Say No to Bread and Circuses

We’re in the throes of our current pre-election blather: how wonderful I will be for all of you or my selected group; what scurrilous things about your private life I can uncover to blacken your reputation. These statements can be interesting, draw us into emotional reactions which linger long after the election or are immediately forgotten. But remembered or forgotten, we have been snookered, taken in and distracted from our rightful role which is to remember and insist that the promises made are not forgotten once the person hoping for our vote has been elected.

Many of the things they say to win our vote were written by their speech writer whose primary objective is to sway  the voter. It is like a family drama on tv whose primary role is to sell soap or whatever product pays for the performance.

We fall into the role of cheering audience because that is what seems to be asked for which is a sign of our regression into childhood. The teacher wants us to sit quietly and raise our hand so we do it. Don’t want low grades and parental retribution for our failure. But we are not children and there is no reward for our acquiescence, for our hysterical cheering when “our” politician has won or even for endless grief when he/she but mostly he loses. Giving into the cheer or winning or the gloom of losing is a form of acquiescence. There actually is no win or lose here. That is not how post-election life proceeds.

All change (or almost all change) requires continuous hard work. If we evaluate ourselves in terms of whether it has an immediate  effect we soon give up. Those who featured bread and circuses to get out vote count on this response. Even President Obama said (paraphrasing), “… after I get elected, you will need to keep after me to get me to do what I promised and you asked for. But voters immediately forgot. They basked in the false triumph of electing a mixed-race man. In effect, they went to sleep. Words are cheap. Very few if any of his pre-election statements have been enacted. There always are excuses, blaming others and close the case.

In this and in anything we desire, we need to commit ourselves to long-terms action. We need to form an ever enlarging group to make demands. We need to not accept a sense of failure that the opponent’s first response is to ignore us, the second response to call it impossible. We need to devote our lives to what is important to us. The response we seek will eventually come, possibly not during out lives. We need to not regard the result in terms of personal achievement which is an aspect of possession. We need to see it as a reflection of our devotion to Mother Earth and the prosperity of life.





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