Friday, October 21, 2016

Are Young People Too Impatient With the Political Process?

I have often heard it said that youth, callow youth, are too impatient with our political process. That they expect the great ship of state to change direction on a dime, not realizing the immense momentum that must be overcome and that many parties must be appeased in our collaborative political process before change can occur.

I have also heard it said that people with experience know how hard it is to change the system and are here for the long haul. They know its a marathon not a sprint, and that only by applying steady pressure over a long period of time and building coalitions can we achieve a more worthwhile polity.

Well, as some wit said, “all generalizations are wrong”. In my case, at least, the exact opposite is true. I used to be patient with the process until I realized how cynical and disingenuous the process was. How often the political process simply lied to steal the money, or to get their way.

And in the last 30 years I have seen our government fail to implement the voting rights laws, even go backwards on this critical issue.  I have seen public education continue to get low priority. I have seen the Dept of Justice fail to implement the law when it involved the murder of citizens for their political beliefs and even straightforward racism.  I have seen the worst criminal abuses of corporations and the rich go unpunished and worse, the hypocrisy of a congress that pretends to disapprove but does not actually enact the legislation that would permit criminal penalties to be applied (assuming the Dept of Justice would act against the rich which is not likely).

I have seen the lip service paid to the poor and disenfranchised which is not backed up by legislation and positive action.  I have seen the tax burden shifted to the middle class and the reality of the corporate tax code. I have seen the appalling "war on drugs" and the lives it has destroyed, every bit as destructive as the drug use it so hypocritically fails to prevent.  Leonard Peltier is still in jail and the FBI goes nuts whenever they think that a president might pardon him and therefore permit justice to exist in the land.

Henceforth, dear political leaders, the new rule is as follows. Fix it now, or we will assume that you are just lying or ineffective.

No more patience, no more slack.

Fix it now or go away.

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