Imposition 2012-What Bothers Me (and Maybe You) About Politics

   In democratic politics it is said, you learn to respond to two kinds of people. You respond to those who can do something for you. You respond to those who can do something to you. To no one else do you respond.

   And, it is said, you respond to each of those two types in direct proportion to how much you think one can do for you, or in direct proportion to how much you fear one can do to you. That is all. Nothing else exists.

   In such a system there is little room for honor and less for nobility. The last thing you want to do is to be accused of courage, for this is a sure sign you are outside of the acceptable system. Get outside the acceptable and you willl find you need extreme power, not only to get there, but even more power to stay in your place when you no longer fit the (acceptable) system.

   There are ways to reply to the system when once you stand on priniciple and thus find yourself on the outside looking in to the party. You can stop the flow of resources to the party; volunteers, persons to attend meetings, good will and, of course, money. When you do so, you also take yourself out of the power mix. You may convince yourself you can exist happily out there but it is hard, very hard, to watch hopeful people denied hope and helpless people remained unhelped.

   You can try to start a party that mimics the thing you leave but,  no matter how crumbling it may appear, the thing you leave has a history, a reputation and reserve funds. Top people get paid, deals still get made and the machine hums along. They put on meetings in smaller halls until even those are too large. They fill up ever smaller halls with party retainers who applaud on cue.

   So, what are the outsiders to do? In some cases persons band together to regain the mission, rather than try to recapture the machine.

   Recently, for instance, a number of fellows began to meet with me, in hopes of reclaiming some of the comraderie of past years. We have no great fortune to offer one another, no positions or power. We agreed to pray for one another, to practice support of one another and participate in continuing education. Four of the fellows have been seeking placement but have found absolutely no help from the (well paid) machine persons who are to charged with helping. The uselessness of continued participation with a dead organization has become too much.

   We sought to regain the mission rather than repeat the machinations. All of us have taken great encouragement from the group meetings, which occur in two week intervals. Two of the four fellows have apparently found new places of work, after years of being told to wait, be patient, come to meetings, support the machine. The other two fellows have seen some movement in relocation, as well.

   My point is simple. We can stop hanging around haphazard, dying organizations that exist now mostly because they have been there for so long. We do not need to fear what someone can do to us or beg for someone to do something for us. The organization(s), party(s), association(s) and convention(s) matter only as they facilitate the mission. We need to find the mission and do the work. It is not impossible, no matter how great the task or how small the band of brothers.

   What bothers us about politics is how quickly it focuses on concentrated power for the use of a few. We recognize the lack of nobility in serving a few persons for their own sake.

   The work is the thing.

   Opinions here are mine alone.

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