by Tori Perez
“Not everything can be changed that is faced, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
– Lucille Ball
So what? So Americans are driving their 2015 Lexus down I-5, seemingly without a care in the world. It’s got a fresh coat of untarnished red paint, perfectly tuned thermostat for the A/C, radio and iPod hookups and a sun roof. All the comforts of home while you’re flying down the freeway at 80 mph. We are lucky and blessed to have our shiny new car, er, country. Who needs to bother with routine maintenance? However, we know an auto mechanic just around the corner for when things go bad.
Politicians have become our hard-working mechanics. Politics are becoming exponentially more commercialized in a way that takes the responsibility off of us random citizens. We get all the perks without the hard work of the mechanical processes. That’s the dirty work of politicians. Every now and then we take our car to a mechanic and they slather themselves in grease for a few hours, fix up our car and we’re on our way. The good news is that all mechanics are extra greasy, and extra trustworthy, so that we don’t have to know what’s happening on the inside.
In Bowling Alone – The Collapse and Revival of American Community¹, Robert D. Putnam tells us
“In 1960, 62.8 percent of voting-age Americans went to the polls to choose between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. In 1996, after decades of slippage, 48.9 percent of voting-age Americans chose among Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and Ross Perot, very nearly the lowest turnout in the twentieth century. Participation in presidential elections has declined by roughly a quarter over the last thirty-six years. Turnout in off-year and local elections is down by roughly this same amount.” [Emphasis added]
In other words, we are more than happy to let someone else make the decisions and do the “dirty work” for us. It doesn’t matter much who they are, either. The more we shift responsibility, the more our paint stays shiny, and the more our engine falls apart.