Monday, July 12, 2010

Why *YOU* Should Pay Attention to Politics

I've spent the last two days reviewing six political opinion blogs, and I hope most if not all of my readers will subscribe to some of them.


Well...because this is the USA and it is your duty as a citizen to stay informed of the political process. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain if things don't go the way you want. (And if things don't go the way you want after you vote, time to start putting pressure on your elected representatives!)

I'm one of those who thinks our political system needs a complete overhaul, frankly. Convicted felons shouldn't be able to hold office, liars and perjurers shouldn't be able to hold office. Lobbyists shouldn't be allowed. Politicians shouldn't be able to vote themselves raises, let alone make them retro-active, and so on.

I'm reading a book by Barbara Michaels (Elizabeth Peters) called Smoke and Mirrors, which has a political setting. Her heroine works for a Democrat politician running for senator. She's running against a Republican opponent who, no surprise, has had an affair. (The book was published in 1989, a little more than 20 years ago, and even then Republican hypocrisy about declaiming family values while simultaneously cheating on your wife must have been firmly entrenched!) [According to Limbaugh, Republicans who cheat on their wives have to leave office, because they are held to a higher standard, while Democrats who cheat on their wives typically just apologize to their constitutents and then continue on as usual, because they've never taken a moral stand against cheating on their wives.]

Here's what one of her characters says about the political process:
"Not interested in politics? What the hell do you mean? How can anybody not be interested in politics? These people are running your life. Don't you care what they think -- what they do?"

"They never say what they think and they never do what they say they're going to do," Erin said. "What's the point?"

"Huh," said Fran, for once at a loss for words.

And, here's the way she ends the book:

" an adventure. Exciting, unpredictable, challenging, hazardous. But I'd rather think of it as a great and honorable endeavor. 'The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.' "

(The author doesn't attribute the quote, but it's from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address.)

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