Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Reluctant and cautious patriot?

I've become increasingly aware of how much I rely on this blog to help cleanse my head, and perhaps even my conscience. I've been pretty lackadaisical about my civic involvment lately, and honestly I've been driven away from being vocal or active because I don't feel like I can identify with the more visible groups in politics (i'm not just talking demo/repub here... more like the anti-war vs. the pro-bush factions). I wrote earlier that I feel like I don't have a party or group which I feel fits my needs and disposition. Surely, I cannot be alone in feeling this way.

I've been thinking more and more about our responsibilities as citizens of a democracy. Remember that cheesey sci-fi flick Starship Troopers? The director/writer both seemed bent on poking fun at how sometimes following the whims of the republic blindly makes us into fools without wills. There's been a lot of this sentiment against patriotism or even the questioning of why one should be patriotic... sort of that the self is more important than the body argument. However, I really feel that with unemployment rising, the shifting of global markets, and or tenuous situation in foreign entanglements, we will have to experience some sort of unity as Americans. I think it's there, but dormant. My god, I'm giving myself a headache thinking about this.

Too, I think that we cannot blindly follow and support our country and government without being responsible enough to question how it's policies and laws impact us. Sure this sounds like a conveniently pragmatist stance, and this is easier said than done, but we've still got to owe up to the responsibilities of being vigilant members of the civic body regardless of how difficult this may seem.

Truth of the matter is politics and laws have become far more complicated than our 7th grade minds can truly comprehend. We can't rely on Reality for Dummies... there's only so much truth that can be encapsulated in a nutshell or on a bulleted powerpoint slide. Most of us, including myself, we're too mired in the everyday responsibilitiies of living and working that we have little time to discern what's true or not. However, we still have to owe up to the responsibility that critical thinking is something that we cannot avoid. Am I being unrealistic? Am I being a sanctimonious bitch by admitting that I feel uncomfortable living in a world were most of us are willing to bend over and take things like bleating sheep in a field? I think Brian posted earlier: "We're basically happy to let other people make policy for us, then we just complain when things get messy."

I've made the decision lately, that I can't sit idly and watch things happen around me.

I've been finding that this blog-world is a pretty good way of communicating with others or learning more about the issues that concern me. Now, I'm not vouching on the veracity of everything I read or come upon, but at least I can see that others are asking the same questions as me... looking for the same sources.

I'd like to finish this, but I really need to be getting home. I will try to add to these thoughts later. I'm tired... I'm worn. Taxes, houses, invoices, schedules, spreadsheets, electrical wiring, driveways, property values, stock sales, capital gains. I should complain right? Others have it worse.


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