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Gus Garter for Congress

September 30, 2013

Recently, while sitting around with a group of friends we got off into one of those “save the world” conversations. You know, the one where everyone knows how to save the world. This one took a bit of an odd turn.

One of my friends is very active politically, belongs to a national party, helps local candidates and all of that stuff. We’re talking a thirty year commitment here. Out of the blue this friend said ” I just told the (blank) party to take my name off the member list”.

Of course everyone wanted to know if this was a switch to the “other” party. Answer: “No, I’m just tired of trying to believe that any politician gives a tinker’s damn about anything but their own pocketbook, or that the American people really have any say in anything. I wouldn’t vote for anyone now in office no matter which party I join.”

I think that’s probably where a lot of plain ol’ folks are right now. It isn’t just the budget mess, it’s everything. No matter how many polls show that a majority of those polled think the country is headed to hell in a hand-basket, the political class just goes along doing the same old things in the same old way. The general good is the farthest thing from any politician’s mind. There seems to be a concerted effort to muzzle or at least overpower dissent, no matter the side that you favor.

One friend said she sincerely hoped Washington did shut down, permanently. Like she said, her 56 year old husband hadn’t had a decent job since 2008, so why should a bunch of political hacks and those whose votes they buy enjoy good salaries, fine wines, free everything and all the perks that come with being a political insider?

Of course that isn’t the answer, but it certainly reflects how a lot of people feel about our government today. It is patently obvious to everyone outside the Washington beltway that we can’t afford another massive government program, and that the people still working can’t continue to support those who won’t work, or can’t work because their industry is not cool, and is therefore going or gone.  It is just as obvious that as we depend more and more on credit, we are ripe for a takeover, and not just by the party that is out of power at present.

America was conceived as a representative democracy. We haven’t been that for a long time. Oh, our presidents recently may not have been named Khrushchev or Caligula, but the basic idea of a one-view system has been taking hold for a long time. I think a lot of people just simply don’t believe in and don’t care about politics, because it simply doesn’t relate to them. They can’t change the basic problem, so why bother at all?

The problem is, the alternative really is much worse. The “full faith and credit of the United States”  is a nice sound bite, but it rings hollow in the face of reality. Giving up isn’t the answer. The Americans I grew up with don’t run from a fight.

My friend had the answer, even if she didn’t see it right then. If you don’t like the way the current bunch of meatheads is performing, get rid of them. Heck, I’ve got a garter snake in my yard named Gus. I think I’ll write him in during the next election. Gus Garter for Congress. Has kind of a catchy ring, doesn’t it? At least if he gets elected, he’ll be with his own species.

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