Friday, July 9, 2010

The impending demise of the Golden State and politics in general

Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, it's campaign season and everything has been crazy, both personally for me as well as in recent news.  Nothing of any substance is happening, just more of the usual mudslinging, fear mongering, and horrific journalism that made our country what it is today.

I simply can't believe what I'm seeing in this general election campaign--I guess I knew it was coming all along but it just happened so fast.  The average Californian voters (and Americans in general, I think) have finally proven without a doubt that they are no longer capable of making informed decisions.  I know this because the percentage points in favor of every campaign have been swinging from week to week with no actual event to drive the fluctuation besides new ad campaigns.  These people are not only relying on television for entertainment anymore, no--they now rely on it for all their information and personal decision-making processes.  Apparently people these days have no problem succumbing to a life of sitting on the couch and letting the press and corporate America soak their mind in "opinions" (FYI: it's not your "opinion" if you heard it on TV, that's someone else's opinion).  I don't watch TV (except ESPN, mind you), and I think that's what has helped me form such an objective perspective on law and politics.  When debating or discussing politics with others, I can tell just by the word choice and arguing style of a person whether or not they are speaking for themselves or quoting a commercial back to me.  It's very difficult to reason with these people because they usually feel compelled to stand firm on issues favored specifically by their political party--issues made known, of course, through partisan news networks and commercials.  The biggest problem with this mentality is that our politicians are not making it any better...corrupt governments + braindead voters = chaos on the horizon.

First example, the governor race in California.  To the educated, TV-less, moderate-minded observer, Meg Whitman is obviously an idiot.  She still hasn't revealed any political skill to the voters, but she has already run the most expensive gubernatorial campaign of all time, and we're still 4 months away from the election.  Too bad she has completely flip-flopped on a major issue that Republicans seem to feel very strongly about: immigration.  In June, she tried to buddy up with Pete Wilson, a strong supporter of the controversial Arizona law.  She promised the Reps that she'd be "tough on immigration" and even included photos of the border fence and statements about her distaste for the notion of amnesty for illegals in her 30-second TV commercials.  This caused many Latino voters to shy away from her.  Now, she has broken off contact with Wilson and launched a SPANISH ad campaign, complete with billboards saying "NO a la Proposicion 187 y NO a la ley de Arizona."  Since the start of this particular project she has gained significant support from Latinos and is even catching up to Jerry Brown in that respect.  Race issues aside (because I literally do not care what race a person is--it's what's going on inside the mind, and everyone is guilty in this case), these people believed a billboard and a few commercials rather than all the things Whitman said publicly back in June.  Furthermore, even her Mexico-hating Republican supporters haven't noticed the flip-flop!  The commercials they're getting on mainstream TV are making them happy enough I guess.  But it just goes to show how people are making decisions these days, and it's quite scary.  As far as Brown's campaign goes, I'm convinced he's going to lose simply because he hasn't represented himself solely in 30-second snippets.  Which is fine by me, because I will not be voting for him either.  I probably won't even vote for governor at all, as there are no qualified options.  I'm almost clinging to Arnold for dear life.

The second problem I'm seeing is the press's selective distortion of facts regarding Prop 19, the marijuana initiative.  As soon as the opposition came out with their lame attempt at a campaign, newspapers jumped all over it and are now publishing daily articles regarding the "dangers" of legalization, sometimes even 2 articles a day.  Today they're reporting a miniscule drop in the polls that we already knew was going to happen (now 48% against, 44% for), but of course they are acting like legalization is done and the initiative will never pass now.  Are you kidding me?!  How do these people find any honor in that kind of speculation?  As the opposition came out several months after the proponents, it's expected that their initial campaigning would slightly impact our poll results.  It's common sense.  It does not mean we can't bring that number back up in the next 4 months.  This wouldn't be so upsetting if I didn't know that most people are going to believe everything they read and never listen to a single fact again.  It's almost like the newspapers are being blackmailed by law enforcement to say these things and turn people against the initiative...I seriously wouldn't doubt it.  On top of this, everyone seems to be literally ignoring the facts about marijuana.  They say there are too many health risks involved (although they can't name a single health risk) and are afraid that stoned driving fatalities will come down upon us like a plague of locusts (even though millions have used the herb since cars were invented and we have never had widespread problems).  I guess none of it matters because logic is dead for most Californians.

The biggest indicator of the downfall of our government system for me is the Oakland verdict yesterday regarding the BART station shooting of 22 year old Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man, by Johannes Mehserle, a white police officer.  When Mehserle's "involuntary manslaughter" sentence was read yesterday at 4 PM, Oakland's worst fears were realized as protestors looted, rioted, and essentially wreaked havoc across the town.  I hope no one will chide me for siding with these rioters, as I am a young and fairly revolutionary-minded individual who believes that if that many people are angry, it's something to take seriously.  While many are calling the rioters out for being "unnecessarily destructive", I would suggest a bit of rhetoric on the Social Contract Theory.

We, the people, hand over some of our civil liberties in order to be protected and provided for by our government.  The point here is that our governments, including their law enforcement agencies, have not held up their end of the bargain.  We have paid income taxes and sales taxes into the system and helped develop California, and what have they done for us?  Bankrupted their treasured "social programs" and plunged us into billions of dollars of debt that we will never be able to repay, and STILL begged us for more, while trying to control our actions in the name of "morality" and "tradition".  They have prohibited, regulated, and taxed everything from businesses to bike helmets to our home appliances to the very food that we eat, and people are fed up.  When a police officer can kill you simply for acting silly in the BART station and essentially get away with it in a court of law, people are going to get pissed off.  And they are.  And it's going to get worse.  What happens when voters are literally too dumbed down to salvage what's left of the system?  Maybe democracy is dying.  Hopefully what comes after it is better.    

If I didn't have such a compelling interest in saving this country from itself, I would give up on the whole thing.  No rest for the weary...


  1. Off subject here .... but I seen you on a blogsite I visit called Infidel. You commented about LSD and spirituality. Something I rarely hear about on post's that I frequent. Actually I have done quite a bit of this type of experimentation.... and entered into some odd .... let's say "world's" or "dimension's". I hardly ever talk about this, because it is od to many, or even taboo to a degree, but when I read your comment's ... it was like a thump in the head bringing back old memories of course. Oh yeah .... I go by the title "Ranch Chimp" (I chose the title out of humor only) ... my name is Thomas.

    Have a good un .........

  2. As far as your heading and talk about activism, and the age's of future politician's now (18-25) I couldnt agree more ... I have tried to focus on this myself alot in my political piece's, because frankly speaking many of our political problem's are simply because of these no term limit's, and keeping voting for the same people decade after decade after decade, ad nauseum, who are basically proposing and doing the .... well .... same as they have alway's been doing. But you are absolutely correct actually, because this will change ... you can bank on that. I can rattle on till I'm blue in the face ... I know you get it.

    Later Ms. Veronica ....

  3. Thanks so much for commenting and understanding what I'm going for. Feel free to email me to discuss philosophy/drugs/whatever!

  4. Politics has been taken over by ad executives. They know the attention span is short. A long policy treatise might interest me and other political junkies. The general public though needs to be grabbed quick and the message hammered home in ten seconds or less. Negative works. Lies work. The same people these tactics work on have little interest in researching and making informed decisions. American Idol is on soon.

  5. You read my mind...Not sure how to motivate people.. Sad :(

  6. Why would you want to keep Arnold? He is the most incompetent person that has ever been in the governor's office.

    The guy has no clue how to get anything done and his only motive now is too make sure he saves face before leaving office.

    This is what happens when you elect dumb uneducated people who consider acting a legit career.

    You did say one thing that I completely agree with. We are not smart enough as a whole to elect the right person in office anymore. We have clearly proven that with Arnold.