Sunday, December 26, 2004

Politics at the Dinner Table

Had a little moment at the dinner table just now. The future brother-in-law and sister-in-law got my hackles up by expressing some support for George W. At one point, "He was CEO of his own company..." I explained that he ran it into the ground, managed to sell his stock just before it tanked, and was never somehow investigated by the SEC. She actually relpied, "That's because he's smart." Great. I asked that some of his accomplishments be stated. That's probably what elicited the CEO comment. After I shot that down the only thing left for them to do was attack Kerry.

It's sad when the candidate you support has so little going for him that when asked to list his accomplishments all you can do is flick boogers at his opponent, particularly when it's an already-defeated opponent.

I don't like Kerry much better than Bush, but at least he served. I don't think he'd have made a great president, and I didn't vote for him. I'm amazed at how he got shot down, though. He was a horrible candidate in many of the same ways George is, but he actually went to Vietnam. I understand he was in that part of Vietnam where actual bullets were being fired from actual guns causing many actual wounds and even a few actual deaths. Who shot who is, perhaps, not crystal clear, but he was there. That much is. George, on the other hand, actually was not. Thanks to all sorts of strings being pulled, he got a cushy job in the National Guard where they taught him how to fly an airplane and stuff. At some point he wandered off to Alabama to help some family friends in some political capacity. He has never allowed anyone to see the records of his time at the National Guard, that was the point Dan Rather's blunder so unfortunately smoke-screened: we still don't know for sure whether George is guilty of criminal conduct in regards to his National Guard service. He could very well be a deserter. Hmm... I wonder if those stalwart pillars of justice, The Swift-Boat Veterans for Truth, could again come to the rescue of inquiring minds everywhere and fill in the blanks for us on George? Swiftly? That'd be great.

Of course, this is all bullshit anyway. The conflict between Republicans and Democrats is itself a smokescreen. Michale Moore and Rush Limbaugh probably hang out together at the same fat farm, get their prescriptions written by the same doctors, maybe even hire the same undocumented workers to clean their toilets. The crap that spews from their over-paid orifices isn't worth the paper they wipe with.

The corruption in our government is endemic. As long as money remains the driving force in politics, how can we ever expect it to change?

When my grandfather was my age, he was able to support his entire family on a modest income. He got some lucky breaks, but he was a hard-worker and he did well, brought himself up from nothing and led a comfortable life. The son of Irish immigrants, he passed away on March 17th, 2003 at the age of 78. How's that for the Luck of the Irish?

The amount of money necessary to buy a house or two and raise a family has risen more than the wage of the middle class worker has, a lot more. Maybe what this means is that, in traditional American fashion, we need to rise to the new challenge and kick ass just that much harder. What I worry this means is that the middle class is dying out. A country's strength comes from its middle class. The upper class is mostly a bunch of useless, over-educated, empty-headed shit-for-brains who have nothing to contribute and can only waste resources. The lower class isn't supposed to exist, I think, but they're the ones picking our tomatoes and standing down on the corner waiting for someone in a truck to come by and hire them, a few bucks for hard labor.

Señor Mañuel Labor is a huge component of our population right now. I don't have the numbers, but it doesn't take a Federal Task Force to figure out, not when you can see for yourself several dozen guys standing on multiple street corners in nearly every town in California, Oregon, Arizona and other states besides. No matter what side of that issue you stand on, whether you think they are leaching our resources and bringing us down, or hiring them to clean your house or weed your garden, or both (you fuckin' hypocrite), you must realize that these people are mostly working for less than the minimum wage. The more of them there are, the larger the lower class becomes, and as long as they're undocumented this remains a secret faction, a ticking time-bomb. One day a break point will be reached when their numbers rise to become a significant percentage of the population and what happens then may not be good. Maybe it'll be great. I don't know. But historically speaking, when the lower classes balloon up bad things happen.

We can continue to call ourselves democrats or republicans and then yell about how the other guys suck, blah blah blah, until we're blue in the face. But both parties are guilty of the same crimes and have been for a very long time (Tammany and Tweed, anyone?). Until we rip the plutocratic and oligarchical elements out of our political system, none of us will be able to digest our dinner peacefully.

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