We are in the beginning of a “political cycle.” This is when people all begin to take a passing interest in politics and governance. I say passing interest, because most people do not follow politicians or government with anything near approaching the level of interest, education or time, as they do with professional sports.
In order to make truly informed political choices, when we vote.. it is almost essential to have RELIABLE sources of information. MAJOR networks are NOT THAT SOURCE! As a result, most people form their opinions based on the snippets and opinions of news pundits that mouth the political agendas of the corporations that sponsor ( errr.. hire) them.
As a result, I think all the choices are blind choices- to varying degrees. There is so much complexity behind the politics..it is almost impossible to distinguish between commercial hype, network blather, and the truth a politician speaks contrasted to what he means will actually happen if elected..
There are some really good watch-dog groups.. that essentially, follow- the money.. because then you can get a sense of who is influencing ( ie buying) which candidates for what causes.. What corporations support them, gives a good indication of what is going to influence their policies, who they “owe” and/or who they have the stronger affiliations/shared ideologies..
Good general news sources are guardian.co.uk al jazeera english, christian science monitor freespeech.org demcracy now.. as well as watchdog sites…– I totally believe it is important to make informed decisions/ choices… and that’s commendable, when so many people just listen to their news pundits..news media outlets9 think retail outlet) do not give solid NEWS and information whereby the viewer can formulate an opinion of their own. Rather, they craft the opinion they want the viewer to hold, and lead them to that emotional conclusion. Powerful manipulation, and effective.. and downright scary!
Btw- the NH presidential debate.. was painful. if you didnt have broader info, candidates sound sincere and well-intended. but when you 1, know background histories and policies, and 2, read between the lines of what they say ( based on info base re 1).. it comes down to the best-liar wins…ie telling the most believable lie, most likeable lie– the lie people want to believe.
Last time round it was obama.. change we can believe in.. of course- he didn’t say change we will make HAPPEN, and yes we can.. doesn’t say yes we WILL… so there are two instances of the truth you hear, may not be the truth you think it is..
… and also.. again, when looking at his past and record and history- he was never that progressive or ground-breaking.. and as a newcomer to the political arena, he was a blank slate upon which people could believe what they wanted to project onto him. Obama, from what I understood, was still out of the chicago school of economics, and as such, somewhat of a corporate-aligned leader.. and his inability or lack of desire to do anything to reign in the unchecked power of big business and corporations.. would certainly attest to that reality.
REAL change.. is going to take place at the local and regional levels, as people become informed, make the changes they need in their communities in order to survive- sometimes literally, and make those same adjustments and changes in their own personal lives- regarding serious health, economic and social constraints. In that case, at least there is HOPE- since at least in THIS country, ( US), people operate best from self-interest. IN anthropology, I was taught, basically, a species evolves until it achieves survivability. We are no longer Survivable, in the current model- and more people are feeling the threat of extinction ( to our well-being, and perhaps many species, including ourselves) if we continue on this path. What lies ahead, rumbles ominously, like the thundering sound of a waterfall, before the rowboat realises it is caught in a current it cannot escape, drawing it to the inevitable.
There’s a sound off in the distance, a low rumble. the little boats are in trouble. the big expensive boats with corporate logos have stoked up their engines and have left.. so now the little boats better start rowing…
I don’t know that changing politics is the solution. I think the real solutions are organic grassroots happenings. That, is what the whole Occupy Wall Street is really about. A group of people who came together, to organically address social problems and to GROW solutions as they evolved. Corporate person-hood, getting the big money out of politics, and greater transparency in government, un-consolidating the Power that is in too few hands. As one sign note- I don’t mind you being rich. I do mind you BUYING my government!
Not everyone can Occupy Wall Street- but there are a lot of things people can do, and are doing. Local farmers markets. Freecycle, which is a national idea, local chapters.. have something to get rid of- post it. Need something, put out a request. it’s communities supporting each other, without cost of expense. Transition towns is another innovative concept. I’m sure there are a lot of other ideas springing up all over. Do you know of something that is creating better communities? Creating SOLUTIONS to today’s social struggles?
How have you been affected, or disaffected by today’s political, social and spiritual climate? Does it inspire you, and make you want to dig in and do your own work more intensely, or does it drain you? I experience both aspects.. simultaneously. Maybe that is odd or unusual. Sometimes I feel like I am digging in, our of necessity/depletion, rather than out of inspiration/fullness. How about you?