There are two subjects you should never bring up unless you are looking for trouble…yep, politics and religion. I apologize in advance, but I just can’t help myself. I know the country is coming to the realization that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to end up leading us for the next 4 years. How many of you feel like I do, and you don’t want either one of them?
To be intellectually honest with you, I am pretty conservative in my feelings on governance. The less outside interference I have in living my life…the better. I think I can spend my money better than someone in Washington can spend it. However, I realize that we need a collective body to form a military to protect us from our enemies. I know we need to collect taxes to build our roads and bridges, airports, and stuff like that. Unfortunately the minute we erect a building in Washington and fill it with a punch of pencil pushers…those pencil pushers are going to start to justify their existence by telling me what size Coke I can buy, or how they need money to study why monkeys pick fleas off each other.
As time has gone by, I have become super cynical in my thinking. I think that when the Democrats are in power, a certain group of super rich folk increase their wealth; and when the Republicans are in power, another group is able to enrich themselves. There is also a third group who are so wealthy and hold so much power that they win life’s lottery regardless of who is in power. Former CBS reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, wrote an excellent book entitled Stonewalled on how large corporations use their power and influence with the government and the media. Read her book, and will you come to see Washington politics for the sewage system it is. We live in a world where money influences everything. If you contribute a $1,000 to someone’s campaign and I contribute $100…guess who is going to garner the politician’s attention? Now multiply the dollars a hundred fold and it is easy to see who is able to buy influence. I’ll give you a hint…it’s not you…and it is not me.
My litmus test is really pretty simple on how I vote. Could I see a candidate being a friend of mine? Could I see myself working with them? Could I trust them in my home, and if they asked to use my bathroom…would they open up my medicine cabinet while they are in there? Would they cut in front of me at the grocery store checkout line? If I left them in a room alone with $20 on the table, would it be there when I came back?
Years ago, someone running for city council was out walking through my neighborhood soliciting votes. I was outside washing my car as he walked through my neighbor’s yards as he made his way from house to house. Drawing on my boyhood experience as a paperboy and being instructed by my route manager NEVER to walk through a customer’s yard, when he made it up me in the driveway…I mentioned that he might want to use the sidewalks. He gave me a dirty look and promptly went on to the next house. He won the election…no help from me. Several years later, he had to resign under scandal. Point being, if you take shortcuts through people’s yards…you take shortcuts in a lot of other stuff too.
Being an official fence-sitter at this point in the political process has been somewhat of an eye opener for me. Without any skin in the game, I have been able to listen and see both political party’s position with new-found objectivity. People with various political leanings are only too willing to point out the flaws of the other political party’s candidate. The only problem being…you pointing out the unworthiness of the candidate you don’t like doesn’t make the candidate you like somehow worthy to be President.
If you feel conflicted by the choice we have before us…the easy thing would be to blame the candidates themselves. However, I would like to throw this out to you. Aren’t they a reflection of who we have become? The problems that end up getting debated in Washington are problems which should have been solved in our homes and on our streets. We have lousy candidates because each year there are more and more of us who are lousy citizens. We are big on teaching our children their rights…we are not so good at teaching them that living here comes with responsibilities.
We fall for the promises we are being told because we don’t know any better. We know more about our sports teams than we do about what is going on around us politically. Worse yet, we know we are being fed crap and we are too lazy to challenge it. We let politicians tell us what we want to hear, with never a thought about how they could possibly make those things come true. We allow ourselves to be divided. It’s easier to blame someone else for our own troubles and poor choices than it is to accept accountability. The list could go on and on. This was not meant to be a forum to complain about either candidate, but simply to point out that we only have ourselves to blame.
If life teaches you anything, it teaches you that you usually get what you deserve.