Politics–Ten Issues Too Hot to Handle

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.

8 Responses to “Politics–Ten Issues Too Hot to Handle”

  • […] Angie Cox, B.S., M.S., L.M.T. Massage Therapist, Wellness Educator, Spiritual Seeker « Politics–Ten Issues Too Hot to Handle […]

  • […] Angie Cox writes: Obama got elected in part by promising to end the war. Notice how he’s backed away from […]

  • Nice post Angie- It is a shame so many of us are so disenchanted with politics.

    • It makes me wonder what we can do to shift the energy toward a feeling of being able to make a difference. Thanks so much for weighing in, Don.

  • quentin:

    Yep exactly!! And you had me won right there with alternative energy! But the whole post had my attention…couldn’t agree more!!!! And so I don’t have to post again, loved your followup post…..

    • Thanks, Quentin. The alternative energy thing has me concerned. I’m just not convinced the windmill approach is everything it’s cracked up to be. I think it’s a step in the right direction, but I really wouldn’t want to have to look at those day in and day out, especially when there are better options on the horizon with rooftop solar.

      • quentin:

        You have no idea how right you are. I at one time thought it was neat to see the windmills as I traveled past sweetwater, but now they are popping up everywhere. And quite frankly I’m tired of it. I see a lot of potential in the windmill, since just one can pump out 1 megawatt of power an hour in a good wind, but they are shipping that power way the hell out of this are to feed the ever needy power hungry cities of chicago, newyork, etc. You get the picture. We have turned into a nation of dependability instead of sustainability. We have forgotton how to takeb care of ourselves and provide for our own families and loved ones. (Not to mention those things are just income drivers forbig corporations who want to control our everyday lives including big government…..oops did I say that….lol)

        On solar power…….love the thought of solar power. We have so much technology these days to assist us in helping us to provide for ourselves and we have the resources to do it. I’m typing all this out on my phone, so I’m going to quite now since my thumbs are tired…lol

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