The older I get, the more I see, the less I understand.

I was raised a Republican and voted for Reagan in 1984 while serving in the Air Force at the end of the Cold War. I got out of the military, but voted for Bush after Reagan. It was mostly a dogma thing. When you’re in the military they kind of recommend that to keep your jobs, you should vote Red. Because of my upbringing, I had no problem with this. But then I started to realize that one way of thinking wasn’t doing much good for America. So I voted for Perot. Twice. Then Gore. Then Kerry (only because I really  thought Bush was destroying the country.) Then Obama. Twice. But I really didn’t start paying attention to how things got done in America until about 2000 – when we moved to Charlotte, bought a house, had a child, etc. That’s when I noticed that the President really doesn’t have all that much power – save for an executive order on going to war. Congress makes all the decisions in Washington. If a President happens to be the same party as the majority of Congress, things sail through. Things most of us don’t even really get to hear about. Whether We the People like these things or not, stuff happens in Washington because the people we elect to make important decisions are in a majority. Enter our first black President who can’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag. He had a majority in Congress for a while but squandered it. He didn’t know how to play the game. Because that’s all Washington is – a game. And right now the entire nation is being held hostage because of this game. For whatever reason – hate, pride, ego, selfishness, ignorance, greed – the people we have elected (since I’ve been paying attention) aren’t doing their jobs. And I’m not talking about one party. I’m talking about the lot of them. Frankly, as an American, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the politics of politics. The people we hire to do very important jobs simply aren’t doing them. And they haven’t been doing them for a long time. Sure I can talk about how false advertising is out of control. And how simple minded most of us are that we allow these pricks to raise money to say things that rich investors want them to say so that when they’re elected their primary goal is to protect these special interests as they push regular people (the people who vote them into office) aside. But the bottom line is that our system is broken. From the top to the bottom – it’s completely whack. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. They used to tell us ‘if you’re unhappy with the way things are going in Washington – vote to change it.’ Again, since I’ve been paying attention, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work this way. We vote for guys who are hand-selected for us. Guys who promise to ‘fight the other side’ – to a standstill. On purpose. Even as our nation slides into hell. What happened to compromise? What happened to ethics? What happened to the idea of country first? Or maybe – country first was never really a thing at all, and that all of this has been one long history lesson in manipulating the masses for political gain? Do We the People really believe in this system anymore? And before you give me the dogmatic ‘sure it’s flawed, but it’s the best system on earth and if there was a better way, someone would have found it by now’ answer, just remember this – every nation in the history of the world has fallen. America might be protected by oceans, but there’s no invisible shield that protects us from the corruption and ignorance of man. Man is fallible. We are a nation run by men. Greedy, pigheaded men who seem to care more about their own places in history than the future of the country as a whole. I’m beginning to lose faith in America and am starting to wonder whether our system is just too flawed to work anymore. It feels like we’re in a free fall. It’s felt like this for a while.

I have not, however, lost my faith in the concept of a government that can work for the good of its people.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

I wonder how much longer We the People think the status quo will work in America? If it continues on like this, I will leave. Not that losing a native son matters in the realm of things, it’s just that I’m tired of fighting my brothers and sisters to the end that one ideology wins over another. It’s madness. And I don’t want my children subjected to a system where corruption, deceit, and sloth are rewarded with reality TV shows that too many stupid Americans consume as part of a regular diet.

It seems like too many of us are ok with madness as a rule of governing. Fuck that. What this country needs is another revolution. One that’s not sponsored by special interests. We the People need to open our eyes and recognize that we have a common enemy. And they are us.



Jim Mitchem


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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.