My mother always told me there are two things you never talk about in polite society: Religion and Politics.
Today I’m going to talk about politics, and I’m going to make the entire country mad all at one time.
Not with my personal leanings, mind you, but by discussing the institution of American politics as a whole. I can very easily give a long-winded rant about all the things I see wrong with the government and then pontificate on all the ways I KNOW HOW TO FIX IT, but what good is going to do? My opinions are my own, just like yours belong to you. If we don’t agree, it’ll just start a fight and I don’t particularly feel like fighting with anyone.
I will say this because I know you’re all dying to know – I’m mostly liberal with some very conservative leanings. I don’t believe that either party is right, and I don’t believe that congress is really out for anything but personal gain. I’m not going to talk about my stance on gay marriage or abortion because in the grand scheme of things, those are not serious issues. I believe that religion has no place in politics. I believe in basic human rights. And I believe that close-minded, power-hungry people are the problem with this country.
So, American Politics. Easiest explanation?
THE INSTITUTION SUCKS.
Here we are, coming down to the wire on another Presidential Election and what do we get? A waste of time, media, and space in general. In the last six months, what have the presidential campaigns told us?
1. Mitt Romney outsources jobs.
2. Barack Obama tripled the national debt.
3. The American healthcare system is shit.
4. They all know how to run each other down.
At what point has either candidate risen above the mudslinging and actually told us what he’s capable of accomplishing? Do we have platforms for either candidate? I highly doubt it, because I certainly haven’t seen anything worthwhile.
I am your average American. I don’t spend all of my time reading the newspaper, scouring news sites and staring at CNN and CSPAN on the boob tube. In playing the part of the normal person, I’m going to vote based on the snippets of information I receive in and around my busy schedule as an administrative professional, author, wife, and mother. And let me tell you, I haven’t seen anything worthwhile come from either camp. They’re both full of shit if you ask me.
The biggest problem with politics these days? The politicians.
Serving in the political ring used to be a great honor in this country. Men stepped up and took those positions not for the money and the celebrity, but for the prestige of being able to help out his friends, family and neighbors. Being part of congress really meant something. It was a badge of honor. Not anymore.
Now politicians act like rock stars. Talk about scary.
The average congressional member scrapes by with a salary of roughly $174,000 a year. ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS for those of you who think you might have read that wrong. Yeah, they just voted not to take the 2013 Cost of Living Adjustment but seriously… is $3,000 a year really going to make that much of a difference to them? That’s a weekend vacation for these people. For me, that’s more than ten percent of my annual salary.
As a normal person, I cannot imagine what $174,000 looks like, much less expect to make that in a year. It’s really no wonder they don’t understand that every single decision they make is the wrong one for the common folk like us. They don’t give a damn about raising our taxes or making us pay more for gas just so the companies that subsidize their campaigns can record record-breaking profits. They piss and moan about the state of affairs and the amount of money going out our doors, but these are the people who signed the papers telling everyone “yeah, it’s okay to send those jobs to China. We don’t need them.” Of course they don’t need the jobs! They already have jobs. But what about the 311.5 million people in the world who aren’t paid directly by the feds? Don’t we get any say in what happens to our jobs?
Apparently not. That 8.2% unemployment rate apparently means nothing. They obviously haven’t done the math. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 25.5 Million people without jobs. And those are just the ones reported.
But the 8.2% is a nice, tiny, unassuming number isn’t as scary as saying “this country currently has over twenty-five million unemployed people because we’re paying every bit of our money to other countries who provide cheaper labor.” It frightens and disgusts me that approximately 550 people (congress, president, and the rest) decide “what’s best” for over three hundred million others. And yeah, they always decide wrong. But I already said that.
So here we are, three months from the election and what do we know?
1. Congress is pretty damn stupid when it comes to the real problems in this country.
2. We have way too many people out of jobs.
3. Our two main presidential candidates aren’t good for much except making each other look bad.
4. We, the normal people, are ultimately going to be blamed for whatever happens even though we have no real power. Hell, we don’t even get to pick the president because the electoral college doesn’t actually HAVE to vote the way we tell them to.
Yes, I appreciate the personal freedoms we have. I love my ability as a woman to walk down the street without requiring that my face be covered. I like being able to work and take care of myself. I love being able to speak my mind when I want. I like my ability to go anywhere and do pretty much anything. But I also look around and see those freedoms in great jeopardy.
When this government finally collapses, what happens to us? Who takes over? What will this country become?
So to save us from that fate, what are we as a country supposed to do? How are we supposed to rise above this when there is no break in the sludge hanging over our heads? When do we get more jobs and better pay and a healthcare system that actually works? When are our political leaders going to stop pointing fingers at each other and everyone else and step up to take responsibility for the problems? Forget that…they don’t even have to take responsibility at this point. They just need to FIX the problems.
But that probably won’t happen until you take away those huge salaries and all the perks that come with being a politician and knock them back down into the dirt with the rest of us. And will that happen? Not if they continue to vote on it. Which leaves us with only one viable option for the US… it looks like we’re headed straight for hell.
Someone please get me a handbasket.