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For the last two months I’ve taken a strong interest in the US Presidential Election, and I’ve been hearing both Presidential nominees talking about changing the “psychology” of the voter. In Dominica politics is no different; Politicians continuously play this “psychology game” – making us feel better by manipulating the price of gas or reducing taxes or some other strategically hot issue.

It is not news that marketing/advertising firms and politicians use knowledge of psychology to further their ends and manipulate consumers and voters. However, I can’t help but feel offended by the fact that so many of our politicians are corrupt – when they should be the people who are supposed to be doing something to eradicate corruption.

If we all just think more positively towards our elected leaders, things will get better! What bull-sh*t! This just lets them off the hook, and hooks us and makes us responsible for the mismanagement of our hard earned tax dollars that they have so gratuitously spent towards their own personal agenda. While I do believe our attitude shapes our lives, and that we are empowered to act and change our world, I don’t want to hear about this from politicians who have pretty much robbed decent, hard-working people and ensured that they themselves have more…and who have unceremoniously destroyed lives and livelihoods to do so.

I would suggest, rather than acting our despair out on strangers and on one another that we give ourselves permission to be as angry as we are about the way our country is going. And let’s also look at what the real problems are, and stop blaming our neighbor, or the driver who happens to be in-front-of us, or our children…Perhaps the most effective thing we can do is speak our truth to power, speak up for what we need, and demand certain rights, such as equal health care, enough to eat, and housing for everyone. Excuse me for my bluntness, but I’ve grown tired of these corrupted politicians pissing down on us from above–I’m angry, and while I take responsibility for this anger, I want them to know about it. We need one another, and we need to talk about what is happening to us, and how politics are affecting our island.

If we continue to isolate ourselves in our individual despair, things are not going to get any better. This is the way we take responsibility–by feeling what we feel, and by opening up some real, heart-felt communication about what is happening to us, to our world, and to those around us.

Lastly: Wouldn’t this be nice if the government was really in our service? If they were there to make sure everyone had enough–that everyone was looked after and taken care of? :mrgreen:

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3 Comments »

Comment by Suki
2008-07-29 12:28:23

Chris,

Politicians are who they are supposed to be and I think that we expect them to be different or to behave differently. Perhaps the issue is that we give politicians too much power and the people too little power. Why is there a profession of politicians? Would it not make more sense to have citizens serve in government for one “term” understanding that they will then go back to their livelihoods when they have finished their service? Perhaps or perhaps not – either way, that is not the world we live in. With regards to the “rights” you mention “equal health care, enough to eat, and housing for everyone”. How can any health care ever be equal? Who would define that equality? It seems more like an ideal that everyone knows is impossible to attain but one that everyone likes to say we should strive for. Why not strive for each individual to learn as much as they can about their own bodies and get back some of the knowledge that continues to be lost in the quest for “equal” health care coverage from pharmaceutical companies. We used to know that the berries and leaves of Hawthorn trees have proven to be effective against high blood pressure and other ailments of the heart. Given that they live for 400 years, it would seem that having one in your backyard would be sensible if you suffer from high blood pressure but that knowledge is lost. When did we stop teaching men to fish and relying on politicians to provide to us with that which we can provide for ourselves? Same with enough to eat, if we are willing to work with what we have, does it matter if we are eating the same thing every day? Finally housing, Native Americans in the United States learned to build homes with the skin of animals and tree bark, are these resources lacking or is the knowledge lost? We, I think need to spend a little less time being angry, a little less time expecting a rock to be anything other than an rock and a little more time learning to fish.

Suki

 
Comment by Joel Halfwassen
2008-07-29 21:49:54

If they were there to make sure everyone had enough–that everyone was looked after and taken care of?

Is that really government’s responsibility? In my opinion government’s responsibility is in providing an infrastructure for economic success. Education, police, fire, roads, free trade, incentives for investment and entrepreneurship, and finally provide for foreign relations. Why should the government look after anyone? That should be on the shoulders of the individual. The individual should be responsible to make sure that they have enough, not government. Just like it is the individual’s responsibility to make sure that government doesn’t screw them. If you don’t like what is happening then get involved. Form a group or coalition and take action. Let the government know that what they do is not okay.

Joel

 
Comment by Aibal
2008-08-29 06:42:18

I understand and empathize with your frustrations, but ideally, you shouldn’t be blaming politicians — even corrupt ones — for your anger and dispositions. If you don’t agree with the decisions your politicians make, then you should work diligently in changing your government and getting rid of these elected officials.

 
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