I have a few pieces stashed away in other places, so bear with me as I bring them all to a central location. This piece I wrote last November, during the election season, yet it seems as timely now as it did then. Shocking, I know. Enjoy.
I am not registered with any political party, which has it’s benefits and drawbacks. I can’t vote in primaries, which at times has sucked, but then I can honestly say I don’t follow party affiliations.
I believe in equal rights, and civil unions between loving couples. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I believe in the separation of church and state, the social responsibility of government and the legalization of marijuana. (That last one I believe in because if people choose not to lead, follow or to get out of the way, if they’re smoking pot you can just lure them aside with corn chips.)
Before you get out your bleeding heart placards to hold up to me, I also believe in the concept of medical experimentation on lifer prisoners. I say the concept of it because I know that lawyers, judges and idiots put people in jail for life, irrespective of the absolute fact of guilt. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is an outdated statement, since at no time in our history has the scope of “reasonable” ever been established. I also believe in the right to bear arms, but keep in mind, that includes me. So if you believe that enforcing gun laws and screening processes for people to own them is unfair and unconstitutional, put face to it: it means I can get a gun any day of the week.
I don’t like politics because I think it’s a distraction. Some people choose not to celebrate holidays, saying it’s just another day reminding them yet another year has passed as we get old, withered and die and still have not accomplished what we set out long ago. I choose to celebrate holidays, to keep from getting dizzy on the spiraling circus of daily life. I also choose not to hold sacred the position of statesmen, or the institution of politics. I do vote. I always vote. But I have no respect for politicians, their campaigns or their platforms. I have no respect for committees or our congresses, be them state or federal. I am sometimes entertained or enraged by their commercials, amused by their debates, but mostly horrified by the proliferation and celebration of stupidity in the candidates or worse, their condescending messages that are believed by the masses. That makes me want to hide under the covers.
A pep talk to myself, reminding me that none of it matters, it’s all fake anyway, usually puts the nightmare aside. I find this helps also when the hype about the stock market gets loud. I simply tell myself that much like politics, the fluctuations in the stock market aren’t about logic, solid business practices, reality or even money, it’s all just vapor. It’s not real. It’s not real. The only impact is to make people crazy and scared, and keep them divided, no matter what the outcome.
So I vote. Sometimes I vote FOR candidates, sometimes AGAINST, sometimes just so my neighbor who works at the polling station doesn’t chastise me saying she didn’t see me there that day. Every now and again I vote for an issue I actually believe in, if it comes up for a vote, which it usually doesn’t.
But it’s getting tough to balance the frustration and anger. With the changes in media, heightened battles for the jobs, I have found a new interest. It’s a cross between the relief I used to feel watching hockey games, with the mindless senseless violence interspersed with bright red blood on bright white ice, and really good stand up routines. There’s intelligent and enlightened ability out there, just not within the candidates or their posse, for the most part. The ads, sound bytes and positions are more consistently ridiculous; its as if Ross Perot is now the patron saint of influencing elections by gently pointing out that the asshat is leading, vote for the fun guy, against the asshat, so the right one can win.
But as this trend continues, my hope is that the saturation level will play itself out. Bigger, better, grander, louder … eventually, I hope, truth will be all that’s left. It will be the final frontier, the “new approach” to campaigning. Truth and fairness as a campaign platform. How about it?
Or just go with legalizing pot. I’ve got a stash of corn chips.