While on one of the many conference calls at work I love ever so much, I had the Yahoo front page open and happened upon this article: “Many House Republicans say: What GOP crisis?”
Oh, for shit’s sake. Now I have to open it.
“WASHINGTON (AP) — As a Republican, freshman Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida cares about the Republican Party’s image and fate. But what he especially cares about is a tiny sliver of the GOP: about 22,000 primary voters who lean heavily conservative and who secured his spot in the House.”
Oh good, another self-serving myopic jackass elected by a slightly larger group of self-serving myopic jackasses. This country makes me fucking insane sometimes.
Now, before I dive into the bile in my stomach when I read things like this, let me clarify. I’m not against advocating in your own self-interest. Self-interest is what keeps people motivated to do things, make things, and, in their own individual way, contribute to the collective effort that makes this world what it is, and worth living in. Advocate for yourself assertively.
What really annoys the tits off me is when a small group of people are allowed to impose their will at the expense of everyone else who doesn’t share the same set of values. Further into this article, this behavior becomes clearer:
“When most House Republicans refused to open the government or raise the debt ceiling unless President Barack Obama’s health law was defunded, ‘we would get nothing but ‘attaboys’ from my constituents,’ said Rep. John Fleming, R-La.”
Well pin a rose on your fucking gumbo-flavored cock, Representative Fleming. That’s all well and good for the fine people of Shreveport (be sure to say hi to Pam and Eric at Fangtasia for me), but some of the adults in this country are more worried about, y’know, actually running the goddamn country instead of overturning something confirmed as law by the Supreme fucking Court.
One of the biggest problems here is that we allow whoever happens to be in power at the time of the most recent census to draw congressional districts. As pointed out in the article, Yoho’s district (by the way – Yoho? Jesus…), mentioned above, was redrawn “to be safely conservative for any GOP nominee.”
That means without the threat of a real opponent, Yoho, and anyone who lives in a “safe” district, only has to appeal to the baser instincts of his most radical constituents, which, historically, no matter which side of the political spectrum you sit, has not generally been in the country’s best interests. They get to roll grenades into the House chamber and watch everyone not in a safe district get blown up time after time, impaled with shrapnel, pick up the fucking pieces and try to repair what’s left of democracy.
I don’t necessarily blame the politicians because this is the process we have, so if you are nakedly self-interested enough to stay elected, this is behavior that gets rewarded. Nor do I necessarily blame the constituents because people tend to gravitate geographically to those who share their values, and those values are then reflected in who they choose to represent them. Fine.
What pisses me off is the collective failure of the system to account for the greater good as part of the equation and the fractiousness of the country. Great things are only accomplished through compromise, not blunt force and intractable dogma. We become victims of our own grotesquely overgrown sense of self-interest and as a result, you get candidates who sound like this:
You can’t take away my assault weapons because Thomas Jefferson herpaderpderp Obamacare.
Corporate profits are purposefully oppressing minorities walkable cities GMOs guhhhhhhhhh global warming.
Candidates become a sentient collection of the dumbest clichés about their respective parties, and thanks to the small subset of fart sniffing morons with whom that type of pandering and simplistic thinking resonates, they get elected and fuck up the process for everyone.
I myself live in a safe Democrat district represented by someone I used to be not terribly fond of. She was one of the most strident opponents of the industry in which I work, and that annoyed the piss out of me because there was little I could do to hold her accountable for what I felt were unfair and unfounded beliefs. It wasn’t until she met with my company, learned about what we do and how we do it and saw it firsthand, that she realized many of her fears were, in fact, unfounded, and that a different approach would greatly benefit everyone. Her position has since evolved substantially, as have my feelings about her.
That takes courage and a willingness to take responsibility for your actions, even when you don’t have material need to do so. I admire that, and I wish it happened more. Because as it stands, this country is governed by children who care only about themselves and their narrow slice of real estate while giving not a single thought to the multitudes who are directly or indirectly affected by their selfishness and myopia.
Everyone seems to disapprove of Congress, but approve of their own elected officials as evidenced by the 2012 election being the most expensive election in history, yet returning Republicans to the House majority, Democrats to the Senate majority, and President Obama to the White House.
Our intense self-interest has begun to hurt our own best interests. It’s a weird time in America.