I’m a d/Druid, yes — and I care about politics. (This is a political theory post.)
I could write thousands of words about the studied apathy toward (and sometimes willful avoidance of) current events that’s present in a lot of modern Paganism; I definitely have a lot of strong feelings on the subject.
That’s not where I want to go today.
We are so divided in this country along party lines (and I know we’re not the only country struggling with a heightened sense of division and friction right now).
I’ve always been progressive/liberal/however you want to phrase it. But until this past year, I was happily “Independent” party-wise. I only changed my registration to Democrat when we moved to NY because otherwise I would be ineligible to vote in either party’s primary election.
Closed primaries are understandable but still annoying. Parties are annoying…but it’s worse than that. The two-party system (don’t talk to me about all of the other parties there are that have little funding and even smaller membership…I recognize their existence, but for most purposes, there are only two major parties in the United States) fails everyone it purportedly serves.
I’m gonna say it again for the people in the back: Our two-party system sucks and it fails us all. (Well, all of us except potentially the power players who just trade power back and forth ad infinitum, pocketing wealth the entire time…)
Politics is a rich man’s (and very occasionally a rich woman’s) game here. You have to have a major party’s backing to get to Election Day with a reasonable chance of success, and you’ll spend millions of dollars on-hand (or raised with a staff you’re paying somehow) to campaign before you ever get close to that point.
Meanwhile, it’s like a worse-than-Super-Bowl-Sunday brawl outside the gates. Everyone is shouting for their team and nobody’s listening to what’s actually happening. We all just double-down on an “us vs. them” narrative that’s leaving the vast majority of us behind in matters of legislation that affect our lives, our neighbors’ lives, our children’s lives.
What if only candidates had parties (announced only during the run for office — or even after the election!), and the rest of us were just plain voters?
Hell, what if not even candidates had parties?
What if we overturned Citizens United — and set caps for total expenditures, with detailed accounting/audits available to the general public? What if we set lifetime term limits (say, two consecutive terms) for Congress?
Maybe then we’d see candidates speaking to the issues that concern us all — and actively working to keep their promises before becoming regular citizens again, private citizens who would live by the same legislation they passed, instead of being set up as fat cats in the good ol’ boys’ club forever.
When you’re rich enough to not have to interact with everyday people, you don’t have much impetus to care about them. When your power is not directly derived from the constituents you supposedly serve, but from big-name party donors and wealthy lobbying groups in whose pockets you reside, you don’t have to give a rat’s ass about your district.
Politicians today don’t work for us. They kowtow just until we elect them, and then they do whatever the hell they want (or whatever pays the most).
We can fix these things. But we can’t and we won’t fix them while we’re too distracted yelling at the other guy’s team, pointing out headlines that support “us” being somehow better than “them,” etc. — and the people in power know that. They want it exactly this way.
If we’re going to return power to the ones it rightfully belongs to — all of us — it can’t be Republicans vs. Democrats. It can’t be liberals vs. conservatives. It can’t be us vs. them.
It has to be We the People.