Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Participation and Duty

It is a dark and gloomy day with precipitation randomly interrupting the gloom and doom that is November 2, 2010. I am at home from work due to my infirmities, which are legion. I am truly of a desire to go back to bed and wake up tomorrow. I have not written for the sake of anything in forty-one days. I have been engaged in a number of activities that I have utilized as pretext for my lack of inspiration and sloth. I have no true reason for not writing other then the aforementioned indolence and a healthy dose of self-pity or, for lack of a better nomenclature, apathy. This must change and today is a good day to realize that change. John F. Kennedy spoke of being the change you wish to see and I most assuredly fancy the sight of some transformation.

Charging ones creative battery is the task and the topic, which I believe will accomplish, or motivate said achievement, is the election being held this day of murky motivation and sinister indifference. We are about to embark on either the continuance of the aspirations set forth this day in 2008, or the further obliteration of life as we know it. I take umbrage with those who have spent the past two years disparaging the current regime, and I equally find difficulty totally disagreeing with those selfsame naysayers. We, as a country, are a mess.

The entire election process has become a feat of finance as opposed to an exercise in governance. I remember a time when I believed that the ideals of our founding fathers meant something to me on a deep level. When I entered the United States Army, it was perfectly acceptable for me to lose my life in defense of those ideals, but could not exercise the rights of US citizens to practicing the civil liberties I was defending by voting for the candidate of my choice. That was in the early 1970’s and the law changed while I was a soldier. I have voted in every election since. I will vote today, even though my health is poor today. It only happens once a year and I will just have to submit to a bit more discomfort and drive a few blocks to the polling place. It is not a right to me anymore…it is a duty.

Having established my patriotism, I believe it might be appropriate to express my disenchantment. Much has changed in the last two years and not all of it for the better. We are still at war and it is my opinion that we will encounter the same reality that the Russians did in Afghanistan. The same resolution awaits us that did when I was a soldier. We are probably not going to win this war. In Vietnam, we engaged an enemy that had been fighting for over twenty years on their own terrain. The Afghans have been is some kind of dispute for somewhere around four thousand years…on their own terrain.

The history of this country has always had someone trying to gain control or fight off enemies who were trying to open trade routes from the east to the west. There it sat, right in the way of progress. The society is medieval with warlords, tribes, and many rocks. There is no real commercial value to the region, other than the poppy trade and I would not tout the largest supply of heroin in the world as a negotiating point in any diplomatic conversation. Yet still we find ourselves engaged in a war where American soldiers are dying. Ideals are definitely not, what they used to be. They cannot even figure out who should be in command for God’s sake. Is it the brilliant professional soldiers, or arm chair hugging politicians who get there information from Rolling Stone magazine.

We have a health care law for the first time in history and still people are being denied coverage for necessary care, and while they are being denied coverage, the Republicans are trying to find a way to repeal that law. So much for groundbreaking legislation.

Economic woes are lessening, but there are still jobs being lost and much opposition from the right about investing in job producing infrastructure projects unless it will get them re-elected. We still have a system that will elect a congressional representative, and maintain a system where that elected official, as soon as they take office, must INCREASE the amount of time spent in raising money for re-election and REDUCE the time they spend governing.

We still have a vast amount of our population living in fear of discrimination due to age, race, or sexual orientation. We demonize illegal immigrants and pass laws that will eradicate due process for those who are not card-carrying members of the John Birch Society (‘member them?), the NRA, or the ever loving Republican Party.
The democrats are not much different even if they are whom I am voting for today. With the control they now enjoy, why haven’t we found Osama Bin Laden? Why do we still depend on foreign oil when it has been conclusively proven that there are enough fossil fuels inside the boundaries of the United States to sustain us for as long, if not longer, then Middle Eastern crude?

So why vote? Because it is my duty. I live in a country that guarantees me the right to voice my opinion and for that right, I have responsibilities. I have the duty to vote, and the further obligation to let those I vote for know when I am dissatisfied. Peace.