prosicated: (raar)
prosicated ([personal profile] prosicated) wrote2004-11-03 07:30 am

Emigrating is for losers

If one more person says they're fleeing the country I may spontaneously combust.
There's nowhere in the world where the Shrub hasn't made his influence felt, nowhere in the world you can run where there won't be a big red A on your chest for being American, nowhere in the world where someone won't want to graffiti in a "stupid" over your super hero American sign.
Nevermind the personal frustrations, nevermind feeling disenfranchised. Hell, nevermind the slapdash blindfolded pin the tail on the president game of electoral college votes. Pay attention to what you're saying.
If you care that much about the outcome of this election, then for fuck's sake, try to care about the outcome of world politics. How in the hell will running from the U.S. make anything better? Presumably you voted because you wanted to see something happen, right?
Before you say "one person can't make a difference," right after "the world's going to hell in a hand basket," notice the illogic of that. You're one person and you've been outvoted, how does that give Dubya, another one person, so much power? Take some back, damn it!

I know some people on my friends list voted for Bush, many for Kerry, and some for other candidates as well. I know most people on my friends list care a whole hell of a lot. I know everyone on my friends list is damn smart and engaged in the world around them. So where the hell does this escapist bullshit come from? You've all seen those good v. evil movies, where just before the happy ending the bad guy wrests the good guy's weapon from her hands, it's just laying there on the ground. There's dramatic music, a motion shot of the weapon, a close-up of the good guy's straining arm. Then the bad guy nearly gets it, and in the end good guys triumph. This may not be Hollywood, people, but you can't walk away just because your sword got knocked away. Fight! Stand up, be counted, do something!!!
I'm not saying the only things battling are good/blue/democrat and bad/red/republican, because I just don't believe in the efficacy of polarization. I'm not saying that life is Hollywood, or that a happy ending is necessarily on its way, I'm just saying that you won't know unless you try. What makes you good is trying, and believing.

I may not have played the "I voted. Pass it on." meme, but I did vote. I voted absentee in PA, legally, trying to put my vote where it counted most to me and to the election. You know why else? I voted in PA because I know all the local issues that were up for consideration, knew most of the candidates up for election, I know the area, and I love it. I couldn't have been as informed a vote in MA as I was in PA, but I will be before the next MA election.
Before you start in on the efficacy of absentee ballots, I called to check that my ballot had been received and that it was all in order. Those extra 5 minutes of my time are something I think a lot of people out in this country were unwilling to give. The 5 minutes to re-consider, to breathe, to re-affirm their role in policy.
So what if the electoral college demeans your concept of democracy? So what if you live in a "pre-decided" state? The popular vote is worth *something,* none of the states on the map are all red or blue, they're all purple! There are plenty of places where Americans have a say and can make a difference, this presidential election is the least of it.
There are elections every year, there are millions of groups out there fighting, teaching, and saving ALL THE DAMN TIME. Political awareness should not start and end on November 2, it should be a part of your daily life.

I know some of you disagree, vehemently, with my political opinions, to which I say "hurrah!" Tell me your ideas, tell each other! I don't believe I know everything, or that I've got everything right. Most of my political beliefs come from wanting to support/protect myself, my friends, and my world from what I see as negative impact. I want to ensure America's well-being domestically, I want to ensure the well-being of the world, I want to ensure the well-being of each one of us, and of people around the world whom I don't know. Beyond that, I'm guessing what would do that best. We all are. None of us have ever been politicians, none of us believe all the rhetoric and bombast of the candidates, none of us have all the answers. Not having answers doesn't mean they don't exist. They're out there and if none of us have them, the young, intelligent, active people that we are, no one person if ever going to have them. It takes concerted group effort to get to anything good, I think. What's the point of civilization if not to right wrongs, fix imbalances, and keep going? If that's not it, we might as well give up now. There's probably no perfect society, but we can strive for one, anyway.

I haven't done enough this year, but I'm going to change that in the coming years. My "activism" as such goes in spurts, and that's not acceptable. Being a member of this society is a full-time job, everything I do is influenced by it, and I might as well influence it right back.

  • I believe in the value of differing opinions, third parties, no parties, and the futility of an plutocratic (and theocratic) autocracy. I don't believe in the artificial two party division system.
    I don't believe that that belief negates the following ones:
  • I believe in social rights, like being able to choose abortion, extending definitions of marriage, government-aided health care and retirement, etc.;
  • I believe in children's rights, like a good education, daycare that does some good, universal nutrition, varied educational programs including the arts, physical education, etc.;
  • I believe in a foreign policy that's closer to "walk softly and carry a big stick," (though maybe without the sticks) than "act first, think later." Hell, I believe in a foreign policy that doesn't assume a culturally imperialist stance, and responds to the UN.
  • I believe that capitalism and stewardship of the earth cannot continue to be mutually exclusive. I believe that conservation needs to be mandated and regulated.
  • I believe that military spending should be cut drastically, and that an economical government isn't the same thing as a Republican government.
  • I believe that more power at a local level would ease the bureaucracy of the big government that I've just advocated. I believe in decentralized, distributed control, and the power of the people themselves.
  • I believe the American populace is smarter than they've voted (what choice did the political machine give them, though?), and that the seeds of change are germinating.

P.S. I know this ain't over till the fat Supreme Court sings, but that's not the point. The point is that this election isn't IT.
P.P.S. I'm not suggesting that no one ever move out of their native countries, I'm not suggesting that there's never been a reason for citizens to leave their native countries, and I'm not suggesting that someone unwilling should be made to fight whatever stagnant administration we get next.
I AM suggesting that we could all be doing more, all the time.

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