Skip navigation

Tag Archives: government secrecy

Who wants to dwell on politics? Isn’t it so much more convenient and so much less irritating to just ignore all of that unsavory political nonsense? And isn’t it easier to just wander into a voting booth every couple of years and vote the way you were raised to vote? And isn’t it easier to base every political argument you may have on the words of some talk radio blowhard? After all, those people do this stuff for a living, you know! They are the experts! They told us so! Perhaps the slogan for election season in America ought to be: “Don’t Think, Just Vote!

A few days ago I received a message on myspace from a friend in which he pays me and this blog the following compliment:

“I read some of your blog, pretty good stuff. I wish more people put as much thought into their opinions as you, I think we’d be better off as a nation.”

Now, I should point out that I am not including this compliment as a way of “blowing my own horn.” However, the writer of this compliment, my friend since 1994, identifies himself as a “lefty” when it comes to politics. I know we disagree on many issues, but I very much appreciate the fact that he took the time to read my blog. Also, notice that he doesn’t say he shares my opinions but, he does appreciate that I have at least tried to present a cogent argument in support of those opinions.

I think an analogy is in order at this juncture. It seems to me that most people are attached to their political parties in the same way they are connected to their favorite sports teams. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if you don’t like your party’s candidate in any given election. What’s vital, however, is to remain loyal to the party. The ultimate goal is victory. That is, the party must be victorious. All of the various arguments between party members on issues like health care, foreign policy, the economy, social security, and the environment are to be forgotten. It’s time to win! And winning requires a united team effort! Similarly, in the sports world you may not like all of the members of your favorite team. But, when it’s time to play the game, you put aside any ill feelings you may have toward certain players and cheer them all on to what will hopefully be a glorious victory.

The difference between the political side of the analogy and the sporting side involves the ramifications of the end result. If your team wins the game, then it’s time to celebrate. If your team loses, it’s time to commiserate with friends and talk about what you would have done in that 4th and goal situation. Ultimately, however, your life does not change. The result of the political “game,” on the other hand, does affect your life. Your “team,” in this case your political party, may win. However, if you did not vote on principle but, simply to prevent the other party from winning, you may find that is a hollow victory. Since it’s that time of year I will use the Presidential election as an example.

Will the winner of the election start a war? Do you have loved ones in the military who could be called into battle? What if there’s a draft? Would you go?

And what about taxes? Will you be paying more or less? Will the inflation tax continue to diminish the value of your money?

Will your civil liberties be protected under the new administration? Will you be investigated by the government because you publish anti-government posts on your blog?

There are many more concerns, of course, but you see what I mean. The results of the Presidential election will have an affect on your life. To sacrifice principle for party loyalty is to make a great mistake.

This is why I believe that if any political progress is to be made in this country, voters must relinquish their unconditional support of political parties. Many of us are being led like lemmings to that quickly approaching cliff. For all too many people, acquiring a knowledge of politics amounts to nothing more than reading and reciting the slogans printed on bumper stickers.

The internet has made information gathering ridiculously easy. We need to take advantage of this situation to learn everything we can about what really goes on in our government. We should always ask why a law is being passed. We should think critically and wonder who benefits from the new law. We should be concerned that the law may violate our right to privacy. Whether the President is a Democrat or Republican makes no difference. Many Republicans love the fact that the President now enjoys nearly unchecked power. How shortsighted they truly are! For what happens when a Democrat becomes President. All of that power, once cherished by the Republicans, will now be seen as a great threat. And isn’t it strange that since taking control of Congress in 2006 the Democrats have done practically nothing to roll back the legislation that has resulted in so much Executive power. Of course, they haven’t. They know there’s an awfully good chance that they will win this year’s election. Beginning in January 2009, the Democrat President would then have his or her hands on those precious levers of power.

It is folly to assume that your party always has your best interests in mind. Never assume that they will remain true to their principles. Watch them like hawks. Don’t just go along for the ride. You might not like where they’re taking you.