Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wild Horses

Like a lot of my posts in the last year, that last one fell out of a friend's or friend of friend's facebook post and the ensuing discussion.  And my last post grew out of one of my comments.

And as sometimes happens, I kept thinking about it even afterward.  I mean, my last post was not meant to be an endorsement of Newt.   It was a defense against what a particular author was arguing in a particular article.   It just didn't hold water for me.

And I think what it comes down to is that people keep talking about who "the right guy" (or gal) is (it would be more accurate to describe it as who isn't the "wrong" guy for this or that reason until the campaigns run out of time and the election comes and they can't throw out any more dirt before the vote is cast).  But people seem to latch on to the idea that if we just elect this guy or that guy this one important time, the country will change for the better.

But that isn't the case.  Because We are The Country.

Yes, we're like a chariot being dragged by wild horses careening toward a cliff, and yes, electing one driver or another will likely speed up or slow our rate of speed toward the cliff, but it's high time we admit something.

The politicians are the drivers.   We.  Us.  We are the wild horses.  We, as a group -- we're pullin'.

Now all the horses aren't of the same mind.   There are some who think if we run fast enough we'll just keep going and land on the other side safely.   There are some who think it will all be ok as long as it's "not their fault" (directly) that we went over the cliff, as if that will exempt them from the accelleration due to gravity and the rapid de-accelleration when they hit rocks at the bottom.   There are a lot of people who are just running to keep from getting trampled, hoping the other horses or the driver will stop in time.   And there are those digging their hooves in, but are just being overwhelmed by the momentum of the rest of the team.  And there are even some who actively want to go over the cliff.

But no matter what the speed, where we're headed isn't going to change until enough of we, the horses ... We, the People -- change direction.

Herman Cain is not going to fix it.  Michelle Bachmann is not going to fix it.  Newt Gingrich is not going to fix it. 

Ron Paul is not going to fix it, either.

Look around you.  Your brother.  Your friend.  Your co-worker.   That's where the work has to happen.   Don't wait for a driver, who likely has a parachute anyway, to change our course.   Yes, work hard to get a slower driver to hopefully give us the time we need to change hearts and minds, but when you are fighting, arguing -- argue passionately but rationally -- the principles.   Not the latest headlines and scandals (but I repeat myself).  Or even the people themselves, directly.

Bill touches on that here when he talks about our failures and their fruits -- such as the OWS crowd.  This is where we've allowed ourselves, over a long period of time, to be steered.  It was predictable. And predicted.

1 comment:

Severian said...

You've identified possibly THE worst trend in American politics since JFK (that grossly overrated, hairspray-addled, mollycoddled frat boy). "Elect me and I'll fix everything" is the worst kind of magical thinking -- it's the quintessential "Big Man"-style politics that has made Africa the charming, prosperous vacation destination it is today.

As I so often try to remind myself when I'm feeling particularly pissed off at politics: no congressional action has ever affected my life in a direct, linear way. Yes, they pass laws that create the conditions under which all kinds of bad things happen, but I have never been directly affected by anything the federal government has done, and short of Obama landing on my front lawn in Marine One and personally kicking my dog, I don't see how I ever could be.

"Fixing things" happens, as you say, when the guy at the top persuades the other guys at the top to get the hell out of our way. The President is the chief representative of a free people, not some Celestial Emperor keeping the seasons aligned and the world in harmonic balance.