – it renders any individual politician impotent – What might Obama have accomplished had he not had such opposition from the Republicans in the houses of government. We might have actually had health care reform that actually meant something, for one…

It really got me going…

throw in the p.a.c.’s special interest groups, lobbyists, campaign contributors, corporate $$$$$$$ and it’s become a money-filled gridlock…. tis hard not to give up on the system…

I continued;

it seems like corporations and the “money people” have exploited the two party system to gridlock it and serve themselves…i think the american people have fallen for this binary system and the black and white kind of thinking it produces…it’s an oversimplification of what i think an ideal democracy should be…but it’s easy to sell, and buy…it’s much harder to listen to, and empathize with people who think differently than you, it’s much harder to compromise…giving a little is a hard pill to swallow – painting the other person as an ignorant bigot moron makes it easy to ignore their point of view, that said, i am terrified of some of the ignorant bigot morons out there spouting ridiculous hateful bullshit in the guise of punditry and political analysis…

The thing that saddens me is that I feel we are losing or destroying the things that make a democracy strong – debate and discussion and empathy and compromise and compassion, diversity and differing viewpoints…

It seems like all the stories about the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were filled with heated debates that took days and days to resolve.  We are supposed to argue, we are supposed to disagree but that is not an end in and of itself – the idea is to come to a conclusion…thru empathy and compromise and compassion…

What is missing here is a loud moderate voice – we need an Abbey Hoffman for Centrists…

Jon Stewart is kind of close – there were moments in his speech at the Rally to Restore Reason and/or Fear that brought tears to my eyes, in particular the words, “…we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.”

But even a voice as great and calm and reasonable as his becomes part of this gross machine…

I don’t know how we overcome it – after a decade of divisive, fear mongering leadership, that was on the tail of a decade of greed fueled avaricious leadership, the gap just seems too great.

I include myself in this – I really have a hard time even listening to, let alone being empathetic with someone who I feel has beliefs that not only differ from mine but that, in essence are a threat to my rights…

I have a hard time even listening to their viewpoint, I guess I owe it to them as Americans, and to America itself, to find a way to empathize with their viewpoint so that a compromise can be reached…

Or, maybe we just get out our sticks and stones and tear this mutherfucker down and start over…

Written by scottporad

November 11th, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Miscellaneous

Tagged with ,