by Pa Rock
This election is not about you, and it certainly isn't about me. It's not even about our kids. This election is about our grandkids and their kids and grandkids.
I am so tired of hearing people snivel about not wanting to do things to contribute to the general good because it will have no immediate, personal impact on them. And they certainly don't want to spend money now on something whose aim is to build a better tomorrow. They think that those folks living in tomorrow should take care of themselves! (And maybe they could if they didn't have to worry about paying off our debt!) This tendency to vilify any plan that would require payment today for a better tomorrow is just greed, plain and simple. What most people seem to be after is immediate gratification with the bills coming due sometime in the future. It's the notion of play now and pay later, and not the other way around.
So when an election rolls around, it's very natural for politicians to pander to the public greed. They hyperventilate about cutting taxes while bridges collapse in Minnesota, whole cities get washed away by hurricanes, and students are piled in public schools like so much cord wood. They huff and puff about ending government waste and eliminating earmarks, then rush to to public trough to grab goodies for their home district so the folks will remember them at election time. (Earmarks are only wasteful when they go to someone else's district!)
And politicians never, ever tell you the truth.
Here is some of the truths that don't get told:
1. Public services cost. If you want paved roads, bridges, schools, prisons, a standing military, law enforcement, hospitals, emergency services, clean air and water, mail delivery, Internet, telephones, railroads, indoor plumbing, and border fencing, you pay! You pay with taxes. Living in a civilized country that offers services to its citizens is a privilege. Paying the taxes that support those services is an act of patriotism.
2. If you are unhappy about the priorities that the government sets in spending your taxes, you become politically active and work to have your priorities moved to the front of the political agenda. If, for instance, spending a bazillion dollars on a phony Oil War that can't be won strikes you as wasteful, and you would rather see your money go toward something useful such as universal health care, get off of your tired butt and support candidates who think the way you do. If you sit back whining about all politicians are the same and it doesn't make any real difference who gets elected, then you deserve to live in a land where greed and patriotism are interchangeable concepts, and crap like Dear Leader rises to the top of the Federal Government.
3. Politicians play to your basest instincts: greed and fear. They are going to cut your taxes, send you a rebate, or put a major highway near land that you own. And while they themselves might not call their opponent a gay, Muslim, child molester, people connected to their campaign or their causes will see that stories like that get around. Politicians nearly always stand ready to fan the coals of baseless innuendo and lies. It is much easier to tear the other guy down than it is to build your own case through positive appeals - and Americans prefer gutter tactics anyway.
If you want change, make change happen! If you're happy with the way things are, check your meds!