I have been politically aware to one degree or another for about the last 40 years. Before that, I pledged allegiance to the United States of America, like every other obedient public school student. I have voted since I have been old enough to do so, as I was told it was my civic duty and to my own advantage. I have tried to stay informed about “issues,” and have put time or money into various political efforts because I was told that kind of involvement made a difference. And nothing has changed.
People are still fighting about the same basic things all over the globe and right here on my block. You’d think that all they wanted was everyone to do things their way… To put it another way, few people seem to care about anyone else’s personal liberty. When most people speak of liberty, it means liberty to create a society that suits their own priorities, with little or no personal choice for those who disagree.
And when I say, “still fighting” I mean for ALL of recorded history. This fighting is not due to lack of good ideas or people not speaking up for what is good and right. There have been people being good examples and spreading good information in each generation, from what I read. But most people either do not want to listen or can’t see through the lying, manipulative propaganda. If they have a chance to vote, they vote in ways that ruin economies, put people in jail for personal decisions, and send young people to die in battle at the whim of the power-players.
There are always a few political figures who are touted as having made a positive difference in history, but upon scrutiny it is questionable. One group of such people turns out to be heroes of the establishment for upholding all it’s power. Glorification of the other group assumes that there aren’t at least that many good contributions made by non-political folks in non-advertised ways. In the end, both types of people end up being cited as why the political “process” is so important. But is it?
What if we study history from the perspective of the common person, living according to the priorities and responsibilities that each of us must face? What if the myriad of choices of each individual, in matters of honesty, humility, and relationship, make more of a difference than any law of the land or person with a title? What if one father spending time with his children is more important than being on the board of an institution that gets a lot of time on the news because of purported social goals?
If there was unlimited time and money, maybe I could spare a little for trying to influence governmental policies. But even then there is a dilemma. If I believe in real individual freedom, how can I do anything within a system that survives by controlling others through threats, fines, and force.
I have to assume that those who want power over others are willing to do cruel and unusual things to those who would simply set in motion freedom from such chains. Power attracts such people. Such people also know how to appeal to the masses to make it sound altruistic when it is really the road to destruction. Pick any dictator in history who was supported by a popular uprising. Or at least we are told in the history books of said government there was popular support. More than likely, it was a few vocal people inciting a few discontented mobs who were willing to see what they could get away with.
There may be a few honest people who have entered politics, but it is incredibly hard to judge that about someone you’ve only seen once at a meet and greet, or a cardboard flyer. Inevitably, even the most hopeful candidates compromise our freedom in the name of the political game. Because it is a deadly serious game in the minds of the power-players.
Yet, I have some pity for these people. Whether you call them selfish or evil or self-righteous, their glory is fleeting and their place in history a deception they perpetrate on themselves. They think that by controlling the lives of others they gain some sort of meaning. They do not. Real meaning comes from real love, which is something that can only be done on an individual level.
No matter what other words you use to describe how love is worked out in real life (mutual cooperation, charity, patience, deference), it is destroyed by using force to try to implement it. It is neglected when time is wasted on the facade of organizations. It is ignored when it is replaced by mirages promising what they can’t deliver.
Politicians want us to go through the motions of voting (assuming we can trust anyone who is counting them), so that they have a basis for claiming their positions and right to manipulate. Neighbors want us to vote so they can disabuse us of rights of private property. Religious organizations want us to vote so they can keep a tax-exempt status and pretend they are not businesses. But I may never vote again, because I am more and more convinced that there are better ways to use my time than trying to make sense of why and how everyone wants to control everyone else.