Friday, August 31, 2012

Fear and Loathing

In a recent article in the New York Times, Mark Leibovich points out something that is quite obviously occurring in the hearts and minds of Americans during this election period. Leibovich had a dream that Mitt and Ann Romney were invited by Michelle and Barack for a visit to the White House where they  sipped lemonade and ate hot dogs and had themselves a good ol' time. Of course, after awakening and realizing this could never occur, a feeling of depression about this election eventually came over him. He is to the point where he found himself asking this about the campaign, "How am I ever going to get through it?" When casually mentioning his dream to people at campaign events, they responded, "It would be a sign something nice is possible." There is something vital that has been missing this year compared to past elections, a lack of joy. Americans are not as excited as they should be, but how can you blame us? All we hear is negative comment after negative comment when we turn on the news. This joylessness has much to do with the political media. Leibovich is saying that it is to the point where we can't take it anymore. We just want to get through this. Ultimately, however, with the severity of the problems our nation is already in, the American tone is probably not going to change no matter which candidate is elected.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Define: Politics

What fist comes to mind when I think of the word politics is idea of power and authority. This not only extends from the power of the federal all the way down to city governments, but politics is also very much present in societal segments such as religion, academia, special interest groups, and any sort of organization. People have many different views on many different ideas and philosophies. Politics is a mechanism in which individuals can channel their particular views in order to implement change and progress. Citizens of the United States are very fortunate to have these rights. However, in this day in time, when most think of politics they think of a blood bath. They think of political warfare because that is what surrounds us everyday of our lives through technology and the media. Some people lean to the left and some people lean to the right, and we watch, read, or listen to ideologies from political figures that we either agree with or disagree with. Then we inject our stance to family and friends, through social networks, through media, through art, or any possible way one thinks their voice will be heard.  Every issue ultimately comes down to one thing in the long run, money. Those with money ultimately who have the ability to inject and demonstrate their ideas onto others. Money equals power and authority. Politics = Money

Politics also has a great deal to do with world wars and the battles we choose to fight. Below is a photograph made famous during the Vietnam War. The little girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, is running down the road naked, after being severely burned on her back when a napalm bomb was dropped on her village on June 8, 1972. Was it in our best interest to help South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam? Americans remember the more than 58,000 U.S. soldiers that lost their lives, but we always happen to forget the one to three million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed.

Phan Thị Kim Phúc, Nick Ut, 1972