A friend of mine said that in his city, having a big political opinion is normal. The people I know have political opinions, and they get mad when I say I do not have one, as if I was cheating. I'm not. I do not believe politics will solve anything for us, and I think it's a big distraction that works really well at keeping us from seeing the truth.
Why I'm not political has become a topic of some heated discussion among my friends. When they first asked me about it, I had no good answer, except that I thought politics was bullshit. Of course, you get laughed at if you say that, so I thought about it and made a list, and here are the reasons I do not believe in politics.
The first day you work for yourself, meaning owning your own business or being a contractor, you start to distrust words because you hear about 50,000 words a day and they do not mean anything until someone does something that resembles what those words describe. I have guys calling me up and offering credit cards, long distance, and they talk a good game, but when I ask the hard questions they don't know. They don't give a shit. They're trying to make their twenty bucks and hour and they don't care what happens to me. I think that politics is very similar. Our president says that he believes in our war in Iraq, but we know he is getting money from companies he owns stock in, or his father owns, and so how do we know which is the truth? He believes in the war, or in the profits? It is even true on the local level, where the mayor of our city is known to make roads to the places where he and his buddies own land. A new road comes in, and the land doubles in value, and so even though they pay him $80,000 a year he is a millionaire. I can never trust what some says they are doing something for, when I know they might be just doing it for the money or the popularity.
Another thing that bothers me is that most of the time, it is some guy in a far-off place that is making the decisions for us here in a totally different area. What for example does Washington, DC, have in common with Seattle? Not much except they're both cities. But some guy in Washington makes decisions for both of them, and if he decides to do something the Washington way, Seattle is left out in the cold. We will never have an important mayor or governor either because they will always come second to the guy in Washington, which means that they know their power is limited, and won't try to rock the boat. This means that someone who may have never seen Seattle is making decisions for Seattle, and even if they work for Seattle, there is no guarantee they will work for Mizzoula or Athens or Charlotte. If you had fifty people in a room, and tried to decide what was best for each, but could come up with one answer for everyone, probably no one would be happy. It is the same way with our president and the fifty states.
Politics is a job like any other. This bothers me because I know in my jobs I have had to lie, to forge documents, to cover for other people, and to work around people who were not really able to do their jobs. The truth is that you can't say anything that makes someone else get fired, unless they really screwed up like leaving handguns in a preschool. If you're president, you have to cover for thousands and thousands of people, and probably have to tell a lot of lies to avoid making other people look bad. Even further, like in any job, there will be times you have to break the rules. At one job, they said that no one but a licensed operator could work the forklifts, but if there is a customer there who needs something, what are you supposed to do? You either use the forklift "illegally" or you tell the customer that you cannot help them when they can see the thing they need in the warehouse. Very stupid.
I also do not trust politics because there is always behind the scenes. Come on, we all went to high school, and we know how much the teachers gossiped, and also how much the kids did. Anywhere someone has to make a decision there is always something going on behind the scenes, whether it is popularity, or money, or hiding the fact that the lead cheerleader's mom is drunk on Scotch by noon most days. In America, there are so many forces that come to bear on the president. Every special interest group, like African-Americans or Coal Miners or Teachers or Printed Circuit-Board Designers, has to weigh in and the president has to pretend he cares. They may even slip him some cash or a break when his daughters need to go to college. He probably has a secret agenda going with international politics too, because if they really told us what was going on, most people would break down weeping. Face it, you have to kill people if you are a world leader. Some people are just not going to stop. And you are probably going to lie sometime. Most of our wars started with a big lie and then when we were in them, we all forgot.
The last point I have is a really offensive one. We all know there are a lot of dumb people out there, but there are also a lot of normal people that I don't trust to make decisions. If you visit someone, and their house is a mess, and they are disorganized and in debt or on drugs or divorced for some stupid reason, you have to wonder how good is this person's judgment? The answer is probably not so good. Most of us have enough trouble running our own lives, and probably do not have the time or the effort to spend on figuring out politics and picking the right candidate. I have never talked to someone at the polling office who had researched every issue on the ballot. The best of them have read the booklet that they give you, and then they do some quick picking, but how reliable is that? It would take at least a full week of work to really know what is going on, and no one will do that, even the ones who are smart enough to figure it out. I don't trust my friends and neighbors to vote right, and they are smarter than most people. I have never known a person who did not think there were a lot of idiots out there, so you figure out the rest. Most of the people voting are incompetent and look at the result.
People tell me that I should believe something, and I say I do, but it will never be on the voting ballot. I told one person I was a "Republican Anarchist Environmentalist" and she laughed at me, but that is what I am. I think family values are great, and everyone should live in safe cities, and when someone attacks us, we should be able to go to war against them. I also do not really care about the agenda of the Democrats, who seem to want to take everyone who is incompetent and give them more power, and to ignore the daily lives of the people who do work hard and are normal. I really do not care about the people who want to live weird or screwed up lives. If you want to smoke a little weed, or be gay quietly, that is fine but we are now supporting people who are useless. So many of the people in America can barely figure out life as it is, and it is really easy. Everything is getting dumber by the minute because we try to make something they won't screw up, but then the next batch is even more clueless, so it gets simpler and simpler. If you can't learn English, or can't figure out our freeways, or have trouble using public libraries, maybe this is not the country for you. I like normal values, and normal hard-working people, and I do not really want to spend a lot on taxes supporting people who are stupid and therefore will make my life harder and more boring as I jump through hoops designed to either keep them out of situations, or make it easier for everyone but the normal people to get ahead in a situation. I also do not have any racial guilt, as I am sure no one in my family owned slaves, and I think it is time that they stop using my tax money to pay for people who want to come here. Their own countries are probably good enough and if not they should work on them. Bringing in new people gets us cheaper maids, but I am never going to have one, so it is not in my interest, and I would rather see our high school students get the low paying jobs because when you are young that is a lot of money. I say I am an Anarchist because I do not like authority at all. I cannot think for the life of me of a government that did not end up screwing up and destroying its own country. I don't trust governments, especially not big ones. I am only mostly an Anarchist, because I think things like street signs and traffic lights and public sewer systems are necessary. I am not anti-cop, but I don't think cops should be responsible for drugs, or politics, or speeding tickets, because it gets them all up in our business when they should be doing their job, which is to protect everyone from the psychos out there who want to rape, murder, and steal. I always say I am an environmentalist but a practical one, meaning that I do not drive a green car or live in a shack but I try to limit what I use to a responsible amount. I do not think we treat our environment well, and there is less of it every year. I always tell people, you would shoot someone who was threatening your family, but you won't shoot someone whose factory puts out tons and tons of carcinogenic smoke. Why is this? It is a double standard. Our environment is what keeps us alive and if we abuse it, it will just kill us, and go on. Our loss.
I know there is no way to express these views in society. Much of what I have said here is offensive. Society has designed itself as if there is no other way but the way it is, but I think this is going to change soon. One rule doesn't work for everyone, and right now, our society does not address the needs of many of us. I don't care about a lot of what they talk about in Washington, but what I do care about is simple, practical things, like is my family able to eat, do they have health care and housing, and are they going to die of cancer because we polluted so much and there weren't enough trees to clean the air. These are not political things, but daily life needs, and I do not think politics will achieve them for me so if I have to vote, I vote against politics.
September 6, 2005