I didn’t watch the president’s speech last night.
My son did. Well, parts of it on The Grandmother’s tv as he flitted in and out of the room like a hummingbird. (She wasn’t really watching the speech–she was just making sure it wasn’t going to overrun Dancing With The Stars.) He came in where I was NOT watching the speech and asked me about the conflict in Lybia. He wanted to know why we were there. I offered my opinion, which was that I didn’t really know. I told him from what I could gather, some people over there had grown tired of their psychotic dictator style of government and decided to rebel. I also told him lots of people thought we shouldn’t be getting involved. His response? “But, we’re the good guys! That’s our job, right? We get rid of the bad guys!”
Give him a break–he’s still young, and hasn’t developed enough coordination to balance up here on the fence with me. Anyway, I gave him a nice, PC answer about how sometimes it’s not so easy to tell who the good guy is, blah blah blah blah……. He just said, “They need to get rid of that guy if he’s bad!”
Now that my son is getting older, his questions (and he has tons of them) are getting harder and harder to answer. The truth is, I don’t stay abreast of political topics like I did when I didn’t have anything else to do. I know who most of our top officials are (I think) and I sort of have a grip on current events, but the reality is I suffer from what a lot of Americans suffer from—-apathy. I just don’t really care about politics anymore.
Well, it’s not that hard to figure out. Mostly, I don’t trust politicians, and since they make up a large portion of the government, that’s a problem. I’m always fascinated by political rallies. Barack Obama is a good example. People screamed and cheered for him and jumped up and down and waved signs and basically just acted like they were fans at a rock concert or something. He said “Yes We Can!” and they just screamed their heads off. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any particular beef with Obama. I don’t get all wrapped up in that party stuff, either. These days, the lines are so blurred–conservative, liberal, right wing, left wing, moderate, extra chunky, rocky road, whatever–that you can’t even tell the difference. The point is, politicians tell us lots of stuff, but usually they are lying. I mean, even if Obama wanted to change the country, the fact is that he is just one man, and one man doesn’t control our country–this IS a democracy, after all. Furthermore, too many people don’t even know what the issues are (apathy–remember?) and you can’t change stuff when you don’t even know what’s wrong in the first place. So I don’t even listen to those speeches. I’m usually watching something like Spongebob. Now, give me a candidate that actually got up and spoke the truth, and then I might be interested. I imagine that speech would be something like this:
“I assure you I am going to break each one of the promises I make to you, more than once if I can manage it. I will waste amounts of money that you can’t even fathom on bloated, useless programs that do nothing. Furthermore, I will never, ever support a program that will actually help the American people, and if I come across a program like that already in effect, I will promptly start cutting it. I will vote for the issue whose lobbyists throw the most money at me, and will inappropriately spend and generally mismanage every dollar I can get my hands on. I also swear to do whatever it takes to make myself rich. I will allow myself a cost-of-living raise every year, but I will never do anything to improve the economy for anyone else. Lastly, I promise to stay in this position of power until I die, regardless of the fact that I can no longer string three words together in a sentence, or, if for some reason I do leave this post, I will retire a millionaire, bloated like some nightmare leech with not only the money, but the trust, hopes and dreams of every American. Thank you!”
I’d vote for that guy in a heartbeat.
So yes, I’m apathetic. I don’t really care all that much, and I suspect I’m not alone. In short, I think we’ve lost faith in our government. We don’t trust them, and they are sort of a joke to us. Here’s the bad part–they still have a lot of power. Power to do things like totally ruin our economy, make it so no one can get medical care, or reinstate the draft (if you have a son, a chill should have just went down your spine.) Not-so-funny things. Maybe that’s the problem. We don’t follow the issues because we don’t want to think about the issues.
So maybe it’s okay that those people cheered for Obama, not because they believed what he said, but because they wanted to.
For what it’s worth, Spongebob is against war.