November 01, 2010

Taking Back My Country

There's a certain irony in the conservatives saying that they're "taking back their country," because that's exactly what I intend to do tomorrow. Oh, I don't mean it the way they mean it. I've never been rich or male, so this country was, at best, only partially mine to do with as I saw fit. No, when I say I'm voting tomorrow to take my country back, I mean something a bit different.

I'm voting to take it back from politicians who can't be bothered to learn the history of the country they're pledging to protect and serve or the documents on which it was founded. From grandstanders who don’t understand what freedoms were granted to us under the Constitution, much less the reasons why those particular freedoms needed to be explicitly laid out. From those who are so greedy for power over the rest of us that they can't comprehend how they too are protected by the status quo.

I'm voting to take it back from the corporations that have bought their way into our political process. From those who are required, under threat from shareholders, to try to steer that process toward short-term gains for them rather than toward long-term security and prosperity for us all. From those who violate the trust and values of their employees and customers. From those who think their ability to coddle their corporate buddies is more important than living up to the public trust they've been granted as utilities. From those who aren't competent to manage changes in our economy without government handouts and anti-competitive legislation.

I'm voting to take it back from the rich who are constantly whining that they won't make us more jobs unless we give them all that they ask for, despite the fact that they simply have very little control over the process. From those clueless enough that they can't handle additional investment capital without creating a market bubble. From those who are sniveling that they can't make ends meet if they have to pay for the benefits they've been given. From those who think that being willing to game the system to reward their own selfishness is a virtue that entitles them to a louder voice in our collective political process.

I'm voting to take it back from the ethical weaklings, whose own moral decision-making process is so out of their control that they want someone to control mine, too. From those who think laws will keep them from having the sex they already need to hide to stay in power. From those who manage their own relationships so poorly that they feel threatened by whom I and mine love and desire. From those who can't be bothered to figure out how to actually achieve the ends they claim to want. From those who value a scrap of tissue with rather poor chances over a human being in need.

I'm voting to take it back from a media that's inane and controlled by corporate interests. From those who think there is no inherent fairness to truth if truth favors one side of an argument. From those more interested in repeating a story than discovering what the story actually is. From those more interested in circuses than bread, much less meat. From those who treat a tiny minority as a major constituency. From those who rolled over and showed their bellies and still consider themselves guard dogs.

I'm voting to take it back from the "patriots" who advocate tearing our country apart because they lost an election. From those who want to secede. From those who think guns are okay at political events but signs on sticks aren't. From those who encourage the disgruntled to be "armed and dangerous." From those so scared of one amendment that they want to use another against it. From those who would decide who is a "real" citizen based on their own criteria.

I'm voting to take it back from the people who despise the job they're applying to do. From those who want to do nothing more than keep anything from being done. From those who are proud of their lack of accomplishments. From those who, no matter what kind of crises we face, are determined to make "Government is the problem, not the solution" a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'm voting to take it back from the bought-and-paid-for. From those who are more concerned about those who pay for their advertising than for those who voted for them. From those who help the powerful victimize the individual. From those who shamelessly defend the indefensible.

I'm voting to take it back from the liars. From those who repeat the same lies over and over, not knowing or not caring what they're saying as long as it suits their ends. From those who deflect responsibility for their allies' scandals and their own behavior. From those who think truth is a matter of opinion. From those who deny expertise when it doesn't tell them what they want to hear.

I'm voting to take it back from the sheer crazies. From the 2%-ers. From the conspiracy theorists. From those calling for the start of the apocalypse. From those who would normally be given the side-eye but are somehow being treated as though they had some kind of valuable input. From those who waste our time when we could be accomplishing something.

Tomorrow, I'm voting to take my country back from a movement that's been in place for most of my lifetime. This movement has tried, and largely succeeded, in reversing the liberal policies that brought our country some of our most prosperous decades. It has fought tooth and nail against the progress we've made in treating all our citizens as human beings. I don't intend to let it get any further. I intend to stop it now.

Won't you join me in taking this country back for all of us?


chaosagent said...

I abolutely will be. Nicely put.

=^skeptic cat^= said...

Nice research on the recent history of wingnuttery. I'm embarrassed to say that I have been following the Delaware Senate race a good deal more closely than any of the elections going on in my home state. I guess the GOP candidate for Governor is a pretty moderate but after the 2010 Census he would have the power to gerrymander all the Congressional districts making seats in Congress for even more wingnuts.

critter said...

Why do they all think they'll be inside the moat?

sbh said...

Fantastic piece. We have created a system in which bribery (miscalled campaign donations) dominates the political process, in which money is confused with speech (and on the authority of the Supreme Court), in which mythical beasts (corporations and churches, for example) have more rights than actual people, in which news organizations match established fact with stark fantasy in the name of "balance", in which the laws that are supposed to govern an industry are written by the very people who have the most to gain by keeping it irresponsible, in which politicians proudly promise that once elected they will pay no further attention to the people who they are supposed to represent (and are applauded for it!), in which a precinct that manages to turn out more than one hundred percent of its registered voters is praised for its enterprise rather than investigated for fraud, and in which choice at the polls seems to boil down to a decision between a corrupt party hack and some guy wearing a tinfoil hat and babbling about the Arcturian menace. If only both parties would take the old Surrealist Party pledge to run a candidate who is not insane.

D. C. said...

Past tense, but FWIW I'm in a very black mood lately and expect things to get much, much worse before they get better.

For instance, what would a 50th or 51st Senator be worth to the Republicans? What kind of deal could a right-wing Democrat make for tipping the balance?

I think we can safely predict that the economy won't improve in the next two years, which means that come 2012 the POG will be able to blame Obama for the state of the economy, leading to a probable House/Senate/White House sweep.

Then the gloves come off.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Funny thing is, D. C., the economy is improving. It may take turning away from the easy target of the teabaggers and pounding some information into the moderates for a while in order to convince anyone of that, though.

D. C. said...

Funny thing is, D. C., the economy is improving.

That's a problem with a known solution, and we can count on large doses of the cure over the next two years.

I fully expect the 2012 Presidential election to reprise the line, "are you better off than you were four years ago," referring (with a bit of assisted recall) to the time prior to the Crash of 2008.