You Can’t Be Serious

I feel like our whole political system is one big April Fool’s joke.

The word that perfectly encapsulates the way I feel about most politicians out there is “unserious”.

Let’s start here in Pennsylvania. We’ve got a Republican governor who wants to balance the budget. So what does he do? Does he impose a natural gas tax? Does he seek money from very profitable companies looking to drill for gas in Pennsylvania?

No, of course not. Because he took a lot of money from those people. Instead, he slashes $1 billion from education. Because education isn’t that important! It actually stuns me that the party that does its best to protect “family values” continually assaults, though legislative policies, the very people it purports to protect. I guess once someone is born, he or she is on his or her own.

Let’s look nationally at the drive to defund Title X in the name of “balancing the budget”. Taking money away from Title X isn’t going to balance the budget. It’s going to bump a lot of poor, low-income families over to the roles of Medicaid, which is going to cost the government MORE MONEY. After all, Title X also supports things like STD and cancer screenings, which help people stay healthy. But of course, we don’t really care about keeping people healthy, which is why we’re going to repeal healthcare reform, too.

Let’s look at the perennial assault on abortion. Now, make no mistake, I am anti-abortion. But it seems to me that rather than working to restrict access to what is a legal medical procedure, the government (and/or private insurance) could make it a less necessary evil. Sponsor sex education in schools, including talk about abstinence. Give low-income families access to low-cost family planning and birth control options (see Title X). Encourage work places to provide affordable daycare options. Expand healthcare so that it covers birth control.

We have Rick Santorum out there talking about how Social Security is in trouble because of our country’s “abortion culture”. Really, Rick? You don’t think Social Security is in trouble because our government borrowed freely from that entitlement for years? (In my opinion, Santorum is beyond unserious; he’s a downright embarrassment, to Pennsylvania, to the Republican party, and sometimes even to Catholics. I honestly wince sometimes to think that Rick and I are of the same religious faith.)

The government is, once again, teetering on the edge of a shut down. But no side is being serious about what needs to be done to balance the budget. No one is saying, well, let’s look at Social Security. Let’s look at defense spending. Let’s look at the tax code and loopholes, and figure out how to structure the former and close the latter so that the government actually gets its money.

Let’s look at what ever the hell happened in Libya. I’m still quite confused on this one. We want Qaddafi out. Okay, fine. But our efforts seem, to me, again, to be unserious. We dropped some bombs; we declared — with the support of the U.N. — some sanctions, and a no-fly zone. And then, we pulled our planes from the efforts. Not that I want us to launch yet another war over in the Middle East, but I’m not clear on what we are trying to do in Libya — or how we’re doing it.

As with most of my political posts, this is ranty and rambly and pretty much going no where.

So, Dan and I are taking the kids and moving to Italy.

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7 thoughts on “You Can’t Be Serious

  1. I’m with you on this; it’s so out of hand. So many political agendas seem completely driven by corporate interests and have nothing to do with the people supposedly being represented. It’s such a joke.

    • Right. It’s about getting and keeping a job by whatever means necessary. Which usually means giving lip service to the people who “hired” you while pocketing money from the people paying you do to just about the opposite of what you are saying.

      • YES! It infuriates me so much.

        I try to be informed, get involved, call & write my representatives, stay passionate…and then have all my desired political outcomes crapped on by my representatives.

        In my recent written interactions with our reps, the responses I got told me that I had it right all along: they don’t care what I want or what I think. They are sellouts. For whatever reason for each individual, whether it was my suspected corporate buyout, or following some “party line” or something else related, it doesn’t matter that I wrote to or called each one – I got the same type of crap answer from each one that basically said, “Thanks for caring and for writing to us! I see you are concerned about issue R, and desire outcome A. I will be giving you outcome Z, the exact opposite of A. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me through my website abc.com.”

        I think I’m going back to my happy, ignorant, sand-in-the-head approach to politics until “the nuclear war” happens and we all die in a big, bright flash. (That, or the Tribulation.)

  2. Italy is even more corrupt and screwed up than we are. I’m not sure where I’d go but I’m with you – the US is pissing me off lately. So much so that I have to force myself to pay attention to all the things that are going on in the political realm. I get so angry I just want to stomp away – and that only serves their interests, not mine.

    • Yes, but it’s ITALY. The kids and I can get fat on pasta, and look at great art! Who cares about the government? Although, obviously I’ll have to keep Berlusconi away from my girls….

      And, yes, I think at this point elected officials depend on the anger, fear, indifference, or frustration of their constituents. And they stoke them accordingly. Or, you know, slash education funding to keep them ignorant.

  3. The Republicans run on “family values” and get elected on “family values” , then promptly go back to the business of consolidating money and power with big business, who just so happens to pour zillions of money into their re-election campaigns.

    Maybe one day, people will figure out that they’re getting used.

    • If people want to be “one issue” voters, or choice to vote on social issues (gay marriage, abortion) I am fine with that. But if they vote that way in ignorance of the economic impact of their vote, and then go on to complain about the economy, I have a HUGE problem with that.

      I am often relieved when I can vote for a pro-life Democrat, as happens quite often in PA. I’m sure that would appall some of my more liberal friends. But I often vote Dem because I feel their policies are better for the middle class as a whole — although lately, I don’t think anyone’s been very good for the middle class. I’ll still give Obama credit for trying, but as I’ve said here, it’s hard to take anyone in DC seriously. I’m concentrating on my representation closer to home, lately.

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