It's here. Aren't you excited? Another season of wonder and mystery is upon us. A time for giving, and for the telling of the old stories. I know I always look forward to the political primary season, don't you?
It's the time we get to hear the old stories about how the newest political savior will be born, how things will be like they were in the good ol' days and how each of the "wise men" of our government will be sure that we have plenty of presents under our tree. There's nothing quite like the wonder of election night, not knowing if your candidate will win and then the mystery of not knowing who the anointed few will select to replace the winner when the latest scandal hits the airwaves. All very festive, wouldn't you agree?
Not to be a grinch, but why are we still funding and tolerating this exercise? To all my Democrat friends out there: Aren't you tired of having your money spent on primaries and conventions designed to find someone so conservative they make William Buckley look like a New-Dealer? To my Republican friends: Aren't you tired of funding the search for the next Clinton-Clone to tax and spend you to death? And to all those non-affiliated, apolitical, bench-warmers out there: Aren't you tired of what amounts to two very powerful and well-funded clubs telling you that you need to support a process so obviously corrupt that you don't want to be involved at all?
Just a short civics lesson for those out there that wonder why I'm making all this fuss about the primaries. In this country, contrary to popular belief, we do not have a "two party system." Our founding fathers didn't include anything about parties in our founding documents for a reason: They promote divisiveness and the concentration of power in the hands of a few people. We had just fought a war to rid ourselves of those exact things. Political parties are, and should be, independent groups of like-minded people freely associating in order to promote and advance their common goals. Of course, how many people do you know that call themselves a Democrat that are pro-life, contrary to their party's position? And how many people do you know that call themselves a Republican that are in favor of environmental protection laws? More than a few I'm guessing. Political parties are no longer about issues; they're now just a path to power.
As a Libertarian, if offends me to know I have to support those that are working the hardest at all those things I oppose. And not only do I have to support them, they've rigged the laws such that I find it ridiculously difficult to try to form my own "club" to oppose them. The primary process amounts to the Elks being forced to pay for the elections at the Moose lodge. It just doesn't make any sense. I think that's why so many people "opt-out" of the political process. They know it's fundamentally flawed, rigged and corrupt.
But it's also the only one we have. And the stuff going on really does affect you. From a 1% tax in Carbondale, IL on items sold on the campus of Southern Illinois University to the PATRIOT ACT and Real-ID act or the recovery of the areas ravaged by Katrina, this stuff affects us and we need to be heard. I don't care if you vote in a primary, I can't. But take an interest in what our "leaders" are doing, and participate in the process somewhere.
If you agree with me, and many others, that government doesn't have solutions to all the problems, they are the problem most of the time then write me and we'll talk about how to make those ideas heard. And if you disagree with me and want to change my mind, write me and we'll talk about your ideas. I'm not afraid to discuss my ideas openly, and I hope you're not either. I'm tired of "McNugget" sized political philosophy sound bites that try to address the most important issues of our times. We need real discussion and discussion requires more than one person and more than one idea to work.