Do you remember who said:”Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” That was the ancient Greek politician and pop hero Pericles. Now 2500 years later, who can doubt him?
Lets get something straight. Politics — like this year’s campaigns — may be tasteless; still, it’s fundamentally noble. The mission of the politician is seeing to it this thing we call society holds firm and fair. Without that, nothing else will much matter.
But here’s why it always gets messy in a democracy: Freedom! Just like in ancient Greece where democracy first began, we often get messed up with all this freedom of ours.
Candidates are free to say whatever cockamamie distortions and lies their hatchet-men can throw ….the media are free to dig up and twist whatever dirty little secrets they can find….fat-cats hiding behind their billion-dollar empires are free to pay for any pol who will back their empire…political parties like the Tennessee Tea Party are free to demand schoolbooks “stop repeating criticisms about our Founding Fathers intruding on the Indians and owning slaves.”
Heck, Chef Paula Deen was free to pitch Southern-fried cooking when all along her own diabetes told her it was wrong. And then there’s a 400-pound convicted felon free to sue New York City prisons “for suffering emotional damage because they failed to stock any clothing beyond size 6X.”
So here’s what it comes down to, fellow citizen. We wouldn’t, we shouldn’t, relinquish our freedoms. Freedoms are what America was and is all about. However, just like behind every faith there is doubt, behind every freedom there is obligation. How do you and I manage this…? Here’s a simple test. Watch what happens when hurrying drivers all reach the same intersection which has no stoplight, only stop signs.
Most times most of us manage safely through. Now that’s democracy working! Pericles would be proud. And you…?
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