Ah, isn’t that cute? Kittens! Yay! It’s over!
Except, it’s never really over!
One of the great sources of frustration to non-Christians is the compartmentalization of the respectable, honorable and decent teachings of that religion from the daily lives of so many. We see that they go to church on Sunday and maybe Wednesday, and then the rest of the week, they lie, cheat, steal, molest children, commit rapes, murder, and all sorts of mayhem that are completely divorced from their supposed beliefs. While some of this is certainly attributable to “being human”, there is a pattern of behavior that is not. It is not my purpose or the purpose of this space to attack any religion or to draw out the laundry list of supporting evidence for this. The point is that we, as a country, tend to do the same thing with our politics.
We allow it to go unwatched for long periods of time, and as we do, we get more and more distressing government in place. When the cat’s away, the mice will play, no? We pay attention only at times of crises or around elections. Do we remember last January when the SOPA/PIPA fight came up and there was an internet blackout? As I wrote the following week, it is an ongoing battle, not a one day action. The same is true of all politics.
Okay, so the Presidential preference poll took place on November 6th. Fantastic! You went out and voted? Bravo! Brava! I am proud of you! I thank you for being a responsible and contributing member of our society. You are part of less than 50% of the eligible voting population with any claim to being patriotic, in my eyes. My eldest son participated in his first. We also had Senators, Congressmen, state legislators, judges, county officials, city officials, state constitutional amendments, county referenda, etc. The Presidential election wasn’t the only one on the ballot. It was only the most highly publicized.
Did your guy win? Congratulations. He was marginally better than the likely alternative. Mine didn’t, but I knew he wouldn’t. He was completely ignored by the press. That is a crucial factor in the election process. In fact, all of the alternate candidates were effectively shut out of the process by the media. When the most well known of the bunch, Jill Stein, attempted to attend one of the main presidential debates, she was arrested, you really have significant issues in this country.
Politics is not something that we can engage in at election time and then disengage from the rest of the time. My son said to me the same thing that many people have said, “I don’t feel like I should really vote because I’m not educated enough on all of the issues.” During the lead up to the election he took one of the “Who is your candidate?” online tests. It told him that Jill Stein was his candidate. As we were discussing it, he told me that there were many questions that he didn’t answer because he either didn’t care or didn’t know about the issues. I wonder how many people did the same.
I also discussed this same test with another friend. In that case though, he had taken the test after researching candidates for himself. He was given a different result than the conclusion he had reached for himself. He was questioning himself. I suggested that rather than questioning his own research and conclusions, perhaps he should question the website, its conclusions and possible bias.
In both cases, they were making efforts to educate themselves, which is more than a lot of people can say!! Too many people simply vote based on party lines, without any thought.
We cannot just cram for the election as though it were a high school test. This is something we have to stay at least a bit more than peripherally on top off all the time. Constantly there are issues going on that will impact our daily lives to smaller or larger degrees. What those things are will vary from moment to moment, but they are constant. The biggest in the news right now is the so-called “Fiscal Cliff”. That is the impending sequestration that was agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. How will it be resolved? Will a deal be reached? Will the Republicans continue to hold the middle class hostage in order to continue to give tax breaks to the wealthiest among us? Do you care? Are you paying attention?
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