Politics Suck

So does being in college, to a certain extent. That’s because it means I have very little time to waste; if I’m not in school I’m working so I’ll be able to pay for it, studying, sleeping, or using whatever recreational time I have to the fullest extent.

So it’s not too rarely that I ask for a day off; if my calculations are correct, despite my work regimen I’ll be broke in a year and then I’ll have to break the student loan coffer and that can’t happen until I go to law school for my plan to work.

So, imagine my surprise when I decide to request one day off for public service so I can attend the senatorial convention at my college as a delegate and nothing, nothing, nothing, gets done. I swear we clapped for the senators who spoke and the other guest speakers longer than we worked; it’s like the convention was about showing off more than about amending and presenting resolutions to be passed for the party platform of Texas Republicans which can effect the platform of the entire party.

So, it’s pretty [STRIKE]damn[/STRIKE] important.

But instead I got folks begging for votes, essentially, once you cut through the red tape. Cornyn and Shapiro had convincing arguments, and they made an admirable stab at trying to rally the base for McCain (it’s frightening how little folks are excited about him) but mainly,I got a case of fearmongering. We will lose the Texas House to the Democrats, so vote for us and do what you can. I don’t know, a little more substance would have been nice.

The clapping, for goodness sakes, it’s ornery for me to say, but hopefully I’m not the only who’s hoped that nobody will stand up for another ovation and just stay down. I learned that it’s some kind of golden rule that when one person stands up and claps you’re all supposed to follow suit; kind of rude to be that impetus on me. You know, it kind of loses it’s importance when you do it for every single person and every single thing.

We learned who’s going to state; not me, but hey, it’s my first time you’ve got to actually do stuff for the party first before you can represent them. Of course, then we had eight folks who tried to force them selves into the delegation because “they were young and active Republicans.” I asked my precinct chairman if I should pull the same stunt (I’m young, trying to be active, Republican and black, I should get some concession) he said they’d hate me for it but I could. Good thing I didn’t, because there was more opposition than you could shake a stick at about. From the get-go, there was a worry that they could be stealth Obama operators or more likely to me and perhaps just as worrisome, Ron Paul supporters in hiding. They might have made it if some of the alternates they were trying to replace weren’t in attendance or sick. They tried to smooth things over by explaining that they had chosen the names they were striking in order to insert themselves were chosen at random. Well, heck that helped their case a lot.

So, after that ruckus was settled. Offical party business was to be taken place, no recording devices allowed. I was most certain that this was due to my cell phone recording of both Senator’s speeches; I had gotten some wary looks from the GOP chairman as I was doing so. I don’t know why. It’s not like I was going to youtube them or anything…

Anyway, I’m all hyped to get to business. I fill myself with righteous indignation so I can prepare myself to squash that ridiculous plank in the platform to make English the national language because, seriously guys and gals, we’ve been through this before. I quickly prepare my tryplicate for my resolution to reach out to minorities in order to make the party more diverse and reflect the interests of all Americans more efficiently.

Instead, some guy sneaks up, and asks for a motion to end discussion and folks agree. So discussion on the resolutions end. Except, it seems everyone thought it was to end discussion on the Tran-Texas Corridor resolution, not the whole she-bang. I asked my precinct chairman why and he explains that some people were fine with the platform and wanted to stop people from changing it. Another delegate expained that this must be why Congress takes so long do anything. Yeah, well, that didn’t help me get over my frustraton. All that for nothing. Nothing was changed on paper and thus, nothing happened really when it comes to the state convention.

Goshdarn Democrats stayed until six at night talking about their resolutions my professor said. The whole thing makes me so irritated I could burst.

At least the republican candidates will be well rested, you can take solace in that.

it’s like the convention was about showing off more than about amending and presenting resolutions to be passed for the party platform of Texas Republicans which can effect the platform of the entire party.

In today’s age of television, the Internet, and instant media, a party can’t afford to air its dirty laundry in public. Most of the decisions are made privately, before the convention - you’re exactly right when you say the convention itself is nothing but theater. Still, I"m sure it was entertaining on some level, and you can still tell people that you were there, which can impress some.

I’m not a loose psuedo-anarchist for the free bicycles. It’s because I think the whole process is a broken, inane showgrounds in which we may exercise our Lack of a Choice between whether our leader will justify their atrocities in the name of God or The Children.

Right now, there’s a bunch of people who think the democrats will avert the horrors of the Bush administration. This is hardly the case, and they will find all their spineless wars of conventions and poster-hanging will succeed in nothing more radical than having a dictator who checks different boxes on the demographic forms than the ones of the past and the little maps of the country having states of a different colour. When they’re done wasting their youth fighting over the right to paint their doors blue or red, they might catch on to the fact that freedom’s not about changing the laws, but ignoring them. Laws only have power over those who obey them. Writing something on a paper doesn’t make it true, and whoever they elect isn’t my president and never will be, and his laws aren’t mine and if I follow them, it is out of coincidence, not respect.

I’d advise getting out of politics now, before your heart dies too quick for your body to notice it go, and you descend into another of the world’s many Aureliano Buendias who used to believe in something.

Hahahahah, good. The word I would have used here was good.

Reminds me of a quote on another forum. Someone said something like, “I now truly understand what politics mean - twice now I have conspired over student organization elections.” Someone else replied, “But isn’t student politics just a great big dick-waving contest where actual issues are hardly addressed, and nepotism and misinformation run rampant? … oh wait.”

its good to see a young person such as yourself stepping up to support the texas republican party, those districts wont win themselves!!

oh wait

Not really. Laws are by definition issued by an authority that has the power to enforce them. Otherwise they are suggestions :stuck_out_tongue: People may not obey a law (break it), but it has power over them when they get caught (at least in theory).

You are probably thinking of legitimacy, without which laws are irrelevant. But that needs the support of a big group of people. Classical example, Antigone wants to bury her brother disobeying the law and Creon still buries her in a cave. It’s the price she has to pay.

The law doesn’t have power, the enforcers of the laws do, to a degree. What they do and what the law says aren’t really in line with one another from the totality of my experiences with them.

Whether or not one obeys laws is still a choice. Chosing not to carries risks, but so does driving a car.

It’s the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of [STRIKE]Canada for last 90 years [/STRIKE]USA and maybe you’ll see that they weren’t any stupider than we are.

Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws–that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds–so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: “All that Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said:“The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouseholes.” And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever. And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!”

So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.

Tommy Douglas

Thought-provoking; but we’re all mice.

Yes, it was fun and honestly, being able to actually to do something I enjoy despite the fact that I should always be working or studying (most certainly not wasting time on a forum -__-) was very refreshing.

What happened after the conventon was quite entertaining and so was the convention itself (it was interesting to see how the delegate system works even if I barely got to see it in action) I got to speak to folks who seemed to be over 30 but very much interested in my political opinions. I don’t get many opportune moments to let off my political steam and opinions so it was lots of fun; although, I should probably learn to be less verbose. I might have got one guy in trouble with his wife.

You and SK’s cynicism scare the living daylight’s out of me.

I’ve never heard of Buendias - but I do know that I’m not giving up on this. I’ve vented my frustration but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. If I hasten my own demise (whether it be my for believing in something than I consider that a somewhat glorious endeavor. The alternative is apathy and shirking of duty, and that’s unacceptable.

Also, the longer I’m involved, the more capable I am of changing something and making a difference.

On the laws: I subscribe to the Antigone-Creon analogy here. I’ll add to it too; Creon dictated the law by himself. The people wanted Antigone to be able bury her brother, even Creon’s own son was against him but it didn’t manner because he was King. The President doesn’t make laws in the first place, at best he can only “bully pulpit” the Congress and the people into supporting it and that’s by no means a blank check of power; laws are created from the ground up not the top-down. Writing something down doesn’t make it true, but a law isn’t about truth - going to jail for murder isn’t “truth” it’s a rule, it’s a law. Laws can be bad but they aren’t lies; the reasoning behind them could be based on misunderstandings or falsehoods but the law itself isn’t false.

Saying that laws have power only over those who obey them reminds me of Holes, but you might not have read it so I’ll just paraphrase my meaning; it’s like saying getting bitten by a rattlesnake is only going to get you killed if you believe the poison is capable of doing so. Whether or not you respect the laws or believe in them is irrelevant; as a citizen of the state you are [STRIKE]obliged [/STRIKE] forced to follow them or face the consequences. A law is passed with or without your consent and you can’t call shenanigans because you can make your opinion known - the majority just had their say, that’s democracy; the best of the worst forms of government, unless you have an alternative.

In local elections? Yes.

But as the GOP chairman stated, she didn’t know “where all these Democrats are coming from.” The turnout for the caucus for the Democrats outnumbered us more than 2 to 1. Way more maybe. The most potent worry is what happens after 2008. What happens if, good heavens, the Democrats get their acts together and don’t lose an election that was seemingly in their lap and win?

The most distressing situation and one of the most probable is Obama winning in November. It doesn’t matter how close an election it is the result will be the same; the Democratic base and all those new young voters will be energized beyond belief and they’ll be spurred onward to support the Democrats in local elections in order to support [strike]Ron Paul’s[/strike] Obama’s Revolution.

We’ll lose even more seats in the mid-term elections for Congress in 2009; there’s a reason why our Senators were speaking so much about supporting them - they’ll need it if the situations plays out in such a manner.

Recognize also, that the “red state/blue state” belief is entirely misleading. There are bastions of conversvative thought and belief in cities in Washington State and bastions of liberal ideology in Texas. Here, our Attorney General on video at the Convention called our’s the People’s Republic of Austin (hardy har-har; it was kind of funny). It takes work to keep a state entrenched in a political “color” and it’s never a solid hue. You certainly don’t take it for granted during an election like this.

Trust me, finding a Bush supporter is hard even here in Bush country, so that’s proof that things aren’t as simplistic as the red-blue divide makes it out to be.

The alternative is apathy and shirking of duty, and that’s unacceptable.

What Arac proposes certainly isn’t apathetic; proving anarchism viable and/or acting on that belief is quite a task.

Antigone isn’t really that black & white. The chorus agrees with Creon in the beginning and when they ask him to go free Antigone and bury Polynices he obliges. After all, he has to decide if he’ll choose allegiance to the city where he reigns (and Polynices fought against) or personal ties.

They’re the fictional family which forms the centre of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” One of them, Aureliano Buendia, starts a revolution against the Colombian conservative party, and fights a long, bloody series of wars against them. When it’s all done, the liberals are given amnesty and a cooperative government is formed, but very little changes, and Aureliano says that he’d fought thirty-two campaigns over what colour he had to paint the doors of his house (conservatives in Colombia tried to make citizens paint their houses, or at least the doors, blue, their party colour). It’s a good book, if you’re ever looking for something to read. You and Marquez probably aren’t exactly politically in-line, the book is more about people than politics.

That’s really untrue. I find the political process to be undue beaurocracy that gets nothing done. There are plenty of ways to be an activist and stand up for what you believe in without going to interminable meetings where nothing is achieved and, in my case, you hope that a candidate you can maybe tolerate is chosen. I consider doing the relative nothing that is considered “participation”, mailing in a ballot that may be actually, honestly counted and playing “who can clap the loudest” like you were in middle school at the local caucus, in our democracy a much greater shirking of duty than opting out of that for actually doing something. I believe that settling for the closest America’s party (we pretend there are two for the sake of appearances) comes to one’s beliefs is much more apathetic and politically hopeless than standing up for what you believe in, in practice, every day. You can vote for Obama because “global warming is serious biz-ness”, but it doesn’t mean much if you drive to the ballots in a gas-guzzling jeep. Voting isn’t quite a waste of time (well, it is, but not enough time to make it worth not doing), but the process of party meetings and such deep involvement will achieve very little aside from frustration. Unless you’re far wealthier than I’d guess, your opinion is probably going to end up ignored, however loudly you shout it and however close to the centre you shout it from.
I’m not arguing for inaction, quite the opposite. Don’t sit around, vote, argue with some GOP mates and think you’ve done your part. Act. Get out there and do something for what you believe in.

This is true, however, slow, small change after brutal years of slogging through the bullshit you describe seems much less effective than simply being a change yourself.

The law is false, to a degree. It says one cannot or may not take action that one, in fact, both can take and is permitted to take. Like every action, there may be consequences, but they do not make it impossible.

(I agree with the rattlesnake thing, but I’m into hippie bullshit, so. . . )

Anyway, what I meant was that one is not forced to follow the laws. One can choose to violate them and possibly face certain consequences. As I said in a later post, there are dangers to violating a law, yes, but there are dangers (I’d even argue more dangers) to driving or riding in an automobile.

Monarchy is about as representative of the people as our democracy, but with a lot more panache. =P

Rig: I think anarchism on a national scale isn’t really viable yet. A lot of governments have created a sort of collective infancy among people where they would, in fact, do all the rampant looting/murdering/raping everybody says would happen with anarchy, because there are simply so many people who don’t know what to do without someone to tell them. Either that or they would quickly fall behind a strongman who would order them around and a dictatorship would quickly replace the anarchy. I think the change to it would have be long, gradual, and largely ignore the central political process; it’s a personal and social change, not a political one. Getting rid of a lot of the laws we don’t need, from the political end, would probably help with the adjustment, but it’s more a matter of education and even economics (specifically, advertising) than it is politics.

I find it so terribly funny how you find this situation distressing when I’m practically as giddy as a schoolgirl about it.

I only know of Texas politics through its legendary corruptness and sad overtures towards the Intelligent Design movement. Also, your state needs to stop having such a large role in limiting the types of textbooks that publishers are willing to distribute nationwide.

Damn all those liberals participating in Democracy they should just stay home and

have sex with a picnic table?

I left it open to the imagination.

Brave citizens of America, I beseech you to unite with me and cast off the shackles of Imperial oppression! Join us in our holy cause! Your prince has returned to lead you to FREEDOM!!!

The glorious future may ally and I promise you is becoming a reality. Your deliverance from injustice is but a heartbeat away, waiting for you to embrace it. Join us! Take arms against the President’s lapdogs and this world will be ours FOREVER!

That we may die in this struggle is of no consequence. Freedom must be paid for, and if that price must be paid in patriots’ blood, then so be it. I am John Sidney McCain III and I am a patriot, ready to stand up and be counted.

Governance without freedom is merely tyranny by another name, and I for one am unwilling to live another day under the President’s yoke. So, if you would be free men stand with us and help me take back my world.

So essentially you learned that politics = a heavily biased popularity contest composed exclusively of specific insiders and that things are handed out by nepotism and convenience. Congratulations. I hope the lesson sticks.