Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Stench of Voting

I voted on Tuesday; reluctantly. The only solace to having this election over with is that we no longer have to be bombarded by the crap that is thrown our way via election ads, unsolicited cell phone calls (thanks T Mobile for selling my number) and the endless punditry that passes for political commentary.

Sadly, the way the federal and state governments are constituted is woefully ill-suited to deal with the massive problems that affect Americans. The framers of the constitution rightfully sought to infuse restraint and balance into our system of government, but they could not have foreseen the evolution of this nation into one where our media and politicians have been co opted and corrupted to the point where the will of the people and the power of sovereignty means nothing.

Voting is a Pyrrhic endeavor given the choices that are offered. The quality of the candidates is substandard. No one with any real intellect and moral balance would seriously get anywhere close to the swamp that government has become. Those who are the best and brightest know that even those with good intentions soon become corrupted by the process and are forced to compromise their values to the point where they become meaningless. The end goal of every politician, no matter how well intentioned on the campaign trail, soon becomes the pursuit of power at all costs. This mindset translates into a concerted pattern of avoiding tough game-changing policies and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Smoke and mirrors replace imagination and innovation and hidden agendas abound.

The standard of living in this country is in landslide mode. Effective unemployment, those without jobs or teetering on the brink of unemployment, is in the neighborhood of twenty percent. Owning a home used to be one's best, and often, only investment for the future. Now, with housing prices in free fall, it makes little financial sense to own rather than rent. A college degree used to be an investment in success and security. Now, it is often just another way into suffocating debt and despair.

The education system in this nation is broken and failing our children and our future. Manufacturing, once the backbone of our economy is securely situated in the far east. Our government continues to commit to draining the treasury by fighting wars that are unwinable and morally unjustified. Even seemingly simple issues like Gays in the military are confused and compounded into political issues that seem beyond resolve.

I wish I could be optimistic, but without major changes in the structure and operation of government, there is little hope. It is incomprehensible that government cannot provide effective defense, affordable healthcare, legitimate education and employment to citizens. This let them eat cake attitude is taking us all down the road to a time when a significant portion of the population is having to deal with basic survival.

Tuesday's so-called Republican tsunami comes under the heading of "careful what you wish for." I suspect soon-to-be speaker, Boehner's tears on election night were less indicative of his life trajectory and more representative of the reality that his ox is the one that is next go be gored. We can only hope that the anger and despair that propels lunatics like O'Donnell, Paul and Angle into prominence will serve notice on Congress that chaos is an option if real change is not in the offing.

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