Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Politics Killed the Man of Reason by Jersey Campbell

                Politics. The process by which a group of people make collective decisions. Social relations involving authority or power. The methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy. The activities associated with the governance of a country or area. The art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy, or winning and holding control over a government.
                There are a lot of things that dissatisfy me; waking up after 8:30, dealing with impatient people, people who have yet to convert to Tom Brady-anity (we’ve been waiting for Jesus to come back for something like 2,000 years, why can’t we realize that he has come back as #12 on the New England Patriots. Repent!). These trivial faults don’t bother me as much the idea of politics. 

                The state of politics is exactly as it should be. The people in control of the politics of this country are doing a hell of a job. If you read these definitions and are minimally aware of current events there’s no reason to think that anything is fundamentally wrong with politics, and that’s because there isn’t.
                Politics has little to do with the validity or merit of a certain policy or law. Politics is devising ways to ensure that an elected official is elected or re-elected regardless of the implications of that zoning law he/she enacted three months into their tenure (maybe not completely regardless, but certain aspects of an incumbents stay in office can be disregarded or manipulated through the press). Politics is the likelihood of a candidate winning an election being dependent on how beautiful/handsome they are. Politics is telling the KKK that we need to set the niggers strait then going to a black church and telling those folks that equality is on the way. 
                Politics are petty and destructive. Rather than focusing on content and making decisions based on long-term stability and eternal human principles we can ride with, the focus is on form and short-lived victories that we all will have to pay for eventually.
        We live in a country of over 300 million people yet we have a political system dominated by a measly two political parties. How does that make sense? You mean to tell me that every presidential election our only two choices are between a turd and a douche? Occasionally there’s a third party who is as much of a challenger to the throne as an ant that tries to claim ownership of my bed. Their chances of winning are as good as that severely bone-legged  kid winning the annual fourth grade hurdle race. This has nothing to do with how well the Green Party can run this country, it’s more to do with the debilitating stranglehold those two parties have on the country.
                The democrats are Pepsi and the republicans are Coca-Cola. The people who’d rather have a cool glass of water or a shot of Jameson are assed out (although there have been rumblings and grumblings). In the end it’ll always be cola. This is all they really care about. As long as we drink cola is doesn’t matter to them which one it is. Most people know soda isn’t the healthiest drink out there but will still indulge themselves from time to time. But to have cola everyday is equivalent to praying for polio, AIDS, and an ACL tear in both knees. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. (Kudos to Dan Carlin for this idea.) 
Who cares? It's still cola.
                 If the system is broken, nobody really wants to admit it. Just because it’s broken doesn’t mean there aren’t people still living off the Fat o’ the Land. Compare our polity with that of a cancer-ridden body. Shit is about to go down and unless drastic lifestyle changes are made death will come sooner rather than later. Instead of undergoing chemo and living a healthier life, let’s just put on a couple hundred band-aids and hope for the best. Band-aids? That ain’t gonna cure cancer my friend, just as whatever we’re trying to do to alleviate current issues that plague us ain’t gonna cure our degeneracy.
                That’s what politics are. Politics can’t tolerate sweeping change. It got us in this predicament in the first place; do we expect it to deliver us from it as well? When you’ve dug yourself into a hole the last thing you want to do is keep digging. We’ve got cancer but the nature of politics insists on patching it up with some band-aids like that’s supposed to help.
             Governing and politics are related but governing is the more virtuous of the two. Governing don’t business with the trivialities of politics and their biased ways. Governing is making the necessary decisions for a healthy polity. Governing is a constant active discourse about the problems that society has and creating the best solutions to alleviate them, not creating solutions that ensure that we’re still drinking cola at day’s end. Governing is making decisions that may be unpopular but can save a cancerous tumor-ridden body from certain and imminent death.
                We have foolishly sacrificed governing for the benefit of politics. There is no reason for the two colas to change their outdated and out of touch policies because they don’t have any competition. And according to American folklore, competition breeds innovation and a fair economy. For a country that can’t stop preaching about free markets a dual-party monopoly seems counter-intuitive to a healthy polity. It’s like when your parents tell you that drugs are bad, then you see them drinking a glass of wine, buying beer, or taking aspirin. That will ultimately lead to this exchange.
Take two and call me in the morning.
“Mommy, didn’t you say drugs are bad for you? Why do you drink alcohol, isn’t that a drug?”
                “Yes son, they are bad for you, but not all drugs are bad. Now shut your little mouth and do as you’re told. That’s the last conversation we’ll be having about that young man.” It won’t be long before the little son sniffs out the bs.
                That’s the deal the two colas have struck with each other over time. “Yeah, we can bicker and quarrel over who should be controlling the government. Let’s just make sure we’re the only ones who can be in the ring, OK?”

                Government isn’t attractive and it sure isn’t sexy (unless you’re into that sort of thing. Ya’ know, justice and minimal human suffering.) But government is essential to any true society that wants to prosper for centuries.
A poor man thinks in terms of the next 15 minutes, a rich man thinks in terms of the next 200 years. The due date has passed for us to stop thinking like the poor and start thinking and acting like the rich. Not rich like madd money- make it rain rich, but rich in body and mind. Rich in morals and rich with a value system that can ensure the prosperity of all people.


  1. Great article. We cannot rely on politicians to get us out of this mess. We have to rely on each other. Believe in the goodness of your fellow human being and talk to each other. Beliefs may differ, but there are certain basic things that everyone can agree on. We can make the change, but only together.

  2. “If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” thomas jefferson

  3. True and true. Part of the struggle is discovering what those basic principals are. But our mentality and lifestyle don't lend to even getting together to talk about those things. That is the problem.