Saturday, July 30, 2011

I hope you're happy, Zeb!

You now have a subject label for my posts, as it seems to be a necessity. Should your ego take a beating in the future, you can come here and click said label, and find all posts after this one that have you mentioned. Then you can sit back and say, "He talked about me!" =)

The big rumor that started flying just yesterday is that Social Security payments might be withheld this month, which scares me silly. It'll mean being unable to pay even partial rent until Becky receives refund money for college, which won't happen until the end of the month. It means struggling through with every bill until then. It means being unable to visit my father on the 6th. It means me, and millions of Americans, getting screwed without so much as dinner at White Castle.

Of late, I finished going through The West Wing. It's as accurate to the politics as it can get before having to pour on a thick layer of drama to keep a television audience glued to the screen. The real job is complicated, non-stop negotiations with hundreds of people, all with their own agendas. Trying to get everyone on the same page is like herding cats.

My followup post wasn't me complaining due to something you said that I felt was AIMED at me. It was simply the truth of the matter: my education on how our government works comes from poorly informed sources. It starts with the public school system and ends with a television show.

Going back to public schools...How many of us learned about the Civil War as being all about slavery? That's what I got out of it. It turns out that it started with States' rights, of which the right to have slavery was an issue, and spiraled out of control when the very first Republican was voted into office. (Yes, "Uncle Abe" was the first Republican President.) There was absolutely no mention of the Southern point of view, with them seeing it as the Second American Revolution. But then history is written by the victors, even when if they insist on writing it incorrectly.

I had this goofy idea some years ago to run for the big chair. I meet all of the Constitutional requirements, and there's nothing in there that says a physically and emotionally ill guy can't hold office. Once I start spewing my political shpiel, I sound like a "conservative liberal." And like everyone else who runs for the highest office in the land, I am of the misconception that I'll be able to run the show once I get there.

That was Obama's mistake. There is no straight line from the President's desk to new policy and laws. Thus, his slogan went from "Yes we can" to "Maybe we could at a later date" to "Nope, we probably can't."

If I were capable of getting into office, and seeing ideas immediately enacted into law, the biggest, most radical change would come from a bit of science fiction. Have you ever read Starship Troopers? (Blessedly, it's absolutely NOTHING like the movie. In fact, the only thing that remains the same are the names of the characters. After that, the movie was a joke.) In the book, the only way anyone can be politically active, even if it's just to cast one's vote, is to serve in the military. Why? The basic gist is that if one hasn't sacrificed his own body for the well-being of his/her nation, then he/she doesn't have the right to run said nation. It's far more complex than that, but...

Can you imagine what our nation would be like if citizens had to EARN the right to vote? Instead of being handed the responsibility willy-nilly, they'd have to put their very bodies on the line and learn the true value of belonging to a country, and a country belonging to them. I can almost hear the screaming now, as those who haven't served and don't want to serve begin to shout that I'm an utter lunatic, followed by the fact that I never served...because I wasn't permitted to. Diabetes is a 4F on the freakin' questionnaire. Serving doesn't make one smarter, thereby making them better to run a country; it simply demonstrates their willingness to do for country what that country will eventually do for them.

I'm rambling, and I'm frustrated. Like many American citizens, I think I could do a better job at running the country than our current leaders...but there's no way "some crippled guy" is going to make his way into office. The great experiment that is America needs an overhaul, and there's no one willing to stick their political neck on the line to do it. What's more, many of who have all the ideas have no actual clue as to how things could get done. Not without running an existential obstacle course made up of lunatics carefully watching out for their political hides.

Which leaves me staring at the calendar and the web page for my bank. Will my money be there on Wednesday, or will I be hopping online and begging for help? I love my country...but sometimes it really sucks to be an American!

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