Are You There, Government? It’s me, Lauren.

When George W. Bush was re-elected I thought, “Are you fucking KIDDING me?!”

When Prop 8 passed in California I thought, “No way, how did that happen?”

And when suddenly (maybe not so suddenly) the conservative faction of our government began waging yet another campaign against women’s health issues I thought, “Am I in the twilight zone? Have I gone back in time? Am I really fighting for what our mother’s fought for? Our mother’s mother’s mother’s?” And then I wished anal leakage upon all of those ass hats, took up the cry and pushed forward.

And maybe everything that has happened with the conservative/tea-party/false-y republican hate and ignorance-spewing loudspeaker in the last 5 years (ish) has lead up to this moment, but I have never felt more completely abandoned by our government than I do right now.

Surprisingly enough, it has nothing to do with me being a woman, pregnant, working full time, married to a newly minted American citizen, a person who believes in marriage equality, provocative public education about many issues, many religions, non-religion, science, and all things between. It has pretty much nothing to do with being a moderately liberal person whatsoever. It is 100% because I happen to be a citizen, and everything I’m hearing out of Washington since the campaign ended has been totally self-involved, “I don’t give a fuck about what’s good for the country, I only care about myself” horse shit.

Let’s pretend I’m just talking about the fiscal cliff. The stupid fiscal cliff. I’m not even going to tell you how I wish that situation would have played out in my ideal Lauren-land, because it doesn’t matter. While Republicans are walking out of vote discussions, while no one is capable of compromise, while everyone else (those who are not making the decisions) speculates and hopes that the major financial changes won’t prevent them from paying rent – who is representing me? Or you? Who is attempting, at any given moment, to give a shit about the rest of us…. ya know… the people actually affected by all of this policy mumbo jumbo and the stuffed shirts and the bloated egos? Because at best my government is apathetic about me. At worst the inaction, and the eventual half-assed horrible action, is hurting me.

Maybe it’s not as bad as all that, but it feels pretty bad. It feels like all any politician only ever wants is to win. I don’t even know what they are trying to win, and I don’t know if they even know what they are trying to win… but it seems that whenever the battle to”win” rages on, we lose.

And I have no idea what to do about it. There are people in government right now, people who are supposed to be representing a district in a state far away from me, who have big big big hand in my life. Who gum up the government even more than it already is, who try and pass legislature that is anti-women or anti-gay or that’s sole purpose is to slow government down even more, make the President look like a fool, and the side effect is more national debt, less compromise, moving socially backwards, and polarizing this country more and more and more.

I honestly have no solutions. I am exhausted by this and I pretty much hate everyone. I wish we could fire every single person in Congress and start over. I wish something more drastic than just another election would happen. I want a do-over with a clean constitutional slate. The problem is – not even that would fix it… how could we ever agree on a new constitution even if we had the chance to write one? Everything is such an extreme, there is no room for talking or understanding or listening to what people we don’t agree with have to say or why. Guns are simultaneously the issue and the solution. Mental health is too much of a financial conundrum to even begin to tackle. Raising the debt ceiling is the next fight I wish I could avoid hearing about and raise your hand if you actually have a clear understanding of what that means. How the earth is dying and how it is all liberal propaganda and the ice caps don’t matter. Magic vaginas that expel rape semen. Having more Jesus in school will cure all and having no religion in school ever ever ever is the only way to raise our kids safely.

I am overwhelmed and feel like a stranger to my own country.

12 thoughts on “Are You There, Government? It’s me, Lauren.”

  1. Politicians are the same everywhere. Yeah they just want to win, then they get to power and they don’t do anything about the people, you know the ones that got them there in the first place.
    It is so sad that so many problems in the world come from us believing that we are “different”, “separate”, of thinking our truth is universal and imposing it around. And the polarization that is happening at all levels makes it harder for us ever to agree. Live and let live should be the mantra… even if I sound like a smoked hippie.
    I also wish I knew the answers.

  2. I’ve been thinking this too! I wonder if this is a newer evolvement, or if it’s something I’m noticing more as I get older and more aware? I mean, politicians being selfish and all is nothing new, but this level of it, and it being, I think, more blatant, might be. But that could just be my perception. I don’t know. In any case, it causes me blinding rage that I can’t deal with, so I ignore most. Which is not a better solution, but then, nothing is.

  3. The only thing that makes me feel any better about al this: I truly believe that it has ALWAYS been like this. Ever since that darn ol’ Constitution was written (and probably before). I’m not too up on my colonial history (I’d like to read some more on it), but from what I understand, the founding fathers and their brethren played some DIRTY politics.

    For the most part, I think our country (and its politics) has moved in positive directions…albeit INCREDIBLY SLOWLY. Like, inchworm style. But I just have to think that this is a difficult moment, but we’re moving towards better things.

    1. I really like this sentiment. A lot of the time this is what I think, and I am sure it all ebbs and flows and cycles and all of that stuff. I would really like to be able to have pride in the way our government works, and even though I realize it is much worse in other places, I do not feel proud of us. And I feel sad and ignored on top of it.

      1. I often wonder how people in the 60s felt, fighting for (among many things) Civil Rights. Did it feel hopeless? Like they were backtracking? Hindsight being what it is, we can see what amazing work these people did. But I”m sure it was SO frustrating at the time.

        For me, the feeling ignored/powerless part is the worst of it. I try to combat it by taking the time to write my representatives and senators about issues that are important to me. I called one of them once, but was so nervous I stammered through the whole thing. I don’t know if contacting them has much affect at all, but at least it makes me feel like I’m doing SOMETHING.

        1. I have always wanted to live during the 60’s protests time. I have a feeling (and maybe I am romanticizing) that back then young people were more idealistic, they had hope, they believed things could change and they had ideas.
          I used to feel we are a bit of a lost generation, in that we know very well the problems, we are very critical but the system is so corrupted from within, from outside, that we don’t even know where to start to change.
          There are however revolutions happening today: Occupy Wall Street, The Arab Spring, the Indignados in Spain… The f*** austerity protests in Italy,, I am #132 in Mexico… Something is happening. People, young people want change. I think people are slowly changing, little things that you do on your life that can make a difference (like where you buy, how you commute, etc) and if we are ablo to transmit this, to the next generation then we are on our way.

          1. That’s a really interesting point. It does seem our generation is more jaded than past ones. I wonder if it’s because we’re more connected to the greater world (through technology), for better or worse.

            I ALSO agree that people are starting to realize (or hope?) they CAN make a difference. The little things add up. It probably sounds cliche, but I think electing Obama gave a LOT of young people hope. Sometimes you just need a “win” to get that spark.

          2. This may sound a little bit “old man-ish” but I believe the biggest difference between now and then is comfort. The majority of people are relatively comfortable. There is a big difference between having some equality and NO equality. There is no urgency, there is no fire under our butts. Where are the marches on washington? and who would be capable of deciding what to march for? Are there even enough people within a like-minded group to agree passionately on 1 major social topic? I don’t know.

        2. Hi Laura – I am one of those 60’s peeps who fought for many things. I marched on the Pentagon and worked hard for civil rights. For me, it was not frustrating, just what had to be done. All of us who raged against the Vietnam war made a difference. We stopped it. We would not be denied. Our leaders then took on civil rights and passed the act. We demanded it. We would not be denied. I am proud of you to have written you congresspersons; so many rail against it and never lift a finger. We ALL have a voice and there is strength in numbers. Don’t give up – get like minded people to join you and keep the pressure on. You CAN make a difference. I have done it. Ellen

  4. I watched a lot of the fiscal cliff coverage and when I saw that one of the things that could possibly get revoked was unemployment benefits, I almost started crying. The fact that someone out there thought that it would be a good idea to take away the one thing that is helping me have a roof over my head was INSANE. It just shows how out of touch some people in government really are and how they tend to lump everyone together, ie “everyone on unemployment is a bum not looking for work so we should take it away”.

  5. I have really enjoyed what both Occupy and the Libertarians have been doing and I know that sounds like a contradiction but hear me out. Both groups of people have been standing up to the status quo and have found ways to educate us on where our money is being spent and what our two party government is doing at home and abroad. I think if more people had paid attention or participated in their actions it would have made more of an impact. I find it sad that the 3rd parties only received 1% of the vote. To me that is just nuts, how can people continue to vote republican and democrat when those two party’s have bankrupted the country and continued to wage wars that cost endless lives and dollars? So many people I know call themselves liberals and claim they are anti violence, yet none of them speak out about the illegal war in Yemen or the fact that the US jails more non violent prisoners then any country in the world. None of them have divested in the banks that caused the financial crisis and very few bother to understand the fiscal cliff or the debt ceiling beyond tax the rich more. I think that if you want to make a difference then don’t wait for government or even ask for them. Go out there and support companies that share your values and support organizations and political parties that are working for change. Divest in companies that support death and stop supporting and standing up for political parties that have failed over and over again on delivering.

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