Sunday, June 11, 2017

some local politics ... how nice to see you pissed

Where I live, the political climate positively drizzles with liberal causes. "Democrat" is not much of a label, but it's largely as far right as huge numbers are willing to go. This is Massachusetts ... at least the western part of the state where I live. It gets a bit tiring, one virtuous cause trying to outdo the next, be it salamanders or homosexuals or kids bullied in schools, but its alternative isn't very appealing either. No one gets pissed. Everyone gets along, or should do. As I heard a local cop once snicker, "Welcome to Happy Valley."

$700-plus advertisement
What a delight, then, to pick up the slowly devolving local paper yesterday and find, together with the juiceless projections of future goodness and police blotter chaff, an ad that I later found out had cost some $700 -- calling on the comfortable and long-standing representative to get his ass in gear and meet with the people who lived in the nearby hilltowns and, well, represent them in person. Richie Neal's hair and teeth are damn near as perfect as Mitt Romney's  and in all the years he has been in Congress, I have never heard of his voting for or against anything substantive ... something that might provoke a backlash. Mr. Safe Sex, I sometimes think ... which is what every politician hopes to be ... safe enough to get re-elected again and again and again. He has been in office since 1989 ... has been involved in budgetary matters and loves the Irish, at least for public consumption, as far as I can figure out. I see nothing to suggest he ever put his ass on the line for anything. Nothing new there, of course.

A politican wants only one thing -- to get re-elected. Richie has been re-elected.

And yet, opening the paper yesterday, there was a bad-ass challenge -- with a sense of humor, yet -- to smooth Richie's Teflon smoothness. He's a Democrat and yet the dysfunction and cruelty of the latter-day Republicans has managed to wash up on Neal's shores as well. Not doin' nuthin is not the same as doing something. $700 is not chump change in many of the households up in the hills around here. True, there are doctors and lawyers who have bought out what were once farmers and re-peopled the landscape, but still ... 700 bucks is not chump change. Someone is pissed. Politicians who say are not the same as politicians (if they exist) who do.

On the TV the other night, I was watching a show about a dig in Greece and what it showed about the original democracy that flourished there. What we have today is not really a democracy in the Greek sense, said some academician. Democracy then meant that if there were a tax bill, everyone would turn out and vote for or against it. There were no excuses for not voting, including the excuse that voters are being represented by the likes of Richard Neal, whose re-election is as successful as his representation is dubious.

1 comment:

  1. Only about 20% of the residents of ancient greece were citizens with a vote. Access to governance and justice is really everything, and one way or another, most of us are locked out.