The 2012 General Election is nearly here and like many others I find it difficult to get excited over the choices being given me. I am sure that in real life the majority of these men and women running for political office are decent folk. Yet, I still can't help get the feeling that these same decent folk will still sell us all out somewhere down the road. I suppose the reason for that is because the current state of our political ideologies demands it as the movers and shakers of whatever political party will remind those with less influence that all of their future
plans will hinge on how well they behave, or obey orders, when called upon. And that just doesn't bode well for the constituents you know?
Of course I don't think most voters give a damn either. At least that's the way it seems. I mean what else could explain the nonchalance amongst voters who refuse to acknowledge that their elected leaders haven't exactly been square with them? It is, after all, not much of a secret that lawmakers have become increasingly disconnected from their own constituencies while bedding down with special interests and lobbies that do not always have the people's best interests at heart, right?
And believe me, this isn't a partisan phenomena because both sides of the aisle have engaged in the same manner of governance. I used to joke with people that once a politician goes to Washington they no longer represent Democrats or Republicans - instead they become Washingtonites. Insider information has enriched career politicians from both sides of the aisle in nearly equal proportions and all one needs to do to see what I mean is to check the net worth of each member of Congress and then follow the money trail.
Of course their ethical lapses aren't the only thing that should bother people because adding insult to injury is the knowledge that not only will these "decent folk" be entitled to A-Number-One Health Care Package unavailable to the average taxpayer, they will also get regular pay raises that are far more than generous given their "actual hours on the job or being in session." And let's not forget about the almighty public pensions that they will be entitled to. Sadly the perks given our elected leaders are something that the average citizen cannot avail themselves of while they struggle in the private sector.
And let's be clear here - it isn't just the politicians in Washington where this sort of thing happens either. Politicians in every state of the union have found a way to diminish the rights of the individual while gorging themselves at the public trough. Especially here in Illinois where career politicians like Joseph Berrios refuse to adhere to the established Rules of Ethics while employing numerous members of his immediate family. Talk about taking nepotism to another level.
In my opinion Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios could be a poster-child for what an over-stuffed political pig feeding from the public trough might look like. Particularly disturbing is how Joe Berrios sees nothing wrong with providing his family members a lifetime of public monies while thumbing his nose at those who elected him. And believe me folks, he knows damn well what he does! But hey I really can't feel sorry for the voting taxpayers of Cook County either. After all they knew exactly what they would be getting when they elected him. I mean, the nepotism and his many conflicts of interest involving the tax appeals process is damn near legendary already.
Then again so are the tax appeal exploits of the law firms associated with Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and State Senate President John Cullerton. Now, exactly why the voters of Illinois vote for these creeps is beyond me. But one thing is crystal clear - the voters can't complain either. Especially when it comes to all that extra money they are shelling out in increased property taxes to help cover the many abatement's given large campaign contributors and/or the increase in the costs of providing those "spiked or rigged" public pensions. Again, they got exactly what they voted for so I suppose ignorance gets what ignorance deserves.
In the end, I can fully understand why so many people are so "willing to sacrifice and enter into Public Service." After all when you have taxpayers willing to pay the freight on one end of the ledger while special interests, lobbyists and/or the insiders are making big campaign contributions and rewarding those willing to further their agendas on the other end - well it really does pay well doesn't it?
Unfortunately the everyday Joe's and Joesephine's who somehow still believe that America stands for something, well they are just shit out of luck. Politicians today do not worry, or even care, about the visions the Founding Fathers had when they created their Democratic Republic. It's a shame too because America has steadily declined since its heyday and more closely resembles that of Ancient Rome in the end.
Is it any wonder. then, that there is so much apathy today? Even when citizens are trying to do the right thing, they are often derailed by their own neighbors who somehow aren't smart enough to know when their elected leaders are lying to them. As such they keep re-electing the same trash for the sake of a non-existent ideology and perpetuating the Status Quo.
Yeah I know, the choices simply aren't there are they? Slate-makers on both sides of the aisle have rigged the election and made it extremely hard for an Independent challenger to participate. And if that wasn't bad enough, they also Gerry-mander legislative districts to ensure victory for the chosen ones whenever the census allows.
Naturally that leads people to make the assumption that it is often better to vote for the lesser of two evils and I must admit have myself fallen into that demographic. But no more! Starting with this election I refuse to vote for someone who hasn't earned my vote. And by the way - anyone associated with a political campaign should know this too. I am sick and tired of you or your staff calling me to at all hours of the day and night to spread misinformation about your opponents while avoiding the issues entirely. You know there's this old saying - "don't call us - we'll call you" so rest assured that I am not picking up those robocalls any longer - even when disguised as being a "wireless caller."
Quite frankly these politicians are just creeping me out more and more!
Tags: 2012 General Election, 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Hussain Obama, Chicago, Chicago Democrats, Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, GOP Challenger Mitt Romney, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Joe Berrios, John Cullerton, Joseph Berrios, Michael Madigan, Mitt Romney, News and Opinions, Op Ed, Political Corruption, Politics, President Obama