Realistically, we’re doomed.

All of the most self-defeating things I ever hear begin with something like, “Realistically…”

At least in a political context, whenever I hear words and phrases like “pragmatic,” “the way things are,” and, of course, “realistically,” I know what comes next is a lame rationalization of wrong.

Right?

Instead of saying, “That’s a great dream! Let’s make it happen,” the “realistic” person’s got to say, “realistically, you must choose the ‘lesser of two evils;’” or, “Whoa there; these things take time. Realistically, you’ve got to ‘take baby steps,’ ‘work within the system,’ and ‘you can’t fight city hall.’”

“Realistically,” they’ll say, “you don’t stand a chance.”  “You have to,” they tell me, “play the game.”

I am pretty certain this is why human civilizations have a 100% failure rate. There are too many unwitting servants of the status quo.

I am sure we have a sufficient number of dreamers; it’s just that the dream-squashing Powers-That-Be puppets outnumber us, parrot the talking points, run the media, and are currently in charge of pretty much everything on the planet.

This so unnecessary, so sad, so self-destructive.

To cave in to odds is to shuffle toward societal collapse. To accept even mediocrity, let alone “lesser evil,” is to voluntarily, actively, choose failure. (see aforementioned failure rate)

And that, is a denial of our very real power and accountability to do better.

I’ve spoken to more than a few voters. I see what they do every Election Day. Collectively, we really did choose exactly what we’ve got. We’ve chosen badly, and keep re-electing the badly-chosen.

We can’t blame anybody else for that. But we sure try to…the Electoral College, the “Two Party System,” corruption, lobbyists, and “there ought to be a law” all get blame.

But we chose it. All of it.

And it looks like we’ll do it again this November.

My enduring hope (and I believe our culture’s only hope) is that we’ll snap out of our madness and choose better.

Now, I do understand the roadblocks.

  1. There’s a vast, nearly-diametrically-opposed difference between a good candidate, and a good politician. A good candidate1 must be a market phenomenon; sort of like a movie production with a cast of hundreds.  The very best candidates are usually much less impressive as individuals than they are as a puppet figurehead/mascot of a team. You rarely hear or see the politician as a person, actually. You see a managed message crafted by professional staff.  A good politician, on the other hand, must be an honest, scrupulous statesman; hardly the sort of performance artist who’d be a media hit in this climate…amiright?  The job of a candidate is to get elected and reelected.  The job of a statesman is to serve his fellow humans by holding a leash on that dangerous abstraction we call “politics.”  And that apparently doesn’t sell well today.
  2. The best candidates are bought. We all know it. But we never follow the money and come to the correct conclusions, do we? In fact, we do the opposite. We see our candidates in order of odds and money, not in order of principles and actions. We treat this more like pro sports, and less like real life with you as a key actor. And that’s at least partly because…
  3. All the major media are bought, and not just by the best candidates. The major media are wholly owned and operated by the same military industrialists, financial services moguls and kingmakers that own and operate all the best candidates. Look at how they cover campaigns. Look even at the order in which they list candidates in articles. It’s not alphabetical, is it? And try to look for what doesn’t even make it to your eyes and ears. Almost all of the very best statesmen are rendered invisible and voiceless by our incessant, loud and omnipresent media. Your senses are overloaded by their choices such that you may never get to hear what would be better choices. That leaves you too numb and worn-out to scour the fine print, rumors and internet for better choices.
  4. The rules we now call election and campaign finance “laws” were written by all the best candidates, so of course they’re unconstitutional, corrupt, and serve to stifle better options.
  5. We don’t want to admit that we’re responsible for our choices, and that our choices really do matter, and that we could change our choices, because that’d be the same as admitting that we’ve screwed up for years! I get it. I’ve been there, done that…and in ways I still don’t want to admit.

But now let me describe your opportunity.

  1. You get what you choose. If you choose better, you get better. If you decide to vote against evil entirely, what’s “lesser” or “greater” won’t matter. You really do get what you, personally, choose, because you are not as alone as you’ve told yourself. Not everybody else is an idiot. More people than you likely think, are thinking, and acting, just like you.
  2. It doesn’t take a majority to change things. In fact, it’s never worked that way. The passionate few have always determined the course of history. Always. The “masses” follow the leader. That’s how our species, and most others, work. You want to be among the passionate few? Then choose to be. It’s just another choice.
  3. Politicians hire themselves if you let them; we do NOT have elections to hire politicians. Our founders and prior generations bequeathed all of us (all races, all creeds, all genders…even the new ones) the hard-won right to vote not as a numb approval of the status quo, but as a weapon of peaceful revolution. You are SUPPOSED TO vote AGAINST some things (evil, entrenched incumbents, bad choices). You are SUPPOSED TO vote to FIRE the best candidates, and replace them with the best politicians.
  4. Picture this. On a single day in November, you upset the status quo. Instead of reelecting almost everybody (over 98% of House Reps were reelected last time, you know), you fire almost everybody, and replace them with people who’ve not sold you out. It’s a choice. Your choice. Imagine how bright the sun would shine on that next day when the gobsmacked media pundits realize that you figured it out, and won. Just picture it.

Would it be so scary to, just for once, use your vote more like a sword than a poker chip? Wouldn’t it be invigorating and wholesome to walk into a voting booth with the Spirit of ‘76?

Realistically, we’re all going to die, and our culture and nation will collapse.  It’s a certainty, actually.

But before that happens, don’t we want to strive for a really great life in a great country?  I say let’s dream on that, and make it so.

1A candidate is a corporate abstraction consisting of a figurehead, several key executive members, and a bunch of supporting staff all dedicated to winning elections…often as a full-time job for many campaigns, year after year.   A politician is, when done right, an actual, moral, honest-to-goodness human being.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Let’s talk to the citizenry about Article I, Section 2, Clause 1, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,” …. AND Article III, Section 2. Clause 3, “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed;”


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