Social Question

rebbel's avatar

I have given up on politics (rather, politicians). How about you?

Asked by rebbel (31323points) May 13th, 2012

Our government has fallen, some weeks ago, thus making the path free for all parties/politicians to start campaigning for the next elections (which will be held in four months).
After seeing members of the (fallen) government criticizing other party members/ministers/policies that were part of the government (this government consisted of two parties, with support of a third one), policies that they helped form themselves, I got sick of it.
This time for real.
I will still cast my vote, but I have decided to not follow the news about national politics as much as I did before (only the newspaper I will use), and whenever I see a talking head of one of those politicians I will zap him/her.
So, my question: Have you given up already on them?
If so, what age were you when that moment happened?
If not, can you see that moment occuring in the future?
I am in my forties.

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28 Answers

Linda_Owl's avatar

To say that I am disappointed in the individuals who practice politics is an understatement. They are all pushing their own agendas instead of trying to work for the common good of the average person. I am registered to vote, but I have not decided if I actually will vote….. however, if I do vote, it will be to try to keep the Republicans from taking the Presidency. I do not trust either party, but at the present time it seems that the Democrats are less objectionable than the Republicans.

josie's avatar

Democracy is an institution that evolved so that the creepazoids that you described have a place to go and act on their sociopathologies in plain sight, and not hidden in some dark corner where you do not know what they are doing or who they are.

Berserker's avatar

Never really paid attention to them to begin with, except for major events and elections. There’s also the fact that my brain doesn’t seem to be able to understand fully how politics work. It’s too complicated for me, although I do understand that such intricacies mostly lead to the same damn things, in the end. :/

Bellatrix's avatar

I always vote and I care about my country and the democratic process. Politicians make me want to bang my head on the desk repeatedly though. I hear your frustration and absolutely concur.

I look at my government and the opposition and wonder how the hell they were ever elected. I think it is probably because those who might actually make a real difference would never stand as politicians. So we end up with a bunch of idiots with an occasional, bright light that is eventually stamped out by the fools.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

UKIP.
Nigel Farage is the only hope for the UK.
He has been disparaged and thrown to the dogs because
he has consistently stood up in Brussels and said, “No!”
to the big politicians who are attempting to consolidate
Europe into another big superpower.
The days of the superpower are over.
In order to live in peace, Brits need to govern themselves.
Every country in Europe should be allowed to govern themselves.
What applies to the Netherlands and the people there, may not be
what a country like Yugoslavia needs and vice-versa.
The European Union is run like a huge monopoly.
The bureaucrats line their pockets, while the countries paying them, are begging
for food.
(Just see the demise of Portugal and Finland and Ireland and Greece, where people are having to sell their babies to survive! This is insanity!)
Countries should have autonomy to make their own decisions.

Farage is one of the bravest men I know.
They have tried to shut him up and call him “crazy”.

But UKIP (UK Independent Party) won a number of seats last week
because people in the UK
are finally waking up.
The gig is up.
The EU is collapsing. People are angry.
The Emperor is wearing no clothes.
Simple.
To hell with the “Three Amigos”...Labour, Tories and the Lib Dems.
Be glad that in the UK, you can have another election when things start to tank instead of having to wait four years…or eight like in America!

Give Britain back to the British.
Stop paying the EU 40 million dollars a day for absolutely nothing. Money that can be used here in Britain to help send kids to school and to help the horrible conditions in the NHS hospitals, for example.

This is the person who wants to be the next Prime Minister (really?)...what is this double-speak? (Seriously?)
link

Here is the only person who is standing up for true democracy in the UK and isn’t afraid to tell the truth:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ6_Ey_MJV4

UKIP is the only hope for true democracy…in Britain. It’s quite clear to me. I have given up on “politics as usual” the same old pap, backbiting and “same old same old”...but I have not given up on freedom again for the British people and freedom from the European Union. I have not given up on people (like Farage) willing to stand up and fight. He is the only politician worth his weight in sovereigns…because he is courageous.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Our politicians are idiots too, but if we give up, aren’t we letting the idiots win?

Cruiser's avatar

I have never felt the desire to ever give up. Our country was founded by great men who did just the opposite….they faced unthinkable odds and because they didn’t give up we have the greatest nation on earth. Our politics can make you angry as hell but when things are not going the way I would like it only motivates me to find the silver lining in what we as a country needs to do to find better answers to the problems we face. People do make a difference when they don’t give up.

My motto is you can’t possibly lose if you never give up.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe and @Cruiser…..That’s why we have to always believe that there will be just one…one…one brave man or woman…that’s all that is needed. One brave, true honest politician…at some point, one of them will turn up and do the unthinkable…win the blasted race and turn it all around. (America has one of these, but it doesn’t look like that person will win unless pigs fly, unfortunately.)

Cruiser's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus I personally think people put WAAAYYY too much emphasis on the office of the Presidency. When you look at key legislation it is the grunts in the trenches of the House and Senate that do the heavy lifting. Can’t forget about Governors and the impact that have on us in a much more direct way than a President ever will.

GladysMensch's avatar

Listen to @Cruiser. Heaven help you if you get a Scott Walker of you own.

stardust's avatar

Yes, most definitely. Politicians have played a huge part in the downfall of Ireland over the last number of years and I don’t believe one word any of them say. They are full of shit

woodcutter's avatar

I did the next best thing to quitting and became an independent. I still care…but I don’t give a shit.

lillycoyote's avatar

It might be a better idea to give up on them once they no longer in power and are no longer able to make decisions that will have an impact on you, your family, your community and your country. The solution, in my opinion is to fight back, do more, not give up. If you give up, you only allow them more freedom and leeway to do more of whatever it is they are doing that you don’t like. Do think it will be better when they no longer have to answer to anyone? If everyone gives up? I doubt it.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t find the people who hold themselves in so much higher regard than politicians (myself included) to have come to that conclusion by rational processes or by reaching for an understanding of the factors that shape the actions of political leaders; and might very well shape ours if we stepped into their shoes.

Does much of what they do disgust me? You betcha. Do I ever disappoint myself? All the time. Do I want to abandon politics and embrace anarchy and a massive game of king of the mountain where the warlord with the most guns and subjugated soldiers wins till he steps on a roadside bomb? Not a chance. I know enough about Joseph Kony to not want to play Lord of the Flies with the likes of him.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Stardust…Ireland is one of the countries that suffered THE MOST by being bullied by the European Union. Ireland said, “NO, we are doing fine” and they were…they had been prospering and voted against joining the EU. The bullies came again and called for another vote. Apparently, a “no” isn’t a “no” to the EU. And they put millions of dollars into a campaign to push their EU agenda(who knows how else they sweetened the pot). Ireland entered the EU and in a few months Ireland was dead broke. Like Greece is. Like Portugal is and like Spain is going. Soon, France will follow, too.

I love Ireland and the Irish…I cried when they were swallowed up by the bureaucrat bullies. They had no right to come in again and take away the freedom of the Irish people. But they did.

That’s why I support UKIP…they are dead set against the EU.

JLeslie's avatar

In the last 15 years I feel more like I just can’t take it anymore. I am not sure that is really the same as giving up? I too say things like my country was founded by great men, as @Cruiser stated above. I feel lucky to have been born in the US with the ideals of our country. But, we seem to be straying all too often from the ideal. But, I have known my whole life it is a work in progress. What has changed the last several years is my total disgust for the health care system in America. This was before conversations regarding health care under Obama. Health care is such a part of our lives and the lack of integrity in the system makes me sick (pun intended) and since it is wrapped in politics it all gets meshed together in my brain.

As far as the politicans specifically, I can’t stand listening to the purposeful spin and “on message” bullshit from both sides. They sound so mindless. I am barely watching politics right now because nothing is really happening in my opinion until Romney starts debating Obama directly, the rest is media trying to kick up stories. So I take breaks from politics amd politcians I would say.

It probably won’t change until Americans raise their level, and stop being duped. It seems all too many people feed on the lies and disrespect shown by many of these politicians.

Charles's avatar

I haven’t given up on government. It still does a job and serves a purpose. I just don’t allocate my time and energy to follow it, research and analyze issues, and vote; It isn’t worth the benefits for me.

mowens's avatar

America was bought and sold a long time ago. This shit the shuffle around every year is just to make us feel included.

Qingu's avatar

I’d love to hear about this golden age of politics that supposedly existed before you guys “gave up” and succumbed to self-righteous apathy.

Was there ever a time when many politicians weren’t cynical and corrupt?

I haven’t given up on politics. Politics is power. It’s not the only form of power—corporations also have quite a bit of power. But if you remove yourself from political participation, you are merely ceding your power to others. Even if you only have limited power, you can still use that power to help improve the political process to some extent, or to help choose the lesser of two evils.

I have zero respect for people who believe that they are somehow “above” the political process. The fact that it’s messy, corrupt, and dishonest means that you have a responsibility to do what you can to improve it—it’s not a license to do nothing and pat yourself on the back for being above the fray.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I feel like there was a time when religion was not such a part of the mix. When the parties were not controlled by the religious wing. Maybe that is incorrect?

Qingu's avatar

Maybe before the southern strategy in the 60’s and 70’s there was a period where evangelicals tended to lay dormant in politics. But you go back further to the 30’s with Charles Coughlin and it seems like it was still quite prominent. Religion played a huge role in the Civil War and its leadup too, with both sides pointing to the Bible to justify their position.

I would also dispute that the Republican party is “controlled” by its religious wing. The relationship is much more complicated than that. The religion that evangelicals spout is also deeply affected by the Republican’s free-market wing. I mean it’s pretty fascinating that so many Republican Christians seem to believe that Jesus loved capitalism and that wealthy people should not share their wealth with the less fortunate.

In general, I don’t think it’s possible to separate religion from politics (not that I disagree with the separation of church and state ideal). All religions are political. They tell you to act certain ways and hold certain beliefs. The extent to which voters engage with politics based on their religion seems to vary to some extent from era to era but it’s always been there and always will be.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I just heard on TV (but was not really watching the show it was on in the background while I was busy doing something else) that this new shift of Christian Clergy preaching greed and wealth as biblical was a natural message to help them explain their fancy cars, big houses, and wealth the TV type preachers asking for money have. Eventually, other churches followed in the message. Not sure if that is true.

A black Republican facebook friend of mine (not a real life friend) has written tons of status updates regarding Obama’s support for gay marriage including on that said more or less black pastors if you were fooled into thinking Obama was against gay marriage you have no one to blame but yourselves.

I wouldn’t say Christians believe they shouldn’t share their wealth with the less fortunate. They just have a thing about it going through the government, and they want to decide themselves who is deemed worthy to receive the money. They also have rationalized that if we don’t make it easy, the poor will pick themselves up and be more successful. I do think sometimes the “system” encourages people to stay in the system. But, I can’t see a real way to make that better until we raise wages and make working be much more lucrative than the system. As long as they are in greed mode, wanting to keep the money for the top and squeeze the worker bee I don’t see how it will change. I don’t think the answer is take away social services, but to attract people to employment. And, there would be more jobs if we were not overworking employees to extremes, again with a crazy overfocus on profit and shareholders.

I am in favor of capitalism, just want some integrity in the system that will help us as a society.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie I am baffled why the Christian Right thinks that giving a family enough to keep them from going homeless or starving will demotivate them, but giving massive amounts to those so wealthy they could live for 10,000 years without working or investing will motivate them to work very hard.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro It is of course more complicated than you make it seem.

Qingu's avatar

There are some schools of Christian thought, largely Calvinists, that believe that your wealth on Earth is a reflection of God’s favor. So wealthy people are wealthy because they are doing good in the sight of God, whereas if you’re poor you probably deserve it because God doesn’t like you.

This idea predates the modern Republican party, but Republicans have certainly done their part to spread it among their Christian constituents.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I don’t really perceive that as the main reason Christian conservatives are against social systems. Many of them talk about having poor families who struggled, and then proudly state they never took any money from the government. It’s not completely true of course. Their children were educated in public schools (unless we go way way back) and probably there was some form of infrastructure they utilized built with government funds, but their point is not that poor people did something wrong in the eyes of God, but more God helps those who help themselves. At least in my experience.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie Perhaps you should read this.

And as to receiving public assistance, we all do. The roads and bridges our food comes to us on are built by the government. Unlike in the 1800s, the food we eat is generally safe due to government regulation and oversight. Without the public infrastructure we all paid to build, many of the 320 million people in the USA would soon be dead due to starvation, disease, or the spike in crime when we dismantled the police force. And many of the people public assistance supports are disabled, elderly, or children in poor families. Are children condemned to poor families because they were despised by God?

I see no evidence that God helps those who help themselves. I see tons of evidence that those who help themselves help themselves. Magic really isn’t required to explain it. The thing is, not all of us are smart enough, or physically able enough to win at a game of king of the mountain. And I certainly never read where Jesus said that’s what we should be playing.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro Of course I agree with your points. I am only saying in the mind of the Christian Conservative they are not taking in all that information and thinking about it in that rational way. @Qingu made it sound like some Christians are sitting back saying God is punishing people with poverty, because tha person deserves it, who are we to question God? I don’t doubt some take this atitude, but I think it is a small percentage, I hear more of what I put forward.

Plus, back to the specific points you made, there are conservatives who want to do away with tax money going to infrastructure and privatize everything. Let alone get rid of money “handouts” to people. They do link it to religion and God, that part I do believe. Because they also associate morality and ethics with working hard and supporting your own needs. Since for them morals and ethics come from their religion, it’s easy to see how they draw the line to link everything.

One of the other big problems in my opinion a good portion of those who are very religious seem inclined to follow someone’s word. Once they choose someone, a leader, as a good guy to be listened to, they will go along with pretty much everything that person says and start paroting it to others. So when their Pastor tells them what to think, and it just happens to apply to political issues, they just go along. Or, when a politician they believe is good makes a statement, that becomes the gospel. Does there really need to be a rational explanation for the followers to follow? Nope. I am not saying they all follow along blindly like sheep, and some do have some good arguments, definitey worth us having a debate over in the cuntry, but many don’t. Too often the arguments are based in untruths or not analyzing an entire statement, like you and I both pointed out about infrastructure that we all use.

There are people who abuse the system, there is no question, and it is frustrating. They make sure they don’t earn too much money so they can maintain services once they have already started getting them. Some really do feel entitled, and they have no regard at all that they are using other people’s money. It’s about the atitude some people have. I am all in favor of giving people shelter and food, I don’t want Americans living on the streets and in squalor, and I want education for all and safe roads and bridges. But, when you see girls and women having 2,3,4,5 children they cannot afford financially or handle emotionally, and the children are all screwed up, well I think people who hear and see it all too often, and see it generation after generation, they just want it to stop. Want to figure out how to make that pattern stop. Anyway, they believe not incentiviszing them to have children, and not incentivizing them to work a limited amount, will mean they will stop having all the children and work harder.

I am sort of understanding about some of the viewpoints. What would happen if we told women, every year you don’t have a baby the government will give you $5,000, and if you have one you get nothing for five years. What if companies started paying really good wages? The government assistance would pale in comparison. That’s the trick on that latter point, they want to take away government assistance to getting a job is more attractive, but I fight back on that point saying, then you have to pay a decent wage, and they are all hell bent on the top people being able to make fortunes in salaries while the wee people make next to nothing. I think it’s awful.

Are there people who don’t abuse the system and truly need it? The mentally ill, the disabled, those who hit a hard time in life? Definitely. We should as a society to help those people in my opinon. The elderly, I want them cared for, but when someone squandered their money, never saved, and had made plenty to save, it’s annoying to some people that they get carried by those of us who did sacrifice and save. That is why I am in favor of social security, and the conservatives should be too in my opinion. Because the person has paid into the system, a forced savings of sorts.

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