It was both Republicans and Democrats that fueled the fear-mongering and distractions during the Cold War. This policy was a huge step away from American isolationism before the World Wars. Suddenly the public was perfectly content with waging proxy wars through Muslim fanatics and in countries all around the world that had no interest in ever actually invading us. These surges in fear play a familiar tune. Their dreadful pessimistic language spreads like wild and when it reaches ideas like border walls and deportations, they burn like an underground coal fire. Sensationalism.
Incumbents on both sides of the aisle have cemented their respective parties and positions in an institution meant to be open and representing of us. Then they turn the blind eye and start to work on vanity projects while scratching the backs of those that donated to their campaign. They allow amendments to bend to keep the distraction game going and loop around into every hole worth its capital. The public just keeps voting for them. We live in an age of transparent corruption; which is not exactly the type of transparency that encourages participation. What system is it then that we are a part of, when almost half of the country doesn’t turn out to vote and our representatives have perverted the basic concept of their job description?
The gap between our representatives and their constituency leads to weird politics. Plato’s philosopher kings are nowhere to be found, what we have is a collection of wanna-be do-gooders, vanity clients and self-professed messiahs. All of them are spending more time trying to get reelected instead of making good policy for a successful 21st century transition. They point to bathrooms and borders as if they were an election issue. We have real issues to work on that involve helping all of us and not attacking a minority of American citizens for no reason. We stopped having real conversations too long ago. Bigotry disguised itself too easily as the defender of freedom.
If America itself doesn’t itself become an unfortunate footnote in history, then surely the past 60 years will be. The major news networks have cemented for themselves an audience and abandoned any idea of journalistic responsibility. The FCC may soon do the same for the internet and sell us all out for a forcibly mutated version of justice. Unfortunately, most of the voting population has landed itself in some self-fulfilling egotistically illogical loop. So, they elected a two-bit crook and an absolute bellend.
The jump from radio, to television, and then quickly onto the worldwide web could not be properly regulated in a political atmosphere of dread, anxiety, and empty election promises. We are now exercising a 200-year-old constitution in the 21st century all on 10,000-year-old processors, unanticipated problems are bound to come up. Both a representative congress and an informative media were tools and processes our ancestors implemented to avoid tyranny and misinformation. However, these problems don’t simply go away. There is truth to the saying; there ain’t no rest for the wicked. Democracy is a tyrant incubator and if one is to defend the ideals of transparency, equality, and justice, one must be willing to fight for it at all times. There are no time outs and as technology progresses the rules keep getting more complex. It is in this complex of gerrymandering, lobbying, Super PACs, and concealed contributions that we lose sight of ourselves, our community and our democracy.
At the end of the day it may be their game. They set the board, draw up the lines and make the rules. It took George Watson a decade to get the 27th Amendment ratified. Before that, congress would raise their own pay and give themselves special tax breaks. The amount of work that had to be done just to add a smidge of financial oversight to our representatives is quite silly. Watson stated that he further supports amendments to establish “term limits and fiscal discipline.” However, he says, “because the partisan gridlock is so strong in today’s politics at both the state and national levels, it may very well be a long, long time before the Constitution sees its 28th Amendment (Heltman, 2012).
Americans now have the opportunity to decide, yet again, is this how it is going to be? Is this what we want in our government? Could the alternative really be worse? How long can we abide by perceived necessary evils and corruption? Hopefully not too much longer. You can blame the distractors, you can blame the distracted and you can blame the system. It is a shared responsibility. Unfortunately, we can point fingers all day but it will accomplish nothing. Talk is cheap and we still hold the power to vote them in and out. We hold the power of the internet to search, and question, and come to our own conclusions. The problem here is that a good portion of people are not inclined to seek out perspective, certainty or justice or any of those ‘elitist’ ideals longer than two syllables. They just want to be in the right and they are perfectly content to explain away anything that doesn’t match up with what they have been told is normal. And perhaps they are right to stick their collective heads in the sand, perhaps this is normal and the only way to get by in America today, but it doesn’t have to be. The powers that be love a good status quo but it is the public’s decision to give it to them. Even the most vicious of circles can be broken.