Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Voter's Declaration of Illness

I'm sick of party politics.

I'm sick of two-second soundbytes and two-year election campaigns. I don't want political theater, I want public policy.

I'm sick of political expediency. I don't want to see an environment where facing up to difficult issues is political suicide, and kicking the can down the road means reelection.

I'm sick of having twenty hot-button issues with two sides each, boiling down complex problems into simplistic ideologies and blowing up simple legislation into incomprehensible gibberish. I don't want a skinny government or a fat government, I want a fit government.

I'm sick of tribalism. I don't want politicians to oppose ideas just because 'the enemy' supports them, or vice versa. I don't want politicians to appeal to groupthink--the rich, the poor, the white, the black, the unions, the employers, the war hawks, the peaceniks, the youth, the elderly. Left or right or upside down, I don't give a damn.

I want an informed populace to elect serious representatives. I want sober public discussion of policies that will impact the nation's welfare. I want complications to be explored rather than ignored. I want disagreements to encourage engagement rather than divisiveness.

I am a member of the militant middle, and I'm sick of letting the fringes wrestle for control over our country, with their efforts combining to steer towards disaster. It's Pepsi against Coke to me, and I drink water.

3 comments:

US 2012 election novel said...

A really thought provoking blog...best wishes in your future projects.

Math_Mage said...

Thanks!

LostEnder said...

MM, you're not alone on this.

Unfortunately, with the way the media is requiring a campaign to be presented in order to get coverage, I don't see any hope of it ending anytime soon. End of the day, extremism is going to get more attention than rational, balanced thought. See also: Occupy X, Tea Party.

There's also the issue that the average American is just not that sophisticated is looking past the presentation and seeking the real facts. For instance, I know a lot of otherwise smart folks in my part of the country that are, to this very day, absolutely convinced that Obama is a secret Muslim. This was the dealbreaker for them. Not foreign relations, not the stance on military force applications, not financial policy. The possibility that this man might not bow his head the same way that they did. I can't recall the last time I saw an openly agnostic or atheist candidate at the national level, come to think of it.

In the end, I'm afraid that it's going to have to get worse before it gets any better. All I can do is hope that it doesn't get as bad as it might, and people begin to take their franchise seriously before the country becomes irreparably broken.