Tuesday, November 6, 2012

America, The Election, and Comic Books

There are multitudes of great reasons to vote against the Romney/Ryan campaign today, such as equality for people regardless of their sexual orientation, and the right for women to not have their bodies regulated by the government. However, at the last second, the most minute, inconsequential topic for most people has gotten my blood boiling, and that is Ryan's derision of the comic book genre. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/11/02/paul-ryan-and-his-anti-comic-book-gaffe/
A man who worships at the altar of Ayn Rand and simultaneously speaks disparagingly of the medium that has given us amazing works from such brilliant authors as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Brian K Vaughan, and Warren Ellis, is a man who I want as far away from running this country as humanly possible. Ryan’s ignorance in regards to the small issue of comic books is indicative of the backwards mentality of the Romney campaign and their constituents. This “old-fashioned” way of thinking, that presumes that comic books are sophomoric drivel devoid of content, created solely for children, is similarly seen in the equally ridiculous mindsets that love should only be celebrated and acknowledged when it is between a man and a woman, and that women cannot become pregnant if they are “legitimately raped.”
Again, there are far greater issues at play than comic books that should dissuade you from electing this nefarious duo to power, and although the Obama campaign is not the figurative knight in shining armor our country so desperately wanted them to be; they are still, at least, the lesser of two evils. This brings up an even greater concern: the unfortunate truth that our great nation has become reduced to this endless tug of war within a two party system, a castration of true democracy; when we originally aspired to much loftier ideals. People’s allegiance to their political parties today is more akin to rooting for their favorite football team than it is making an intelligent decision based on the facts and issues at hand. The ongoing political war has long ceased to be about what is best for the American people, and has instead devolved into childish bickering between two sides that move closer towards opposing polarities of extremism, while denouncing their opponent for mirroring their descent into madness.
If we are to learn anything from this election season, it’s that we need a change. Not the touchy-feely hopeful theoretical change that Obama tried to promise us 4 years ago, but real lasting change; the kind that can’t come from a President with a lame-duck Congress, but instead has to come from the people themselves. It’s not enough that we stop Romney from taking power. The prevention of his election will not guarantee us a prosperous future. In fact, I see Obama, if re-elected, only doing a marginally better job than he has these past 4 years, which is not saying much. Our fight for the future begins at the polls today, but continues and endures as long as our country does. Robert Browning once said that “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” I believe that mirrors and compliments the sentiment set forth in the Preamble of our Constitution, that as a nation, we must strive “To form a more perfect union.” Which is to say, we must always continue to grow as a nation and as a peoples, both intellectually and in our deeds. We must set lofty, seemingly unattainable goals for ourselves, then work hard to see what was once thought of as impossible becoming not only a reality, but something which we look back on.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote “Every generation needs a new Revolution.” And I think the time has come for this generation to declare theirs. It has become clear that our country has become too dependent upon it’s government, and in turn the government has failed us. Jefferson also said “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” It is from this mentality that we must fight. For too long our people have sat idly by and allowed our country to be run by corporations and organizations that do not represent our wants and needs; and when this displeased us, we sat and drank and cried like infants in our “Occupation” movements to no avail. Our sedentary inaction is what has brought us to where we are now as a nation. We allowed this sickness to flourish, and Activism is our only remedy.
If, and hopefully when you go to the polls today, remember first that you are not only picking a president. The propositions that are in play at the polls will have a direct impact on your life, and are equally, if not more important than whether you choose the red or the blue rabbit hole to jump down for the next four years. Second, realize that voting today does not give you amnesty to not get involved until the next presidential election. If anything, your decisions today should motivate you to demand the results you were promised. Lastly, do not forget “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

-        Christopher S. Holden