February 24, 2005

In a World of Closed Minds, those Who Would Have You Not Think Are Kings

I just read this. I'm not sure how to parse my response to it. I don't want to acknowledge it as truth, because I don't like having negative views of people-as-a-whole, or my country as a populace. It takes my negative opinions of the current leadership of my nation and refocuses them on a more widespread, and hence scarier, target. Then I read the comments, and I don't know what to think.

I live in what I want to believe is some form of a representative democratic republic. The answer to 'What if everyone else is wrong?' is supposed to be 'Then make them understand you're right.' What do you do if 'everyone else' is no longer playing the same game? What do you do if enough people are playing by some strange set of rules and motives? Obviously, first, you try to make as many of the rest of the people understand that, and hope you can vote them down.

But what if we've failed already?

Then what?

Then, we have to wait and hope they can't do enough damage in their time in power to truly, irreparably screw things up before enough people realize how bad things have become? Here is where the 'security surplus' that America has had since WWII is a liability. Americans are so secure, and so rich, that simply massive malfeasance can take place under their 'watch' while they're worried about such crap as whether they're allowed to take cigarette lighters on airplanes - or, in the case of the people discussed in the above link, whether their favorite crazy-ass religious nutball theory about the End Times is going to come true. Those who run the country are simply too fucking isolated from the actual problems of life (for example, acquiring food, shelter, education, raising functional children, maintaining a loving and functional family) to have any grounding in the realities of life and the way actual people on the actual planet live.

So instead, we get people worrying about maintaining their power over the system by mobilizing the political power of completely dangerous whackjobs who are dedicated to creating the physical destruction of our environment, by fostering hatred and fear between people, by supporting war and strife. We get leaders who have aggrandized and empowered groups who do these things all because somewhere in some piece of historical fiction their faith deems important a legendary figure will come give them goodies and punish those who insulted them once everything finally drops in the pot.

Brilliant.

It's tough being a rationalist these days. But we can't stop doing it. Not for a New York minute. Find friends in the GOP; make new ones. Find rational, thinking, conservative people you don't agree with at all - but who will argue with you on the issues. Hold fast to them. Empower them. Help them reclaim their party from the ideologues and theologists who seem to have hijacked it. Please, get our country back to vehement, heated, nasty arguments over things we disagree over that involve governance.

Posted by jbz at February 24, 2005 12:29 PM | TrackBack

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