The presidential election is near at hand and I can’t help but feel a sense of patriotic duty. I also can’t help but feel a sense of patriotic uselessness. Politics seems to be such a far cry from the common person that I question how we have any influence at all. Look at the people running. George W. Bush and Al Gore. Where did these guys come from? Al Gore is a little more well known. He’s been the vice president for eight years doing a whole lot of who knows what. Before that he was a senator doing who knows what. George W. Bush is the governor of Texas, and that’s about all I can tell you. Just how he launched himself into the national scene, I don’t quite know.
Yes, yes, those of you who are smarter than me will roll your eyes and lecture me on the campaign process, the primaries and all that fun stuff. But I can’t help but wonder who really cares. I’ve yet to see a candidate that I felt would actually listen to my opinion. I’ve yet to see a candidate that comes close to lining up with my values. It’s like a lose-lose situation. Perhaps I’m just not in the majority. Perhaps I’m just not well educated. Perhaps I’m just a little cynical. I can’t help but feel there’s a closed door meeting held somewhere that determines who gets to be president. The election process is a sham, two puppets from which to choose, but really there’s only one puppet master.
Is this just me, or is this years of conspiracy talk and apathy? No wonder voter turn out is so low. However, I plan to vote. I’m not entirely sure what it will accomplish, and I’m not entirely sure which puppet I’ll choose, but at least I’ll exercise my rights. Maybe somehow this year will be different. Then again, maybe not.
What’s the idea of “American”? We grow up with these notions of certain things being firmly American: apple pie, baseball, rock ‘n roll, the protestant work ethic, cars, the American Dream. Sometimes I wonder where it all comes from and why these pressures continue to mount on us today. When the first colonies were settled and people were trying to carve out their existence in the face of harsh weather, few supplies, and a native people who wanted to remain native, did those colonists ever look forward and wonder what life would be like on this continent in several hundred years? Did they realize how much of the land would be swallowed up and consumed with concrete? Did they realize that the people inhabiting the land would continue to carry on many of the ethics they started with?
Continue reading The Dream of America
Tonight I watched most of the State of the Union Address. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t see much hope in politics. Somehow I see fault in a system where a president stands up and talks about the State of the Union, and everything is positive and happy-go-lucky. Never mind the fact that the president is currently undergoing an impeachment trial, the first such trial in over 100 years. I’m sorry, but when Bill talks about restoring Family Values, I just can’t seem to trust him. You’ve lost all my respect Bill, you should just give up now. And the rest of politics isn’t much better. The Republican Reaction? What was that all about? No, we don’t have an excessively partisan political system. And what’s up with the applause during tonight’s address? They write his speech with pauses and voice inflections for applause. This isn’t Letterman, it’s the State of the Union speech. And what’s with all the special guests? Let’s just write a speech, and comment on some good stuff, and we’ll just happen to have the people connected to the good stuff here. We’ll show them off like some kind of trophy prize. Politics really makes me sick.