Politics of Confusion


…Although I’m sorry to say, with just a few short weeks left serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, I know practically nothing about current politics. It’s strange to think that someone who is sworn to uphold and defend this country’s constitution would know little about what’s really going on out there. But I don’t think I’m the only one.

I believe a majority of service members wouldn’t have a clue as to what’s really going on, besides the troop withdrawls and where their next deployment may take them. And that goes for many people throughout the U.S. in general; no one really knows what’s happening out there. Even the politicians seem confused. Sure, there is the issue with the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problems we faced with Medicare (or Obamacare, or Medicaid – take your pick), and the ongoing national debt crisis.

Most people who don’t live in a mud hut know about these things. Even better, most people seem to have opinions about these things, and EVERYONE has someone to blame: Liberals, Conservatives, Immigrants, Terrorists, CHINA, the World Bank, the President, Congress, Abraham Lincoln, Billy Mays, Me, You, Whoever.

I’m not complaining though. In fact, I’m okay with it. We don’t live in a state of martial law yet and I still earn money (despite the fact that were in an economic depression). So I’m happy, or at least I’m expected to be – although I did quit my cable service the other month. Everyone around me seems to be okay with these things too. Their cable still works, they’re still able to afford fuel for their gas guzzling trucks, their Facebook profile is still active, and Domino’s still delivers. We are all okay. No one is dying. No one is homeless. No one is hungry. We are complacent, and we’re okay.

I’m only a term soldier, not a proud career veteran, but I’ve learned a few things. One thing that’s really stuck, is that complacency kills. In combat, it literally kills people. But back in the real world (as veterans call it for some strange reason), complacency kills motivation. Not simply the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, but the motivation that makes us ask why? The kind that makes us want to poke our heads out of our warm little nests and grasp with both hands the situation sitting outside our doorsteps. The kind of motivation that makes you want to do something about THIS.

I told the cable company to cancel my service for a couple reasons: 1) I was playing too much Call of Duty and not watching enough T.V. 2) It was outrageously priced, and 3) Everything I saw on T.V. was making me sick. There is no escaping the barrage of political infomercials in between every show you watch these days. Plenty of shows on T.V. are just that: Infomercials! Or rather Infotainment.

Everything on the news channels is bad. I can’t fathom how much debt this countries in, especially right after a U.S. Chinook carrying 30 plus troops is shot out of the sky, or when scores of children died in Africa today and scores more will die tomorrow. I can’t fathom how much debt were in period. What are these numbers that are thrown out there? Billion-dollar bailouts? DOW Jones is up? Good, I guess. We’ve passed our national debt ceiling? So can we still spend money? Apparently so. And how much is it? More than a trillion dollars? Who comes up with these figures?

I’m not a spooked out conspiracy freak barricading myself in my mom’s basement. The facts are out there, and they’re not pretty. What I really want to know is, WHAT IS GOING ON?

If you have any solid information (from a RELIABLE source), please, see my e mail. If you are as clueless as me, feel free to vent your frustration. Next, I will attempt to burry myself under a mound of documents, blogs, and news articles related to current U.S. politics in an attempt to gain enough information for my next blog, or to confuse myself farther down the rabbit hole.

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  1. #1 by themoodymuse on August 26, 2011 - 12:59 pm

    Great post. I think the frustrating side effect of the 24 hour news cycle is that we’re barraged with more information than we can process, so the temptation is to just tune out. Personally, I read the New York Times online everyday (I particularly like the Sunday Review section, which tries to give a more in depth context to the stories of the week) and I sometimes read the Wall Street Journal, for a contrasting opinion.
    I think most civilians rarely get to hear the perspective of active military personnel, so thanks for starting this blog!

  2. #2 by squelsch on August 28, 2011 - 1:50 am

    Indeed! I think the New York Times is decent too. But newspapers aren’t prone to BS. A relative i saw recently had a copy of The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and some Oregon based newspaper (Portland Review? I don’t remember) and out of all of them there was maybe four stories on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. None of them mentioned Libya, except for maybe a brief article on Gaddafi. The news we need is either too terrible, too confusing, non-existent, or isn’t news at all.

  3. #3 by terri0729 on August 28, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Though I don’t understand politics, don’t know a lot of history (my husband is the buff in the family), I do have my opinions about certain things. My nephew served one tour of duty in the Middle East when he was in the Army. He has lost friends over there. I remember how scary it was for our family while he was gone. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to get that visit informing you that your son/daughter was killed in action. I do know that our service members are highly undervaluled in this country. With all of that I just wanted to say this, GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS! With my deepest, heartfelt gratitude for providing me to right of feedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Peace :)

    • #4 by squelsch on August 28, 2011 - 9:14 pm

      I’m starting to think that U.S. politics are just made to look chaotic and overwhelming, when it can actually by divided into simple categories. There’s a lot of great resources (including wordpress) that have current information on these topics, and it’s never too late to start your homework!

  4. #5 by Sean Patrick Hazlett on October 6, 2011 - 11:59 pm

    The Economist is the best source for me. Because it is a British paper, it is less biased than most US-based news sources – i.e., it does not have a left tilt like the New York Times or a right tilt like the WSJ.

    • #6 by squelsch on October 7, 2011 - 3:30 pm

      I may have to start reading that one then. Most of my news comes from wordpress.com, or is at least fueled by wordpress.com.

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