Monday, December 12, 2011

The American Taboo

I am not a lobbyist. I am not someone who goes around pushing my political beliefs upon others. I watch different news sources to some degree and I try to keep abreast on the major political topics. I am a person of reason. I love debating when the time calls for it, and love playing “the devil's advocate” on a number of topics for the simple fact of understanding what, and why, people believe the things they do. I do this socially and I will occasionally share some things that I find interesting, on social platforms, in hopes that others will read or watch what I share, and get them thinking.

It amazes me that so many Americans don't hold opinions about political issues, and in many cases, have any idea on what's going on. When questioned further to get to the “root” of what they believe, I have found that those “root beliefs” are there because that is what they were raised with. These beliefs, for the most part, are how their parents and grandparents believed. People, I have talked and listened to, were raised hearing these beliefs and have come to understand that these beliefs are the “right” ones to have.

Outside the political arena, in many social settings, it has become a taboo to talk about two things for many Americans: religion and politics. I believe this taboo is the downfall to our society, and our government. I believe this is why there is a new revolution called “Occupy Wallstreet”. People are finally coming around after years of not playing their part. I use the term “their part” strongly because everyone is at fault, including myself. We may vote, we may watch politics, but unless we break the taboo of talking about politics, helping others stay informed, holding those we elect in office accountable to the reasons we elected them, and making our concerns known to them, we continue to let them get away with the things the “Occupy Wallstreet” movement is so angry about. But who's fault is it?

I agree there are corrupt people in our government. There are corrupt people in our financial industry. There are corrupt people everywhere. We, the American people, have created our own taboo and hence, our own downfall. Most Americans don't vote, and yet they get mad when they lose their jobs and homes. By not understanding politics and current issues and then voting, you agree to allow the people who do vote, to speak for you.

The main reason talking about politics in social setting has become a taboo, is because people get upset. Why? I too get upset when talking about politics, because a majority of people opening their mouths in many of the conversations I have been a part of, have no idea what is happening in current issues and they say things that their parents and grandparents have said over the year. I find ignorance is the biggest issue in American politics, and many politicians feed on that. Many people don't take the time, or care, to understand what is going on. Most of the voters in this country vote depending on if there is an (R), (D) or (I) beside the candidates name. If it is a measure or a bill, they vote depending on if the “title” sounds good or not. Really? These are they people you want speaking for you if you don't vote? Following politics, understanding what each candidate stands for, voting and holding the elected officials accountable is what is needed in this country.

Many politicians were scared in the 2008 election because more people voted that year, than in many years prior. They started getting restless in their seats because they knew that things were changing. People were starting to get fed up with the way our country had been running. The current President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, was promising “Change you can believe in.” The American people were wanting change. It was obvious. Our economy was crashing. Hard. Jobs were being lost to overseas. We were in war. Our country was on the wrong path, and it was evident. So, of course, America wanted change. After decades of voting in politicians depending on their party and then just waiting for the next election, politicians grew comfortable. We allowed them to do as they pleased because we “trusted” that they were good people. We believed they were going to look after the people under the title of their appointed office. But that obviously didn't happen.

Corporate America, the financial industry, politicians and the American people are to blame. We the American people didn't speak our voice correctly, politicians took advantage of our trust, and corporate America and the financial industry took advantage of our politicians. So where do we start in our recovery of America? We obviously have gone too far down this path and our country is crumbling.

It starts with each American breaking the taboo of talking about politics and the things they are concerned about with our country. That's where is starts, but it's not enough. We have to hold those people that have gotten elected in office (the good ones and the bad) accountable, and let them know what we think. They are there to serve us, the American people, and we must tell them what we want. That's the fist step. The “Occupy Wallstreet” movement is starting that. That's what it's all about, but it takes more.

Step two is knowing, and coming to an understanding, what is happening in our country and the effects of it. An example is the budget. The politicians we elected into our offices in this country, refused to come up with a budget because each side “wanted” something in return. That in turn dropped our financial rating. Which is pretty much our credit score for the rest of the world. It's not about the politicians and what they have promised to the financial industry and to corporate America, just so they can stay in office. It is about the American people. It's about this country. The United States of America is a place so many around the world want to live in for a reason. Let's return it to a place we all want to live in.