Now, we wait for the old people to die.
There are certain truths that we citizens need to realize and accept, going forward. And while these things have been true for quite a while (centuries, even), the mid terms simply drove them home for many.
First, we live in a plutocracy. Anyone with enough cash can do whatever they please. Combine this with a media dominated by the propaganda arm of big business and the military, and you can hardly fault the millions of people who voted for and about things that don’t exist. It was outside money that defeated Prop. 19 to legalize pot in California, it was outside money that defeated the “activist judges” in Iowa. And as long as we have a right-leaning Supreme Court, this obscene travesty of legitimacy given to the notion that corporations have “rights” will continue unabated. So beating our head against that wall will only give us headaches, not results.
Here’s a few more walls we can avoid. We will never end the wars, or stop new ones. Never. Doesn’t matter that they are illegal, or unnecessary for anyone save defense contractors and the Pentagon. No, we will continue to spend massive amounts of our budget solely to police the world. You can hang up your placards, scrape off the endless war stickers from your Volvo, it makes no difference at all.
Secondly, we’ll never have any real investigation of 9/11. Doesn’t matter if every single peer-reviewed journal in the land shows explosive residue in the ash. Doesn’t even matter if you believe it never happened at all. For those in power to allow discussion of the truth of 9/11 would be to slit their own throats, and they ain’t in the habit of that. At least not in public.
So, do we throw up our hands and simply walk away? Drop out? Yes and no. Now, there is no longer any reason for anyone to vote in any election that isn’t local. Obama, McCain, no difference. Sharon Angle or Harry Reid? No difference. True, one is batshit crazy, the other corrupt, but in the end, big money runs Washington, and all the Tea Party nonsense, all this left/right cat fight bullshit is simply akin to pushing the button at an intersection- something to do until the light changes, with or without your input. So, vote for your county commissioner, or mayor or whatever, but pulling the lever for a national candidate thinking they share your views and will act in your behalf? Nonsense. Move on, indeed.
Because what will ultimately save this nation, if anything, is a combination of two things- time and a bit of effort. The people who support bans on gay marriage, who continue the drug war, and who get terrified over “Sharia Law” are all the same people- old, white Fox viewers. Sanity will never change the minds of these people, its been in them to fear and hate since childhood. We simply must outlast them. Women outlasted those who denied them the right to vote. Blacks outlasted the worst of institutionalized racism to see the Civil Rights Act of 1965. And one day we’ll look back on gay discrimination, and jailing people for smoking a weed as grotesque visages of a past age. Trust me. The powers of oppression are no match for simple demographics.
So, basically, we must do four things in order to change this country:
1: Choose your battles. We will never vote out a plutocracy. And most of our problems- crippled economy, endless war, and a dead Gulf of Mexico, are the result of the greed of faceless string pullers. It ain’t Obama, it isn’t warmongers like the simpleminded David Broder, who are at fault, its the people who profit from unchecked greed and conquest. Follow the money. Or don’t, because you aren’t going to effect them at all.
2: Work local. Defeat bigots at your local level. Educate by example among your own community. Invest your time and money in groups that share your values, be it local food co-ops, gay rights groups, or veteran outreach. Do something other than bitch and post to Facebook.
3: Do everything you can to disrupt corporate propaganda. Turn off Fox, practice hacktivism, challenge friends and co-workers who spout nonsense. Be brave. Be outspoken. If you lose a friend because, for example, they think its fine for gays to be barred from adopting children or teaching in school, then all you’ve lost is a source of irritation from ignorance. That or just tell them to STFU whenever they preach their hate and intolerance.
4: Teach your children well, as the song goes. Our parents generation, with all their confused, frightened, intolerant memes, will soon be dead. And dead people, outside of Chicago, don’t vote. Raise your children in tolerance. Feed them well of viewpoints outside of mainstream society- because mainstream society is subject to change. Teach them to read. To think. To eat real food. To challenge the norm.
Do what you can, where you can, and don’t get frustrated that change seems to be out of our grasp. Because we will outlive the haters. Don’t be Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. Strive to be the next Harvey Milk. Or Rachael Corrie. Or Julian Assuage.
And the rest of the time, simply wait for the old people- and their old ideas- to die.