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A Moment To Vent Back...

This thinkpost is the responsibility of one suricattus. She wrote the following:

What frustrates me about too much of the world (and specifically the American populace, since that's what I'm dealing with) is that there are SO MANY ways to get involved in the world, to try and change things for the better, and yet people are still "well, I'm upset, but I'll post about it, or make a comment somewhere else, and that's enough."

No, it really isn't.
Change isn't a passive event.

"Oh, but doing X would cause problems, it's difficult, it's inconvenient."

Dog knows, I've been guilty of that myself, more than once.

Yeah, shit's annoying, it's inconvenient, it's scheduled at a bad time, or it causes traffic jams.
Protest is supposed to be disruptive, and upsetting. It's meant to force everyone out of passive acceptance and drive us to ask "what is this anger about? How can we fix it, so there's less anger "- and so they will stop being inconvenient, yes.

And yes that means forcing ourselves to act, not just the people who haven't thought about it before, or were standing in opposition. Good intentions and righteous anger don't do shit on their own.


And I was originally going to make this a private post, but you know what? No. I feel like yelling this from my porch.

I intended to write a comment back, but it just kept growing, so I brought it here.

This is a standard complaint and a valid one and a needed one. Here's my take on it.

People, at heart, are self-interested. This is a survival mechanism built into the DNA. However, this can be overcome. As long as they feel safe, good about themselves, and capable of accomplishing things, they are willing to push forward. And it's in those circumstances that people are more willing to be generous with time, money and effort.

Not to say that some people are willing to do those things without the feel good elements I'm noting, because there certainly are those people. There are a lot of folks who will put the interests of themselves on the back burner because they understand it's for the Greater Good. Let's take those people out of this equation. They're already hard at work anyhow. We're talking the average person or, for this example, the famed "Average American."

We elect people to public office. Or, some of us do. Even getting people to vote can be a difficult process, which really is an ancillary thinkpost for some other vent. But those that become elected members of our city, county, state or federal governments are called "representatives." These people are in their jobs to represent the wishes of their constituents. The problem is, along the way, these people may not really be doing what they should for the citizens they report to, because of how our system of government runs. With lobbyists representing the interests of organizations, and how those people run interference for the groups they represent, a lot of the time work simply doesn't get done when it should, which causes an even larger problem, later.

So, for example, we want to reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. Planting trees helps with that a bit, as they convert CO2 into Oxygen. But trees need to be near where the source of the gas is from to be most effective. And a lot of that source is from manufacturing companies. So we can't plant on the land owned by the manufacturer in question. We have to plant ten miles away.

We can have our Senator or Congress Rep issue a bill that intends to increase regulations, preventing these plants from pumping Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current levels. But that will cost those companies money - potentially hurting their profit margin and possibly reducing the price of their stock. So rather than pay the exorbitant pricetag to retrofit their factories with the technology to lower their CO2 emmissions immediately, they lobby Congress to change the bill or toss it out altogether. They are willing to pay a lot of individuals smaller sums so that they don't have to change anything.

The weak link in the chain is that our representatives go for the lobby money. They have killed bills in Congress that could have helped change and improve our world. Of course, they're perhaps feeling a little vulnerable themselves, as they have to run for re-election in a year or two or four...

This isn't "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

So, with a system that has corruption built into how it functions, is there any way to resolve any of these potential human life destruction issues (and I say that because it's highly likely that once humans are no longer a part of the equation, the Earth will continue on, unless the planet itself is disintegrated) without fixing the system that makes them so damned difficult to prevent?

This isn't to reduce the value of an individual's contribution; we need people to be advocates and to set examples for the rest of us. But it's a little Quixotic to think that the biggest problem is how each and every citizen isn't doing enough when, if we look closer, we can clearly see that sometimes government isn't just doing nothing - it's actually working against us to the profit of the people purportedly in office as our voices.

How do we end the corruption in government, especially now, when it appears that the current administration has been set up, like an elaborate dominoes display, to fall into the laps of the people running the show, leaving the rest of us flat on the floor?

Money. More is never enough. And with money comes the ability to run and hide from trouble. You can live in a gated community. You can vacation in clean and beautiful regions of the planet. You can afford to buy that hybrid vehicle and park it right next to your SUV.

As the cost of running a campaign continues to soar higher and higher, only wealthy people have a reasonable expectation of being elected. And those people will support the interests of the wealthy because that's who they are. We're seeing that in action, right now. Just on the issue of Trumpcare, the new Republican health care bill designed to "replace" the ACA, it's unclear that the people responsible for it even know what their constituents need from this plan. But it would be a boon to the super rich in our country, as they would get a massive tax break from it.

This is an elaborate puzzle with all sorts of elements that shift: as you move to correct one, another falls out of place. In a situation like this, it's really going to take continued effort, pressure and action to collectively start to hammer out a fix.

Which is my long-winded way of saying, I agree.

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