The torture of the national conventions, Democrat or Republican, could pass without my notice and I would be happy. Since I have a TV and actually watch it, I cannot ignore the conventions. Since I have a blog and actually am now reading other blogs, I cannot ignore the conventions. No matter where I turn, I am told I should either be breathlessly excited over a done deal or outrageously indignant over the bozos taking the stage. The pundits and hacks of both sides are all trying to get my attention and support for a process I hate and have hated for 28 years.
It was 28 years ago I decided the 2 party system in this country sucked. I decided the system was rigged in favor of two power houses that really were not that different from each other in the long run. Their main concern was not good sensible governance, but control and power. Either attaining it or protecting it, and all the time intensely focused on wielding it. Two sides of the same coin. With no 3rd party to keep either honest, they have gerrymandered and sleazed the system into one that gives no outside movement a chance in Hell of breaking through and having any meaningful impact. It is not a level playing field and most of America does not realize it. And if they do, they do not care.
The fact that the election cycles never seem to stop or take a breather indicates I am not far off the mark. US representatives begin campaigning for reelection the day after they take office. Presidential wannabes start lining up and jockeying for position in the next presidential cycle at the previous conventions. All of them work harder raising funds everyday of the week than they do legislating. Any real legislating type work is almost an afterthought for most of these boneheads. The laws passed are often just badly considered knee jerk responses to the hip hysteria of the day. We continue to get a bad product for our dollars, yet we still buy them tickets to the show.
To strengthen their two handed grip on power, these two parties have rigged the primary process so that only they can effectively field candidates that will get noticed. Any outsider who is noticed must scale almost insurmountable obstacles to mount an effective campaign during primary season.
Then there is the electoral college. What a sham. I wonder why I even bother to vote. Oh I know why really. Long dead Republican ancestors would rise from their graves and smite me down if I did not perform what I was raised to believe is the least I can do as a responsible citizen. I do it, but I don't have to like it. And since I do vote, I feel more than empowered to whine and complain about it.
So forgive me if I do not get excited over Michelle or Hillary preaching to the choir. Or don't forgive me. I could not care less. I have made up my mind. I am voting for Obama. Not because he is a Democrat. But because he is not a Republican. And no matter what they do or say between now and November, I am using my vote to punish the party honchos I feel have been the most abusive to the citizenry in recent years. I know it is hard to tell which crew is worse usually, but today, right now, the Republican leadership wins that dubious title hands down.
I would gladly change my tune if I saw any movement from either side they are interested in fixing what is obviously broken. But neither seem interested. On the issues that really matter, all we get is lip service from both. They continue to create false issues that deflect our attention from the issues that affect most of us every day, no matter which side of the fence we hail from. I'm sorry but issues like reproductive rights, gay rights, gun control, flag burning, immigration, and school vouchers to name a few are not the ones we should allow to run the elections. There are more basic problems that need fixing first, yet neither party seems interested in addressing them. Health care, our crumbling infrastructure, overall education reform, sensible foreign policy, an aggressive and sensible energy plan, and our sliding status in the international business arena should all be up in front of anything else. Nuts and bolts boring stuff that this country absolutely needs to work better is getting the bum's rush while they dangle emotionally charged issues for us to bite into. And like brainless moths circling that bright porch light, we get burned every time.
As disgusted as I am with the system and the crew running it right now, I am more disgusted with our population. We deserve what we have. We do not insist on better so we get the clown dance we have had for at least most of my lifetime. Instead of voting for those who tell us what we should hear, we vote for those who tell us what we want to hear. Yet we do not often hold them accountable when they fail to deliver. We sit back apathetically and allow what amounts to a minority run things for us. The power we have so willingly ceded to an elite few has turned this country from a representative republic into an oligarchy.
My two cent rant is now over. My blood pressure seems to be leveling out. Sometimes I really do wish I did not care. It would be so much easier.