Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Flummoxed


I guess I just need to go with the flow. The forthcoming election has my mind all flummoxed. I try to come up with something to write that does not center on the political battle heating up and I find nothing. Just more bile and discontent over the system I find sadly lacking.

I know. I know. As bad as it may be, our system is one of the best. There are rights and privileges we have others would and do leave their country to come here and enjoy. What others see as a lack of appreciation, I prefer to think of as keeping the system as honest as I can.

If we want to continue to be a land others desire to be part of, we need to be ever watchful of the efforts of some to manipulate what we have to the engines that drive their personal agendas. To that end, I stand in the middle shouting at both sides to get together instead of concentrating on staying apart. Shelve the issues that separate us until we resolve the ones we agree on.

I find deaf ears everywhere as I rail against the machines. Everyone intent on their own path without regard for the ones others travel. The lack of respect I find in every interaction between the two only makes me lose respect for both and I fall into the same trap. And I can taste the bile.

The differences that separate us into cliques and interest groups are nothing but manufactured differences in not the goal, but how to get there. Stupidity rises to the top and creates walls that should not be there. Disrespect replaces Civility as both sides go toe to toe over non-issues conjured up in the smoky back rooms of the different camps. The deciders of both sides toss out emotional issues for us to fight over, ensuring them free rein to own everything else.

The idea that we are manipulated so easily is what really bothers me. As individuals most or at least many of us seem to have a clue. But round us up into a group in any manner and our individual IQ's seem to dissipate and devolve into a mob mentality without the High School degree. Reason and logic are lost as the group begins to run on emotion.

So I sit here unable to focus on anything but how much damage we are doing to ourselves. Our stupid bickering. Our stupid values that often are but nice ideas rarely supported by our actions. And our stupid habit of keeping a chip on our shoulder the size of Delaware ever ready to throw down and go at the throats of anyone who would dare to disagree with us. So screw it people. Whatever happens in November and beyond, you will have deserved the outcome.

12 comments:

Demeur said...

It is a sad state of affairs Mac. There was a time when I was near dead center on politics but when the current neocons took office and started dismanteling our constitution, started preemtive wars and racked up the largest debt in U.S history it's time to stand up and shout. When this country has experienced a president who says he's a uniter and you have seen the results of the greatest polarization this nation has ever seen I'd say it's time for change. We are witnessing the systematic elimination of the middle class. Yes regular guys like you and me are loosing their homes and being pushed out of the opportunities this country once had to offer. Corporations have been moving their opperations overseas for more than thirty years and have been assisted by those that received the most lobby money in government. Corporations that funnel their profits offshore and pay no taxes unlike you or me who are forced to carry the load of people who make more in one day than we make in a year.
So if I sound a little pissed and not to kind to the republicans it's because they have had the reigns of power for eight years now and it should be obvious which way this nation is heading. And this is only the beginning the worst is yet to come should they retain power. Never in all my working life has the employment picture been as bad as it's been this year ( and an election year at that).
It would be great if there was a third party to reign in the other two but that is not the case.
So will we get the government that we deserve? That depends on a fair election with no hanging chads or rigged voting machines.

Dawn on MDI said...

What he said.
I tried to be centrist for a very long time, but since Ronald Reagan kicked the pendulum to the right, it has been more and more difficult to be moderate and interested in compromise and cooperation with a group that has taken utter delight in force-feeding America a deadly diet of crap. It makes for a very bitter opposition.
I hold Reagan personally responsible for the deaths of HUNDREDS of my friends because of what he willfully did not do about AIDS. He withheld lifesaving information (because it talked frankly about sex) and eviscerated the funding for medical research because it affected a demographic (gays and drug users) that was of no importance to him. My friends died miserable, agonizing deaths and were mistreated by medical "professionals" along the way because of the lack of information and compassion. When am I supposed to want to get warm and fuzzy with that crowd? Many of them are in the current administration.
Much as I hate to say it, Ross Perot was right. Only we didn't hear "a giant sucking sound" exactly, our jobs went not just south to Mexico, but west as well, to China and Southeast Asia.
NAFTA was rotten from the get-go, but it was supported by the guy who made cooperation and finding common ground his trademark - Bill Clinton.
So, eight years ago, the Rs already had control of both houses of congress and finally got the big spot on Penn. Ave. With that bully pulpit, they bent over the rest of America and commenced to screwing.
I have no interest in cooperating with the guys who have been treating me and mine like a punching bag for eight years. I feel like a woman who is just about ready to get herself and the kids out of an abusive marriage. Cooperate with the SOB who has been beating us for 8 years? Forgive me if I am not eager to sit down at that table.
It will be a great test of our character come January when we win back control of all three. I hope our leaders are more level-headed than I.
The pendulum is ready to swing back. With any luck, super-cool Obama will temper that swing so we don't do damage to ourselves like sailors on shore leave.

MRMacrum said...

demeur and dawn - kindred spirits here I guess. We feel we are in the middle but events and political winds have blown us off our keels.

I never felt like the Democrats did much of anything useful. Well, yeah, some things. And I always felt the Republicans were the party that kept us on a slower track so that change did not seem like an upheval.

But not now. The Republicans tossed out their careful and boring approach to governing in favor of a more aggressive approach. and what we are dealing with now is the result. I fault Reagan and the crew who came to power with him for the messes, foreign and domestic we are dealing with now. The party of money and power needs to rachet it back. But something tells me they won't.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

I agree with yhour thinking and applaud how you expressed it in this post. Your exactly right. We agree on the end goals, we disagree on the means to get there. The democrats feel all problems are to heavy for local solutions so introduce yet another national program directed from DC, of course more tax monies are needed to pay or it----The Republicans lean more to let the locals solve it and want Government out of our everyday lives.
The democrats don't understand that jobs went overseas because thats the only way american companies could keep competitive with the rest of the world, (you ARE aware for example, that Germany, Japan build cars outside their own boarders? Trust me if Detroit could build a decent quality car with good milage under $20,000 in this country, they couldn't build em fast enough.

American Hill BIlly said...

mrmacrum,

You said it best. The USAmerican people are getting what they ask for. I don't say that out of spite. I am an USAmerican, and most of my family there.

However, over the last twenty years we have become the ass of the world. We are now the acknowledged agressor. I will make a clarification that it is the US Govt., and a few select other world governments causing most of the problems, but the USAmerican people aren't standing up.
I do know not just by shear numbers, but also technologically there are other world entities out there waiting on Guard. Waiting for when The USA, UK, Israel, and a couple others to carry things to far. At this point, and I don't think it is to far, will USAmerican's fully realize the deception played apon them.

As far as freedom???? I have been almost all over the World now, and besides being able to own a few guns in the States, the freedoms are gone.


United In Peace And Freedom

BBC said...

I don't do the pledge, I don't fly an American flag. It's all a bunch of bullshit to try to control us.

It's just Rome relocated and reborn here. And last but not least, it's just a bunch of monkeys fucking around and letting you think that you are a part of their silly game.

You can't change anything and your vote don't count for shit because you wouldn't use it to vote for any of those idiots if you really had your way.

If you could use it the way you wanted to use it you would vote for someone with some brains.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I don't think anyone with brains would run for office nowadays. The circus has taken over.

1138 said...

I understand.
At the same time, I try and remind myself that it was intended to be a more perfect union, not a perfect union.
Meaning, it was designined with the understanding that it was broken and that it was probably best that it always broken and striving to be better, more perfect, but not fooling itself with the illusion that it was perfect.
I love my country, like I love my family, with all it's faults and failures recognizing them and working to make each part of it better with a clear head and trying to put anger and hate aside.

Our cousins are having a party this week and they don't seem to feel the same.

BTW I used to lobster off Dear Isle with my grandfather when I was a kid.

A Midnight Rider said...

I like the new look of your blog BTW.

Back to regular programing. I once heard someone say that if our vote counted we wouldn't be allowed to vote.

I really think the choice of Palin has sealed the Presidency for Senator Obama. Americans have come to realize that we cannot afford to have the Republicans in charge any more. Even though they say they want less government, under thier reign it has grown expotentially.

We should be totally free of the need for foreign oil by now. However the right has sold thier souls to the lobbyist and refuse to force companies to manufacture efficient products. I don't think anyone doubts that we could have autos getting in excess of 60 mpg by now, but there is no profit in that.

The right are so afraid of 15 year old Muslims with 40 year old Russian rifles and pipe bombs, they have become paralized.

We can do much better, and have had enough of the conservative bait and switch tactics. A landslide in November will begin to bring America back from the dark ages of the last 8 years.

NucMEd is Hot said...

I don't think you have to fly a flog to be atriotic and I don't think you ave to be a zealot to believe in God.

You have such interesting posts I hate to see you relegate yourself to getting sucked into this quagmire of insanity.

kenju said...

Thanks for the visit to my place and thanks for the comment. I know how dear to you your child's wooden construction is and I, like you, will never part with mine.

I like what you say here, and I mostly agree.

Snave said...

Good post, MrM. Much good sentiment is expressed there, and such an approach would be very productive for America should we ever decide to take it.

Nonetheless, I'm pretty much where Demeur and Dawn are on this matter. I used to be only slightly left of center as a young man, but I have gone way to the left since Reagan got into office. In the last eight years? I have gotten to the point where I nearly view getting the GOP out of the White House as a matter of life and death for America.

A friend of mine who is not American-born (she was born and raised in Canada) but who is now a full US citizen and will be voting for the first time says she finds the whole process fascinating. She says there are things she likes about both parties, and feels like she "would like some of this, some of that, maybe some of this, and maybe some of that", but the way things are packaged it ends up feeling like a choice of the least worst option. She sees few minorities represented in one party, and sees that a lot of those white people look very prosperous. She sees a melting pot in the other party, but social policies that are too left for her socially conservative preferences. What a conundrum!

I would like to be able to look at American politics in that way, with a more childlike, wide-eyed approach. Now middle-aged and past age 50, my mind has pretty much gotten calcified over the last 25+ years. What I would strive for now would be to be more tolerant of others' views, no matter how much I vehmently disagree or disapprove. I would hope others who disagree with me would strive to be as tolerant. Sadly, neither party is a paragon of tolerance... but at the same time I express my leftist views, I hope I can respect those views offered by those with whom I find so much mutual disagreement.

One good tool for understanding the way conservatives think is "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff. It is a quick, easy read and it changed my way of thinking. It has helped me to think of conservative voters more as people than as sound-bite consuming/spewing automatons.

I sorely hope that AMR is right, that the choice of Palin will only energize the GOP briefly until the party's cracks start to reappear, and that Obama can then go on to win the election. I see his approach as the one with the most promise to help our country heal some of its divisions.

To me, Obama seems to be more different from typical Democratic politicians than McCain seems different from typical Republican politicians. Obama seems to me to be more likely to think independently and exercise good judgment than John McCain, because I see McCain as having sold most of his soul to the neocons and Karl Rove types. Does McCain think that is what he really has to do to become president? If you are a GOP candidate nowadays, maybe that IS what you have to do.

I thought McCain was a genuine political "maverick" until the 2004 presidential campaign, in which he demonstrated that he would basically do anything to build toward a presidential run... Fully embracing someone who stabbed you in the back, to further your political career?

Maybe I should be commending McCain for being a forgiving person. I think I could see it that way. Even if I had some kind of realization that he was actually a forgiving person though, it still wouldn't make me agree with his politics.

Whatever happens, I think every vote does count. I will make mine count this November as best as I can. If I can convince a few others to vote for the candidate I like and plan to vote for, and those people can do the same with some of their friends, then it makes a difference. Maybe not my vote itself, but the way in which I promote the candidate for whom I prefer to vote.