How we got here and here is described as currently living under Tyranny. I believe I can take my own life experiences and apply them to how we got where we are, and I guess yes I am also to blame.
I registered to vote when I turned 18, I think it was almost immediately. It was 1973 when I turned 18. The previous year I was asked to paint the house. It was a cream color and my mom wanted it “Tobacco Brown”. So I did what anyone from Massachusetts would do that summer. I got on the ladder and wrote in big huge letters on front of the house “Nixon Thru in ‘72”. Then I proceeded to start the painting process at the rear of the house so as to leave the “message” on the front for as long as possible. Massachusetts was reward that fall with the distinction of being the only state in the union to have not voted for good ole “Tricky Dick.” And of course we all had our bumper stickers that read “Don’t Blame Me I am From Massachusetts” to place on our cars, I had one on my Chevy.
We were feeling pretty good in Mass. We were feeling even better when a peanut farmer from Georgia came along. He was a very likable guy. He was articulate, had a great smile, a cute accent, “a good clean cut guy”. So after a disastrous administration of Nixon we voted in Jimmy Carter. And yes my first vote for President was for Jimmy Carter.
My second vote for President was for Walter Mondale. Unfortunately, as I felt at the time, it didn’t count. I was in line at the polls waiting to cast my vote when we heard that CBS had called the race for Ronald Reagan. I was pissed. How can they call the race when I and many others hadn’t even voted?
I will state right now before you all start clicking away, I think Ronald Reagan was our finest modern day President in retrospect. Why do I say that? Well I was young and naive at that age. I thought rich people needed to pay more to make it easier for young people like myself to get ahead. I shouted “capitalist pig” at every Cadillac that drove by. I now drive a Caddy. I have better understanding of how a capitalistic economy works. Thank God I was not in the majority.
What changed for me? I think my political views changed when I started a family. And I was late to that game. I was 30 years old when I first married. It doesn’t take long for the bills to mount and you start looking at your paycheck and all of sudden realize how much you are sending to the Government. That’s when I started to look for candidates that promised to cut taxes. I also had a drive to get ahead and quickly saw the Government as an obstacle.
If everyone in this country was all of sudden Millionaires we would be in big trouble. We would have no place to buy food, buy gas, go on vacation; we would all be retired with no place to go. The electric company would have no workers; no one would come by to collect my garbage. No one would plow the snow, the list is endless. So the “concept” of a capitalistic economy sunk in for me. I got it.
So how did we get here? Well the people currently in power also remember when they were young and naive and how easily they were manipulated and how inattentive to politics they were. So they went after these voters. They held massive registration drives and did all they could to get the young people to vote. And people like me who have been beaten up over the years and feeling pretty helpless, didn’t think we could affect the outcome. Allot of us stayed home, allot of us voted for the current administration, just because we wanted “change”, just like we wanted a change from Nixon to Carter, from Bust 41 to Clinton, and from Bush 44 to Obama. We probably should have elected Ron Paul from this last bunch of “Presidential” candidates, but we don’t pay that much attention to what’s going on.
We live in an iPod world. Most of the electorate just wanted to be “left alone with their steel belted radials, and their toasters”. And the voter turnout was not all that great. So here we are. Are we stuck with this? No way.
We have begun to become more aware of what’s going on. We have unplugged the iPods and have started to not only listen to what is going on but to participate. I am a baby boomer and we make up a huge block of people. We are also the core of the Tea Party movement. My wife and I were at the 9/12 rally. We were about the average age. We are going to make the “fundamental change” this country needs. I will say that if we fail, there will not be another opportunity. The demographics are simply not going to be there.