The Picture is Becoming Clearer

Every once in a while one has to ask what kind of government we actually live in. Right now, over 60 percent of our country wants to get out of Iraq. Over 60 percent think that the war wasn’t worth it. And over 60 percent agree that the current administration is running the war the wrong way.

So, the majority of our people want to end the war, yet somehow this escapes the capability of our current government. Since democracy is supposed to give control of the country to the people, the question of why we are still heavily involved in the war, with no end in sight for what appears to be many more years, needs to be asked. But more than asking simply why we are there, we need to ask if we actually do live in a democracy.

The short answer is no, since America is technically a republic, but the actions of our government do not even meet those standards any longer. Put  to a popular vote, the war would be ended today, the Iraqi government would get its longstanding wish that America leave its country, our troops would return home, and that would be it. Even in the system as it stands, every Republican should be quaking in fear of ruining their political career. But this is not the case, and it’s looking like it never will be. And why not? I think the answer is that our elected officials feel, or rather know, that they will not be held responsible by the voters for the actions  they take as our representatives. Put simply, they feel immune, and for good reason.

This was made clear yet again by today’s Senate vote, which defeated Jim Webb’s proposal to allow our troops as much time between deployments as they spend overseas. Now, this deserves a step back. A strong majority of the country would vote to begin pulling troops out today and have everyone but a small force out as quickly as possible. Senator Webb’s proposal doesn’t seek any of this, only to lift some of the strain from the individual soldiers and their families by giving them fair deployments. And Republicans in the Senate feel immune enough from the people of this country to strike down this proposal, at the same time donning the banner of patriotism and supporting the troops.

One might ask where they get the temerity to wear yellow ribbons while basically slapping the troops right in the face. The answer is simple: Americans vote as if they are in grade school voting for class president. And the Republicans know this. Therefore, they can continue to give the troops, their families, and the American people the finger with total immunity. They have learned, from election after election, that Americans are generally stupid, naive louts that can easily be distracted from real issues by essentially waving a shiny trinket in front of their faces. It was proven in 2000 and even more forcefully in 2004. Rove’s legacy is that actual issues, votes, competence, and performance, will never be discussed in American politics again. And as long as the American voters allow this legacy to  live, our country will remain captive to the whims of one party or the other, rather than the other way around.

Right now, America’s biggest stumbling block is its relative  wealth. Politicians know that if people have a roof over their head and food on their plate, they will never have enough reason for revolution. Revolution is exactly what this country needs. Washington has become an island from the rest of America, and its priorities and values are oceans away from the rest of the country’s. We no longer choose who to represent us, we simply choose who to send to the  island, and once they are there, they are of the island and not of us. There is no representation in our government. Our entire system has been reduced to a reality show: who gets picked to be on t.v., get a luxurious salary which pales in comparison to the lobby money that neither party wants to go away. And we have only ourselves to blame.

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