I stopped watching the "news" several weeks ago, and feel much better for it. I used to make myself crazy trying to sort facts from opinions, and then hoping America's leaders would do what's best for her people.
The Supreme Court decision that corporations were people has created all kinds of hell around these United States. We're about as united as oil and water right now – Big Oil, of course. Elected representatives want to keep their war chests full, and it's easier to do that when Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Money are handing them checks.
(To see who donates to your Congressional representatives, do check out Open Secrets.)
My Facebook account is where I share a lot of political tidbits. The current debt ceiling crisis has Facebook buzzing with graphics and charts and articles, oh my. But who's listening? I'm preaching to the choir, for the most part.
A few of my Facebook friends are Republicans, and some even claim Tea Party as their political affiliation (which speaks well for my broad-mindedness, I think!). But I seriously doubt that they click through to study my recommended reading. They all know I'm the president of our county Democratic women's club, and assume it's more of that left-wing wacko liberal BS.
I live in the relatively poor and aging state of West Virginia. Many West Virginians are helped immensely by Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other government assistance programs. And yet these same people rallied against health care reform and started having tea parties. They vote against their own interests, time and time again, in the name of God and Country. They want us to support the troops and the ill-advised wars that led us into this economic nightmare.
The Republican platform of God, guns and gays has nothing to do with governing and everything to do with making their followers afraid. Fear, fear, fear is shouted from right-wing talk radio hosts and Faux Noise day and night. Those who listen shout it back to people like me, when we try to speak the truth.
I won't live in fear. Whatever happens in Washington in this current crisis will go ahead and happen, no matter how many phone calls I make or letters I write. I want Congress to work for the people who elected them. In their minds – as long as corporations are people – they are.
President Obama spoke to the country Monday evening, and the takeaway line for me was, "Americans voted for a divided government, not a dysfunctional government." (I voted a straight Democratic ticket for the first time in my life, so don't blame me, heh.) Divided government is supposed to be the ultimate check-and-balance tool, but it has evolved into the most effective way to get nothing done.
The trouble is, we need something done.
There will be another crisis, and another and another. With news at your fingertips, be it a television remote control or an internet connection, there will surely be someone "reporting" all the gory details about something. And, of course, If No News, Send Rumors.
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