May 26, 2014
We often blame those around us for the misfortunes of our lives. It is more comfortable to do this, and it is a protective mechanism that over the ages we have become proficient in employing when things don’t go our way. It’s hard however to imagine that we can all get what we want, all the time. It’s childish. And it’s wrong. Sometimes we don’t win, sometimes we don’t get things our way. Sometimes we are unable to figure out exactly what we want and why we want it, so no matter the outcome we still believe an injustice has been come to pass and we have in some way or another been deprived of something.
Recently I talked of choices. And how it rests upon us to make the choices we find reasonable, when faced with any challenge and then pursue them to the completion of our goals. How long will it take? In some cases, like boiling an egg it takes 3-5 minutes depending on preference. In other cases, such as a federated Union it could take 100 years. These long horizons make us feel small and insignificant and they lead us to believe that somehow our efforts are meaningless, that in 100 years time, 4 generations would have risen and fallen, lead lives to some extend, have slept and dreamt and ate. And they have voted, and believed in a better future, as best they could have imagined it. And they as well might have felt small and meaningless in the face of the great grinder of lives that time is.
But one thing is for certain – the choices we make, all of them, impact our lives and by extension the lives of those around us. Sometimes in some really uneventful manner, like the color of our clothes one day or another, that may please or annoy, and sometimes on a grander scale, such as elections. The elections for the European Parliament have just come to pass and some of us, myself included, have voted. Some of us have not. I am not going to argue on the importance and mechanisms of voting, as I have done that previously. But I will argue that sometimes it is not enough to vote. It is necessary and should become second nature, like brushing teeth in the morning, but more often than not it is not enough. Because we must not vote and forget, as for examples some of the rockets used in military aviation, that allow a choice of target and then they are intelligent enough to follow through to target. Politicians are not intelligent in that way. And it’s a good thing that they are not. Because we are not voting for target oriented robots to mechanically pursue one goal or many. We are voting for people to pursue a goal or many with intellect and to make educated choices to reach that goal. Nothing in politics is straightforward or a matter of doing this or that and there you have it, goal complete. Politics involve negotiation, arbitrage, debates, convincing others. Progress is slow, very slow and timelines are not always obvious.
But there is also the notion that I hear more often than not around me that politicians seem to be a never-ending stream of the same. As if there is somewhere a great machine that produces copy after copy of the same model, altering just height, sex and eye color to produce a steady supply of politicians for us to vote. But what the people around me fail to recognize is that the machine above is not a distant entity living on the summit of some mountain deep inside the clouds but the greater sum of ourselves.
We have the politicians we create. Everyday. Our interactions with time are the great mystery machine. Our hopes and desires, thoughts and way of living produce the politicians that fit this very complex ecosystem we create and inhabit. It’s our choice to drive rather than take a bus, to consume rather than produce, to ignore this or that and value this or that more. It’s our mirror image, albeit not a personalized one but one to fit all. Everything we do is mirrored in what they offer up for voting. Are we racist? Then we’ll get racist politicians. Are we kind? then we’ll get kind politicians. Are we money oriented? We’ll get politicians than appeal to just that.
So if there is blame, that blame lies within us. we, the people, and our politicians are inextricably linked, two sides of the same coin. What happens when only 43% show up to vote? It means that the politicians that we have in front of us, demanding our vote, represent those 43% of our stock. Leftists, Greens, Conservatives, Pro-European or Eurosceptic, liberals or socialists they are the mirror image of their voters. We give them a lifeline, with every ballot, where they ask are you still like this? And we answer yes or no. And they go on or don’t.
But what about the rest of us, some 57%? Don’t they have a mirror image? Is there not one candidate to fit those expectations? Those dreams? Do those lives need no mirroring in the business of managing our citadels?
And then it hit me. I voted because as I have outlined on previous occasions I believe in the institution of voting as paramount to our continuing democracy. I did it primarily because I believe in the democratic exercise. Did I find within this greater pool of politicians presenting themselves in front me any that truly encompasses my dreams, expectations and desires? The true answer is no. And also the true answer is that I found bits and pieces here and there, and my choice was in the end determined by my assumption that this or that candidate best fulfills my criteria, albeit not perfect.
Upon this realization it is imperative to ask oneself – what now? What are my choices? If I can’t model a politician to become more like me, because for some reason I don’t seem to have yet found that greater mass of my fellow citizens to build it together, should I give up? Should I join the greater mass of those that have given up searching for a politician to match their criteria? Should I abandon myself to the idea that the politicians that come before me to be elected will never amount to my idea of the politician I would vote for? What is one to do when the options laid before him are not so different and equally unappealing? Why does it have to be a choice between the lesser evil?
No. The answer as it were is different. The answer is that when there is no politician to match my expectations, my ideas for the future, my desires for the future of the citadel then it stands to reason that I have to become that politician. Self absorbed? Maybe. I am not going to question that, as I am pretty sure that there will be plenty those that will do it for me.
But I must try. I must put my ideas out there, as best they can be laid before the scrutinizing eye of the voter and see. Will I find my voter in those 43% that voted? Maybe, some. But my hope, my purpose is to find my voter in the 57% that did not vote. It is my interest to understand those people, their needs and expectations. Will I succeed? Life has thought me that anything is possible. And that sometimes even the most insignificant of chances can prove to be a life changer. And I want to change peoples lives, for the better. If I can’t change the politicians then I’ll offer and alternate path.
Ideas I have plenty. Some good, some better. I am sure some of the people out there will be very proficient in making them better. My general views on life and the future all over this blog. They will be refined and packed neatly in simple lines. I have 5 years to prepare an offer to the people. To paint and describe some ideas, to turn them into projects and means to better our lives. What man is a man who does not make the world better? This quote from one of my all time favorite movies has followed me for the past few years. And it is within this question that I choose to place my goal.
Make the world better. 0.00001% if no more. But I must try and I will.
So come 2019, I hope I’ll convince some of you. And if I won’t convince enough of you, it’s still a starting point. And we’ll be better off, because in another 5 years there will be more of us, guided by the same ideals pushing the world to give us a politician more like us. Or I will be trying again, with the help of those that will choose to empower me with trust. Every 5 years though we’ll get closer to the politician we want. And we have democracy to thank for that.Horatiu Ferchiu