June 24, 2012

Tapped Out

Some of the things that I don't immortalize on the interwebs have been taking a toll for these past 4 months.  A season of my life has, thankfully, ended.  I have been a public servant slave for over 10 years.  For most of that time, it was incredibly rewarding.  I learned so much about government and leadership, and met and worked with some amazing people.

Unfortunately, I have seen the underbelly of the beast.  Six or eight years ago, I encouraged people to get involved with their communities.  I have served on boards, committees and councils for charities and municipalities.  Deep down, they all share the same levels of dysfunction that we see on full display in D.C. right now.  I wouldn't wish public service on (most of my) enemies.  It is a thankless, bloody task.  It is a guarantee, that at any given time, half the people love you and half hate you.  Occasionally that balance tips and they all love you - but usually they all just hate you.

It won't be news to you, but I have learned that the most startling difference between liberals and conservatives is, at its foundation, the classic battle of good versus evil.  Democratic strategists, consultants and worker bees operate on the 'say and do whatever it takes' mentality.  They prey on people's fear.  Republican strategists, for the most part, try to take the high road.  And this blind devotion to doing things the same way, because that is the way it has always been done, leads to disaster.

We have to wake up, and we have to wake up our friends and neighbors.  It is apathy that is killing the right. Some just don't care.  Some think that their vote doesn't make a difference.  Some are ignorant.  If we can't fix the apathy problem, we will never fix the Obama problem.

In the end, we elect the government we deserve.  Our forefathers intended for us to participate in the process.  Our vote is our participation.  Without it, democracy ceases to exist. 


CenTexTim said...

The idealist in me wants to believe in Lincoln's famous quote about "government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

The realist in me prefers Oscar Wilde's version: "democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”

In any event, you are correct that voting is crucial to democracies. But further participation by 'the people' is also crucial. I applaud your public spiritedness, and thank you for your service.

Harper said...

This was another interesting angle.

Especially this:
Anyone with a cellphone today is paparazzi; anyone with a Twitter account is a reporter; anyone with YouTube access is a filmmaker. When everyone is a paparazzi, reporter and filmmaker, everyone else is a public figure. And, if you’re truly a public figure — a politician — the scrutiny can become so unpleasant that public life becomes something to be avoided at all costs..

CenTexTim said...

Telling point.

BTW, I think the link is messed up. Is the quote from Friedman's recent column?

That one is one of the few of his that I somewhat agree with, although he did stick in the obligatory slam of GWB.

Harper said...

Thanks for fixing my link. Lord knows how many things I have on my clipboard at any given time.

One thing he didn't point out, that I am reveling in this morning. There are things you legally can't say or do as an elected official. Today I have my voice back. I can say whatever I want without the veil of representing others hanging over me.

CenTexTim said...

Give 'em Hell!!!