Do you honestly think your government is in place to help you, improve your quality of life, run the country for the betterment of it's citizens? Christ, I hope not. The government isn't in place for YOU, it's in place for IT. Think about it; they'd never get anything done if they had to think about the citizens every time something came up. besides, what would be the lure of being in the driver's seat then? it'd be a complete headache.
Douglas Adams said it well: "...those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it...anyone who is capable of getting themselves elected President should on no account be allowed to do the job." That's really the basis of the problem. We (as a country) don't seem to remember how to think critically and find the best solution. Instead, we rely on the opinions of others (like celebrities...WTF?) to make up our minds for us. The worst of this is the political parties.
Now, when this all got started, those parties may have actually been worth something. now, however, they are a pair of huge, glorified propaganda machines. Have you ever seen/heard of these political parties actually doing anything, other than slandering the other? These are potentially HUGE groups of people, who could band together and do anything. And too damn many citizens make their voting choices based simply on which person claims to be a member of which party...the party that was good enough for Daddy, and which those citizens vote for, every election. Apparently, these people have forgotten that whole "every person has a brain" thing, and that you can think differently from someone else, and still claim anything you want. Maybe because they DON'T have a brain.
Here's another thing to rattle your brain. Think about the price of the present police actions of the American government in Iraq. Think of those billions of dollars (somewhere around $120 billion, as of this writing)...and think of how many ways that money could have been used to improve conditions in this country. Science, education, health, welfare, you name it...now, ask yourself where that kind of money was, before this conflict. Not being used to help the country, was it? Priorities? As Dwight Eisenhower said, back in '53, "every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
The bottom line is that every time you vote someone into office, all you are really doing is making sure that the government is still there. Each leader tends to only really make happy about half the people (his party followers), and when he's gone another chimp takes his place. Power has become, not a means to an end, but and end in and of itself. They play on the citizenry like you would play upon a flute, manipulative propaganda masters, better than anything Orwell ever dreamed. What was it Goering said, at the Nuremberg trials? "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." Sound familiar? Or are you too busy being fascinated by 'American Idol', 'Survivor', celebrity news, and the like?
When you vote...think about what you are doing...and what all you are really doing. Your choice: you can follow, or you can lead. At the very least, you can think.