When I was a kid growing up, I think I had the same lofty aspirations as all children did. I wanted to be an astronaut and pilot a rocket ship to the far reaches of the galaxy, and of course, I wanted to drive a race car and win the Indianapolis 500.
Fate, it seems, had other plans for me. I grew up in a typical baby boom family. My dad worked, first as a fireman, than later on as a computer operator and then for the County Unemployment office. Of course my mom stayed home and did the housework while my brother and I did the typical kid things. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor, we were, well, just average.
It was when I started attending school that reality found its way into my life and put whatever dreams I had of being an astronaut or a race car driver on hold. To put it as plainly as I could, school, for me, was a bitch, something I never excelled at.
As I got older, and started going to high school, my interests had shifted towards partying and getting laid. Even then I was only successful at one of those, but I sure knew how to party. When high school came to an end, that was reality came up and formally introduced itself to me. It said, “Hey you worthless bum, now you have to go out into this big bad world and make something of yourself. What are you going to do about it?”
I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t thought about what it would be like if they could go back in time, knowing what they do now, and make some changes in their lives. Some would do things to ensure they achieved wealth, or fame. Me, I would have applied myself more in school, focusing heavily on history, political science, English grammar, with maybe a dash of law tossed in for good measure.
Even though I did not apply myself, and achieve good grades in school, there were a few things I learned as I grew into the person I am now. I learned that there are certain things in this world more important than wealth and success. One of the things I learned was that the most important thing a man can make is a promise.
That is why I get so upset over those people who sit in Washington D.C. who blatantly violate their oaths of office. These bastards swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, placing their hands upon the Bible, promising to God, and to the American people, that they would obey the law, and protect our rights.
It is also why I get so upset, and a tad disgusted, with the American people. These people went through school, just as I did, and a good percentage of them applied themselves, getting much better grades than I did.
How is it that a guy with a C average high school education can see the simple fact that EVERYONE in our government is betraying the people of this country, and plunging it towards ruin? It is also why every time I see someone driving down the street with an Obama sticker on their car, that I have to restrain myself from running them off the damn road for being an absolute moron!
Not that George W. Bush, or the Republican Party is any better at protecting our rights, but at least Bush came across, at first anyways, as a likeable and sincere guy. Obama was so damn transparent that everyone should have been able to see that he was a charlatan, and a con man extraordinaire. Not only that, it has yet to be proven that the bastard is even eligible to hold the office he holds. He has gone to great lengths to ensure that his records prior to becoming president have been hidden from view. If the man has nothing to hide, then why has he gone to such great lengths to do so?
I just don’t get how so many people can be fooled by either party, the Republicans, or the Democrats. Like I said, I was a mediocre, at best, student, yet I can see these things. Why can’t they?
I have a friend who currently works for the TSA, and is all for these searches that clearly are violations of the 4th Amendment. In fact, this guy is a rabid Republican who believes that Limbaugh and Hannity preach the gospel. It wouldn’t surprise me if he believes that anyone who speaks unkindly of the Republican Party is a traitor and should be sent to Guantanamo for waterboarding.
This guy is by no means stupid. He was a computer programmer for the Air Force and was good at his job. So why is it that he, and millions of other intelligent Americans, repeatedly fall for the lies and party bullshit while our country crumbles around us?
Is it that these people lack common sense? That could be. At the same time I was stationed with my rabid Republican friend, I was the supervisor of a bright young kid who came in to my shop straight from the Air Force Power Production Technical Training school.
This kid had aced all his classes, getting 100% on all his exams. He whizzed through his upgrade training in damn near record time, once again acing all the tests. Seems like a bright kid, doesn’t it? Well, one day I walked into the power plant and found him hosing the cobwebs off a switchgear panel that contained 2500 volts inside.
For crying out loud, one of the basics of electronics is that water conducts electricity, and this guy was hitting 2500 volts with a garden hose! He is lucky to be alive. So, yeah, it could be that people lack common sense.
But I think it is more than that. I think it is a combination of laziness and apathy as well. I think too many people think that choosing a candidate to represent them is as simple as choosing who sounds best, or makes them the most convincing sounding promises. And once they vote, they go back to their lives, giving no further thought to what that candidate is doing while in office.
I also think that far too many people are too lazy to pick up a book and read about something that may, in fact, shatter all their illusions about how corrupt their government really is. Is it any wonder the people in this country are so susceptible to con men and all sorts of other scams?
When a people are unwilling to research the facts they become easy prey for people who are far too willing to take advantage of them. Let’s face it, our elected officials are only human, they are susceptible to all the same weaknesses we are.
That is why I am so fond of the following quote by Thomas Jefferson, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” The American people are woefully ignorant, having been fooled into believing that our government can do whatever it pleases as long as it is for the general welfare of the people.
Unfortunately, I do not see any way out of this conundrum. Try as I may, I have been unable to show people that the path this country is on will lead to its ruin. I cannot seem to get people to admit that their government has lied to them, and that all their misguided beliefs go against everything our founders believed in.
The recent attention to the TSA’s body searches has opened some people’s eyes, but I fear this is too little too late. It is like trying to blow out a candle while your house burns down around you, there has been so many infringements upon our rights, so many usurpations of power, that the scant attention paid to these unconstitutional searches of our bodies will make little difference in the grand scheme of things.
Until people are willing to pay as much attention to their governments as they are to their sporting events, their Facebook pages, their text messages, this country will continue to go down the tubes.
When, not if, but when that happens, I would hope that the words of Samuel Adams will serve as judgment upon the people of this country, “It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”