Politics can be fun. Presidential elections are exciting…during the primaries. Primary season represents hope and the flow of ideas and new possibilities. It’s a time when my idealism wakes up and I believe that people’s decisions really matter. I start reading and listening voraciously. I love to jump into debates with people about philosophy and policy. I can’t get enough of it.
But once the words “presumptive nominee” emerge, everything changes. More honestly, nothing changes. For readers who don’t know, I’m a Ron Paul supporter. Ours is a life of great hope and great disappointment. We briefly dare to dream that government could be different. We believe we can escape the tired debate of how government should control everything, and enter a new realm in which government does not control everything. We enthusiastically try to explain our libertarian ideals to anyone who will listen and to many who won’t. And then nothing changes.
It’s tricky to evaluate these times that we live in. Everyone is always using scare tactics. This is the worst it’s ever been, they say. We must vote for so-and-so, or else such-and-such will happen, and it will pretty much be the end of the world. It doesn’t really matter if you can’t stand the guy, he’s our only hope. Maybe they are right. But I strongly suspect that the end of the world has been looming for longer than any of us has been alive. There’s always some disaster on the horizon that forces us to pick one of two choices and cling passionately to that choice for dear life. We are trained to be too terrified to think outside the box.
The liberals say we must vote for Obama or else the Republicans will kill all the poor people. The conservatives say we must vote for Romney otherwise the Democrats will kill all the babies and religion. Well crap. I don’t want the poor people or babies or religion to be killed. I just want to scream and tell both sides, “you’re doing it wrong! Your motives are twisted and your ideas don’t make sense and your business model for the country is unsustainable!”
The newspaper I used to read so eagerly lies in a corner, still in its bag. “Obama and Romney call each other mean names. Feelings are hurt. Outrage ensues.” “Experts debate which names were the meanest, and which were the most true.” I can’t read this crap. My Facebook is flooded with people arguing in smug and angry tones and I have no desire to get involved. Each side has heard the other’s arguments before. Neither is really listening.
I sometimes think one of two things must be true. Either a) The whole system is rigged. We have no real choice. Only when we wake up and revolt will change be possible (time to take up arms?) or b) The vast majority of our citizens are complete morons. Therefore, democracy is a really bad idea. Maybe I’m being generous. Probably a) and b) are both true. But if we find a moral leader, he will be unintelligent, and if we find an intelligent leader, he will be evil. There truly is no hope, except to hope maybe the Mayans were right about 2012.
Perhaps it all goes back to the Old Testament. The people of Israel whined, “We want a king!” And God said, “Trust me, you guys do not want a king. He will screw up everything.” And they insisted, “No! We want a kiiiiiiing!” like a bunch of brats throwing a tantrum. And since then humanity has been plagued with bad rulers and all we know to do about it is keep throwing tantrums.
I’ve probably wrongly thought of Ron Paul as a savior. He wouldn’t fix this broken world either, although I still think libertarianism is a better idea than what we’re doing right now. I guess if I want to be spared continual disappointment, I will have to accept that this world is totally flawed, and only God can save us. But all I really meant to say in this post is that I’m sick and tired of politics right now.