Of Politics & Baby Steps

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I try not to get into politics on this blog. My extent of political evangelism is somewhat limited to what drives my personal entertainment: I post Facebook political memes to egg people on, I’ve been to rallies to people watch and random social media name calling that really brings out the best in people. Truthfully, what concerns me the most aren’t the people that we’re electing but the people that are electing them – and their dependence on the big government – and I’ll make this quick.

First, it’s difficult to talk about politics because you can no longer have a political opinion without the responsibility to defend everything about it. Standing for something means you’re automatically standing against something else and you’re liable to explain away any bit of criticism. You have to rationalize your opinion with folks that want lower taxes and but higher government spending on things that are important to them.

Second, it’s hard to explain the world to those that haven’t left their bubble. I’m not a fan of wars or of the military industrial complex – but I understand that much of our wealth and prosperity is due to our ability to enforce the petrodollar which gives us the ability to print unlimited quantities of our currency and rack up significant debt. So we’re in places we shouldn’t be in, doing things we shouldn’t be doing and as a superpower people look to us for help in every conflict. Where is the line between world police and superpower?

Finally, it’s hard to be a normal person that has to make a binary choice from options that don’t represent them. You have two choices (and two more unqualified ones) for the leader of our nation who have made their greatest strides breaking the law and even the common decency. For many of us it’s not a vote for something we want to stand for but for a vote against something we detest and find repulsive.

What really worries me

We don’t have a serious and qualified alternative to the big government: neither party is interested in limiting the size or scope of the government – the only part they differ on is whether they want to grow the government directly through services or if they want to create big tax cuts for the rich government contractors or corporations that underpay people and make them dependent on welfare. Neither is arguing about anything smaller, both just think their approach makes us grow faster. Or roll the dice and vote for unqualified isolationists that are afraid of wifi or failed elementary school geography.

An overwhelming majority of our country is too dumb or too naïve to understand the problems we face and is being educated about the issues by the very people that only benefit from having us dumb and split. I grew up in an era that had journalists that covered facts – news these days covers opinions of facts and the more entertaining and outrageously dramatic they are the better for the ratings – their agenda is not to educate you but to entertain you and keep you angry enough to see the next guy get slammed – the same as WWF in 1990s. The most popular media outlets, with the most attention, aren’t your typical Sunday shows but social media videos and memes that oversimplify and rile people up.

I don’t have a political viewpoint to share but I have a bit of advice: The issues we face as a country will not be solved by this election or the next one that will start as soon as we know the results of this one. Our government will get bigger. Our representatives will become less accountable and if the recent history is an indication – facts will seem to matter less and less.

Ask not what you can do for your country or what your country can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for your family, friends and community. In a complex world where everyone is seeking to divide us, let’s ask ourselves what we can do to help one another. Baby steps.

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