Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Future of Politics

I have to honestly say that rather than being a typically politically ambitious person who knew he wanted to be “important and powerful” ever since he was a little kid, I’ve been sucked into the vacuum caused by the indifference and apathy of everybody else -- to seem like I’m involved and engaged.

It’s not rocket science -- but I think as with any activity these days, one has to be fated for it, or realize their calling lies elsewhere. When I used to hang around a lot of fairly successful people, I was always amazed that they didn’t feel they were truly successful, because like everybody else of their generation, they were educated and groomed to be the president of the United States, and they obviously and shamefully, was not.

That was a disgrace they felt, they could never live down and would thus, die in ignominy. Obviously, that kind of education and preparation set all but a few for undeserved failure in life. Only in a more enlightened age, would aspirants think it was right and fitting not to be the acknowledged leader of all they surveyed.

Anybody who follows politics, knows that it is the one area of life still unaffected by change -- while the world has changed, and so it obviously must also, because it doesn’t just exist apart from those realities but is a product of those realities, and interrelated with them. But it has become largely symbolic of the underlying inertia and resistance of cultures and societies -- rather than the leading dynamic of them.

The leading edge for increasingly many, are the personal choices they can now make -- regardless of what government does. We have not always had that luxury, but that is the benefit of affluence -- to live lives dictated by one’s own selections rather than the one size to fit all provided by government -- increasingly, for those who have no choice. But if one has the choice, one would not opt for it -- but choose to live beyond it.

That’s why so many fewer think of Social Security and other securities offered by government to be their baseline definition of life -- even when they can get it for “free.” “Free” does not mean it is the best or the “only.” People can opt for better than the mass option -- if they can recognize the value of it and choose to.

In the recent discussion of offering free buses to alleviate the traffic congestion, it was considered so disruptive an idea, that many proposed that even suggesting such an idea, would mean the end of society, culture, and life as we've known it -- because it actually might solve a problem people have been conditioned to think, can never be solved -- as the ultimate taboo of society. The gods would feel personally violated.

Politicians can choose to be useful and relevant -- or not. The rest no longer have to stand around and wait for them to catch up.