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Bored to Death with American Pop-Politics

November 3, 2010

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

Ladies and gentlemen…The American public have voted in the mid-term elections and they re-voted a political party that played a major role in creating the various challenges facing the country today,whether domestically or externally. The same damn political party that Johnny Q. Public complained about when it was in power less than a five years ago…and now its back, energized by sipping highly caffeinated tea.

How plebeian, droll, and utterly ho-hum…

I’ve finally become totally bored of the American political scene. It’s filled to the brim with silly hype about “change” and self-delusions of grandeur regarding its God-blessed democracy. To me, it’s become more of a farce, year by year, with a heavy sense of the “will they, won’t they” (do the right thing) straight out of your typical sit-com/drama series. The really cheesy kind that crawls on for eternity.

The United State is not really that progressive about issues; from race to religion, welfare to arms-control, it’s slipping behind so many other countries.

It’s got a two-party system, where both parties basically say the same thing, remixed with their not-so-distinct rhetoric. I don’t even want to touch on their foreign policy because, frankly, its disastrous, violent, and perpetuates conflict in so many areas. And they don’t really change that much, no matter how loudly they proclaim they do.

I understand why it is necessary to pay attention. It’s mainly because their military budget overshadows most countries (combined), and, well, they were important during the Cold War (Because the Soviets were evil, soulless God-haters that ingests freedom and defecates horrors beyond our earthly comprehension)…

The Americans do have a powerful PR machine. That evolving powerful pop-culture, which gives them a boost in the global gossip and admiration. If it weren’t for the good movies and tunes (and big war-machines), a lot of people would be hatin’ the US more, I guarantee.

But honestly, I’m bored with it all. I’m especially bored with the spectacle and pomp surrounding their political environment. I’m bored with their flowery rhetoric of “democracy” and how “they have it all together”, while telling other countries to shape up or be ashamed or whatever…Particularly, when they’ve got a long, long way to go.

I mean take the current hot-news on Iran. Today, a woman, who was suppose to be stoned, will be hanged, for the crime of committing adultery and killing her husband. Just to get it out-of-the-way: stoning is dumb, I don’t have to explain why (do I?), and executing her is wrong in so many ways

But the Iranian Ambassador to Italy did say something interesting…How can the West, especially the US, speak about the horror of executing this woman when they did the same thing to a mentally disabled woman in September of this year? Her name was  Teresa Lewis. (There is no Facebook group condemning this, was there?)

This is a light example, in an ongoing (and long list) of continual hypocrisy coming out from the American political climate.

Even their style of domestic democracy bears questioning: Issues of vote rigging/stealing, massive corporate-political corruption, heavy lobby influence, the biasness of the electoral college, never-ending race issues, immigrant bashing, enviornmental outrages, and so on and so forth and etc…

Compare US political representatives with those south of the border.

Brazil’s Lula de Silva and his successor Dilma Roussef can honestly teach American politicians a thing or two, if US politicians and “experts” were not so arrogant enough to simply ignore this…Brazil is fascinating. As the article, if you dared to click, mentioned, over the course of Lula de Silva’s term (ending with an approval rating of a whopping 80%), he has been able to do much:

  • winning two elections in a row (2002-2006)
  • having the per capita income grow by 23% from 2002 to 2010
  • having unemployment at a record low of 6.2%
  • allowing the minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, to grow by 65% – not to mention more than 20 million people lifted from poverty and becoming middle class
  • aggressively entering the international scene by negotiating (with Turkey as a partner) a solution to the Iranian nuclear development….and not using the threat of war or sanctions to do so…that’s freaking genius, that is!

Brazil is just one democratic country, among numerous others, outside the typical European and Neo-European geography that has been doing exciting and progressive things in their journey to develop and grow.

Sure, constant political and media attention on American elections are important in the grander scheme of things, because, its the US and they still have the influence in international relations. Yet, I feel like the American model is filled with hype, and should be scaled down to its actual size.

It reminds me of reality shows. They (both the reality shows and American politics) are awful expressions of human relationships, overblown, over-dramatized, and has too much self-importance. There are the few rare gems within the American political world (like Survivor for reality tv), but when looking at it in its entirety it is hyper-commerical, noisy, and audacious (there’s a book about it…its called the Audacity of Hope). And it is overbearing.  Oh man, is it so overbearing. Frankly, the politics has become more like pop culture (a mish-mash of sorts, a pop-politics perhaps), and that is not a good thing.

We, and here I mean whoever cares about the sociopolitical nature of their societies, must not solely look at the United States as a blueprint for our respective societies.

Iceland has fascinating takes on freedom of speech. Numerous countries are going further than the US on same-sex marriages. Iran is in the forefront of stem cell research. Cambodia gives the right to women to choose if they want an abortion (as do Vietnam and Lebanon, among others). The US is the only country, with Somalia, that has not signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child (well…Somalia at least said it will, soon.). India can teach us more on how to balance multiculturalism, its not perfect but far more superior than other places (something the Germans should heed). I can go on and on, but I gather that you get the gist.

Now, I don’t mean to say there aren’t good things that the US system can teach us.  Of course there is.

What I am urging is to take our attention down a notch, broaden our understandings of how government and social structures are formed and work, and to learn from all possible styles.

This world is much more dynamic than the American model. Let’s not let all the pretty colors and loud music distract us. It may be entertaining, but if we do, this democracy will seriously, and eventually, bore all of us…to death.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Claude Van Inkins permalink*
    November 4, 2010 2:09 pm

    I think there’s the main – and obvious – fact that makes the planned Iranian execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani controversial is the nature of the crime: adultery. Execution by stoning hardly seems like a proportionate punishment, besides the fact that whether adultery should be a crime at all.

    Teresa Lewis killed her husband and stepson.

    Personally, I don’t think there is EVER a justification for capital punishment, so for me the debate on the nature of the crime is perhaps a mute one.

    But the reason why its not for some people is not, and, even though I don’t think the execution of Teresa Lewis is justifiable, I’m not sure the comparison made by the Iranian ambassador is a fair one.

  2. thefilthyviewer permalink
    November 4, 2010 2:22 pm

    Ah, but Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was/is charged with murder, manslaughter, and adultry… This charge of murder and manslaughter was not highlighted by many media organizations; it was not only about adultry.

    If we are the take the case upfront on both sides: the US case and the Iranian case, and we accept that there was a fair legal procedure behind this (which I doubt, in both the US and Iranian case, but anyways), the two cases are similar (I do concede that they are not completely the same).

    However, there was barely any loud outrage on the part of the media and those who follow the media on the Lewis case with the magnitude on the Ashtiani case.

    She (Lewis) was mentally disabled, was she not? That in its own right, should leave one to pause.

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