Archive for the ‘politics’ Category
I just noticed a headline that indicated Jack Kevorkian, the infamous Dr. Death of assisted suicide notoriety, has passed into whatever lies beyond the back side of his own eyelids.
I couldn’t help but ponder a few questions, because….well….his “mission” is such a question gold mine for those of us who like to rock the boats of the comfortably confident God-pleasers.
So here goes.
Upon hearing of his death, what was your knee-jerk, first instinct reaction?
Was it …
A) I thought he died 20 years ago.
B) May he rot in hell along with those poor people who committed suicide with his machines.
C) Why do I even care?
D) That was one courageous old dude. May he rest in peace.
I confess, there was a time several years ago when I probably would have chosen B or C. Today, I’d be a D.
…Which leads me to my next question…
Why are we as a society generally accepting or at least tolerant of euthenizing animals whether gravely ill or perfectly healthy, yet we are repulsed to the point of mob mentality over the mere mention of helping a truly terminally ill human escape their prison of torture?
I’m guessing there is a God factor working on the psyches of those who have the strongest negative reaction to the idea of assisted suicide. You know….that whole twisted notion that people who commit suicide go straight to hell and that God has a purpose for extending a person’s disease ravaged, agonizing existence. We like to give God all the credit and blame for being in control of things…..
unless we don’t…
Because we all “know” that while God is completely in control of the human thing, he’s incapable of controlling the animal thing. We have animal control specialists for that. (FYI—the previous two sentences are oozing with classic Angie sarcasm.)
And that whole Bible bit about clothing the sparrow is probably not relevant to us today…..
unless it fits the sermon this Sunday.
Of course, we can carry this “God is in control of life and death” thing a bit further, if you like…..right into the abortion vs. pro-life argument.
Most pro-lifers are somewhat moderate. They seem to think that abortion should be illegal except in certain cases such as rape or mother’s life being in danger.
My question is why the exception? If we truly believe God is in control of this life and death thing, why are we willing to kill a fetus in one situation, but not in another? Maybe God wants that baby to be born and that mama to die.
OR…..maybe we say those things to avoid having to commit fully to a position that says under no circumstances should anyone other than God end a life. Except God doesn’t cause death, does he? He’s not mean like that…well…unless your name happens to be Uriah or Nadab and Abihu, or you were unfortunate enough to be a citizen of Jericho when Joshua came knocking, or didn’t get invited onto the boat with Noah when the rains came.
It must’ve sucked to be camel number 3 that day.
“God, what did I do wrong to earn a ticket to the big swimming pool instead of the floaty pass? I was trying to be nice and not push to the front of the line. If only I had known, I’d a run her over.”
Maybe, if the truth be known, we are more afraid to commit to a position that says God doesn’t “care” what the heck any of us do with life.
Don’t ask me. I’m just trying to find a little consistency in anything remotely attached to religion.
Besides, I’m still stuck trying to figure out that poor number 3 camel situation.
Yesterday I posted the following video on my Facebook page:
My comment that accompanied this video said simply, “Good message. Worth the watch, even if your stance is “worth the wait”.” Worth the Wait is a curriculum us Bible Belters use to terrorize our children into keeping their venereal diseases and their penises to themselves until they are married. It does have some merit. Probably not a bad program all in all, once you get past the fear tactics. It really does present some good information.
One of my high school classmates, who has recently discovered religion, proceeded to start preaching about the video I posted. His comments were, “Nothing good about this video… it facilitates the idea that living outside of the will of God is appropriate and acceptable, for Him it is neither. Mark 9:42. If you really wanted to save planned parenthood…get a husband and wife back to church and into the will of God. Teach your children. Quit allowing the school systems, television, and radio…videos and others to mandate the upbringing they should be receiving at home. “Good Message” = God Message.”
Personally, I love how the religious zealots can make my points about religion without me saying a word. They tend to make themselves (and thus religion) look ridiculous with very little effort on my part.
However, my blog gives me opportunity to pick his preaching apart one little piece at a time.
First, I must confess. As a teen I would have been holding one of those signs. Now before you jump to the conclusion that I had loose morals, let me clarify. I would have been the one holding the sign that says, “My friends have sex.”
Because they did. Some of them, anyway.
And as for the argument that getting husband and wife back to church and into the will of God…teach your children…etc., let me say that my parents rocked on this one. We were there every Sunday twice a day, and every Wednesday. I was at every youth group activity. I went to at least one church camp every summer. I even chose a Christian college and sent in my application as soon as they would take it. I was pretty much convinced that sex outside of marriage (along with drinking, smoking, etc.) was a one-way ticket to hell. Plus I was scared to death of getting pregnant.
And then I met him.
He was so handsome. His kiss was intoxicating. He made my heart race when I was in his presence. He pushed my boundaries to the edge. I was captivated. I was a tease. I wanted him and I wanted him to want me.
And then I turned 18.
And having educated myself on a variety of “things” related to the female reproductive system, I made a decision that I wanted him worse than I wanted to please God or my parents. I wanted him worse than I feared the fires of hell.
I got lucky. Because we were both “informed” about the facts, I made it all the way to my college graduation without getting pregnant. My post graduation (from that Christian college) Christmas present was an engagement ring, and my New Year’s present was a pink stick. Our April wedding was moved to January 14th, and the following September, my beautiful baby girl arrived on this planet into the loving arms of her new parents.
Four beautiful princesses later, there is NOTHING I would change. I am still intoxicated by his kiss, and he is still gives me butterflies. He still pushes my boundaries, and I am still a tease.
So, Preacher Boy, your argument fails. My parents did everything right. For that matter, I think his parents probably did a pretty good job, too, yet I’m pretty sure there is at least one of the signs in the video he could have held as a young adult.
Flinging God and Bible verses around as justification to ignore the facts of life is nothing more than shoving your head up your arse and ignoring reality.
Religion aside, the point of the message is Planned Parenthood takes a very small amount of the overall federal budget as compared to the bucketloads of cash thrown at corporations in the form of corporate welfare. If the so-called leaders of our country want to make effective reforms, there’s a good place to start.
With that said, I personally think many government services should be relegated to the private sector for financial support. Those who believe in the importance of planned parenthood should signify so by hitting the Donate Now button on their website. My neighbor who thinks PP has ruined America shouldn’t be required to support it. Same thing with NPR, and to some extent poverty welfare.
…Which brings me around to the early morning shower thought that triggered my need to respond publicly to the mini sermon I received over the posting of this video.
What would Jesus’ response be to this video message?
I mean, after all, we are supposedly Christians around here, so it would seem appropriate that we turn to none other than Jesus himself for guidance on this thing.
Would Jesus pick up the nearest scroll and begin pounding it on the lecturn as he proclaimed the evils of modern day school systems, television, radio, and the internet?
Would he point a finger at the teens holding those signs and say, “You kids need to stop having sex and get right with God!”
Would he turn to their parents and say, “This is all your fault! If you would raise your kids with an appropriate amount of God in their lives, they wouldn’t be having sex.”
Or would Jesus turn to the teens in this video and say, “It’s pretty tough being a teen, isn’t it? There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of mixed messages out there. It’s never as simple as just following a rule, is it? Oh, you over there, the blonde. Your name is Samantha, right? You are 18 and already have two kids by two different men. I bet that’s been tough trying to raise them and finish raising yourself. You keep looking for someone to love you for who you are, but you haven’t found him. Maybe I can help make your life a little easier by showing you how things work so you can make better choices. Maybe I can show you a different kind of love. ”
The woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well are the Bible stories that haunt me today.
How often do we pick up “stones” in the name of religion rather than loving and teaching a better way?
What is that better way?
The bottom line is that for teens, relationships (and in many cases sex) are more appealing than religion. Fear works for some, but not forever. Middle aged adults can shove their heads up their arses and keep them there while they spew their religious crap about getting right with God and pleasing God, but it won’t push religion any higher up the priority pole for teens. In most cases, the desire to feel perceived physical love trumps the desire to obey an unseen, unheard, unfelt imaginary entity.
And so we educate them. We protect them as best we can. We teach them that sex is a beautiful and incredible thing when with the right partner. We give them information that allows them to make educated choices based not on fear, but on what’s best for them and their future. If something goes “wrong”, we love them and help them through it, and get them pointed back down the road to success as best we can.
Religion fears education in all forms. Once educated, people can make intelligent decisions and often times that leads them to the realization that religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They take their checkbooks and their beliefs and walk away.
Hence, the religious right hates programs like Planned Parenthood.
I personally think Jesus would have been standing at the door of PP welcoming people in.
It was one of those epiphany moments. It was an instant in which everything came into clearer view. Something I always thought I knew and understood suddenly shifted into focus. The outcome was the same, however the details of the process were different.
More importantly, my view of the message and purpose of Jesus shifted once again.
Imagine the scene. It’s easy. It’s a story with which we are all familiar. Crowds have begun to follow Jesus and his rag-tag bunch of loyal trainees. He was their guru. They were his disciples. Better than Connan O’Brian or Jimmy Kimmel, this Jesus guy was a boatload of contradictions: sarcastic and straight-forward, funny and serious, aloof and compassionate, wise and seemingly foolish, positive and cynical. People who could get close enough to him were forever changed.
He was simply irresistible.
It’s a typical day in the countryside areas of Judea. The crowds have found the guru. Everyone is gathered in close straining to hear what the guru called Jesus has to say. He’s not some televangelist asking for money. He talks about sharing, but asks for nothing for himself. He mentions loving not only neighbors and friends and family, but also enemies. He says a neighbor isn’t necessarily someone of the same race or clan, but the one who shows compassion.
He mentions how lucky the poor are (this crowd is full of peasant men and women) because they don’t have wordly possessions weighing them down. He shares how the kindgom of God is not something guarded by the priests, but rather is contained within and attainable by each and every person there. He even says little children already “get it” and that becoming like a child is a good way to experience the kingdom.
His words of wisdom continue until later in the day. The disciples begin to let the cares of the world move in as they lose site of the day’s message.
“Jesus, it’s getting late, and these people are bound to be hungry. What are we going to do? We can’t just send them away.”
Here’s where the story takes a turn for me. Most of us are familiar with the only miracle story that appears in all four of the New Testament Gospels. Jesus tells the disciples to see what’s available. They find a small boy with five barley loaves and two small fish. Jesus takes the food, prays over it, breaks it, and miraculously it feeds thousands with baskets of leftovers.
And then this morning, my epiphany.
What if the miracle wasn’t a “powerful deity” miracle, but a “changing hearts” miracle? What if the sudden appearance of plenty of food had nothing to do with the magical duplication of five loaves and two fish, but was instead the magic of an example of sharing as set by a small boy?
What if absolutely nothing supernatural happened to the food supply that day?
And so our story continues, my way.
The disciples reported back to Jesus that a small boy, a child too young to know better than to hide what he had brought with him, had eagerly begged the disciples to take what he had and give it to those around him who were hungry.
After all, his hero, Jesus of Nazareth, had just said the way to experience the kingdom of God was through giving and sharing.
Then Jesus gratefully acknowledged that little boy and showered him with love and adoration. “But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’” Luke 18:16-17
Jesus blessed the small meal and began to share it.
And suddenly the hearts of the crowd began to soften. Jesus words about giving, sharing, and being like this little child affected them deeply. Many had brought along a lunch that day. It would have been foolish to travel out to the countryside empty-handed. They never went anywhere without at least a few provisions. Everyone present began to share what they had with the person next to them.
After the crowd had satisfied it’s hunger, Jesus asked the disciples to go around and gather up all that remained. Several more could have been fed from the leftovers.
Jesus made a beautiful point that day. If we take care of each other, share what we have and meet the needs of our fellow humans, not only will there be more than enough for everyone to be satisfied, but there will be plenty left over.
What good does it to do collect and store and stash and hoard if rust and moth ravage the loot? Mother Earth (God) is good to us. There will always be provisions enough to take care of everyone if set our sights on sharing what we have, not from our abundance, but from our very sustenance.
That little boy shared his lunch. It was all he had to eat that day. He didn’t know any better. By doing so, a miracle happened. His example opened the hearts of the entire crowd and everyone shared the little they had brought with them. Before the little boy opened his heart and his hands, no one seemed to have anything to share. Everyone was keeping the meagerness of their poverty lifestyle food to themselves.
One little boy opened his heart, and Jesus used it to open so many others.
Through sharing the most meager of resources, abundance was produced.The kingdom of God was experienced by everyone present, and Jesus lesson was beautifully illustrated.
I like this version much better than the one that assumes deity must do some type of magic to turn five loaves and two fish into a banquet feast. It puts the power and the responsibility back on us……
….right where it belongs.
What if this were to happen today? What if we suddenly had no need for welfare because we simply took care of our neighbors?
It would take a miracle.
I’m pretty sure there’s a political statement in here somewhere. I bet you can figure it out.
I figure I have now spent two days ranting about politics on a wellness website, so what’s one more, right?
Today I find myself processing all the cheers, jeers, and sarcastic comments that have shown up in various Facebook posts of friends and acquaintances regarding the outcome of the elections. Around these parts, there’s a real hodgepodge of opinion. My county has traditionally been hard-core Democrat, yet recent years have seen a major shift to the far right as the Republican party has finally grabbed a foothold (and a noose) around our citizenry. It seems someone decided that the only way to be a good Christian is to be a good Republican, and that ideology has spread like Swine Flu in these parts.
I used to consider myself staunchly conservative, definitely leaning toward Republican ideals, yet defiantly independent, because that’s just how I am. I scoffed at the high school political science teacher who suggested that I was actually a closet Democrat and just hadn’t figured it out yet.
Ugh….I so dislike it when other people know me better than I know myself.
So this morning, my question becomes
What Am I?
Am I a Democrat now, complete with the notorious higher taxes, big government beaurocracies, and social programs out the anus? Or am I still a conservative Republican with it’s trickle down economics, big business, war machine, and strong second amendment support?
Honestly, I’m none of the above. I don’t know that there is a party that can contain what I value.
So what do I value?
I value compassion.
I value live and let live.
I value keeping my money and donating it where I see the need.
I value good roads.
I value keeping the government and big corporations out of my way.
I value separation of church and state.
I value freedom of choice, especially where MY BODY and MY CHILDREN are concerned. When and if I choose to be a guinea pig for the pharmaceutical companies, I will let you know.
I value human life.
I value protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
I value freedom of choice. (Did I say that already?)
I value a balance between feeling safe and having personal freedom. If forced to make a choice, I’d lean toward freedom over safety.
I value personal responsibility, not legislated morality.
I value giving people a chance to stand on their own two feet without yanking them up by their bootstraps and giving them a wedgie in the process.
I value helping people toward independence rather than perpetuating dependence.
I value education that encourages entrepreneurship and creative thinking rather than creating compliant robots ready to spend their lives making someone else wealthy.
I value nature and things that promote sustainability over consumption.
I value independence and self-sufficiency.
I value teaching people to fish (and learning how to fish) rather than handing out fish day after day. There is definitely a time to hand out some fish. Jesus did, and we can, too, as needed. However, if there is an opportunity to give someone a hand up after the handout, then I want to be ready to meet that need enabling them to pay it forward for the next person in need.
I value our constitution and the intentions of the people who created it. Yes, they probably envisioned a nation blessed by God, however, the concept of God and what God supposedly wants has changed substantially since then thanks in great part to preacher politicians. The founders knew the dangers of allowing religious ideals to drive government decisions. They sought to create freedom of and even (when necessary) from religion. This generation seems to be pushing towards religious control by the government.
I value local decentralized leadership and decision-making as much as possible.
I value social programs run by charitable groups rather than the government.
I value the right to defend myself, my family, and my property.
I value the recognition that we are all interconnected and interdependent. It’s in my best interest to help someone else succeed, live, thrive, prosper, be healthy, and I must realize my actions affect others as well as future generations.
To some, it may seem that I have lots of contradictory values. Maybe so. Maybe that’s why the political process is so frustrating to me. People want things to be black and white.
They can’t be.
They never will be.
The world is not two dimensional. It is multi-faceted, multi-colored, and loaded with a million shades of gray to blur the edges. There are no absolutes. There can be no black and white.
In the end, the only platform that matters is the Jesus platform, which happens to be quite similar to the Buddha platform and several others.
It’s really quite simple.
Love God, the source of life energy.
Can your political party claim these two as the primary issues? If not, maybe you need a new party.
Election Day is here. Many have already cast their vote. I have not. Yesterday’s writing outlined the issues that are important to me, and likely many others, yet it acknowledged an attitude of apathy that I have developed due to frustration with career politicians, manipulation of said politicians by corporations and special interests, and the feeling that the political system has become a contest to see who can be hated the least instead of supported the most.
I added a link to my blogpost as my Facebook status yesterday along with a cocky, smart aleck comment about potentially not voting and what’s the point. Interestingly enough NO ONE had anything to say about the issues I mentioned, but I apparently struck a nerve with some by suggesting it might be pointless to vote.
It seems suggesting that one might choose not to vote ranks right up there with suggesting there isn’t really a fiery place called Hell.
The comments I received ranged from determination to vote against Rick Perry and his ridiculous monthly rent house payment being paid by the taxpayers of Texas to a plea to vote because our troops are fighting to protect our voting rights to how fortunate we are that we do have the right to disagree with elected officials or even choose not to vote.
The comment that I found most compelling, however, came from a long-time friend and former co-worker whom my oldest daughter had the privilege of having for a teacher. She said:
The reason I have voted (early) is to show that my small voice and meager pocketbook can still affect change. I am more concerned about the long term effect if our daughter sees that we are too eager or impatient to give up on our democracy. Though I am certain that tomorrow’s election results will be a sober reminder that “money” and “fear” will often win over the eligible voters who do exercise their right, I feel it is important to snub my nose in the face of corporate interests who are hoping that I will stay home and not vote. They are actually counting on the negativity and disgust factor to keep me away. I take pride in being one of their worst nightmares…a voter who tries to be as informed as possible, reasonable and one of “those” people who put signs in their yard.
I have to admit, she did an excellent job of answering my question, “What’s the point?”
The Facebook discussion raised another significant question for me.
Is it ethical to vote for a candidate simply to send a message that one is voting against another candidate? In other words, should the entire student body throw its support behind Cheerleader B simply because we don’t want Cheerleader A to win? If Cheerleader B is a good cheerleader and is likeable, then we will likely be voting FOR Cheerleader B anyway. But what if Cheerleader B is nothing more special than someone who is NOT Cheerleader A. Is it still ethical to vote for Cheerleader B solely to send a message to Cheerleader A that the student body doesn’t want her representing them? ….solely because we have a moral obligation to exercise our right to vote?
Law of Attraction gurus tend towards the philosophy that being against something or someone tends to give energy to the very thing/person we oppose. They suggest a healthier approach is to find something/someone we can champion and put our energy towards positive support.
With that in mind, I took to the internet this morning looking for reasons to support one of the candidates for governor of Texas. Already harboring a few negative opinions of my own regarding current Governor Goodhair, and armed with the comment of a close friend who indicated Bill White is a great guy, I began searching for reasons to support Bill White other than simply being against Rick Perry.
“Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find.”
I googled “why should I vote for Bill White” and was led right to his campaign page.
I compared his issues to the issues I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post.
I found several areas where I felt we might share some common ground, one of the most significant for me being his inclusive attitude toward marginalized people in Texas including GLBT groups. There was a video featuring Indo-Americans which was very positive. I was impressed that something had been produced which contained virtually no digs, slams, or complaints against the competition, but rather was totally focused on the positive characteristics of Bill White. It portrayed him as a man who is both accessible to the people and compassionate.
On the issue of border control, he used the right language to get my attention. He focused on the need to protect the US from threats to our safety while not “…disrupting lawful daily commerce and travel.” There was no mention of the need to stop illegal immigration that I found. That’s not the real issue. Safety is the issue. Deal with the problem. Penalize only those who need to be penalized.
On the issue of health care, there is evidence that he has at least attempted to improve access to affordable insurance and suggestions that he will continue to pursue efforts on that issue.
In an ironic twist of typical party-line positions, Bill White indicates he supports the rights of land owners and sees the use of eminent domain as a last resort. His focus on re-directing and re-organizing TxDOT is appealing to me as a taxpayer.
His position on energy includes strategies to not only move to more sustainable energy sources, but also improve energy efficiency in order to reduce consumption. That is significant in my book. He also mentions protecting the environment and natural resources. I’m not convinced about this in that he mentions reducing emissions, yet nothing addresses the environmental impact of massive wind farms.
As for education, I have long felt that career and technical education was being short-changed. I am glad to see a specific statement regarding support for career and technical education. It gives our kids an option for leading financially successful lives without incurring the massive debt that tends to accompany a traditional college education.
So why am I just now pursuing this information?
Mostly because I avoid television and the negative crap that accompanies any political discussion to be found on TV. The only thing I do see is the occasional negative ad that makes its way onto whatever satellite channel I am watching as I drift off to sleep or in the midst of the local news.
I am glad to know there is a viable choice that can give Texans a reason to believe in something better than what has been instead of simply a referendum against status quo. I am also grateful for friends who choose to respond to my frustrations not with defensiveness, but with real reasons to keep believing that the system works.
It’s election season again. The Big Day is looming large on the horizon. Political analysts and experts of all flavors are out in force on the news shows spouting the same old junk they have been using for years. I have all but given up caring who gets the job, having come to believe the only vote that really matters in politics is the one cast by the cash contributions of the most powerful companies. Something tells me I am not alone in my apathy and frustration. However, apathy or not, I still have opinions about what matters. Most of us do.
The question becomes not will I vote this election day, but what would it take to shake my apathetic attitude?
It will take a major shift in our political process. It will take finding a candidate, a party, and a pool of voters willing to educate themselves on the issues that really matter to average people. If I could find a candidate willing to not only make campaign promises regarding these issues, but actually make something happen once in office, I’d probably be a supporter for life.
So what is it that really matters to people like me? Here’s my list:
Taxes. Our current tax system stinks. Find me a political party that will actually fix it. Lose the IRS and simplify. We currently have a beaurocratic system of taxation that is highly unfair. I’m not advocating higher taxes on the rich or the poor. I’m advocating a system whereby people are taxed on what they purchase. We have way too many people who need government assistance to feed their kids, yet they drive nicer vehicles and have bigger TV’s than I do. At the same time, there are people with substantially higher annual incomes than mine who can get a pell grant for their kids’ education when I can’t because they have highly creative and diligent accountants. Something is wrong with this picture, and someone needs to fix it.
Healthcare. I am still waiting on the promised health care reform. I shouldn’t have to postpone visiting a doctor because I anticipate changing jobs and thus health insurers. I shouldn’t dread going for a checkup wondering if doing so will render me tagged as uninsurable for life. There are systems in the world that are working. Unfortunately the big political donors don’t want the average person to know this, so they share all the horror stories about socialized medicine and government agencies deciding who lives and who dies. Take a look around. Our system has some pretty disgusting horror stories of its own. Who will actually do something about it?
Food supply and subsidies. Seriously Washington? You pay farmers not to grow crops. You provide subsidies for other crops. You dish out food stamps that actually encourage the purchase of foods that contribute to poor health and obesity. Meanwhile our food supply has been taken over by a few powerful companies determined to create a nation of addicts, families have to choose between expensive healthy food or cheap processed junk, and small producers that produce quality food using sustainable methods are routinely bullied and threatened by the FDA and Monsanto. If you want to subsidize something, subsidize the little guys (and girls) who are feeding the rest of us higher qualify foods, locally grown and raised, in an earth friendly manner. Restore a farmer’s right to save his seed year to year. Show me a politician that will make this happen, and I’ll show you a politician who may never see another big donor campaign dollar, but s/he’ll get my vote and my little campaign dollar for sure.
Get out of the business of religion. There is this very cool thing called separation of church and state. Morality legislation has rarely if ever worked. Prohibition was a total and complete failure. The war on drugs has been equally ineffective. Take a radically different approach and watch a number of problems facing our country melt away. Stop giving tax exemption status to religious organizations and individuals that are raking in millions and billions of dollars annually in the name of Jesus (and hate). Oh, and that gay marriage thing? Just let them be happy and be done with it. It’s not going to kill anyone. The sanctity of marriage is probably in better hands with the GLBT groups than the messed up, frustrated heterosexuals. Amen. Any takers?
Alternative energy and conservation. Can we get serious about this? And I’m sorry, but changing the landscape by building a giant windmill every 100 yards isn’t a sound environmental solution. It’s just the latest way to keep doing things pretty much the way they have always been done, while changing entire habitats to feed our ever-growing obsessions with energy consumption. What if we actually did something to reduce our energy demands at the same time we investigate ways to use our roofs to produce the energy and capture the water we need to live day to day? Oh wait. That might take profits from the existing corporations, so any major shifts to support such changes might be financially devastating to the campaign fund.
Borders. I don’t even know where to begin with this one, however, somewhere along the way, we’ve all forgotten that we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Illegal immigration is not the issue. Terrorism is an issue. Drug trafficking is an issue. Illegal immigration has a few issues of its own, but in and of itself, it is not an issue. Building the wall of Berlin along the Rio Grande and south of Interstate 10 isn’t going to solve the issue. Deal with the issues. Who wants to tackle this one for my vote?
Education. Give me a system that allows my kids to develop their strengths, their passions, and their potential in a safe environment that seeks to do something other than create cookie cutter factory and office workers. Get past the NCLB concept of every child has to go to college and acquire $100,000 in debt. Teach them how to think outside the box and create something meaningful so they can be the entrepreneurs and small business leaders of tomorrow. Hint: It’s going to require a complete change of paradigm regarding what education looks like. It’s also going to require giving up the financial support of the NEA, AFT, and other similar status quo organizations. Who’s got the guts to be my candidate?
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It seems a bit lopsided for Congress to get annual cost of living increases when the average American on social security hasn’t seen any increase in a few years now. And what about healthcare and retirement? Since our tax dollars are paying for both of these services for both groups, I’m thinking a little bit of balance might be in order. Why should the guys who can’t seem to get anything done get a higher retirement annuity than the guy who successfully kept my air conditioner running for twenty years? I’m probably not going to find a candidate who will take this one and run with it since he’d be handing over his own bread and butter.
Corporate welfare. Stop it already. We are sick of the bailouts. Let them fall flat on their big corporate faces. If you are determined to give money away, take what you hand out to these yahoos year after year and help every American’s pay off their insane consumer debt. Then tighten the reigns on just how far in the hole people can get themselves. Watch the economy take off when income is freed up to invest and purchase instead of paying interest on old debt. This one could be bad for the campaign contributions.
The war. I support our troops. They are good men and women doing what they have been hired and trained to do. They were promised security in exchange for sacrifice. They and their families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I don’t support our invasive presence in other countries. I see it as yet another mechanism to prop up large corporations that stand to lose billions of dollars if we actually pull our troops out and come home. It’s not about promoting democracy and freedom in oppressed countries. It’s about protecting US corporate profits and opening up new areas with which to create dependence on and control by US corporations. Obama got elected in part by promising to end it. Notice how he’s backed away from that stance since taking office. It is interesting how little has been made of the war in political circles this time around.
Unfortunately, I doubt any of our current nominees is willing to tackle a single item on this list with anything resembling commitment. It’s too risky for someone who is seeking the security and power of a political office. Politics have evolved from an opportunity to represent the best interests of the people of the United States to a career field of the elite whose job it is to make sure the idealistic little guys don’t get in the way of big corporate incomes. The few change agents that are elected quickly become addicted to the corporate perks or collapse under the stress of big brother. It’s no wonder an entire generation feels completely irrelevant to the political process.
Maybe the best option is to scrap it all and start completely over. I know where there’s a good pattern for a constitution that’s not being used.