Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We're all idiots, and so are we...

Do you ever read articles online or see things on television that make you question the direction our species is headed? I feel like I'm questioning where humanity is headed more and more each day. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm getting older and "wiser" each day. Maybe my parents and grandparents had the same concerns as they were navigating through middle age.

But I highly doubt that they ever had to mentally digest anything as grotesque as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

They also didn't live in a world where everyone truly has a voice, as is the case today. Our country's forefathers would be tickled pink to know how easy it is for people to be heard these days. I can only imagine how disappointed they would be if they were alive and able to hear how people used their voices.

Luckily for them, most of those guys have been dead for 200 years.

Instead, you and I are fortunate enough to witness the Honey Boo Boos, the Snookis, celebrities in rehab, and "real" housewives rise to fame as Americans clamor for more and more stupidity. Some have called it the "dumbing down" of America. That dumbing down has naturally trickled into other areas of our society, including politics.

Most of our so-called leaders today are more concerned with "holding the line" against their competing political party and making a name for themselves instead of strengthening our country for long-term prosperity. G.W. Bush made his name with the controversial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama made his name with his controversial health care act (he himself even refers to it as "Obamacare" in a true display of narcissism).

Other politicians in lower positions introduce ridiculous nonsensical bills to get their name out there. For example, in this most recent session of Congress, a whole slough of idiotic bills has been introduced. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced a bill (H.R. 193) that would force farmers to pay a fee on patented seeds which they plan to save after a harvest. The money would go into an unknown fund controlled by the Secretary of Agriculture and would be used for unspecified purposes. There's also no real reason why farmers should have to pay such a fee for doing something so benign. Read more here.

In addition to the nonsense bills, there are also dangerous bills floating around out there. This example also comes from the latest session of Congress. Representative José Serrano (D-NY) has proposed legislation (H.R. 15) that would repeal the 22nd Amendment, which currently puts a limit on the number of terms a president may serve. Read more about this bill here.

I have a huge issue with this proposal, and you should too. The Bill of Rights and the other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are in place to act as checks and balances for the government to make sure they aren't overstepping their boundaries. Limiting the number of terms a president serves is one of the greatest checks and balances because it ensures the American people that there will always be different views and tactics coming from the White House.

Neither of the bills I mentioned has a snowball's chance in hell of getting through committee, let alone passing a vote in the House or Senate.

"So why are you all up in arms about them if they're not going to pass?" Because I want to highlight that there are idiots in Congress, and if we continue to give them passes whenever they show us just how incompetent and unqualified they are, then we are just as idiotic as they are. We can set a better course for our country and our species by actually giving a damn about the political landscape on a regular basis instead of just every four years when there's a presidential election.

Most people hate politics because at some point in their life, someone was passionate about a political topic and out-argued them about it. Since then, they've decided not to care so much about politics because it's the easy thing to do. I used to be in this group of people.

Politics can be uncomfortable and often times evoke emotional responses that are difficult to deal with. But this shouldn't stop us from caring about our country and our species. If we stop caring, then the idiots will rule the world, and before you know it Honey Boo Boo Child is a member of the delegation from the state of Georgia.

This truly was a rant, and I apologize for it, but I can't apologize for caring about my country and about humanity. I will now leave you with some famous words from Forrest Gump which are very relevant to this discussion: "Stupid is as stupid does."


AL Maxey said...

Dan, Remember one thing, the politicians were elected by the people, but subsidized by unions of all sorts, millionaires and big businesses directly or indirectly. As I look back over the years, and I think that you will eventually too if not already, I've come to realize that the U.S. people are less free today than when I was a young man. Not only that but the U.S. is far closer to socialism than democracy today than anytime in history.

Dan said...

Al, I think you're right, but I think a lot of the blame falls on the complacency of Americans. There are only so many unions and millionaires, and socialism can only happen if the people let it.

Dan said...

A CNN article posted today kind of emphasizes my point about the people we have elected. They come at it from a different angle, but it's spot on: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/06/politics/congress-redistrict-fault/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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