Sunday, September 21, 2008

Democracy Has Left the Building

**WARNING: POLITICAL RANT** (as if the title didn't give it away)

I'm deeply distressed by the state of our "democracy". I do partly blame corporate greed, lobbyists, colluding politicians et al, but I also think our democracy is being killed off by apathy. No one can manage to look away from their reality TV long enough to care about the things that matter to our very survival. Who anymore can be bothered to cast an educated vote? Choosing our leaders these days amounts to which sound bite stuck with us, or which candidate has better hair, or rabidly supporting a single issue to the exclusion of all others. I'm appalled by the number of times I've heard "[Candidate ___] really gave a good speech!" Well, good for them! They passed their course in public speaking! How well they do it has very little bearing on their ability to lead the nation. (Maybe this is our natural reaction after listening to the monkey for eight years?)

Perhaps "they" have conned us into this state, lulling us with endless consumer goods and 24-hour "news", but we let it happen. We fell for it. It's purely about showmanship now. We only care about the future of our democracy to the extent that it entertains us. It now must compete with shopping, American Idol and sporting events for our attention. Political campaign strategists know that we don't care. They know that we're distracted, and learning the facts is tedious. They know that they can play to our emotions and we'll swallow just about anything. Emotion is not a good zip code to cast a ballot from. Votes should be cast based on qualifications and a careful consideration of all the issues at hand. Patriotic chest-pounding and warm, fuzzy "let's all get along" rhetoric may make us feel good, but it doesn't put food in the mouths of the hungry, keep roofs over our heads or protect our loved ones from illness, poverty and violence.

How can we preserve a system that the population at large seems not to care about?

If you've done your homework, studied the facts, and have already made an informed decision on who you will vote for, turn your TV off now. Nothing coming from those airwaves will affect the decision you've made. If you're still not sure, don't rely on the media to help you decide. Their job is not to explain things to us. Their job is to sell news (and promote products for their advertisers). Do your own legwork and make the decision for yourself.

Let's not buy into the feeding frenzy anymore. Know that you've made an educated and calculated choice based on what you truly think is best for our country, and get back to the business of living. They'll only keep feeding us this crap as long as we keep begging for it.

Please, let's be clear: I'm not endorsing any particular candidate on this blog. I don't care who you vote for, as long as you consider your choice as carefully as you possibly can. Ignore the drama. Ignore the sound bites. Pay attention to what matters. Take time to learn the details. Let's all pull our heads out and act like we give a crap.

Thank you, come again.


  1. I meant "from the belly" not from the "bell", that doesn't even make sense!

  2. Hear flippin' hear! I don't have anything I can add to that other than a "from the bell" a-flippin-men. It is frustrating, just so frustrating...

  3. Hell yeah! (I'm feeling the passion.)

  4. Whomever you vote for, the corporations still win. I am voting for Beelzebub this year. Why vote for the lesser of two evils?

    No seriously, the apathy you see is a finely crafted state brought on by our consumer society. Think of the old Bradbury movie "Fahrenheit 451" and the people with their big combs and simple minds.

  5. Yes, the corporations do always win. I continue to vote, however, because I feel like it's my last hold out. I feel like if we let go of that, they'll still do what they want, but then they'd have our permission.

  6. Don't forget your other vote - your money!

    That is how you control the corporations. If more people realized this, the world would be a different place.

  7. Good rant. I've been especially feeling this way considering that Congress is about to sign a bailout bill giving a non-elected official almost unlimited powers over our financial system - with our money -with NO OVERSIGHT!!! Last time I checked, the bill even said his decisions would not be reviewable in a court of law. Yeah, we live in a democracy. NOT.