my friend auren hoffman put on a great salon last night, inviting 20 of us to leave our shoes and phones at the door and present some new and compelling ideas to the group. it was truly fun and enlightening and i hope this type of thing catches on as it’s a nice change from my usual alcohol with mindless chatter.
an interesting interchange happened after my presentation (on how i hope to ignite a revolution of the ants to legally overthrow the US government or really the current corrupt system). a guy who was obviously a republican got very heated. one of my ideas was to enable an open marketplace for anyone to create california referendums. he made a case i’ve heard many times before for how increased voter participation would actually hurt democracy because most people know so little about the issues. mostly, i’ve heard this from staunch democrats in DC who went to elite schools and view the majority of our population as a bunch of fat stupid people who need benevolent rulers. hearing this from the other side only reaffirms my belief that the entrenched parties are in fact one – that is one big corrupt machine.
it was also interesting to me how angered he was. his voice was shaking as he ripped into me. in the end he relegated me to some closed minded liberal with the misbelief that giving the people a voice will help my own personal agenda when (he believes) the facts prove otherwise. first, my agenda has truly been to enable the revolution and live with the results. he warned of the tyranny of the majority. how come knowone ever warns of the tyranny of the few? he pointed out that prop 72 ?? passed which limits abortion rights. (did it?) and this shows how my agenda wont be served.
here’s where he’s missing the boat (and btw, he seemed like an otherwise nice guy so i’m not trying to beat him up). like many people, he can only see what exists today and not what might be tomorrow. he points to the polls and voting results we currently have and like many bankers and lawyers in our world seems more comfortable weighing stats than seeing the people behind. i saw the passion around dean and gonzalez. these werent the people who vote. the revolution will come from the people who dont vote. it always does.
for these are the true revolutionaries. many people voting are accepting and supporting the status quo. the rest (roughly 50% of potential voters) are disaffected, disenfranchised but not apathetic. it’s total bullshit to say ‘if you dont vote you dont deserve an opinion’. who the fuck are you? i can have an opinion and shout it to the world. ‘you dont have to listen’ is a better response. ivan boesky or ken lay. that’s not a choice. a wacko and a wimp is not a choice.
here’s what’s apathetic…ignoring corruption. supporting a government who’s vice president is doling out billion dollar contracts without bidding to his former company (which i believe he still has stock in).
i completely respect someone’s right to a different political view. what i cant tolerate is lack of independent free thought.
we need real leaders. remember them? the ones who didnt run and hide in a bunker at the first sign of trouble. men and women with backbone. who own their mistakes, who tell their handlers and pr flacks to fuckoff. first we need people to aspire to do this. when they do step forth, we have a collective responsibility to welcome and support them.
i am amazed by the power we all have. we can come together in a matter of minutes. we can create a collective voice of millions and raise billions. we dont have to accept this ridiculous state of affairs. get involved. blog it. look for it. find your voice. create a bigger voice. you CAN say no to the next kerry. dont compromise.
in fact, lets stop even talking about the current leaders and issues. lets start focusing on our own agenda. what’s our vision for the future? what defines your ideal government, community, country? what would you like to be known for when you meet people in foreign lands? can you imagine if we put the level of war resources into helping the world? why cant we afford that when we can fly in private jets? if we put the same money for prisons into schools?