You don't win anything for having voted for the victor
(I wrote this on September 9, 2002)
Over the past couple of years my former idealism about politics has shattered, and every so often when I read about politics in the media I feel like I'm grinding the shards into my skin.
I feel like democracy is really about groups of people trying to boss each other around for personal gain.
Most of the time the bossy groups are relatively powerful or well-off already, and just want more. [e.g., see the Republican Party]
Sometimes the bossy groups claim to be motivated by injustice and inequality, which will always exist, no matter how many laws we pass. [e.g., see Democrats, HRC, NAACP, NOW, etc.]
Over the weekend my local councilmember dropped by my Safeway while I was buying groceries. Her minions were handing out flyers. She was wearing her own campaign t-shirt, and listening to the concerns of apparent voters. The voter she was listening to when I walked by was upset about teenagers playing with skateboards.
Ah, yes, take away the children's toys, that's what democracy is all about.
I feel like most voters don't care about principles, or equality, or justice, they just want to boss people around. We don't like those people over there selling drugs. We don't like those people over there letting their grass grow long. We don't like those people over there dancing all night. We don't like those people over there having sex. We don't like those people over there riding their skateboards. Etc.
So, the politicians make an occasional public gesture to show they are against these horrible activities.
Then, the politicians get back to their real business, which is to keep their wealthy/powerful backers wealthy/powerful by passing complex laws and budgets that none of us have the time to analyze.
And somehow I'm supposed to know enough to pick the best posse from reading the Voter Guide in my local newspaper, where the candidates make self-serving remarks, and the reporters tell me which candidates are "serious" or "favored".
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