I have a back yard. My back yard has some trees, some hedge-like stuff, some berry bushes, some grass, and some weeds. I mow the grass, and rake the leaves from the trees, but other than that, not much else. And I like it like that: I am not, and do not want to be, a full-time gardener.
But every so often, I do have to weed. If I don’t, the weeds get out of control. They multiple, and they start getting into places I don’t really want them. And they start ill-effecting the plants I do want, taking their sun, water, and nutrients, preventing them from doing what they should be doing, which is growing healthfully. So, I have to pay attention to them. Keep an eye-out, and pull them when they start getting a little crazy.
And thus I say, shitty politicians are just like the weeds in my back yard.
They root up seemingly out of nowhere, and start multiplying. They start interfering with what should be happening, which is a nicely functioning, cooperating and compromising, symbiotic system. And before you know it, if you’re not paying attention, you have a dysfunctional mess, clogged by itself, where nothing is working as it should, and nothing that does want to work properly can do so. As we now have with the U.S. government shut-down.
This shutdown is caused by several weeds that have been growing, and prospering, in the U.S. Congress for some time, more-or-less unchecked, and now these weeds have clogged our governmental system, completely preventing many aspects from working at all.
And the effects of this are beyond some nasty rhetoric: some people (like nearly 18,000 NASA employees (that’s 97% of their work force!)) are essentially unemployed, being told they cannot go to work, and will not get paid for the time they are not at work; other people (like my wife) are told they still need to come work, and will likely get paid, retro-actively, when the shut-down is over; all of our National Parks are closed, leaving those employees essentially unemployed; the EPA and FDA are practically shuttered; nutrition and assistance programs for the elderly, women and children are closed; and many, many other organizations and programs are severely effected by this. CNN has quite a thorough list.
But the problem with weeds is that you can’t get rid of them all in one fell swoop (be it a morning at the election booth or an afternoon in the garden), because there are always some that you’re not aware of yet, and so you’re never done weeding; you have to pay attention, keep an eye-out, be diligent, and root-out the shitty politicians / plants when they start to get out of control.
Which sucks, because I no more want to run a government than I do spend all my free time working in the garden. It is not what I do, and it is not what I am good at. Instead, I want to hire people to do their job, as the people that hired me want me to do my job, and then I want to go about my life.
But politicians / weeds don’t let us do that. They make us keep watching them, keep paying attention, and keep taking action. But in some ways, I guess maybe that’s a good thing.
As much as I would love to completely ignore elections, it actually is my job, and yours, to pay attention and vote. Ignoring them is what got us where we are right now, in a quagmire of shit, with mostly good, but several corrupt, bigoted, petty, people running our country, throwing temper tantrums, trying to coerce us into caving to their greedy, lobbyist-fueled demands.
So, like good gardeners, we need to pay attention to the weeds in our yards and gardens, and pull then every chance we get. And this November is the next chance we get. Nothing will “inspire” proper behavior like a steady succession of one-term-and-gone politicians. But, just like a nice back yard, it takes patience, devotion and diligence to keep all the weeds out so that the good plants can prosper.
And if I can get my vote in every election cycle, from Germany, you have no excuse. Make sure you are registered, make sure you know where your polling place is, and make sure you know who, and what, is up for vote, and what each of them stands for, before election day. It might take 20-30 minutes out of your life, but that’s the price of a nice back yard.
Now get out there and weed!
Thanks for listening,