One of my professors (who just so happens is Iranian-born) said: "Americans live with the illusion of democracy. The pretense of choice. We choose between two (or three) people. That's choice?"
I was doing some dishes yesterday and thinking about the sad state of things given that we sent our leaders a pretty strong mandate last November.
I am not sure what the rest of you voted for, but I voted for these things ( short list to be sure):
1. To close Guantanamo Bay.
2. To give those inmates fair trials under US law.
3. Health care reform.
4. Education reform.
5. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
6. Getting American manufacturing back on track.
7. Working toward peace in the Middle East and ending bigotry against all peoples.
8. Gay Marriage and gay rights in every sense of that term.
9. Lower taxes for the working and lower classes.
10. Better environmental policies that at least *attempt* to minimize the damage that global climate change is having and will continue to have for centuries (any f*ckwad who wants an argument about that, I'm the lass that'll oblige you. My husband [a physicist] works on ice core samples from Antarctica with a group at Berkeley. Climate change is not a hoax or some political ploy to get you scared into recycling and using less carbon fuel).
So, as I pondered how slowly things change, if at all, a thought occurred to me: Why should the "powers that be" give the people *anything* they want?
What would happen if they did?
It would put them out of business and make their roles as wedge-drivers obsolete.
They would actually have to get real jobs and get in the trenches with the rest of us.
And the media?
What would they have left to do?
DING, DING, DING, DING.
Once they are in their ivory towers up on the hill, within the beltway, they live in a bubble that mutes all the cries of suffering and anguish and anger of their countrymen and fellow citizens of the world.
I suppose I am going through a phase of disillusionment. I don't expect our President to fix everything instantly. I did expect him to be different. To hold himself to higher standards and maintain his integrity.
Our country is having an identity crisis. Are we the moral compass of the world? (See any number of family-men-politicians who have gotten caught diddling someone other than their wife. The answer: Ummm, no.) Are we peace-makers or bullies? Do we care about our fellow countrypeople and want everyone to have a shot at a decent life beyond the worries of health care and shelter and food and a decent education? Do we give two shits about what is happening to our climate and the burden our actions are placing on generations across the world?
Why should things change?
Because its about the f*ck time things changed.
If our politicians won't wake up, Americans must recommit to making things change, with or without them. Even if we have to drag them kicking and screaming like children.
The time for the tug-o-war is over.