Archive for the “Basic Campfire for President” Category

Why should you, or anyone, care about a debate? Just put some names on a ballot and everyone can vote, they’re all the same, right?

I have a surprise for you. This post has NOTHING to do with the US presidential debate.

It has to do with making the best choice you can from what is offered. Okay, and it’s to say my piece before the election is over.

I bet what I’ve got to say ain’t what most of you think though.

American politics is, at it’s root, about having the power to choose who will rule us.

Supposedly, we as individuals have the power to decide how much authority we are going to delegate to a chosen representative, and then to choose those representatives to make decisions on our behalf.

In reality, once you get to a certain level, there are organized entrenched political ‘machines’ that represent big money and power. You want to be a candidate and play in the big leagues, you need lots of money and support to get in the news, get signs made, get the word out about your name. So a would-be candidate picks a side, joins a machine, and gets run through the mill.

The Tea Party is universally hated by both machines for challenging that power structure. Don’t be fooled otherwise. If you can look past the rabid rhetoric and name calling, at the heart of things is power, who will hold it, and who won’t. No matter what a Democrat thinks about a Republican and vice versa, neither candidate wants to see a third competitor for wealth and power.

A political machine is all about controlling who our choices will be come election day, and making sure that whoever is chosen, the power is retained intact.

Once you get to that level… once a machine gets involved, whether you know it or not, you’ve already lost.

The Tea Party can be seen as a prime example of what happens when someone rises to challenge the existing power structure. The hate both existing machines have heaped on members of the Tea Party is very revealing.

“But, they share your stated views on this issue…”  “They are illiterate, inbred redneck scum and probably violent extremists willing to bomb Americans.” “…that seems harsh.”

The conceit is, we are told that all of the politicians are in the game out of a sense of covic pride. They have, each of them, devoted their life topublic service to make the country and the world a better place. Altruism, not self-interest.

Um… think about it. Without someone on a TV telling it to you in a matter-of-fact tone as if, duh, of COURSE they serve out of the goodness of their heart. How could anyone think otherwise? That is a given. No self-interest, no lust for power and wealth, just good spirited civic-mindedness.

Think about that for a bit… and then think about all the people you have ever met in the real world. Don’t think in TV fantasyland terms, think of what you know about reality.

And then remember the old cop saying – wanna know why someone did something? Follow the money.

A reminder here. We are, all of us here in the United States, people first, political activists second.

America consists of those who have voted for many different political parties.

I hold a controversial opinion. I firmly believe that voting Democrat or Republican does not make a person inherently evil.

According to the latest polling figures, the country is pretty evenly split 50/50 between the Democrat and Republican Presidential nominees.

If you can truly believe in your heart that half of the voting population of the United States of America is EVIL because they are of a different political party than you, I mean seriously hold to that idea that half of the whole fucking country is evil, than you’re a worthless sack of shit that can’t think for yourself, and fuck you.

I can’t challenge that level of rabid closemindedness. I don’t dislike members of political parties, I dislike any person of any side that can HATE other people because of whatever their values may be.

I can drill down and give you just one example of how fucking stupid this “party as evil” idea is.

Do you think our armed forces consist solely of Republicans or Democrats? Hmm? These are people who have, all of them, chosen to step forward and risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in service to our country.

Do you feel that a large portion of them are evil? Are without value, because of affiliation with a political party?

Or can you entertain the concept that a large portion of the men and women who stand up to defend our country and our way of life do not share the same political views that you do, and yet they are still brave, honorable and valiant defenders of liberty?

Many of them do not share your views, whateverthose views may be, but they have stood up just the same. Putting their lives on the line for their own reasons, yes, but many of them because they love our country and our way of life, and our freedom to express ourselves and hold fast to our values and beliefs without fear of persecution.

Can you hold fast to your belief that they are evil scum? And yet, they are still willing to risk their lives in service to our country.

The freedom they fight for is the freedom of choice, and of opinion, and that includes fighting to defend your right to be a hate-filled little snot.

I know who I will choose to stand beside. And a spoiler? It ain’t someone that tells me how we need to silence an entire group because you do not agree with what they have to say.

There is an old adage that has a bit of truth to it. If you’re under the age of 21 and aren’t a democrat, you’ve got no heart. If you’re over the age of 21 and aren’t a republican, you’ve got no brain.

The truth there isn’t about the ideologies of either side, it’s about how the two parties have packaged their arguments.

Each political machine has packaged their argument to pit “heart” against “brain”. Either vote for the party that cares about people and trust that the money will be there to spread around, or vote for the party that cares about economic prosperity and trust that the people will be taken care of somehow.

Either/or.

Another way to spin it, either vote for the party that thinks you need to be told what to do and how to live your life because they know better, or vote for the party that believes that every single snowflake is precious and equally responsible and there should be no rules limiting our behavior because everyone is a fabulous rock star.

Either/or.

Can you see through the bullshit?

Holy crap, I hate to look to fiction to try and make any point about the real world, but look at the fictional world of Azeroth for a minute.

Azeroth is created from scratch, and yet it has a more diverse political structure than the one we have in the United States.

What, the fictional world of Azeroth is somehow more compicated than the real US? The power struggles between Garrosh and Vol’jin and Baine and Sylvanus and Thrall are really MORE complicated with more sides and opinions and beliefs than a country formed of many diverse ethnic groups and centuries of growing and conflicting social and religious issues?

Are you fucking serious? Two parties, two ideologies, and that covers EVERY eventuality, every valid opinion? You can buy into that?

Just no. Basic Campfire for President. Burn it all down.

Once you reach the level of the political machine, the candidates are all slime. Power corrupts, and so does the hunger for power. You don’t have to possess power before you become corrupted. Just wanting it bad enough will do.

To join a machine, a politician had to crave personal power over you and me so badly that they were willing to shit all over principles and make deals and promises and assurances that they will do what they are told. That kind of money isn’t thrown behind someone unless they are sure you’ll do what they tell you.

The interesting thing is how clean, how packaged, how prepared the candidates all are at that level. You see them, and they all seem stamped from the same mold, right?

Do you think they were born that way?

Hell no.

There is a way you can see exactly what these people are like. And it’s called a debate.

A debate is all about putting this ball of cats together in a room, throwing water on the lot and let them tear the shit out of each other.

We the people get to sit back, /popcorn and watch, and see how they handle themselves when the claws come out.

The higher in office the candidates get, the more prepared, the more coached, polished, packaged and sterilized they have become. So… you really wanna see them, catch them early in their career before someone spackled bullshit all over them.

I’ve talked a lot about “once you get to the machine level”, but every candidate has to start somewhere.

You ever hear the phrase that if you want to get into politics, you have to start somewhere, like third assistant city dogcatcher?

It’s true. There are many positions that are on local ballots, and in the US, there are so many of them that the political machine can’t grab and package and prepare every single one. They try, but at the lowest levels, common everyday mere mortals like you and me have the sheer effrontery of thinking we can be a candidate too.

At the lowest level, you see a mix of machine candidates and actual real living human beings that have no clue but are infused with outrage, or greed, or driven by one issue that they want to get elected to ram home.

At this lowest level, the local City Council (or School Board, that’s another one), you see a broad mix of folks.

Entrenched power versus upstarts, machine candidates against independants (real independants without any group behind them), nut balls and whack jobs, concerned citizens and power hungry freaks.

The City Council election gets them all.

This is where you get the chance to see where your Barack Obama and Mitt Romney starts. Every candidate has to start somewhere, and most of them didn’t explode onto the scene sanitized and ready to perform.

You want to have fun? Do you want to really get involved in politics? Do you want to see the reality underpinning all this bullshit for yourself?

Try to find out information about every candidate for a City Council position.

You have to find out as much as possible about each and every candidate to make the best choice you can when you vote. Right? Supposedly, as a responsible citizen, you have to make a personal judgment about the candidates. You have to compare their qualities, and then choose one to be your best option.

The candidates know this… and know that it is in their best interests to conceal as much about themselves as possible, especially at this earliest level, so that when they get elected and attract the attention of a machine, they have no baggage to make it difficult for a machine to mold their image.

Remember, fundamentally, they are slime. All of them. YES THEY ARE.

Do you think they want you to get to know the real them?

Of course not, they look forward to the day when they have handlers and flacks that will insulate themselves from you. They want you to see the image they have created, the package they’ve put together. Scripted, primped, powdered and pandered to.

If a candidate can get away with it, they will give you nothing about themselves, and as little about what they would do once in power as possible, because anything they say to get elected can come back later as a campaign promise they did or did not fulfill.

If they make no promises, then they can’t be held accountable for any decision they make, or have to explain their reasoning for making it.

I live in the city of North Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States of America.

It’s not the actual city of Saint Paul, the famous big city. It’s a tiny little suburban town on the northeastern outskirts of Saint Paul.

Every time the City Council election comes due, Cassie and I try to find out details about the candidates. Who are they? What do they represent? What is important to them, what do they intend to do or change once elected?

It’s hilarious. Most of them have little or no information. No websites, no position papers. When the newspapers try to get info out of them by giving each candidate a list of questions to answer, most leave the questions blank.

That’s right, candidates when asked point blank by a newspaper to state their positions to get publicity and attention refuse to answer.

That says it all right there, doesn’t it?

If the candidates tell you nothing about themselves, how do they expect you to make an informed chocie?

They don’t. They expect you to vote for the name that sounds ethnically pleasing, or catchy, or by alphabetical precedence. Or because you saw it everywhere on little signs in front yards, and it sounds familiar, and your neighbors must know what they’re doing.

Or because they call themselves a Democrat or Republican.

So, if the candidates are trying to make you vote blind, how do you find anything out about them?

That would be the purpose of the debate.

You attend the City Council debate, and you see these people as they really are.

Remember, these are the people who are baby politicians. Some are in the machine, mostly the incumbent (another word for bought and paid for), but sometimes a promising challenger gets in the machine early. Some aren’t in the machine. The only difference between them and a Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is how much time and effort has been spent coaching them and training them to HIDE WHO THEY REALLY ARE.

At the City Council level, you can see them unmasked… IF you get them in a debate, and IF they have not already joined forces and made deals behind the scenes to make sure one gets elected and the others get what they wanted.

Oh yes, of course. One guy is running because he wants to put in a bike trail, and another is running for the power of the position? That is a situation ripe for a deal. The guy running for the power of it makes sure the bike trail gets done in exchange for the other guy throwing his support in the ring and giving up. Where do you think endorsements come from?

If you made it this far, you deserve a present. And I have one for you, courtesy of Cassie.

Cassie was researching our local City Council candidates, and getting disgusted at the way most of them try to conceal their info. But she found a wonderful Youtube video made of the most recent City Council candidate debate, where oh my YES you can see them in action. Being themselves.

You watch this, and as you watch it, remind yourselves that these are the people who are fighting for control over an entire city… legally. And when they have that control, millions of dollars are placed in their hands to make decisions as they see fit… and this is because, supposedly, they represent the will of the citizens living in that city.

Remember that key point. Their job is not to govern responsibly. That implies that we are voting for a ruler to do whatever the ruler sees fit, furthered by divine inspiration and just knowing what is best for everyone. 

Their job as elected representatives is to act to further the will of the majority of the citizens, and in cases where that will is not clear, to call a complicated issue to a vote.

Govern responsibly. lol.

Think about your local city. How is it governed? How much do you know about them?

Is it possible to find out what they are really like?

Maybe you can’t physically attend your City Council meetings, maybe you can.

And maybe, just possibly, once you see these fucking idiots in action, you’ll be able to translate that into the larger world stage and realise, we’re not voting for infallible gods greater than us lesser mortals, we’re being told to choose between two pieces of shit slapped with a grade A coat of polish to make them shine, baby, shine.

Sure, we’ve got a choice. But… it’s between shit, or shit. That’s a choice?

And no, the other side is not evil and hateful and everyone on your side is not wonderful. Whichever side it is. That is the bullshit you are being fed, to choose to fight against the evil “Other”, to make you believe that you are embroiled in a battle of good versus evil.

Don’t be that naive. Don’t give in to hate. Don’t be used that way.

We can make our choices, and we can fight for our individual causes, and hope that we can make the right decisions on who to vote for, starting at the very lowest level and paying attention to every single level of government throughout the entire system, without buying into the ludicrous idea that half of this country is populated by twisted, hateful, evil.

Presidents. Shit. If you want to be passionate, throw that passion where it will do the most good. Start local, and work your way up, fighting for your issue and for the best of a bad choice all the way up the line.

If you don’t start paying attention to these bozos until they’re fighting for King of America, it’s too damn late.

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