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[Politics] The Death of Idealism

I killed my last 'politics' tagged post. Really, I hate arguments. And I hate that every time I open my mouth to comment on current events, it seems to turn into an argument instead of the debates I used to value. To begin with, this whole wiretapping thing really sets me on edge, so I'm a bit more confrontational than usual. But really, the core of it is that talking about politics is much like touching a raw nerve with me. There's a pain there, in terms of my perceptions of politics, that still hasn't healed and -- at this rate -- may well never heal.

What do I mean? I'll try to explain. Now, keep in mind this is all subjective; it is merely how I feel about present-day politics.

I mean, the court released papers showing they were turning down Bush's wiretap requests because the requests were being based on demonstrably false evidence. And so rather than improving the intelligence gathering, ensuring that the requests brought to the court were, like, actually based on reality, Bush did an end-run around the court entirely, removing any check on this. Given that, what's to stop him from, say, deciding to bug the offices of political opponents in hopes of getting blackmail material? (After all, we all know that a blow-job is an impeaching-worthy offense!)

Maybe this one thing alone wouldn't bother me as much, but I happen to believe a lot of what made America special was that, for all its flaws (and believe me, there are plenty, regardless of the party leading the administration), there was a document that we all, on both sides of the aisle, believed in. Or more accurately, there was an ideal we could all agree on: the belief that everyone had certain inalienable rights.

Those ideals, and the document that codified them, were the envy of many other nations. And now, in the name of 'protecting us,' those ideals are being forgotten and the document in question spat upon.

And maybe I'm naive for ever believing that any politician actually honored that document or those ideals. Maybe I'm naive for still wanting to believe, or for looking for signs that people /do/ still believe in those ideals. But it is blatantly obvious that this administration and many of their supporters do not -- hence talk-show hosts referring to liberals as 'constitution huggers,' or referring to the thing as 'just a god-damned piece of paper' -- and that makes me both incredibly depressed and incredibly angry.

And I could talk about my own ideals and political beliefs. I don't vote the party line; I vote individual candidates, and my ballots tend to be scattered among Democrat, Republican and even Libertarian, depending on who I think is best for the job. This past election, I will admit I voted for the Republican candidate for Attorney General in our state, because I felt the Democratic incumbent was completely out of control.

But that doesn't matter. The party affiliations never used to be important to me, really, because in the end the uniting factor of all the candidates was those ideals we all shared. They might disagree on how best to preserve and uphold those ideals, but the ideals themselves were shared among all.

Or at least, I had faith that they were.

And that faith has been taken from me. I no longer have that belief in politicians in general. And while I feel I cannot trust this administration because they do not believe in those ideals or rights, I admit that I am particularly angry -- even venomously so -- because they are the ones who killed that idealism and that belief in our political system, with the Patriot Act and lying and using facist 'crowd-control' methods (yes, I really do mean it -- the whole "if you question us, you help the terrorists win" thing). I hate that this whole thing has turned into an 'us versus them,' where I'm under pressure to vote the party rather than the candidate, because political contests have turned into an either-or situation like playground contests: either you're with us, or you're against us.

And that's not the way it should be. Maybe it's the way it always was, and my idealistic belief in a greater whole was misplaced. But it doesn't feel that way. It feels like, despite the scuffs and dents, the system worked the way I wanted to believe it did... and now it doesn't.

Hopefully that helps put down more clearly where I stand, and why I hurt. And hopefully it does so less confrontationally than my previous political posts have been taken.

That's really all I have to say on the topic: it's all I CAN say on the topic.
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Comments

As the saying goes, "You can please all of the people some of the time, or you can please some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." There's nothing like politics to ignite a fervent passion among people - and usually those same people are the most vocal about their feelings. It's why I don't bother to talk politics, and in fact forbid it in my house - it's one thing for people to voice their opinion and discuss, but it's entirely another for people to take on a heated, argumentive "My opinion/way is the only right way". Which, unfortunately, is the course my family seems to take. And if someone can't discuss their opinions with me in a respectful way, I'm not interested in them shoving them in my face with an attitude.

As far as the current situation goes.. it'll blow over. Some things will change, some things will remain the same, and a lot of lessons will be learned. Life will continue to go on as will the judicial and government systems. We simply come out the better for it most of the time, thankfully.