Politics: The angst of a disaffected young American
Consider this fair warning. Over the next few days, I’m going to be posting articles with an increasing focus on politics. I’ll tag these articles with an appropriate title and category so you can choose to skip over the rantings if you find them uninteresting.
This year, we’ll be holding another presidential election.
I got a phone call yesterday from an old friend who has started working on the John Kerry for President campaign. She was very excited about her job and genuinely felt like she was doing something worthwhile and positive for the planet. Good for her for drinking the kool-aide.
Unfortunately, I, like a stereotypically arrogant many of my generation, have lost faith in politicians, their empty promises, and the sterile manufacturing of what we laughingly refer to as platforms. The polls and the deep pockets of lobbyists are what dictate their positions and ethics. “Democrat”, “Republican”… it doesn’t matter. From where I’m sitting, if I squint enough, they look the same…
I heard someone I respect say, “Come November, we must have a changing of the guard… Anybody would be better than Bush!”
Oh really? ANYBODY?
President Bush is a rich, powerful man with rich, powerful friends. Arguments can be made about the abuse of that power. Powerful men do that.
However, I can think of about a billion people who would be serious candidates, but would make far worse presidents.
I’ve not even come close to figuring out who I’d like to be president (ahhh.. if it were only up to me).
This much I do know: Senator Kerry creeps me out. There is an eerie, artificial quality about him… like those dolls which approach human-like characteristics but are “off” enough to cause revulsion (i.e. “uncanny valley”).
I’ve started a collection of photos of him in unnatural settings for a man of his background. The one picture of the senator laughing and clapping way too loudly in a black church is particularly disturbing.
This is nothing new. Campaign managers have been posing press pictures for as long as there have been cameras. This candidate, however, seems more obvious to me.
I understand we’re in pre-Convention mode for now, but for the life of me, I don’t know that I’ve heard a steadfast opinion from the man on many of the things I care about (ex. foreign trade/outsourcing, FCC interference w/ free speech, and yes, even the War in Iraq).
If he only would own up to the fact that no, he isn’t an average joe/blue collar/soldier and is, in fact, just as (if not more) filthy rich as President Bush, I’d give the man a little more respect.
In other words… give us some credit and give us some substance, please.
I think us Generation X+ hipsters have an unprecedented media exposure that began with saturday morning cartoons, evolved into participation through Atari’s, Nintendos, and PCs, and mushroomed with connective technology like cell phones and the Internet.
With the sudden surge of the participatory technology, some of us are starting to experience what journalists and media practitioners have known for centuries: an ease of broadcast. It’s easy to create messages. It’s even easier to pervert them.
Suddenly we start to see through the manipulation and we feel betrayed.
This is probably why many of us start working on grassroots projects to improve at least the world around us. By supporting local efforts, we have a realistic chance of making anecdotal, and if we’re lucky, systemic changes to our immediate environments.
When I think of the work I do in my day job, I realize that through any of the politics and bureaucracy, I am affecting the lives of my neighbors in a positive way for pennies on the dollar. This is tremendously powerful and my own little reward.
Coming Next: Howard Stern, the FCC, Free Speech in America, and the Endtimes
I have not lived very long on this earth, but I am genuinely scared by some events that are unfolding on a national scale and I consider the times we’re approaching (i.e. the next 10-15 years) to be of extreme turbulence and terror unlike any before which will destroy the world as we know it.
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