I’ve been known to go off on politics now and again. At least I don’t sit back and mutter, ‘They’re a bunch of damned fools!’ or ‘If I ran things, they would work!’ Er, okay I do say those things. What you might not know is that I’ve been edu-ma-cating myself on how the politics work here in the good ole U S of A. Really I am amazed they work at all.
First and foremost let me say I am not happy with any of the ‘labels’ that are attached to our politics. Republican, Democrat, Anarchist, Green, Liberal, Tory, Libertarian…these are all just divisive terms used to exclude the shunned, un-washable masses from one group or another. I would say, within reason most people fall within all the political spectrums at some point in their life. Right now, I am a card carrying member of the Republican Party…don’t yell ‘yay!’ or throw stones at me just yet...
I have been a very strong proponent of Libertarianism for the past decade or more, if anything I would classify myself as a libertarian with socialist tendencies. I value personal freedom and privacy quite highly. I think the government CAN take care of some of the burdens on things we all need, like education, the military and, gasp, health care. On the other hand I dislike government intrusion. Every time I get patted down at the airport or have my privacy invaded by the government (ironically through something called the ‘Patriot Act’) my blood boils in rage. We have come so far away from what the founders wanted and, more importantly from what ‘We, the People’ want and expect that I can’t even imagine a way to bring civility and discussion back into the ring. A quote from one of my favorite movies goes, “The God damn plane has crashed into the mountain!”
Anyway, back on track here… I like Ron Paul, he is campaigning on the Republican Ticket, so, to help out, that’s where I am at. Last week I went up to the Republican District Convention, where we all got to vote on the district planks (beliefs) and nominate and elect committee members. Ron Paul’s supporters were well organized, or duped; every seat on the committees was taken by an alleged supporter of his. Next we go to state and from there to the federal convention. This is all very interesting, but what is my point? The point, for me, is people. Yep, that simple. You can’t take dumbasses out of the picture and no matter how many times they are nominated or screened, ignorance wins the day.
No surprise here, but this cycle the ‘big thing’ is smaller government, fiscal responsibility and more freedom. How do we get these things? By passing laws! When do we want them? Next election! Seriously, every law we pass requires MORE government intervention, not less. Every law we pass requires more money to enforce, not less. The freedom thing is up for debate, but I have long said that we, the people, traded our freedoms for ‘rights’ a long time ago. Don’t think there’s a difference? Right to be free, that’s one of our guarantees, after all isn’t it? Freedom is an expressed ability to not be interference with by rules or regulations; rights define what you can and cannot do. I suppose the ‘right’ to be free is fine, so long as you agree with someone else’s definition of your ‘right’, I’d rather follow my own definition of ‘free’, thank you very much.
So, I know what you’re thinking (or may be thinking) ‘Mark wants Anarchy!’ Hold off on calling Homeland Security on me just yet. I think there are a set of common things we can agree upon. Like “I’d really like not being killed by someone.” or “It’d sure be great not to be raped tonight!” or even “Gosh! I hope my house wasn’t burglarized again!” These sorts of things would seem to be common sense, enforceable and agreed upon by *most*, but surprisingly these sorts of things are gray areas too.
When does life begin? At what point do we protect it? Six months before birth? Or maybe six months after birth? (“Well we gave it a shot, but this whole ‘baby’ thing isn’t for us.”) At what age and in what situations can consent to sexual liaisons be freely given? We regulate the age people can legally have sex. Think about that for a moment. If either party is under that magical age the older person is raping the younger one. Sorry, I don’t have a gray area for burglary; feel free to chime in if you can think of one. This is politics.
Another, laughable, debate is ‘Gay Marriage’. The plane has already crashed into the goddamned mountain fiscally and people are worried about two dudes or chicks starting a family together? Fuck me. Or the official Republican take on capital punishment; life is sacred…except if you kill someone else. ‘Cause, like that’s what the Bible says and all. It does say to execute our unruly children, no mention of what to do to murders, not directly, so I assume we give them cookies and send them on their way with a strong admonishment to go forth and do evil no more. Don’t get me wrong, I like capital punishment, I just don’t think it belongs in the Republican platform, maybe they could trade that plank out with the Democrats? What? The Dems don’t want it either? And someone has to take it? Can’t we give it to the National Socialist party?
Should we go into religion a bit more? Oh, why not, in for a penny, in for a dollar, I always say. So, with both feet, what the hell is wrong with people? The Constitution of our great land says ‘Separation of Church and State.’ Pretty Goddamned clear, yet we open each convention with a nice all-excluding Christian prayer and candidates mention the holy biscuit or son or whatever, whenever they think it will give them political advantage. We had an hour long debate on whether to ‘Adjourn’ or ‘Recess’ our convention. I shit you not. At this point I leaned forward and asked the Governor of Iowa (Yeah, he’s from my county and I spoke with him, look at me traveling in such august circles!) if it was always like this and he told me this was a first, usually the problems came during the ‘planking’ in the afternoon. It was still before 11:00 am at this point. Our prayer should have been for speedy resolution of annoying verbiage in the party convention handout.
Back to religion. I don’t have any, I don’t want any. I ESPECIALLY don’t want any in my government, nor in my government officials. If any of them have religious leanings I hope they can keep them in their pants while they serve people who might not share their particular beliefs. This year that excludes most of the candidates already.
Look, if you don’t believe babies should be aborted, don’t abort your babies. Your heathen slut of a neighbor will get hers/his when they meet the angels at the gate who will cast them down into hell. Am I right? Don’t like gay sex, don’t have any. Don’t like women voting? Marry one who doesn’t or don’t vote (depending on your gender). Don’t want to work on the Sabbath, don’t. Want to kill your kid because he’s disobedient and your religion says you can? Whoa there Nelly! Let’s rein this in. See how easy it is to get your religion in my politics? Religion should not be used as a justification to break the rules of religion. Yeah, yeah, there is a new testament and all, I should stop quoting the three thousand year old book and start quoting the one that’s only two thousand years old, it’s nicer and all. Still where does ‘freedom of religion’ end and government totalitarianism begin?
The quirky thing here is that I’ve learned some things and not all of them are cynical or bad. The crazies are out there, but follow the logic of laws down to their fuzzy little cores and you will find places where a decision on right and wrong needs to be made. I wish I still thought that division was a solid, definable thing, but I know it’s not and never will be. Things are easier when you don’t think about them, eh? Yeah I gave up a Saturday that I could have used to write about Zombies and I’ll be giving up more time at the State Convention in June too, but self-edification is a worthy goal most people can agree with and I intend on riding this horse as far as it will take me.