Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's All About ME Or Gone To The Dogs

Out here in real life we're all struggling to survive so we just don't have the time to argue. The general consensus of opinion, among those I speak to face to face on a daily basis is, that all politicians are dissappointing. My Liberal friends, who are not far left, are voting for re-election of our President because to do otherwise would be to vote into office something they truly don't wish to deal with. They don't think we need any more McConnells or Boehners. Definitely are positive we don't need more Cantors, Bachmanns or Ryans either.

What surprises me is the handful of my Republican friends who say they will vote for re-election of President Obama. Maybe it shouldn't, given who I know these people are and who the field of candidates contains. These are the people who don't waste their time reading online blogs. If they spend any amount of time online, they do so at Facebook where they share pictures with their family and catch up with the latest pickle that Cousin Harry has managed to find himself in.

Without any guidance at all they know that their own party has jumped the track and is headed for a destination they don't choose. They've never heard of Jane Hamsher or Joan Walsh. They don't know who Matt Taibbi is. They don't know who Grover Norquist or Dick Armey is in any real way. They have no desire to educate themselves by reading a bunch of "Crooks and Liars". They know much more about things that happen in Washington than any of these self aggrandizing political bloggers do. They know that folks who work in the places of power have gone too far.

My friends are the people in the middle. Middle management in large corporations who can't stretch their salaries to cover everything they need. Small businessmen in service businesses and construction whose equipment is sitting idle because people simply don't have the money needed to provide them with work. They don't blame the President, they blame society. They don't believe the problems we face here in America is a result of our president caving into the demands of Congress. As far as they're concerned, what happens there is a direct result of who we are as a society.

One of my friends asked me today if I remember the road rage incident in which a guy ran down a woman he believed cut him off and when he spoke to her got so mad that he grabbed her dog and threw it into traffic? Right now, that guy is Congress. The dog is our country, and Democrats and Republicans are so mad that they're behaving in an irrational way which will result in the death of the dog if they aren't stopped. He said they fully understand what they've done, but they're unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions, just like the guy who killed that woman's dog.

Society with it's Me attitude has created voters who are interested in whatever issue directly affects or coincides with their belief or need. They don't give a damn about anything except what they want and aren't willing to begin to consider whether or not it's the best for their neighbors. It's not even a matter of too much time spent listening to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, it's a failure to see how their own behavior created this problem. Our government is broken because our society is broken.

If our need for instant gratification isn't met we turn our backs and walk away. Nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce simply because no one is willing to do the hard work of making a sacrifice in order to compromise. The only reason anyone should ever get divorced is if one partner is an unrepentant alcoholic, drug user or abusive. There is no such thing as irreconcilable differences between two people who are willing to listen and work towards making things better.

The cost of healthcare is high because we feel we should have to have all these expensive diagnostic tests. And then we want a pill to fix everything that those tests discover is wrong with us. We don't want to take the responsibility for making the changes that would return us to a state of health. We won't sacrifice what we love to eat in order to lose weight. We won't stop eating fatty high calorie fast foods because it takes too long to fix something healthy to eat. We want it quick and convenient, and we even have the audacity to get angry when we have to wait a bit for something. None of this, of course, is ever our fault. It's always someone elses. Maybe the fault of all that TV advertizing?

We are selfish, inconsiderate and rude. We don't try compromise or reason to solve a problem. We erupt into tyrranical bullies to get our own way. And we elect people like us to government and wonder how things get so screwed up. We've gone so far into this kind of behavior that I'm afraid we'll never be able to set things right. Sadly, if we don't restore some semblance of civility, reason and cooperation to our democracy, absolutely nothing will change for the better. Things will continue on the path they are on now and eventually get worse.

Unfortunately opinions aren't solutions. Opinions aren't necessarily truth, they aren't fact. They're just one persons understanding of a situation. Sometimes that understanding is flawed. In this case, I hope mine is because as long as we aren't willing to look beyond our own opinions, we are the problem. My other hope is that we can change. We can do that together if we'd only stop blaming someone else for our problems.


  1. Absolutely a great post!!!

    I have no idea how we are going to get out of this mess. I strongly supported Obama but I honestly feel he has mishandeled many things. Namely while we all have to compromise he has not supplied the needed leadership or strength in the face of the extremists on the right.

    I'm afraid a long, hard journey is just beginning for this country and things will get much worse before there is any hint of getting better.

  2. Sherry:

    I am going to take a break from the discussion of politics. I find the whole mess in our nation's capital (as well as in the leadership of some of the states) to be thoroughly disgusting.

  3. You have to take a test to be a lawyer, a doctor or a school teacher; but any fool can be a senator or congress person if they have enough money and power backing them. The people we put in politics speak to who we are.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  4. I have stayed off the politics lately because the whole thing disgusts me lately. I am a Democrat but am not exactly happy with what we have gotten from President Obama, at the same time I will vote for him because the thought of a Tea Party President scares the hell out of me.

    Congress is a mess, it totally screwed the pooch on this budget. Both sides are idiots because neither can collect their heads out of their asses long enough to come to a simple solution.

    The future looks bleak...

  5. Beach Bum,

    Something to consider here. While many think Pres. Obama is caving in, he's being seen by some of my friends, who don't support him, as the only member of our government that is actually working towards bipartisanship.

    The Tea Party is losing support, and so are Boehner and McConnell because too many independents and other party voters are seeing them entirely as obstructionists, in the back pockets of the corporations that are killing our economy.

  6. Whit,

    It's a nightmare and unfortunately just a reflection of who we are as a society. We have become unreasonable in our expectations and selfish in our demands.

  7. Ol'Buzzard,

    Yes, the government reflects who we are as a society and it's an ugly picture indeed.

  8. RM,

    There is no simple solution. It isn't just Congress that is the problem, it's who we've become as a people.

    I volunteered at a local food pantry and I saw things that made me angry and sad.