Posted by: silverback | 2010/03/04

disheartened

i am completely trustworthy

it’s hard for me to articulate how fed up i am with our so-called “government” at this moment. i’m a pragmatist, perhaps a cynic when it comes to my view of public servants. while my idealistic hope is that there are a few elected officials interested in representing their constituents, i’m fairly certain that most of them are merely representing their own agendas. the alternate harsh reality would be that they are representing a majority of their constituents, and that would indicate to me that America is just too far gone. my biggest problem, however, is that i’ve really never met a person interested in becoming a politician that i would trust to represent my interests. too many of them look like this guy:

the polarization of the two parties has gotten ridiculous. apparently, if one wants to actually be elected, he or she must choose a side. then, he or she must adopt all the dogmatic platform positions of his or her chosen party. in order to be a Republican, one must be conservative pro-life, pro-gun, pro-capitalism/pro-corporation, anti-taxes, and it wouldn’t hurt to be a fundamentalist Christian. on the other hand, if one chooses to be a Democrat, he or she must be liberal pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-regulation, anti-war, pro-spending, and it wouldn’t hurt to be a gay Unitarian Universalist. of course i’m drawing massive stereotypes, but by all appearances, the politicians now in Washington seem to be more than content to adopt those caricatures.

from out here, it seems as if neither party is willing to build consensus and accomplish anything good for America. they’d rather sit in their respective chambers and blow spitwads, flipping each other off across the aisle. after all, they all have solid employment for the time being, an excellent health plan, 401k retirement plan, an efficient, well-trained staff, and free housing.

i don’t blame Obama. he doesn’t seem to be as effective a President as i would have hoped, but that seems to be purely the fault of the Democratic supermajority playing their cards wrong, along with the Republican resistance’ extended pouting over being so solidly trounced in the 2008 elections. the chasm between the two seems a gap too large to bridge at this point. the players involved have too much ego invested to back down.

unfortunately, the people hurt most in this stand-off are the very constituents they are supposed to be representing. of course, only half (at most) of us are ever going to be truly represented, because most Democratic electees are going to toe the Democratic party line, thereby leaving Republican voters in their districts out in the cold, growing ever more bitter. on the other hand, Republican incumbents are going to hold to GOP tenets, ignoring the wishes of the Democratic voters under their watch. meanwhile, the people of America (like me, for instance) grow ever more frustrated with the petty infighting over whatever the issue of the day might be.

furthermore, these lawmakers seem to be primarily representing their own agendas, or the agendas of whatever lobby has made the largest campaign contribution this week. any potentially clear waters are instantly muddied by various earmarks, exemptions, amendments, and subtexts; turning any potentially simple, popular legislation into bloated and essentially unpassable bills. meanwhile, the aging jalopy of America continues to limp along on bald tires, missing on at least two, badly needing that overhaul.

runs - needs some work

i want to go on record right now as one who thinks our current form of Democracy is a horrible form of government. i don’t want my country run by those who are essentially winners of quadrennial popularity contests. i would be much happier with some form of meritocracy, where the politicians are selected on the basis of their intelligence and willingness to serve. pay and benefits should be limited to room and board. there should be no privilege associated with holding office, other than the opportunity to serve the greater good. it appears my naive idealism has reared its head.

the cynic responds, “that is ridiculous. what smart, capable person would choose that? better to wipe the slate and start fresh.” i’m truly afraid we’ve passed the tipping point, and America can’t possibly improve until we’ve crashed to the ground. please, prove me wrong.

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