Sunday, November 6, 2011

Political Disgust

It's only a year until the next presidential election and already I am tired of it. The pursuit of power in this country has become a big game between the rich and powerful and the more rich and powerful. It is nothing more than the pursuit of a new trophy to put on the mantle of those who achieve it. They claim to work for the people but it is, in reality, they work for themselves alone with a veneer of humble public service - and not much of a veneer sometimes. They are often bland personalities who cannot think for themselves and shout rhetorical platitudes designed to inflame passions and reduce logical thought. And, based on the reactions of their frothing partisans, it seems to work. Unfortunately, it is the smaller partisan groups that tend to dominate because they are such a vocal minority and they override the moderate, middle majority who so desperately wants true public servants who are willing to serve for a short time and in the best interests of all not the narrow interests of just a vocal few. And, because they do dominate in such a fashion in the political arena, those who pursue power cater to them and leave rational discourse until the very end - when the general public has become so embittered with the extreme positions staked out by the candidates that those who vote do so only out of a sense of responsibility rather than a sense of genuine trust of their chosen candidate.

There are those who argue that the candidates are as trapped as the general public by the extreme positions of the most rabid politizens (I wonder if this is a new word and, if so, I want the credit for it!). In order for the candidates to win their respective parties nomination for the general election, they must cater to the extreme positions. Even the candidates with the most reasoned and nuanced positions must swerve to the sides of heated rhetoric in order hope to get to the general election within the party framework that has come to command the political system in the US. And as soon as they swerve to one side, all hope of moderation is lost and the debate has moved from one of being in the interest of all to the interest of the few. And, as the nation continues down this path, it is only a matter of time before the many move from their continued blind devotion to the ideals of the republic to the recognition that their public servants are no longer acting in the best interest of the nation as a whole but in the interest of those who wish to maintain power simply for the sake of power. And, upon that time, the issue becomes what will that majority do?

This is not to sound negative nor to imply that this is a fait accompli - merely a scenario that seems to be a likely occurrence given the way things progress today. I hope not.

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