Saturday, November 14, 2009

Politics is Boring

If you have been following my blog lately, you may have noticed that I have been talking more about spiritual matters rather than political, although every now and then the two coincide. That has been deliberate. It is because I look at the current political situation as uninteresting.

It has become so predictable in a moment when we thought radical things were going to happen. The advent of the Obama presidency was suppose to bring about this new change, add a fresh breath to the stale Beltway air. Turns out that the Beltway is stronger than hope itself. The mass appeal is fading, the luster is dulling, and the same ol' gridlock and malaise is starting to settle in.

This is not Obama's fault. He is pressing on, tackling the big issues of our time with the force of a blitzing linebacker. His supporters, the real ones, not the ones moved by a false sense of inspiration, are fiercely out there, doing what they did to get him elected. Unfortunately, Obama has run into the same problem most of us run into when challenging an institution in politics, it is easier to win the election than to govern.

The Republicans have made up their collective minds that they must win in 2010, a repeat of the 1994 Revolution. It worked before when the country elected a president on hope so if it is not broke, then don't fix or modify it. The only difference is that the GOP is feuding within, a phenomenon only practiced by Democrats. We were more united on September 12, 2001 than we are now and there is no reconciliation forthcoming. Bipartisanship is officially dead.

The aforementioned Democrats are doing what they always do, tripping over themselves, turning layups into low-percentage shots. The politicians in Washington, as a whole, have no sense of nobility in tackling the toughest issues this generation faces: Health Care, Foreign Policy, Environment and Fiscal Responsibility. They are taking safe votes instead of the right votes. They are still pushing pork instead of public policy that leads to self-sufficiency. They are using wedge issues and fear to get elected.

In other words, the same ol' stuff, and it is rather boring. To boldly go where no man has gone before is just a tag line for a great sci-fi show, not the philosophy of our political leaders. They like being the naked emperors walking the streets, because they know they have the resources to stay where they are. They like the fact that Americans are struggling so that that they can capitalize on our insecurities, rather than enlightening us with a new vision, a whole new class of poverty pimps if you will.

And the alternatives are not any better. Our choices now are to stay with the elected officials we have or the resume-padders, you know, the ones that want to die with the title, "The Honorable Rev. Dr. So-and-So, Esquire". Visionaries and statesmen need not apply. That to me is a mundane world. I think Abraham Lincoln and Robert F. Kennedy would have a tough time serving in this Congress. They would be better served forming multi-million dollar foundations, addressing the real needs of the masses instead of staying in the political process. That is a sad observation to make.

I was once taught that public service was the highest aim of mankind. I will be glad when a generation of politicians thought that way again. It sure would be a lot more interesting than it is now.