One of the many things that have frustrated me lately is the failure of society as a whole to concentrate on the real problems we are facing as a country and a planet and instead to spend countless hours on things that really aren’t all that important. Granted, it’s not all our fault. In the most recent round of elections many of the ads we were subjected to focused on piddly things instead of big issues- probably because the person paying for that ad had no idea how to actually fix any of those problems so they had to divert our attention elsewhere.
One shining example of this is the hot-button topic of gay marriage here in my adopted home state of Iowa. (Yes, that is how I named my blog for those of you that hadn’t figured that out already). About a year and a half ago the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that denying marriage licences to gay couples was unconstitutional. This was a big deal for about a month or so and then most everyone got back to normal life. The sun continued to rise in the east each and every day. Fast forward to Election Day. Not only did the voters in this “progressive” state vote out a governor who didn’t want to do an end run around the Supreme Court but they actually voted out several Supreme Court justices for their position on this one case.
But during this same time that consenting adults were marrying other consenting adults that just happened to be of the same gender the housing market, the stock market and the job market all crashed. Iowa factories and business closed at record rates. But you wouldn’t have known it from watching TV around here. And from what I gather this was not a just Iowa thing- many many other states had their election ads focused on the less than crucial issues as well.
I guess maybe we need more politicians like Jesse Ventura. Yes, he seems to be a wee bit off his rocker now, but when he was Governor of Minnesota for 4 years we knew exactly what our leader was thinking. He didn’t pander to any group or give lip service to anyone. Not all of his ideas were popular or even possible but it was truly refreshing to have that kind of in-your-face honesty for once. I fear we may never see that again.