or….pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….or the congress behind the curtain as it were.
Am I too young to be as cynical and paranoid as I feel where politics are concerned?
I just don’t trust these guys (and gals.) A couple of my friends gave me grief about voting for Obama and have kept questioning me after the election with taunts like “are you sorry now?” and “did you figure out he’s not the Messiah yet?”
To which I give a shrug of the shoulders and a eye rolling sigh.
I never thought that. I never had an expectation that President Obama would be anyone other than the person he appears to be. I expected he’d get into the Oval office and have a rude awakening and I’m pretty sure that happened. I expected he’d tried to do it differently and he’d realize the Washington machine wasn’t interested in hope and change…and that happened. I expected him to be overwhelmed and frustrated, I expected that he’d get some things done and others he’d change his mind about…and that happened. I think it’s BECAUSE I didn’t expect him to be the Messiah that I’m not disappointed really. I’m not surprised. I’m not depressed or cynical because of his performance, I feel this way because I have a deep distrust of this Washington machine and I have no idea how it can possibly be dismantled.
Sarah Palin can bark out her little “hopey changey” taunting and her “I care about the people” stuff all she wants but in the end it’s all just showmanship. I doubt very much there are many politicians who “care” about you and I the way they’d like to make us believe they “care.” Sarah Palin isn’t one of “us” any more than any other celebrity is one of us….we have very little chance of electing a congress or a leader who is “one of us.” We elect politicians and when we don’t elect politicians we are unsatisfied with that as well because one person in a well oiled and dirty machine cannot change the machine. Washington is a strong machine and sadly, it’s a machine that still runs, even as it burns fossil fuels that pollute the air and spends money it prints in a back room somewhere. So many people say that the Washington machine is broken but I unfortunately, I think it’s running fairly well at the moment, doing exactly what it’s meant to do. It’s not the machine we thought WE built, to be fair, but it’s working….just not for “we, the people.”
Just to be perfectly clear, I’m not a tea party person, I’m not a libertarian. I am now and always- a bleeding heart democratic liberal. Perhaps that is why I am so sad and so cynical. My values are crunchy, I admit. I want women to be able to choose how they handle their bodies, I want us, as a country to all have healthcare, I want religious freedom for all, I want clean air and water, I want transparent government, I want corporations to pay their fair share (because they don’t, legally) and I want them to NOT have the rights of the individual (and they do, legally) among other things.
It’s my values that lead to this rise in cynicism because I cannot understand how on earth these values can clash with those of the other half of our country…and if we as a country cannot engage in compromise then how on earth can we expect our “leadership” to do so.
And I’m disgruntled because I think it’s all a show. I have this picture in my head of the Congress sitting together drinking beers and eating pizza waiting for the clock to run down on this whole “government shut down” thing discussing the news stories and the headlines and the “public opinion” polls. I begin to think that every move in Washington is calculated and staged to get the best media numbers. Instead of “how will this affect the operation of our country” and “how will this affect our PEOPLE” I think it focuses on “how will this affect our re-election” and “how will this effect our party staying on top.” And you know what else? I get so paranoid I start to think that maybe the parties have it all planned out, years in advance…there’s some secret document in a secret room somewhere with secret meetings and secret pizza where the top dudes in Washington lay out how it will go…like the mob fixing a fight. “After three rounds, you take a dive and my guy wins the match! Then next year it’s YOUR turn…”
And it’s all about odds and money and winning….
And it’s Spring…and this is where Hope is supposed to spring eternal I suppose. I’d like to abandon cynicism because to answer my own question being this cynical and paranoid doesn’t make me any more mature than the people I point my finger at, it just makes me sad and worried….and I don’t want to be sad and worried. In times like this I do what I think I may do best, which is to write about it…and watch…and listen…and do my homework.
The machine can be dismantled and I believe that one day it will…I have to believe that…but enough of us have to be willing to pull back the curtain and expose the machine and those who benefit most from it’s inner workings and hope we don’t end up looking like lunatics in the process.