BEEP BEEP BEEP…I interrupt this mommy blog to bring you a political rant…this is not a test…you have been warned….
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. –Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin is my favorite of the Founding Fathers because he seems like someone you could invite over for a barbeque and a few drinks and he’d be terrific fun and you’d probably learn something from him, too. Because, as you probably already know, Ben was a smart guy. (Except for flying the kite in a thunderstorm––that was stupid, if it actually happened.) Just take a look at the first paragraph of his Wikipedia entry:
A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass harmonica. He facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.
(Um, could you DO more in a lifetime? Sure doesn’t seem like it.)
Now read the quote at the top of this post again. Boy, is this quote still pertinent today or what? Because all over the news I keep hearing Democrats and Republicans explaining away these egregious privacy intrusions by saying it’s for national security. To protect the homeland. From the terrorists. They still wanna get us, ya know. (PS – Be scared.)
I’m a progressive. A proud liberal. I’m also a registered independent. True, I generally vote for Democrats, because they generally align closest to my political beliefs. But a party loyalist I am not. I speak up when my government screws up, regardless of party. So when I heard the news that the NSA has been cooperating with major communications corporations to spy on practically every American, I flipped my shit, so to speak.
So many times I’ve heard people defend the practice of spying on innocent Americans by huffing and puffing, “Well, if you care so much, then what do you have to hide?” Idiots. We are AMERICANS. We have a CONSTITUTION. The government––our government––is supposed to have limited powers, not limitless powers. Why are we tolerating the transformation of our government into a real-life Big Brother? Why are we acting like this is okay?
And you wanna talk about government waste? How much of our tax dollars are going to pay NSA workers to scrutinize everyone’s phone and internet records? Thank goodness we still have plenty of money for Head Start, medical research, food banks, FEMA, civilian government employees…oh wait, we don’t? Priorities, people, please. Terrorists still wanna getcha! TERRORISTS! Now excuse us, but Bob in Des Moines has some really freaky porn that we’ve gotta check out. (Because, get real…you know that’s what happening.)
Democrats, why are you not outraged?
Whatever you think about the scope of presidential powers, you must––must––stay objective. If you try to rationalize something away by thinking, “Oh, I don’t really like it, but I know [insert beloved President here] is a good person, and he/she wouldn’t abuse that,” STOP. Just STOP. Because guess what? In a few years, there’ll be a new butt sitting in the Oval Office, and that one might be the devil incarnate (in your opinion). So if you would object to the President you loathed the most (*cough cough*…Dubya…*cough*) doing a particular thing, then you must also object when your guy does it.
And to the Republicans reading this:
I know you are probably besides yourselves with glee, wanting to jump down to the comment box and type in all caps “I TOLD YOU SO!!!!” Not so fast, my friend. Don’t even THINK about saying anything about Obama being a shitty president because I can guarantee Romney (or McCain) would’ve been a hundred times worse than Obama. Your party clamors for “small government,” but wants it to be so small it’ll fit inside a woman’s vagina yet big enough to monitor the phone calls and internet usage of every American. You guys clamor for endless tax cuts to benefit behemoth corporations and banks and the infamous 1%, but don’t seem to give a (genuine) shit about the poor and the rapidly disappearing middle-class. I’m not even going to get into GOP foreign policy right now (aka: WAR), because it’s exhausting and I have stuff to do today.
Yes, I voted for Obama twice. The first time, because I believed what he said, and the second time, because he was less bad than Romney. I’m no Obama apologist. I didn’t give a dime to his re-election campaign, or to the DNC, because I am very dissatisfied in their ‘work’ over the past five years. But let’s not kid ourselves––the GOP is cuckoo bananas at this point. The only reason Democrats are still winning is because the Republican party has lost their freaking minds. (So Dems, wake up: you’re winning by default, not because you’re doing a good job or because people like you.)
Bottom line: Don’t get sucked up in this “rah rah my team is best” bullshit. No party is infallible. In fact, right now, they both suck.
Our electoral system is controlled by money. Our government is controlled by money. Huge corporations are buying politicians though legalized bribes (campaign donations) in order to get those politician-puppets to do what they want. Your election officials no longer represent you––they represent their donors. They represent the wealthy. They represent Big Business. Not the little guy. Not the average Joe. They do what the money tells them to do.
The only way to change this is to get money out of politics. That is the ONLY cure.
I’m pretty sure Ben Franklin would tell you the same thing. (Once he stops throwing up, that is.)
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