With less than a month remaining before the midterm congressional elections, one could argue that not much has actually changed in the United States. I mean, we still are passing awful legislation (Military Appropriations Act of 2006, stripping habeus corpus at will) and still not making people any less poor.
What has changed, as it does before every election, is the amount of rampant sucking up to the regular plebes of this country. Driving to drop my niece and nephew off today, I saw an incredible plethora of signs for political candidates, both on the state level and the federal level. I mean, the sheer amount of cardboard and metal used to put up these ridiculous political signs, festooned in red, white and blue, must be incredible. Then it struck me: there wasn’t a difference between the signs. No one was espousing political gold, telling of their stances against tyranny and oppression or trying to defend their past record ; this was pure name recognition. I would be remiss in thinking that the majority of Americans care about their political process at all. For the most part, children tend to inherit their parents’ viewpoints on a lot of things, including politics. So we get the dog and pony show, with candidates going through the old, tired routine of trying to convince Joe and Marie Six-pack that they are a thousand times better than the guy they voted for last time.
The only piece of sanity and reason that I saw was a DOT truck, with a worker picking signs up off the road and throwing them in the back of a large orange truck. In the end, all the campaigning, sloganing, mudslinging, fearmongering and gerrymandering comes down to how much money you have in your coffers or how scared your voters are. (Really, why in the world is our Homeland Security alert status at “elevated”? We’re “fighting them over there” after all…) But in the end, it’s not about that. Your candidate, my candidate, everyone’s candidate — their posters will end up in the trash bin, along with most of their last minute promises.