i just re-read my last post and thought that it was too flippant and even a bit arogent. let me explain exactly how i feel, for what it's worth.
this is the Gospel according to warren.
i believe it was thomas jefferson who said that the greatest threats to a democracy were complacency and apathy. during the hundred-odd years since the civil war amd the sixts-odd tears since ww ii, the population of the usa has become both complacent and apathetic. more people voted for american idol than voted in the last presidential election! more people know the names of the hottest pop muisic idols than know the names of their senators and congressperson. more peop0le know the names of the game show hosts than know the contents of the bill of rights (except, matbe, the 5th ammendment - but they don't know wny they don't have to talk to the police).
in a way i can't blame them because it is a self-fulfilling prophacy. politicians will do what they want to do and will lie, cheat, and steal and there isn't a d*mned thing that we can do about it. that's fauilure-think which leads to the kind of government we have today.
sometime between 1781 (?) and 1950, we switched from calling our congresspeople "representatives" to calling them "leaders." these men and women in washington couldn't lead a horse to water, let alone lead a nation of free people! these representatives work fior us - we pay them and their staffs. they work for us. there are in washington to do our bidding, not someone else's.
every once in a while there is a violent shake-up. it happened after viet nam. i remember the police riots during the democratic convention in chicago. i remember barry goldwater's book "a choice not a echo" (great book, read it if you can find a copy). i also remember nixon's paranoia, even after his landslide victory - and watergate.
i believe it was viet nam that turned this country. before that fiasco, we were fighting real enemies who wanted to conquer our country or who wanted to take over a free people. in viet nam, we were defending dole pineapple with our sons and daughters, boyfriends and girlfriends, sisters and brothers. he** no we won't go! became the lament for a whole generation. mistrust in our government began in earnest. lbj carrying on the war against popular disapproval also led to the large sustained apathy that we have now. "what can i do? what difference will my vote make? they'll do what thay want to do regardless" became engrained in the minds of the young people of that era.
each party has fialed to deliver. each party feels "entitled" to get what they can from lobbiests and pacs - thinking that their constutuents can be swayed with directed ad campaigns come election time. in tx, where i live, a former migrant worker got elected to the house of representatives. he was almost penniless when he went to washington. when he retired from congress, he was a millionair! AND WE LET HIM - AND HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS in washington do it! who's stupid?
the only voice we have is voting. yes, i went throrough a lot to vote during this off-year election. but i expressed my opinion in the only way this country allows me to: by voting.
this election we sent a message to our "leaders" but what was that message? was that message that we love the democrats and hate the republicans? i don't think so. is it that we want all of the democratic agenda and none of the republican agenda? probably not. listening to the talking heads on cnn it's that we are unhappy with the war in iraq. Yes. so what else is new? (said in my best yiddish accent). is it that we are unhappy with graft, theft, hypocracy, and "it doesn't apply to me"? probably. is it that we want election reform? maybe. is it that we are sick of being manipulated? i'd hope so.
so i cast my vote. i expressed an opinion. it's all i have.