I've been having a lot of serious thoughts lately. Most of it has been curdling around in my mind for quite a long time -- all mushed up and kind of a congealed mess. It's difficult to make sense of things when feelings are laced with anger. How to get beyond the fact that our economic dire straights are caused by powers beyond our control and seemingly beyond the control of governments? How do we make sense of lies and subterfuges when they are so carefully blended with misconceptions and half-truths? How can we stop looking for only the truth we want to hear?
It makes me very cranky, if not down right ornery when I hear government officials say 'we don't have the money', or 'we can't afford it' when so often it suits political dogma and not political reality. What I see as the political decisions of our time and place are enabling the rich to increase their wealth to the detriment of the rest. When it's the fat cats who are telling me I have to tighten my belt buckle it raises my hackles because I know they've just acquired bigger belts. How can it be possible that more and more men and women cannot find work, and yet the big companies are making more and more money and that money is not finding its way back -- either in taxes or 'trickle down' economics or jobs?
Some say that the government is too big. But if we believe in government of, by and for the people then how can it be small? It starts with family and expands to community and on and on ... The more people are involved the more people begin to understand each other and the complexities of our societies and that nothing is black and white. I have very strong political beliefs that are left of centre -- but I also believe that it is very important to have what the British so wisely refer to as the 'honorable opposition'. Because we are living in a parliamentary democracy or a democratic republic, we are ultimately responsible for what we get.
My ancestry is full of politicians -- from Connecticut and Alabama -- so I suspect my love of the cut and thrust of politics is genetic. Hell, my great-great grandfather was a cigar manufacturer, scent of the back room! A lot of people say they hate 'politics' and politicians. But I say that politics is the grease that makes it all work. And to take the grease metaphor a bit further, it's important to have good people involved to keep the 'impurities' at bay. At the very least vote -- if you can't bring yourself to vote for any of the candidates write in your own name -- and if you won't vote -- aw go on do it anyway ...