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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 427: I Stand by my Political Affiliations

Every country has it's own political dramas - each one having splintered segments of its population, divided according to political views (or non views).

Conservative vs Liberal, Republican vs Democratic, Socialist vs Capitalist - and then there are all the different variations and subgroups of these orders. Let's also not forget the monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships, resistance fighters, rebels and religious leaders.

What do all of these titles and groups mean in a collective society that cannot feed everyone, clothe everyone, teach everyone to read & write, house everyone, or keep everyone safe? What do politics matter, compared to these things? Politics have just become a distraction - keeping us from giving our full attention to the things that really matter.

Consider the American political arena: Presidential candidates make big promises, with no actual plan behind these promises to implement them. They use their charms to collect voters, and say all the things that people want them to say. How many of these candidates are actually interested in the well being of the country and its citizens? Not many, it seems, for they live like royalty, spending huge amounts of money on things like "public image", "voter approval" and whatever other rating systems we have thought up to apparently "measure" the worthiness of the candidate. There are no practical solutions, it's all bright lights, pretty pictures and nice words - nothing that is actually substantial.

In South Africa, all the politicians need to do is claim that they fight for freedom, and they will meet with the approval of the voting public. Scandals of money mismanagement, multi-million rand parties, multi-million rand mansions, huge "black holes" in the budgets of municipalities, healthcare & education services - none of these things make a dent in the public images of the politicians so long as they say all the right words and stir up all the right emotions to win the hearts of the voters.

While we argue, debate, poll and cheer, the lives of the billions of beings that suffer do not change. Our interests in and dedication to politics does not change the world. We are essentially living in a fariytale where "republican", "democratic", "liberal", "conservative", "socialist", "capitalist", "royalty" and all the others have become empty shells - they do not mean anything if they are incapable of effecting real change. Most of our lives, the things we do, think & talk about do not mean anything - they do not change the world, they do not make the streets safer, they do not educate our children, they do not, feed us, they do not house us, they do not clothe us - they do these things for only a few people: the politicians themselves who are making a living by dazzling us all with their sparkling smiles and charming personalities.

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