The world is turning to shit. There is one simple reason for this: we're letting it. Oh, I could bawl on and on about how corporations and big media use the power of their lobbyists to control our government like a really expensive marionette, how the alcohol and tobacco industries intentionally beat down the legalization of marijuana because it's safer and less addictive than either of the aforementioned substances, how pharmaceutical companies have to be led by evil overlords, and all sorts of jazz. But at the end of the day, it's the people's fault. The Obama election proved that a true grass-roots campaign, making people aware that they had the power to improve things, worked. It proved that we, the people, can change things.
Unfortunately, that election was very telling about the American people. You see, the reason it worked so well was because the people weren't really the ones taking responsibility. They were picking somebody else to shoulder the responsibility, somebody else to take the blame. The voter is like the sports fan: If his team wins, he exclaims, "We won!" If his team loses, he growls, "They lost." Notice the difference? A fan and a voter can claim responsibility for their favored team/candidate if they perform well, citing their support, but can also foist the blame on the same figurehead if things go awry.
This is a VERY important point: for the most part, Americans don't want to do the work. They don't want the responsibility. Fuck, I don't want the responsibility. Not alone. And the problem is that, even with all our social media, many of us do feel hopelessly alone. One person is as effective as the lone remaining protestor in Tiananmen Square, but without becoming a symbol around which others can rally; the rest of the people will just change the damn channel.
This subject of responsibility cannot be stressed enough. When combined with Americans' short-as-fuck attention spans, it has made for an unbelievable upheaval. Apparently the average person either is too stupid to realize that the world doesn't reset itself when a new president is elected, or entirely forgot about the foreclosure bubble destroying the economy and blamed the economic collapse on Obama rather than the fact that the economy looked like a three-hour game of Jenga by the time Obama took over.
This is also a question of responsibility: whenever a Liberal does something wrong, every Conservative talking head and the entire body politic gathers together and declares the n'th crusade against the target, but when a Conservative makes such a minor misstep as, say, politicians who call for the persecution of homosexuals being found to have been gay all along or actively promoting laws that serve a company they or a friend owns at the expense of an entire state, no expense is spared to downplay or erase it. Bush the Lesser was a barely-functioning alcoholic until he was 40, and his wife killed a man with her car. Pundits have referred to these occurrences as, no lie, "Youthful indiscretions." Youth ends at about 25 at the very latest, and I don't think the taking of another human being's life counts as an indiscretion, particularly considering that this is the same party whose members have been known to bomb abortion clinics because murder is wrong.
The author side of me jokingly blames Stephen King for the negative reaction to Obama's four years in office. The writer whose dramatic works inspired the term "the magic Negro" undoubtedly raised Americans' expectations as to what would happen. The public expected him to raise a magic wand and fix everybody's problems. But are we really surprised? These are the same idiots who don't want to work toward anything, so why should a fix to their suffering have to take time and effort? We want our happy ending NOW, and if we don't get it we'll turn to a representative of the party that violently butt-fucked us in the first place.
Speaking of, Conservative policies have never worked in the history of forever. The entire idea - removing, of course, the rampant hatred and religious oppression now so inherent in the Republican party that it makes actual governmental policy an afterthought - is that corporations know best how to run themselves, and catering to the wealthy will make the entire country a better place. Now, back in the early 1800s (the time period to which most Conservatives seem to want to return, albeit with air conditioning and TiVo) this might have worked, seeing as the country was for the most part self-sufficient and self-contained, so money spent would cycle through American towns. However, ever since the infamous robber-barons realized that they could incorporate, charge whatever the fuck they wanted, and sell for profit with no regard for consumers or those affected by their actions, the entire economic policy falls apart. Corporations care only about profit. They care nothing for proper service, or if the service even comes through. So long as they are paid and those in the highest echelons receive titanic bonuses, they do not care.
Christ on a cracker, I could go on forever about this stuff, but I haven't slept in forever and I really don't want this single post to become a book-sized diatribe, so I'll save the rest for another post.