Sunday, April 10, 2011

Commentary: Government Shutdown

I'm glad to be blogging again.  Below you'll find my reaction to what I've heard on cable news and read online regarding current events.

Our government is still operational.  The shutdown was avoided, at least for a little while.  Museums and National Parks will stay open, wars will be fought, and checks will be cut.  Politicians will attempt to assign blame and profit from the battle.

The battle yields no profit for me, but I do know who is to blame.  I am.

I continue to vote for the same people, even though I know they cannot be trusted to keep their word.

I continue to think no one can be trusted and don't bother to vote, even for people who have demonstrated that they keep their word.

I continue to join in the partisanship and hate-mongering, because it makes me feel empowered, even as it renders me more and more powerless to do any real good.

I continue to criticize anyone who passionately expresses their opinion as intolerant or unbalanced, rather than join the debate and put my own ideas to the test.

I continue to live as I've always lived, because my comfort is more important than making any real changes to my lifestyle.  Why should I make any significant changes to my life when talking about Hope and Change is so much easier and feels so much better?

I continue to judge the people on the other side and think of them as evil.  I continue to demonize my opponents, because listening to them and thinking their arguments through might result in my recognizing that I am wrong, and I cannot be wrong.

I continue to lament the lack of good candidates for office.  That I should run for office myself is dismissed as preposterous, as I do not desire to change my life so radically.  Nor do I, if I assess my myself honestly, truly desire to be a public servant.  In my imagination I'm comfortable with the, "public," part, as, "public," often transforms into, "famous," and the internet and other media technologies are rapidly annihilating privacy.  It is the, "servant," part I'm not too keen on, for serving others means putting them before myself, and sacrifice is a particularly demanding type of change.

I continue to denigrate all politicians as thieves and liars, even though I personally know good men and women who are trying to do the right thing.  I take pleasure in pointing out scandals and ignore the efforts of those who really do labor on my behalf.

I continue to be results-oriented, rather than admitting that the ends do not justify the means.  That consequentialism is the very philosophy that has brought this country to the brink of crisis is something I will not consider.

I continue to believe that Capitalism will solve every social problem, even though I know that, for all the good it has done, it has caused incredible suffering and allowed for the exploitation of millions of vulnerable men and women.  It has also made materialism ascendant in what is called, "American Culture."

I continue to believe that Government will solve every social problem, even though I know that, for all the good it has done, it is corrupt, imprecise, ineffective, and often creates problems far worse than the ones it 'solves.'  Its expansion and semi-deification has also made many people believe that government grants them their rights when the opposite is true.  That belief facilitates tyranny.

I continue to let others think for me, rather than critically evaluate their opinions.  If I disagree with the prevailing opinion, I may no longer be invited to the cocktail parties, cook-outs, or sporting events attended by 'my type of people.'

I continue to think that buying the right things will really make me happy.

I continue to treat my religion or belief system as a, "private," or, "personal," matter that has no real impact on the way I live my life.

I continue to force my religion or belief system on others and judge people who do not agree with me as evil or stupid or both.

I continue to claim that no one has the right to tell me what to do, even as I unthinkingly adopt the attitudes, opinions, fashions, and biases I see on screens and hear from speakers.

I continue to think I have the right to tell others what to do, even as I do not put into practice the values and solutions I preach.

I continue to use my freedom to chain myself to behaviors that are self-destructive and harmful to others, including my loved ones.

I continue to live an unexamined life.

What should I do?

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