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August 19, 2010, at 12:56 am — Blogs | Guest Blogs | Uncategorized

Government, Politics, and My Total Lack of Passion

Big government (sometimes capitalized as Big Government) is a term generally used by political conservatives, laissez-faire advocates, or libertarians to describe a government which is excessively large, corrupt and inefficient, or inappropriately involved in certain areas of public policy or the private sector. In this latter sense, the term may also be used by political liberals in relation to government policies which attempt to regulate matters considered to be private or personal, such as private sexual behavior.
-(Disputed) Wikipedia entry

Ok, so I read this over like 5 times and it mainly just made my eyes glaze over. That entire paragraph is two sentences. Two long, wordy, run-on and confusing sentences. To me, that’s more of the problem with our government then the system itself. The language of government has become so convoluted and confusing, any hope I had of getting involved has just shot down the crapper.

There’s a lot of problems with our governing body, including (but not limited too) too many older white guys making decisions for a culturally diverse country, money getting put into weird things we’re not told about, the system of representation not actually representing the population, and many many more. For me, the biggest problem is: none of it makes any sense to me. I know I should inform myself on the issues more then I do- I’m not a kid anymore, and a lot of what is happening has a direct impact on my life now. But I just CANNOT care when the language used is so cyclical and vague that nothing ever really gets said.

When Government type issues come up, I become the 13 yr old version of myself in math class- my eyes glaze over, my jaw relaxes, and I start to watch a movie in my head. This happens every time I get sucked into a political debate, or have someone try to preach an issue to me. I can’t help it. I try to listen, I really, truly do. It just doesn’t work. I can blame my ADD, (and have on numerous occasions) but really, I just don’t respond well to people saying things indirectly. Discussions of the politics always seem indirect to me. Everyone is saying their version of things, so you’ll agree with them, while rarely (if ever) discussing the strengths of the opposing views. That’s shady communication right there.

Yes, politicians are liars- so aren’t a good percentage of the American population- so what’s new there? Yes, the government is an imperfect system that is handling issue X, Y, Z with confusion and spitefully careful word choice. It’s still a better system then most of the world has, and we’re still a privileged community as a nation. Yes, our “big government” is flawed on fundamental levels- So am I, So are you, so is everyone we vote for on some level. Yes, the issues of today are vitally important and deserve smart people fighting both for and against them. That won’t make me listen to people arguing like children on a Sunday morning news program, no matter how much I ‘should’.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in DC and politics were topic du jour 24-7-365. Maybe it’s because my mother was a very motivated teacher of government classes and my rebellion was to ignore everything about it. Maybe that is why I can’t get my brain to turn on now. Who knows what the reason, but now I just find it all too …. Overwrought.

If one person could sell their argument on an issue to me in the same tone that we’d discuss something more commonplace, like, say, what a mutual friend had happen to them, a conversational, non adversarial, direct tone – I’d LOVE that. I’d respond well, and most likely end up on your side, just because you actually related it to me instead of trying to impress me with the sheer volume of your opinion. The problem is, most people who could and would present things that way aren’t as motivated to start the discussion in the first place. They’re less impassioned, and less determined.

Does this doom me to a life of lackadaisical attitudes about everything? A life of getting swept up by the tide of government decisions? Possibly so, and I’ll have to live with that. I think I know how to wade the waters well enough; I just won’t ever get swept away by any of it. I’m ok with that; I’ll happily sit on the beach and watch the waves. It’s quieter, more relaxing, and usually has an umbrella drink on hand.

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