I’m an observer.
When it comes to politics, it seems that, as an observer, I am viewing a monstrosity. It is so huge that there is no way to back away far enough to get the whole animal in sight at one time. This makes it particularly difficult because if I don’t get The Big Picture, none of the pieces fit together. In other words, I have a fundamentally flawed concept of what, exactly, politics is.
Pare that down, which I need to do in self-defense, I look at government. It’s also another monstrosity, convoluted and diluted beyond the reaches of fathom, and the only conclusion I can draw from it all is that it is a massive number of hands, none of which have a clue about what the other hands in the pile are doing.
Well, ok, I’m not getting anywhere in my efforts to find solid ground to stand on to begin to understand. So, it’s down to picking out pieces. We have a president, the commander in chief, the one elected to be the man sitting on top of the monstrosity. Likened to this huge redwood, he’s sitting someplace “way up there,” out of sight, out of reach and out of touch with his roots and the ground those roots root through for sustenance.
Somewhere in the top echelon is where Congress, the House and the Senate reside. Those two “hands” must also exist out of sight, out of touch, out of reach of the president because, based on the media reports and talking heads opinions and interpretations and analyses, they have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. Congress is so far up that huge redwood that, like the man sitting on the top, they can’t see or hear the one thing that they were elected to represent and work for – the people, all of the people, of the country.
Here I am, sitting in my little world, neighbor to everyone else that shares “ground level” along with me, and I am stymied by the whole shebang. So, being educated and observant, I scour the headlines every day, read as much as I can, and I’m still as clueless about The Monster as a newborn babe.
I’m educated, so I vote. I voted during this last farce of an election. It was a farce because it held a level of importance to the game politic, though how and why it actually changes things, I have no idea. When I looked at that screen listing a bunch of names for political positions, that’s all it appeared to be: A bunch of names. I spent a lot of time studying my Ward, the city, the county, the state level House and Senate per my district, then tackled the representatives and senators for the state. I thought I was prepared. I thought my educated votes were thoughtfully cast.
I studied the issues at each level. My Ward seemed concerned with street repair. The city mayor was wrapped up in growth, the county keeping the county roads in shape, the representative had to fill the shoes of the former rep that ran for and was elected to state senate. The state level reps and senators ran a game more wrapped up in politics than real life, so I ran out of oomph for that one. My vote went per party, I’m sad to say.
The farther up the pecking order, the farther those candidates seemed and that distanced from Real Life. They are as out of sight, out of reach and out of touch from me as the rest of the monstrosity. The only thing that I am sure of is that they make a hell of a lot more money than I do giving reporters, editorialists and political analysts fodder for their daily dribble.
Today, that dribble is focused on the distraction of Wikileaks revelations and extending the tax breaks for gazillionaires instead of things that might actually touch my life – and my neighbors’ lives – like the unemployment extensions that have expired once again. The GOP blares loudly that, no matter what, every piece of legislation on the board will be blocked, just because they can. It’s a lame duck Congress doing a lame excuse of a job.
I sit and observe this poor excuse for leadership in the form of politics/government and shrug. While they mess around with puffed up chests, batting egos back and forth and fighting dirty, I sit and observe the results of their lackadaisical whimsy and apathy for Real Life Down Here in the Trenches.
Each day that goes by, it is getting harder and harder for me to help people find the switch that lights the light at the end of their tunnel. The monstrosity is sucking us all dry, devouring all the sustenance in the earth and spitting it all into the wind. Down here at ground level, all we’re left with is a barren desert.
Maybe if I learn more, observe more, work harder to help people find the fading light switches, I’ll be able to get a handle on the monstrosities. I don’t know. Maybe.
Images from Getty Images.