posted on May, 20 2005 @ 10:35 AM
You're right amazed, but I don't know if "complacent" is necessarily the right word. That lends itself more to "we're just happy the way things
are." I don't really think that's the problem at all, but more that we don't really feel like we can make a difference. I mean, our beloved
elections are good example of both the cause and effect of that. Voter turnout is terrible compared to other nations, that's something that almost
doesn't even need to be stated. But not only has the voting process been abused in various elections--not even just the presidential one, look for
what happened in Washington state's governor race for example--but the presidential elections really have little incentive for the public.
We do not elect the president, we merely show our support one way or the other. While the electoral college generally goes with the popular
vote, it by no means is required to, and there have been a handful of times where the popular president lost the election. That's something the
founders of the nation intentionally included, because the general public (at that time at least) isn't knowledgeable in the necessary fields to make
the "best" decision.
I think a lot of Americans have become more and more disillusioned with how the nation is handled and are seeing (either honestly or just in their own
minds) how much power we really don't have. It's really hard to be the one to stand up in the crowd and rally everyone for something like tax
reform, or even the war in Iraq. We'd rather show our opinion through a Gallup poll, the local bar, or internet forums like this. Places of
anonymity or places where no one really cares, they just want something to argue about.
I think also, to a lesser extent, the more moderate political lines have become more popular, and people don't want to be considered extreme left or
extreme right. They hear people talk crap about Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore, and subconsciously decide that it's better PR to keep your mouth
shut and let those guys express your beliefs and take the flak.
But we as a people are not entirely blind and submitting to government control. We just need something to get the fire going, and unfortunately the
catalyst required has been getting bigger and bigger as time goes by. If you would've had a survey on September 10th on whether or not we should
invade Afghanistan in order to rid the world of terrorists, most people would have either laughed at you, or said "sure, but I think we have more
important things to do right now." The minute the planes hit the towers the general concensus was along the lines of "roll out the B-52s, we're
going to turn something into a parking lot." The only way tax reform will ever happen is if there's some massive scandal that hits every American
in some way or another, even indirectly or empathetically. And it would have to be on a level where it's more than just a headline on CNN.com for a
day; it would have to be something of the magnitude of 9/11, something where everyone in the nation has either lost a large amount of money or seen
how they could have.
As one popular comedian was wont to say, that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.