Hair on Fire! Hair on Fire!
Do politicians actually fix anything anymore? It seems to me that their sole purpose—at least as of late—is to divide us with hate, fear, greed, anger. They don’t seem to be interested in bringing us together and actually fixing anything. In fact, it seems the more that they can divide us, the more likely they’ll win their election. They play on our insecurities and fears. They convince us that it’s us against them. NO COMPROMISE. If they win they’ll (chose your fear): get your gun, kill the babies, ravage mother earth, give everyone welfare, Nancy Pelosi will become speaker! Hair on fire! Hair on fire!
In college, one of my political science professors told me that politicians intentionally keep the pressure up and focus on wedge issues to divide the voting public. It gets their base fired up and to the polls. And it also opens up their checkbooks. Even if everything is running smoothly and there are no major issues at the time, they will create or exaggerate an issue to drive a political wedge between the voting public. Fear. Greed. Anger. All are perfect ingredients to divide and conquer us. They want to get elected no matter what the cost. Sound familiar?
It is really all a smokescreen. We become easily distracted by their rhetoric and forget to judge them on their actual job performance. They use the same tactic over and over, and we keep falling for it—voting for the D or R that promises to address the issues that way we want them to, but they never do. Actually fixing the issue would take away their leverage, their campaign financing, their polarized base. Their Power!
Over and over, they get elected, we get a dysfunctional government.
Lets take a look how BOTH SIDES currently use this strategy to manipulate their respective bases:
- Keep Democrats and Republicans polarized and divided. Top inflammatory points include: pro-choice or pro-life, social net or personal responsibility, environmental protection or economic growth. The result—by demonizing the opposing party the existing political power structure stays in place and the campaign funds keep rolling in. Yet, has either side really done anything with the most polarizing issues: abortion and gun control? They sure generate a lot of money to combat opposition to it, but nothing has really been done for 40 years. SAD!
- Keep the racial tensions running hot. Top inflammatory points include: minorities get more assistance than whites, whites take advantage of minorities, minorities cost society more money via welfare and crime, school voucher programs are good for all, public assistance, police brutality, prison reform. MS-13!
- Keep the upper and lower middle classes separated. Top inflammatory points include: the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the poor don’t pay any taxes, the rich have more political power, healthcare isn’t right-it’s a privilege. The top 10% own everything! The rich must be protected!
- Keep the senior citizens and working class separated. Top inflammatory points include: healthcare for all, property taxes, government programs, and social security. My in-laws are retired and live on a good government pension. One thing that I find to be true is they want to keep all of their benefits, but, for some reason, don’t want others to receive similar benefits. I think they believe that they will have to give up some of theirs to give to others. They are against universal healthcare, yet love the Medicare. The result—Keeping people afraid—especially those on fixed incomes will keep the existing political power structure in place and the campaign funds rolling in. The fear drives them to the polls.
A government of the people, by the people, for the people
We need to take back the power. If someone wants your vote, they need to earn it. They need to make some progress on the issues that you hold near and dear. On the really big issues, they should start small and compromise. If politicians just worked together to resolve the easier elements of the big issues, 80% of our problems would be fixed. Don’t believe? Let touch the third rail — abortion. Pro-choice and pro-life come at this issue from two different directions, but I think both sides could agree that it would be great to at least — for now — reduce the need for the procedures. Why can’t we at least discuss developing a strong support network for expectant mothers that want to keep or adopt their babies. What about education to prevent the pregnancy in the first place. Abstinence may not be fun, but it is a real way to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Why can’t we at least pick the low hanging fruit and move forward!
My feeling is if we want a responsive and effective government, the citizens need to come together and vote in away that holds are politicians accountable. We need to vote based on their progress and performance, not just whether they are a Democrat or Republican. Instead of fixing the issues, they chose to dived and conquer!
You know the saying…
“United We Stand, Divided We Fall”
Don’t look now, but they are already doing it!