I have tried to put the last election behind me. I have tried to just move on and hope for the best. Then I realize that this is a futile course of action. In fact, it is not an action at all, it is doing nothing and hoping that somehow, something changes. In other words, I'm hoping that someone else (somewhere) does something.
Perhaps I could say (as Maximus did in the movie Gladiator) -
I am a slave! What possible difference can I make?But I am not a slave. Or, am I?
I need to work to put food on my table and to keep a roof over my head. I do not grow my own crops nor do I own a herd of livestock with which to sustain myself and my family. I did not go forth into the wilderness and construct my dwelling with my own two hands. Those days are long past. The insecurities and dangers of having to make one's way in the world, shall we say, "the old fashioned way" are long gone.
We have traded the dangers and insecurities of living on the frontier for a modern society. A society where someone else grows the food and slaughters the livestock for us to feed upon. A society where most of us are really just small cogs in a big machine. Everyone does their part, everyone who does their part gets paid. And with that pay, we can purchase food and a place to live and transportation and what-have-you.
The days of rugged individualism are past. Now we are, in reality, simply worker bees in a very big and extremely complex hive. My freedom is somewhat limited with respect to society at large. I am free to worship, free to speak my mind, free to bear arms and free to associate with whom I will.
I am NOT free from taxation in all of its many forms. I am not altogether sure that my interests are properly represented in government. At any level. I live in a very liberal state. Republicans are as rare as a virgin in a bordello in this state. Democrats, as you may suspect, are as thick as fleas on a dog.
I do not begrudge the government a tax on my income. We need to somehow pay for infrastructure, the police and fire departments and the military. I will willingly contribute what I feel is my fair share. So far the government and I have been in agreement as to what constitutes my fair share.
What I do begrudge are the myriad other taxes I encounter everyday. Sales tax, hotel room tax, excise tax and others.
If I buy something, I pay sales tax. The money I use to buy things is taxed. The gasoline my car burns to go buy things is taxed. My car itself (at least in my town) is also taxed based on its value. The property on which I live is taxed. There is a 1% tax on "prepared food items" in this state. I'm sure the sum-bitches in Providence are working hard right now to figure out a way to tax even more things. Or raise the existing tax rates.
The only thing a politician will work harder at then thinking up ways to raise "revenue" is thinking up ways to spend that so-called "revenue". Doesn't matter if they take in $100 in taxes, they'll spend $110. Then raise the rates to cover the $110, and then spend $120.
A friend of my commented the other day that "a lot of people seem really angry about the election". The implication was that he was not and he couldn't understand how others could be. Of course, he has a Rhode Island state employee pension. For those who don't understand what that means, let me put it this way, in this state you can actually retire at a relatively "young" age and actually afford to live on your pension.
This friend of mine drove a city bus as his career. Now he owns a rather plush RV with which he and his wife travel to Florida for the entire winter. No investments, just the state pension. I'm paying for that. Me and all the other Rhode Islanders who have the misfortune not to work for the state.
Yes, many of us are angry about the recent election. We see our pockets being plucked for another four years. We see the prospect of continuing to have a job get smaller and smaller.
We (those who ARE angry) also see that there are those in this society who do NOT contribute to the common weal. That bunch seems to be calling the shots right now. At least at the ballot box. So yes, I'm angry.
I'm just not sure exactly who to be angry with. The politicians? Those who voted for them? Those who didn't bother to vote at all?
How about: ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Guess I'll just soldier on and see what happens next. I'll pay my taxes and do my civic duties. Right now I have to say that both political parties have failed the American people as a whole. The Democrats with their "tax and spend" habits and the Republicans who don't seem to know how the game is played anymore. Four years from now they'll put another decent nonentity up for President, try and play nice. And lose again.
This country hasn't been right since the Kennedy-Nixon debates. The televised ones. Yup, we elected the guy who looked better on television. Least that's the way I see it. That's the way I saw it when it happened. (Of course, I was only seven. Not exactly politically sophisticated.) But still. Some historical accounts agree with my assessment from that year.
So go back to watching Jersey Shore America. Go back to nodding your head at whatever the MSM tells you. Just don't be surprised when someday you wake up and all of our freedoms are gone.