Once upon a time, politics was actually meaningful.
I know, this surprises me too.
When this country was founded more than two centuries ago, the major- ity of the politicians actually had valu- able ideas that were aimed at helping people, and their goal was to create a country that valued freedom and growth. Now, granted, they were all male and all white and most of them were racists and sexists, but when you really take a long look at today’s politicians, not much of that has changed. Which is really alarm- ing.
Further, rather than really trying to fix the social and economic issues that have continuously been a problem in this country, we’ve been immersed in some domestic conflicts (the Civil War) but also with two major world wars, fighting the Spanish, the Filipinos, and the Kore- ans, and costly, lengthy conflicts in Viet- nam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We repeatedly have a problem with getting involved in problems that aren’t our own , and for some reason we don’t learn each learn each time we do it that it’s, more often than not, a bad idea.
And if you’re thinking, “Oh no, she’s wrong, we’ve dealt with our issues just fine,” I won’t disagree completely. We added some good amendments, we got rid of slavery (which, by the way, took way longer than it should have) and now I as a woman can vote! Awesome job team! Except - oh wait - racism, misog- yny, guns, abortion laws, the wage gap, student debt, global warming (it’s real) and our military spending budget. We just elected a President who is openly de- fined by all of those things, and the Vice President believes that gays can be “cured” with conversion therapy.
This aside, we haven’t moved much at all on a lot of major issues, it seems to me. Progress is so slow that as we move forward in time we just keep facing newer issues that build on to the old issues that haven’t been resolved so now all of a sudden, our old and new is- sues have built up into this massive pile of problems that has become such a mess that no one even knows where to begin. I will argue that this is just like your laundry basket, except it hasn’t been emptied in some 175 years.
This is where bad politicians come in. Every time the United States’ laundry basket starts to smell bad be- cause some issue starts becoming over- evident, someone will point it out, and then more people will notice it, and then soon everyone is smelling it and saying “Hey we should probably do some laun- dry.” Instead of taking out all the clothes and throwing them in a washing machine (which could consist of writing some leg- islation) the politicians will either say, “I don’t smell anything,” in which case everyone is left to deal with the problem until maybe (though unlikely) it gets ad- dressed later. Or, if we’re lucky (lucky?), they’ll spray some Febreze on the basket and run for president. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this isn’t work- ing, and never will work no matter how many times you try to ignore it or how many times you spray Febreze or what “flavor” Febreze you decide to use! It won’t work!
I’m not trying to say all politi- cians are bad, in fact, some are awesome and have their heads screwed on right and know how to compromise and plan and listen to the people. But for some reason, those politicians are so obscenely rare that people have begun to think that the bad ones who are really good at pre- tending to be good are actually good. And once you think they’re good and they start spewing hate and false state- ments and lies and distrust in others, you think that they make sense. You ignore the evidence, you ignore the important issues, and you take in the lies and the emotion that they feed . After all, you want life to be happy and good and you want your values to be known and lis- tened to - and this is what they promise you. But this is what you should be scared of.
Don’t be naive. Don’t let your- self decide who you’re voting for based on your emotions because emotions aren’t going to make policies and write legislation. Think about it: if the things a politician says he or she will do is realis- tic, then you need to think about the con- sequences. Politicians aren’t going to tell you the facts, they’re going to try and tell you their solution to a problem. Learning the facts on that problem is up to you, making the right decision based on your values is up to you, and educating your- self on issues that are important to you is key. If you take away anything from this drawn-out rant, take away that it is your job as an American citizen to wage a rag- ing, frustrating, tiresome battle against ignorance and bigotry. Only you have the power to empty the laundry basket, mom’s not going to do it for you.