Same Crap, Different Day

October 25, 2010

As the saying goes, it seems some things never change.  2011 is quickly approaching and the approaching New Year calls for some reflection.  The problem with that reflection is, only the insignificant details change, it is the same picture, with the same problems of last year, and the year before, and the year before that, and so on.  The people may change, even a place or two, but the core subject of the problems we face never do.  In other words, we are not solving problems; we simple dress them up in different clothes.

Regardless of topic, we wrap issues in political rhetoric, make changes around the edges of a particular problem, and beat our chest like King Kong standing atop the Empire State Building.  All the while, nothing really changes.  Take sex education for instance.  Every since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996[i] whether or not to teach children (teenagers) about contraceptives has been a purely political issue going back and forth.  The statistical data supports teaching the subject of contraception[ii] but does not address objections on moral grounds.

In truth, the issue goes back further than 1996.  Lewis Grizzard gives a humorous example in his book Don’t Bend Over In The Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes[iii]. Humor not withstanding, this issue illustrates just how politics prevents improvement in our lives by preventing true progress on a subject.  The subject of contraception further illustrates inconsistencies within the conservative movement’s position on individual and states rights.  On the one hand, they claim the federal government should not interfere with a state’s ability to legislate within its boarders, on the other hand, the refuse to provide funding to any state that does not follow the federal government’s rules.  Talk about “passive-aggressive” behavior!

It is over twenty years now since Mr. Grizzard published his book and the federal government is still taking half steps.  President Obama’s administration has now swung the pendulum back the other way[iv] but conservatives are already gearing up in opposition.  It seems they intend to push the same “moral high road” line as before that proved a failure in preventing teen pregnancy, not to mention failing to keep the STD rates down, that in no way excuses the Democrats from fault, as they are just as happy to continue churning the same old issues as the Republicans.

In the end, Congress will simply perpetuate the fight and fail to address the problem.  That is the key to many problems today; they become political and allow both sides to stake out positions that keep citizens separated rather than seeking to genuinely solve problems by finding common ground.  Of course, that leads to “Same crap, different day.”

We, the citizens of the United States, become pawns used by political groups for their own ends.  The particular group is irrelevant, Green Party, Republican, Tea Party, Democrat, or others, they all pervert issues and keep constituents confused with half-truths and outright lies[v].  Sex Ed. and abstinence-only face the same difficulties that cuts across every major issue today – political belligerence.  If we allow political groups to take quarrelsome positions, it will result with the government attempting to legislate things like morality instead of things they can actually fix.

Political parties have pushed fear in issues like sex education, abortion, same-sex marriage, and people here illegally, to the point it is near impossible to achieve any meaningful solution.  Fear is the propaganda politicians employ to retain power.  They see the issues we face as tools to use rather than problems to solve.  Their political rhetoric creates a sort of toxic ooze that corrodes everything it contacts; even the politicians that spew it become putrefied.  In the end, crap is simple too weak a word for what our politicians gives us – same shit, different day.

[i] H.R. 3734, 104 Cong., Congressional Record (1996) (enacted). Print. <http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ193/html/PLAW-104publ193.htm>

[ii] Brody, Jane E. “Abstinence-Only: Does It Work?” The Religious Consultation Home Page. Web. 24 Oct. 2010. <http://www.religiousconsultation.org/News_Tracker/abstinence-only_does_it_work.htm>.

[iii] Grizzard, Lewis. Don’t Bend over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes. New York: Villard, 1988. Print. Ch. 9

[iv] Crile, Susan. “Obama Eliminates Abstinence-Only Funding In Budget.” Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. 05 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/07/obama-eliminates-abstinen_n_199205.html>.

[v] “PolitiFact | Statements We Say Are Pants on Fire!” PolitiFact | Sorting out the Truth in Politics. Ed. St. Petersburg Times. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/rulings/pants-fire/>.


One comment

  1. Love this article…your last sentence sums it up! My husband mentioned that he knew in St. Simon Island. So, I had to take a few minutes out to read some of your articles. Great Stuff!

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