Let’s pause for a minute and take a deep breath. Yes, this is a democratic opinion column. No, I am not a blue baby Satan. In fact, I rarely ally myself with either major political party in the United States because, whether your a republican or a democrat, the majority of your representatives are controlled by corporations regardless. Their own motivations have little to nothing to do with their political motives.
Over the years there has been an obvious evolution of the words “democrat” and “republican,” they have been made extreme instead of representing the clear-minded majority. The image “republican” brings to mind some variation on “The Dukes of Hazzard” while “democrat” allows space for black rimmed glasses, coffee, and a general yuppie attitude. Furthermore, there has been a movement by certain media outlets to define democratic policy as synonymous with socialism. So, I’m doing your professors a favor and defining those terms here and now:
A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole, Policy or practice based on this theory, (in Marxist theory) A transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.
A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives,A state governed in such a way, Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members, The practice or principles of social equality
I am not a socialist and though it sounds really cool to call myself a demo-list… I’m not that either. I’m a twenty-one year old appealing to sanity. No, socialism and democracy are not the same thing. Yes, many of the most successful European societies have incorporated significant elements of socialism within well functioning democracies. Yes, the United States is a democracy.
Furthermore, I think one of the most important aspects of affiliating yourself with either party really has to be educating yourself about the party agendas before you even make a commitment to calling yourself one thing or another. It’s all fine and dandy to call yourself a democrat or call yourself republican, but instead of getting out a box of Crayola crayons and only using the red or blue for those broad sweeping self identification strokes, take a moment to educate yourself on what your party representatives actually believe and the agendas and ideas they represent and endorse. Perhaps most importantly, look at what they do. Voting for someone only because they are a republican or only because they are a democrat is like voting for the kid who brought cupcakes to class.
For there to be progress there has to be discourse. This is a fact. The status quo has to be challenged in some way for the world to inch forward. Though progress can be so incremental it is almost unnoticeable, it is still imperative that intellectual discussions are held and ideas are debated to further the living conditions of human kind. This is why it is important to keep the mind open and hungry awaiting the debates of future decision makers in your lifetime and mine. It would be foolish to assume that just because a person is affiliated with a certain party all of their statements are “right” or “for the good” of anyone.
A recent example of this is found in a column by Paul Krugman called “Republicans Against Science,” though Krugman’s title may sound a little extreme, he refers to an event in which the governor of Texas (Rick Perry) speaks on his doubt in the existence of global climate change, ““I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” In essence Perry is questioning the legitimacy of scientists all over the world. The statement that these scientists are reporting for the people who are funding them casts a negative light on science as a whole.
It is important to consider the statements of our politicians to better understand the system that they work within, it is even more important to consider their statements and wonder… “Well governor who is rolling dollars into YOUR campaign projects?” Being a politically educated member of society is not a vacant chore. It requires searching for more information as well as logic. To follow blindly is the best way to get taken advantage of. Turning to Pink Floyd ask yourself: Mother, should I trust the government?