A Rare Rant

Note: Originally Published 8-8-06

One of my objectives with this blog is to post somewhat humorous, entertaining articles that will entice the reader to come back for more.  However, even I must sometimes lament the horrors of this world.  While I always keep my audience in mind, sometimes the desire to express an issue troubling me overtakes my writing and thus you get an article like what you are about to read.  I hope you will bear with me.

When I sit and think about what I want to write about in these blogs, more often than not they revolve around popular culture or news about my work.  As I’m in something of a creative slump at the moment while I wait for my latest book to come out, I don’t have much news to announce.  Therefore, I find myself always looking for something dealing with pop culture to write about.  There’s a lot to choose from at the moment.  We’ve got Mel’s drunken rage, Paris vowing to ward off other people’s genitalia for a whole year, the NFL preseason has started, the USA basketball team is playing exhibition games, and so on.  But it’s hard for me to take all of that seriously at the moment when I look at what’s going on in this world of ours.

I watch what’s happening in Israel and Lebanon on the television and have to wonder When will it end?  When will a conflict that’s been off an on for literally centuries ever end?  I think about how long our men and women have been in Iraq and have to wonder When will it end?  I’m sickened at the fact that I sometimes forget we even have men and women in Iraq and the Middle East.  Isn’t that terrible?  What’s worse, I fear I may not be the only one who sometimes forgets our soldiers are in the midst of a war. 

I am not a particularly political person.  I don’t necessarily vote straight ticket.  I tend to vote for whomever seems to be the smartest candidate, so don’t take this as a political rant against a particular politician.  I simply cannot fathom how the husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and children of these brave men and women are dealing with their loved ones still stationed over there, and I simply cannot understand how our nation’s politicians seem to be sweeping it under the rug! 

I support our troops, no doubt.  I thank them and I thank their families for the sacrifices they are making.  I know that if it were not for people like them, people massively braver than myself, our nation would not be the place of freedom and liberty that it is today.  I just wish our politicians felt the same.

But here’s the thing: it is not ultimately the politicians’ fault.  It is ours.  What I mean by that is the fact that we vote the politicians in.  This nation is a democracy, after all.  Now, I know the cynics’ argue that only those with money can achieve any real level of power in the political echelon of America, but that argument only goes so far.  If everyone voted for the little politicians, you know, the men and women at the local level, if we voted for the best candidates at those levels and made sure they stuck to their word, there would be a grassroots change in the American political system.  Our democracy is a large organism made up of many, many smaller pieces, and it thrives and survives off those smaller pieces.  We may not be able to control the fact that the rich families are the most likely to be able to fund massive political campaigns, but we can control whether they get any support from the smaller components making up their political party. 

Yes, this sort of idea is nothing new.  But, when we have people voting more for American Idol on a weekly basis than we do for our presidential elections, there is a problem.  We all, myself included, and I am far from innocent in this argument, must get out there and vote for those local politicians and hold them accountable.  The average citizen can take control of our country, if we can only get off our couches to do so.

Please offer a prayer or a thought for those men and women fulfilling their sworn duties in Iraq, and please offer a prayer or a thought for a resolution between Israel and Lebanon.  When I think of all the hate in this world and the weapons everyone has, sometimes I’m amazed we are still here at all.

Thanks for bearing with my rant…

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