I keep reading about the outrage of people concerning their respective Senators and Congressmen (oops, Congressperson). Politicians are not voting the way people expect them to. Okay, maybe they're voting how people expected them to, just not how people hoped they would. I don't have a problem with people being angry about this. It is our right as Americans to voice our opinion on just about anything we want to. What really bothers me is most of us don't do anything beyond getting upset. We don't help a local candidate with their campaign, we don't go door to door with information we feel would be useful to our neighbors, and we certainly don't want to do anything that would make us miss Grey's Anatomy or some other equally annoying show. We're content to simply whine about the situation on the internet or in the local newspaper. The truth is, we don't want to be truly involved.
I really get sick of hearing, "We'll just vote the bums out in 2008." It's often followed by a rant like this one:
This is the result of a combination of Racist Zionist blackmail and politicized, Bush-ite Mainstream media lying permitting America and its institutions to be dominated by a tiny but powerful Racist Zionist minority with a traitorous prime allegiance to a racist, nuclear terrorist, foreign country-invading, foreign country-occupying , grossly human rights abusing, proto-Nazi rogue state, Racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel - these virulently racist traitors have trashed America's wealth, America's security, America's health, America's civil rights and America's international reputation.
In my opinion, what the writer meant to say was, "Damn Jews. They run everything." But my larger point is that rants like these are pointless regardless of what side of the aisle they come from. One, it shows that the author's true anger is directed at much larger issues and they are using this issue as a platform to get their points made. Again, there is nothing wrong with this other than it obscures the message they are trying to get across to people. When I read this, I immediately wrote it off as someone once again trying to make their personal issues with certain groups the focal point of the conversation.
As a local elected official, there is always a small minority of people who are angry with the decisions the town council makes. They usually get this way when the council dares to spend money on something this small group doesn't approve of (For the record, I am not a voting member of the council. I am the Clerk-Treasurer and I keep the council apprised of the money situation). For example, we are in the process of possibly spending a significant amount of money to upgrade certain features of our wastewater plant. The only thing some people heard was, "You are spending our money and we don't like it." It didn't matter that if we don't make these improvements then we face possible fines from the state for not being in compliance with current environmental laws. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them, they will only hear what they want to hear. In fact, there are some who think you are lying to them about the fines from the State. I've got news for these people. I have better things to do with my time than to try and figure out ways to lie to people who have nothing better to do than try and catch me in a lie and threaten to vote me out in the next election.
So, instead of yelling vote 'em out, do something constructive. Get involved.