Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th - Your government sucks

As we come together today to pay homage to one line in a song most of us think only plays at the beginning of baseball games, it is important, but clearly not mandatory, to reflect on how this nation began.
It was more than 200 years ago, and the founding fathers held a well-publicized debate in which both sides had already outlined a set of talking points and hammered the document before them with party doctrine and rhetoric, attempting to appeal to a voter base rather than to make any headway.
No, wait, that was last week.Yes, the continuing fulfillment of the founding fathers' vision has gone askew. And I'm pointing that out, which makes it an unpopular opinion, right? Wrong. The idea of a fractured and broken government is well established and well founded. Politics take the lead in decision-making, leaving the American people who elected these assholes out in the cold shadowy corners of Washington DC, where they hopefully won't distract any of the lobbyists from dropping sizable campaign contributions. And still, none of that is unpopular, but I'm about to change that with one sentence.
This is all your fault.
See that? Bold and italics. I must be serious. But do I have a foundation for these beliefs? Sure, why not.
The vision of the founding fathers was a government of the people and for the people. It works like this: If the government stops working for the people, the people change it.
Traditionally, that means an election. The voters of this great nation gather once every two years, push a few buttons (or however your precincts record votes) and assume it will all work out. But how will that happen when you are forced to choose between Big Brother and Big Mother?
This is no secret. The Republicans want to promote big business, give tax breaks to those who can offer the most campaign contributions, eliminate any behavior that their daddy taught them was wrong, and squelch the voice of people who oppose them (or, at the very least, start their own cable news network so they can shout louder than their detractors). The Democrats want to shift all financial burden off the non-rich (while doing pretty much nothing to elevate the poor) and give the whole bill to people with lots of money, hopefully defining "lots of money" as more money than they rake in. If you want a simpler explanation, the Democrats want to intrude on your wallet, the Republicans on your bedroom.
For those oversimplified reasons, I lean more toward the Libertarian Party, who wants as little government involvement as possible, except they're always looking for ways to force anarchism on an unsuspecting people. For example, the Libertarians regularly propose a bill that would dissolve the Federal Government if certain criteria are met, ending the USA and leaving only 50 independent states.
Well, you could always vote Green Party. Yeah, I laughed at that too.
It's easy to make fun of those in power, which is one of the reasons I do it, but they're not the problem. They are men and women indoctrinated into a flawed system that keeps them from changing anything. If you doubt that, you probably also expect 30-year senators to suddenly impose term limits on themselves.
No, the problem is you. Seriously, it is. You have fucked up this country, and you don't realize it. Who do we have running for elections? Some prick who leans right and some prick who leans left. Maybe they both lean right or left, but one more than the other. They're still both pricks.
So how do I blame you for our having to choose between, as Messrs Stone and Park so eloquently put it, a giant douche and a turd sandwich? Because the choice isn't a giant douche, a turd sandwich and you.
This is actually quite simple. If your choices suck, you need new choices. There are two ways to do this. Either you run for office or you encourage a good person to run for office. If you sit and complain that your choices blow without doing anything to change that, you are a dick, and the last thing we need is more dicks complacently voting for a douche or a turd.
For those of you who no longer want to be a dick, I can help. Your first step is to go to your city or county clerk. They can give you all the information you need to get started and direct you to the right people. Next, go to your friends. You'll need volunteers, and, although your friends have been huge dicks too, they'll be inspired by your sacrifice and relieved that they don't actually have to run themselves. Yes, that makes them a different kind of dick, but for the purposes of this election, we'll forgive them. Then, start talking. Talk to the newspapers and television stations, visit the local chamber of commerce, write a blog, send newsletters. The Internet being what it is, campaigning has gotten easier than ever. There's still no substitute to a handshake and sincere smile, but regular email updates at least keep you on the voters' minds.
If you're not rich or have rich friends, and that's about 90% of us, I recommend running for a city or county position first. In those races, money has the least impact. You can still win a city council seat based solely on the strength of a newspaper endorsement or editorial.
Now that you see how easy it is and how much you've been sabotaging your government by not running, don't you feel like a major prick? I think of you that way, and I'm sure I'm not alone. So go change that already.

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