Put on your tin foil hats, kids. It’s about to get weird in here.
Above is a non-partisan explanation of what Obamacare is and does. Up until this point, I’ve refrained from commenting on the political shitstorm because I’ve had ZERO time to inform myself.
Here’s what I know about Obama’s healthcare reform: Because of some sort-of recent changes, I was able to get health insurance under my dad’s plan until the first day of December (the month in which I turn 26). That was good, especially when most of my post-college jobs required a 90-day waiting period.
I have very little to say on the matter beyond that, but I felt like it was important to find, bookmark, and share a way to obtain non-partisan information on a decidedly partisan issue.
My understanding of the shutdown is that it was a partisan measure taken in protest to a law that has passed through all three branches of government. Given that threatening government shutdown has been a near-constant right wing ploy for several years, I’m almost impressed that it actually happened this time. That said… WHY? The people staging the protest are still getting paid a lot of money and they seem to be the same ‘bootstrappers’ who claim that everyone should be able to pull themselves up in America. Since government jobs were generally regarded to be secure sources of income and benefits, it seems like they’re derailing their own arguments by forcing thousands of government employees into life without income until stuff calms down. I don’t get the logic.
Maybe I just need to read more. In fact, I almost CERTAINLY need to read more, but I’m learning Trusts and Estates in Property and all real-life thought processes have temporarily been suspended until this unit is over. Further, with all the time I’ve spent getting angry about Congress’ shitty behavior, I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore.
That’s the core of this post: Is it worth getting riled up about anymore?
Over the weekend, Bill and I watched The Panama Deception, which is a great documentary about some horrible shit the United States has done. There are a lot, for the record, of great documentaries about horrible shit the United States has done. The United States has done a lot of horrible shit.
I invoked Panama to say this: How can you trust a country that unapologetically rigged an election, burned down civilian houses, and set up concentration camps in an unjust act of war AND purposefully ensured that the media kept its own citizens in the dark about it? Sure, that was 20 years ago, but we’re neck-deep in debt with another unjust war right now. What kinds of hair-raising tales will we hear about Iraq once it’s all over?
For that matter, how many of us are still into the idea of the war in the MIddle East? A quick Google search tells me that more than half of us thought it was a mistake by 2007. I haven’t seen any more recent figures than that, but how about the figures showing that between 65% and 91% of us are against action in Syria? How much of a deterrent effect do you think that will have?
What about the NDAA in 2012? What about how we face government-sanctioned sexual assault every time we get on a plane? What about the drone strikes? What about the fact that the media is so muddled that many of us are simply UNABLE to reach an informed conclusion about major issues without being swept away by one side or the other? Is that just a coincidence?
What about how most of Congress, whose JOB it is to get this information, never read the Patriot Act? What about how virtually no one outside of those making a career in the political field has the time to dig deeper into the meat of these issues and find out the truth?
Most of us have lives to attend to. These lives include Property homework, putting dinner on the table, changing diapers, dead-end jobs, and hundreds of other tangible concerns that, generally speaking, do not pertain to US policy goals. Does anyone really think that the people in charge here haven’t caught onto that?
Why else would provisions about indefinite detention and other basic constitutional rights be slipped into the back end of wordy, unrelated bills? Why else do they not show footage of what happens in Iraq and Afghanistan on the news at night? Why else is EVERYTHING pertaining to government presented as a blue-vs.-red battle royale?
Anyone who’s ever studied history knows that there is power to be gained from the ignorance of the masses. George Washington’s oft-quoted farewell address said: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.“
The career politician sits pretty atop the heap of his winnings and we, the red and blue clad cheerleaders, are none the wiser. Congress, collecting their paychecks while the rest of the country is left hanging in the balance, embody Washington’s nightmare perfectly today, and there’s not a damn thing any of us has time to do about it.
I can’t say I’ll never get pissed about a political issue again. I voted in 2012 (though mostly because gay marriage was kind of a big deal in Maine). I can’t say I’ll never frantically try a senator or representative’s phone or email again, because I have and I’m sure something will make me feel that desperate again, sooner or later. What I am saying, however, is that I’ve long since disabused myself of the notion that any of this shouting and flailing makes much difference, besides the token social issue here or there. Red or blue is merely the wrapping paper you choose for the same out-of-touch money-driven cog in the policy machine. The partisan system has bested us all. Without a complete overthrow of all career politicians, our chances of ever living in any meaningful version of democracy are slim to none.
Since we all saw what Occupy, the largest scale protest anyone’s found time to put on in recent memory, accomplished, I won’t be holding my breath.