Friday, September 30, 2005

You Can Have Vegas, I'll Take Nashville

I hate politics. There’s nothing that can make a relatively kind, normal individual more ugly to me. Seriously. I mean, aside from all the obviously horrible things a person can do which are automatic grounds for destruction such as: rape, murder, torture, child abuse, extreme censorship (i.e. banning the Harry Potter series from your school, etc.)—politics is a divisive, ugly tool in society.

During college, I didn’t pay attention to politics very much and to be quite honest, I got a D in my required political science class. That wasn’t because I didn’t get it, it was because the class was at 10 am and I slept through it. How could I not? Very often I was awake until 3 or 4 in the morning—this was my first quarter in college, you know. And anyway, in college, the majority of your professors are Democrats and not knowing what party I belonged to, I just nodded my head when they complained about Republicans. I think there was a point somewhere in there where I joined the College Republicans, but I think that was mainly because my neighbor was in their presidency and made me go along—but only to one party. If anyone had tried to talk to me about politics there, I would have stammered out some b.s. and then changed the subject.

And as recently as May of 2004, I didn’t know what was going on. On a train between Prague and Vienna, my friend Math Matt (a professor of, yes, math) tried to have a conversation with me about the political division of people in America. He likened it to the strength of divided ideologies before the Civil War and told me he thinks the only thing that will cleanse the hatred and discontent between the political parties is something similar to the magnitude of the Civil War. Obviously I was tired and uninformed and so, being an Aries, simply got mad. We argued and ended up in separate cars for the rest of the trip, with me in the food car and Matt sleeping in some compartment somewhere.

But, aside from Stoker, I never hear more sense from anyone than Math Matt. After not speaking to him for a year, and after listening more and more to politics and paying more attention to the climate of the political parties, I think maybe he’s right. Or maybe it’s just me and my passionate inclinations. When I meet someone, I think, “I like her. She’s great. What a girl.” But then they let some comment slip that I don’t agree with like, “The war in Iraq is a joke. It’s all about oil and it’s disgusting,” and I notice that they drive a behemoth SUV, the largest of the leviathans with a 40 gallon tank, big enough to land an F-16, and I think, “Yeah, it’s all about oil. What a crime. But, there is no demand for oil, is there? Americans like you don’t drive vehicles that require their own oil tankers. What a stupid war.” And I don’t even know if the war in Iraq is all about oil, do I? That’s just an opinion.

Anyway, Math Matt may be right. Perhaps there is too much division between people when it comes right down to it, and maybe we can’t all get along. Maybe we need to strike an agreement of some sort, divide the country up. With the Democrats in the southern states from lower California across to Florida, since they don’t mind all the Mexican illegal immigration, you know. They could just open the borders and let the flood of immigrants rise. Then of course, the Democrats would be free to make the working class support the lower class, and that way the Republicans would be happy living in the northern states where they didn’t have to support the lower classes and capitalism could rule supreme.

I’m not sure where I’d be, but I know that I want Utah. And I can’t have it divided down the middle, because the lower half of Utah is just as beautiful as the upper half. So, I’m thinking the Arizona-Utah border would be the dividing mark, because probably I’d end up on the Republican side. Mainly because my family would be there . . . but also because, honestly, I don’t want to be obligated to support the poor—and maybe that makes me an enormous jerk. But I think if everyone considers it as honestly as I have, they don’t want to support the poor either, because deep down they know the truth: “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

I've since backed down from my some of my more extreme positions. I don't feel that a national divorce similar to the "Velvet Revolution" in the former Czechoslovakia is the only option for avoiding a national collapse. However, if the idea to decompose the Union into two (or more) parts were to gain momemtum, it would more sense that the liberal-socialist nation would be in the North. With the exception of Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas, most of the northern states would be in favor of a socialist government comparable to the Canadian system. The south, along with several midwestern states, tends to be more conservative.
A possible problem with a such a dissolution would be that the government in both cases would be become more authoritarian on the whole. In the socialist there would be the obvious degradation of property rights, oppressive taxation, and legally mandated poltical correctness. On the conservative side, especially in a government dominated by the deep south, it is possible there might be additional restrictions put on individuals and businesses for the sake of protecting the moral fiber of the nation. Frankly, neither nation would be a desirable place from my perspective.

MJB (a.k.a. Math Matt)

Matthew said...

George Will's rules for avoiding poverty: graduate from high school, don’t have a baby until you are married, don’t marry while you are a teenager.” George F. Will, “A Poverty of Thought,” The Washington Post, September 13, 2005, A27.

Dainty Fairy said...

You made me smile and giggle when you said:

"Obviously I was tired and uninformed and so, being an Aries, simply got mad. We argued and ended up in separate cars for the rest of the trip, with me in the food car and Matt sleeping in some compartment somewhere."

I don't know much about politics either at all. No one has ever tried to teach me that much though... (as far as I know, but I tend to often be half asleep during school too). I get the general idea though I think.

Aries327 said...

Ah Math Matt. You are brilliant and right and that makes me so mad. Wherever I end up, it must be in the most gorgeous state in the Union, or the dissolved union: Utah.

You'll never read this comment probably, but it's fun to go back years later and read what I said and what you said. Sorry I never responded.

Matthew: great quote.