Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quit Complaining about Politics and Be Happy

BLOGdoc 8 Disgusted with Politics

Any discussion of historical forms of societal leadership can either be short and sweet or some kind of endless Western Civ. nightmare, that is, the kind of Western Civ. that seems to go on for nineteen semesters. Around the time we were first establishing this country there was a very intellectual class, some espoused extremely innovative plans, some focused on subtle but enlightened variations of systems already in place. We should assume that some were only in it for the girls and the glory, the lectures and the luncheons. Some thought that continually war was humanity’s highest calling.

If we were completely objective in our analysis of the successes and failures that litter history, we might conclude a alarmingly well distributed list of origins of culture originating from each of the above.

We, notwithstanding all the fine essays contemporary with the start of our Democratic Republic, pretty much drifted into a corner. In order to satisfy everyone in that now famous corner, we married politics. Politics would become the “energy source,” “think tank,” “primary roadblock” and “sacred symbol,” whatever that means, for the fledgling country.

Once having established the Democratic Republic guided by the vagaries of the political selection of leaders, each with his own unique ideas about what was desirable, detestable, un-American or bad for business, we found ourselves, finally, prepared to criticize the process, past governments, present governments and a dozen elusive forms of essence definitions of exactly what our future dreams should be according either to the shaky record of the rules of the founding fathers or unavoidable changes in the same which have become cruelly necessary.

You know. Changes necessary for our survival, honor or prosperity which visit us thanks to unfair foreign mechanizations or other general uncertainties in the world around us. All but the most extreme domestic schemes were awkwardly protected under our policy of freedom. Of the remainder, the few which are prosecuted fell under our policy of treason.

The founders did not select oligarchy, theocracy, monarchy or mob rule. At least they did not agree to an overwhelming system comprised of a homogenous construction of any of these. They hammered out a new system which, they hoped, would incorporate just the right bit of each flavor. It was their hope that all the citizens would be equally disheartened and optimistically satisfied. In the sense of history, that would mean that all the rifles stayed in the closets.

So, here we stand, complaining about both the process and results of politics. Complaining continuously. We are always shocked by how low the tactics have become, how dishonorable and corrupt all the choices are.
We bemoan the fact that the voting population seems to repay campaigns that spend the most to woo them, never mind the message. After all, the stakes have grown higher every year we prosper more than the last year.

Amid the criticism we fall upon specific peccadilloes served up to us as scandals, overlooking others not selected for our scrutiny. We are uniformly horrified at the cost of campaigns, but we are still flattered when we remember how these people must value our vote. We tax all of their campaign creativity until they are left with little else to say other than “911,” “new direction” or, simply, “change.”

It rebounds a little when they finally start attacking each other. The more like a desperate football game it becomes, the more we like it. Or, hate it. Or both.

The founding fathers said very little about the nature of the process they selected for us beyond “be honest or don’t get caught.” It is an ignoble, dastardly pragmatic business. We all pretend that we know the right way to do it. The modernity of politics might surprise the founding fathers and some of those in that old intellectual class, but all of them would accept it as being the very thing they had in mind.

They would accept it as a Dionysian festival where all the accelerator pedals are welded to the floorboards. Probably the only way to disappoint all these dead dreamers would be to stop complaining.

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