Sunday, November 06, 2005

About three weeks ago I threatened you with a rather long series of rants. Originally it was to be about the gross oversimplification of American thinking. But as I got to thinking and planning it slowly morphed into something else. It’s still going to be rather lengthy. But, gentle reader, it shall be about the rather sad state of our precious democracy. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, democracy isn’t dead it just smells funny.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ohio politics we have four issues on the ballot that will make changes to our government. The issues concern things like campaign financing reform, who gets to draw up the congressional districts and other such political confusion. The supporters say it will make us better. The opponents say it will make us worse. I say they're both wrong. There is but one thing that can save our withering democracy, the citizens. It these issues and the people taking sides that really lit the flame that ignited this fire.

You see, I care not for what laws on are on the books. If the citizens don’t understand the laws and aren’t active politically then the form of government is irrelevant.

As I write these rants of mine I shall explore what I think is wrong with us.

Why is 60% turn out in an election considered a good turn out? Are we really that apathetic?

I shall also take aim at two related but fairly different creatures. One is the uninterested citizen. You know a person like this admit it. I remember meeting a schoolteacher who said she didn’t care for politics. She was a perfectly smart and nice woman. I like her a lot. But she said flat out that she wasn’t interested in politics. Why not I wondered. It’s your country you have the power. Why aren’t you using it?

The second and slightly more dangerous is the under informed citizen. These somewhat annoying creatures listen to Rush Limbaugh or Air America and somehow thinks that qualifies them as informed. They also just love it spit out clichés and talking points like that’s a good way to have a reasoned debate. Generally these people are so dogmatic that reason is worthless with them. I’m never sure whether to fear or pity them.

So there you have a very rough introduction for my series of rants. I’m sure I’ll even surprise myself with what I come up with. As always feel free to chime in and disagree or agree. I encourage all manner of debate. Really I do.


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