By Tony Farkas
I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be one of those guys who come home with a Super Bowl ring who actually never was on the field for a snap.
Granted, they’re part of a team, and if the team wins, then everybody gets to celebrate.
But what did they accomplish? What was their contribution?
That is analogous to what’s going on in today’s society and political climate, which from my point of view, is a years-long temper tantrum from narcissistic people with the gimmes.
Like it or not, it seems we’ve turned JFK’s most excellent phrase on its head, and we’re asking not what we can do for the country, but what our country can do for us. And once the faucet of government largesse — paid for by taxpayers — is turned off, or as is the case lately, there is a change in the way things are seen, such as with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the reaction is not to roll up our sleeves and get crackin’, but to whinge and destroy property.
Since no governments have been toppled by this, wouldn’t it seem prudent to switch tactics?
Statistics show that on average, voter turnout in presidential elections averages around 60 percent, and in midterm elections, 40 percent. Those numbers on a local level get even worse; there were recent elections where turnout was 6 percent.
Further, the elites that have been in power, in some cases decades, keep getting placed into their positions because of little or no opposition. In short, no one’s coming off the bench for the big play.
My children seem to enjoy the drivel that counts as internet content, and rush to me more times than I care to admit, to show me the latest trend or meme. Most, as you would imagine, runs the gamut between horrible and puzzling, but one I saw recently has stuck with me.
This video dealt with a man speaking to a gathering and was going on about how each generation of his family was able to get around. It was rather lengthy, but the crux of it was encapsulated in a quote attributed to the author G. Michael Hopf: “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”
Over the course of decades, leaders from all sides of the political spectrum have created something that passes for good times. The U.S. was productive in every corner, people got comfortable, and society began to get lax, allowing the encroachment of government in providing basic necessities. That provision became the norm, and society’s expectations now are that nothing can be right without first being blessed by the powers that be.
The other side of that coin is that society also believes that if the government deems it necessary, it is good, and if it doesn’t, then that’s OK too, but only if it has been decided by the right political spectrum.
This is, as my amazing sister-in-law tells me, us living in the Upside Down (h/t “Stranger Things.”), and that’s the trap.
There is a solution, but it involves breaking the habit of apathy (or defeatism, your call), getting off the bench and getting into the game.
Don’t like a law? Either get someone elected that will change it or get elected and change it yourself. Upset that abortion can now be deemed illegal? Start stumping, or volunteering for someone that will help make your voice heard.
Regardless of how you feel about it, the Founding Fathers were pretty smart setting up government the way it did, which includes the framework of making changes to both government and the Constitution.
The only way to make that happen is to change society first. No more 40 percent turnouts; make it 80 or more.
Call legislators. Call governors. Call presidents. Call mayors, or superintendents, or county judges, start showing up at meetings, and get your hands dirty.
While you’re waiting for someone to do it for you, the rug will get pulled out from under you. Again.