Friday, May 27, 2011

Hello Mr. Politician. Are You Even Listening?

Let's look at Tennessee for a moment, shall we? I'm embarrassed to say I live here. The state has almost blatantly called open warfare against homosexuals, and it's so conservative you would think it was Victorian England. It begs the question, how far out of touch have these and other elected officials drifted from the people that voted for them?

This may seem like a offshoot of a previous post, and to an extent it is. But this time the main point is "Why do politicians have their heads so far up in the clouds?" For example, for the first time in American history, equal rights for gay marriage is supported. This is especially true among young adults, who are overtaking the baby boomers finally. Yet, Tennessee is not only trying to erase homosexuality from the world by sweeping it under the carpet,  they are also full out attacking homosexual people. And yes, those are in the headlines now, but a few other bills are going through the legislature now to eliminate breaks from teachers' day and take away their rights to control their work environment.

It just seems to me that everywhere, not just in the Volunteer state, that politicians are increasingly flipping the bird to the people they represent. Why do most states not have medical marijuana laws? With the overcrowding of jails and prisons, why are those who were only arrested for cannabis possession still in there? Why are all the big wigs so concerned about "protecting the sanctity of marriage" when most them can't keep down a marriage themselves, they do little to curb teen pregnancy, and each week it seems like a new mistress for someone comes forward?

I would love to say that in order to fix this we should vote against incumbents, but really that does no good. No matter who you vote for now days, you're still getting basically the same guy (or girl). To get into politics in the first place, you need to be good at networking. You also need to get to know the right people. Later, once you're a big shot, suddenly you have to repay and help out the people that helped you, and you have to start with the ones with the deepest pockets or the ones that can either make you or break you. Once you make it past the city level (and sometimes not even that far), your constituents no longer matter. Only the people around you who line your pockets and keep you in office. Such is the nature of the beast I suppose.

There is no fix. Even an overhaul of the political system or even a new one won't help. The only thing that would come close would be a "golden boy," who had no scandals, listened to voters, and completely bucked the system, yet somehow managed to keep getting re-elected. In fact, there would have to be a fleet of these golden boys and girls to make change. But this is impossible. Mavericks only get so far before they trip and fall. Then we're back to the same old thing: Politicians serving their own interests and ignoring the people who REALLY got them there.

How far off base am I? Or did I hit a home run with this one? Please let me know! Leave a comment or contact me so we can discuss this issue further! 

Also, thank you to Surviving the World by Dante Shepherd for inspiring this post and providing the initial links to get this argument started. 

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