Witches’ Brew: The Politics of Distraction
Author: Kimberly S. Jones | Published: Monday, October 26, 2009
Our federal elected officials are gathered around the bubbling cauldron of confusion, which we all know as Capitol Hill. They’re cooking up all sorts of mischief…I mean policy and legislation. The Obama Administration, federal regulators, Congress and lobbyists are all throwing things into this murky pot of questionable thoughts and intentions. Health care, financial regulatory reform, immigration, the economy, energy policy, war and international diplomacy are all mixed together with an eye of newt, hair from a unicorn, and heavy doses of ego, money, racism and classism. It’s a Witches Brew that should demand our thoughtful and consistent feedback. Sometimes I wonder if the spell of the politics of distraction has been cast on America.
Don’t let the Witches’ Brew from Washington intoxicate you any longer.
Let’s all concede that the politics of distraction, like hypnotism, requires willingness on the part of those who fall under its spell. But the politics of distraction are so nefarious and destructive that they take on an evil magical quality. How else can you explain America’s collective willingness not to demand accountability from our elected officials? Although I have heard numerous stories about lobbyists thundering through the halls of Congress, I haven’t heard about voters demanding equal time. It isn’t in the interests of federal policy makers for you and me to break the spell of the politics of distraction, and remember that we have a right to answers and explanations.
But you can almost guarantee that when the mainstream media was making a fuss about one thing, something else very important was happening. In August, while all of us were so focused on the health care debate, did you know that there was negotiation and discussion of financial regulatory reform? While wild accusations of the Obama Administration wanting to “off” grandma were debated, the way that banks and financial products work in America has continued to be in the midst of a fundamental and extremely transformative period. Whether or not the politics of distraction has cast its spell on you, an equally frustrating reality is that many politicians prefer that we are distracted. Don’t let the Witches’ Brew from Washington intoxicate you any longer. The way to break the spell of the politics of distraction is with participation. Instead, spread the magic of political engagement.
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