Oh, Alas! Indeed, oh, two lasses! –as regards the American political landscape. One Party, the Dixiecrats, also known as the GOP, wants to “break him” [Obama]; the phrasing is former Senator Jim Demint’s; it does not want to break government, but it does want to bend it to its depraved will; it wants its military to be at war constantly; it couldn’t plan ahead with regard to transportation, food-production, education, and infrastructure any more than Rush Limbaugh could stop burbling incoherent phrases in his underground bunker. The other Party, the Fecklessocrats, also known as the Democrats, seems ordinarily corrupt (nothing special), incapable of connecting with most of the working class, as beholden to “Wall Street” (metonymy) as the Dixiecrats, and as afraid to call out racism, misogyny, and fixable poverty as is that smoking ham, John Boehner. Meanwhile we are awash in the nonsense of campaigning, punditry, and abject ignorance.
What’s a citizen to do? Well, what have citizens done throughout the short life of the Republic/Empire? Try to find a job and keep it, take care of the family and friends, keep on keeping on. The Constitution is rigged to favor the few; sing “OOOOO-li-garchy” to the tune of “Oklahoma.” This is no conspiracy-theory. Enormous states (by populace) like California and Florida get two senators, and so to miniature states (by populace) like North Dakota and Rhode Island. Add incumbency, stir, and you get the oligarch’s cocktail to sip as you’re singing. Nine Supreme Court Injustices decide too much; that the scabrous Scalia and the smoldering Thomas were allowed within 100 miles of the AHCA (for example) is about all you need to know concerning the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, many of whom owned slaves and so were Founding Evil Masters. Yes, Virginia (so to speak), slavery is evil, and thus were all slave-masters. Thanks to jerrymandering, incumbency, exorbitant campaigns, etc., the House is about as interested in the people’s needs as is Charles Manson.
Should we give up? I think not, as that is a question for the privileged. African Americans, women, workers, immigrants, and other political classes of people created by our flawed society and grotesque history have not given up, even if individuals among them got lynched, murdered, beaten, out-spent, out-maneuvered, excluded, and so on.
Today, at least, I think of it–“it” being “to stay interested, engaged, and involved”–as I used to think of climbing out of a river-canyon at twilight following a late-afternoon’s , early evening’s couple of hours of fly-fishing, after work. When you got stuck, you looked for a purchase, a niche, that would be a good place to secure a foot or a hand and push up and on and out.
In the case of our miserable politics, such a niche must be more than re-posting items on Basefook or Critter, and more than watching a cable show and barking like a mad dog at the screen. Sometimes, not always, the niche is to be found in local “politics,” broadly define. After all, nobody’s going to feel sorry for us, especially the professional politicians, for in the main, they are sociopaths, or at least function as same.
Alas! Let us move from the river-bank to a canyon wall and at least look up, even if the murmur of the waters soothes us, even if we aren’t quite ready to climb.