Tuesday, July 31, 2012

262 Days - I’m a Middle-Aged Voter (And You Can Too!)

As some of you may already know, the idea for that line was stolen from whom I consider to be the greatest satirist of this generation, Stephen Colbert. His book, I Am America (And So Can You!) delves into the views of his “well-intentioned, poorly- informed high-status idiot” character and it is a modern-day comedic masterpiece in my humble but oh-so-important opinion.
What does this have to do with the final year in my thirties and the struggle with hitting middle-age? Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. And neither does politics at all, which is why I haven’t written any political posts up to this point and rarely reference politics in general at EveofForty.com (other than the obvious Palin slam from time to time, but I mean, come on… it’s Palin… it’s obvious). This blog isn’t about politics, although now that I think about it, getting older and experiencing life more does have an effect on how our beliefs can change/may change/will change, which in turn potentially sways our way of thinking when election time rolls around, so I guess maybe this blog can have a political post from time to time and it be considered “fitting” of the topic. I literally talked myself into that decision right then and there – right in front of your very eyes. You’re welcome. Oh, and God Bless America.
Two things happened today that were politically related and that gave me the idea for this particular post. Firstly, I voted. Yay me! Jury duty, here I come! And not only did I vote, but for the first time ever my eyes weren’t the only eyes on my ballot or the decisions I made as an American citizen. My votes were cast in the company of my six-year-old son as I decided it was time for him to see how our election system worked, and how our government was made. You know, the whole “We the People” thingy (Thomas Jefferson was a redhead, bitches!).  It was a proud moment for me as a mother. My parents had never taken me along and I thought it was important that Roman get a feel for what I hope he will take pride in twelve short years from now.
The second thing that happened today was that I got an email from my older brother, Steven. He is not the eldest of my siblings, but rather right smack in the middle. He texted me and said “I want you to read something” and the little envelope icon appeared on my phone not two minutes later showing that his message had arrived. “Circling the Drain” was the subject line, and by the sixth word I knew I was about to read one of his political rants. I was as wrong as I was right.
To give you a background on Steven, or rather, a background of our differences, let me start by saying that we do not share the same views when it comes to politics. He, a registered Independent and I, a registered MILF, usually go toe-to-toe when it comes to debating the decisions of our government, but what I always found intriguing about him was that he had what can only be defined as the skill to come off genuinely passionate about his beliefs without ever losing his head or his cool. No, Steve. I didn’t say YOU were cool (don’t let that get to your head!) but now that I’m speaking directly to you, I have always appreciated the way we’ve debated, and I think that the feeling is mutual, which is likely why you sent me the email today in the first place.  
The text continued with “I wrote this and sent it into the Inquirer, but they wouldn’t print it” which made me cringe at the idea of what on earth he could have written that the godforsaken Philadelphia Inquirer wouldn’t print it, but what I found after getting through his email was a well thought out, eloquently translated series of emotions, thoughts, and feelings about our government; present, past and future. I got to the end and felt something I’ve felt a handful of times before when it came to my brother: I felt it on the day he left for Air Force basic training, and on the day he graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy, and to be honest, on the day he admitted to himself that the woman he had married was not the right woman for him. I felt proud. Proud, not necessarily that his views were my views, but proud that he had expressed them in the way that he did. He texted me after I told him I read it and said, “Agree or disagree?” to which I responded, “Doesn’t matter whether I do or don’t. It was really well written, and I’m going to post it to my blog under your name.” “Hey, thanks sis. Really? Wow. Thanks.”
So, you’re welcome, big brother… and, thank you. It won’t have the viewership of the Inquirer, but it will be read by the right people, trust me.
Circling the Drain, by Steven M. Riccio
In light of the upcoming Presidential election things will never get better in America, so don't look for it to happen and be happy with what you have.  Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.  Forget the politicians.  They're only there to give you the illusion that you have freedom of choice.  You don't.  You have no choice.  You have owners.  They own you.  They own everything.  They own all the important land.  They own and control the corporations.  They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the Statehouses, City Hall and they've got the judges in their back pockets.
They own all the big media companies so they can control just about all the news and information you see and hear.  They spend billions every year lobbying to get what they want.  Well, we know what they want.  They want more for themselves and less for everyone else.  But, I'll tell you what they don't want.  They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.  They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking.  They're not interested in that because that doesn't help them.  That's against their interest.
They don't want people smart enough to sit around the table and figure out how badly you are being fleeced by a system that threw you overboard 30 years ago.  They don't want that.  What they want is- obedient workers.  People who're just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just incompetent enough to passably accept all the increasingly terrible jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.  And now they're coming for your Social Security.  They want your retirement money.  They want it back so they can give it to their friends on Wall Street.  And they'll get it.  They'll get it all back from you sooner or later because they own this place.  It's a big club... and you're not in it!
The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged.  We are circling the drain and nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care that good, honest, hard working people, who're white collar, blue collar and it doesn't matter what color shirt you have on, of modest means continue to elect these rich elitists who don't give a damn about you.  They don't care about you at all.  That's what the owners count on.  The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big, red, white and blue fleecing.  Freedom of choice?  Here are the choices you have: Paper or plastic.  Aisle or window seat.  Smoking or non-smoking.  Pepperoni or plain.  The owners of this country know the truth.  It's called the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it.

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