I'm looking forward to reading P.J. O'Rourke's new book Don't Vote, It Just Encourages the Bastards, the title of which represents I'm sure a fundamental attitude many Americans share about their political system.
It's not a sentiment based necessarily on cynicism. Given one's powerlessness within the general scheme of things, and the inability of politics to accomplish anything constructive except in the face of absolute emergency, I think one could successfully argue in favor of abandoning politics and concentrating upon those areas of one's own life and sphere of influence where one might be able to effect something good or useful.
After I posted the poem by Archlogus last Sunday, it crossed my mind that I had written a parody of it after the Fall 2003 elections, in which the Presidential incumbent was re-elected with a substantial majority after unilaterally starting a war under false pretenses against a country which posed no security threat whatever to the U.S.
The fact that the Congress and the population at large went along with this outrage left me more depressed than I think I had ever been with the American political system -- and that's saying a lot from someone who experienced the Vietnam War and two Nixon administrations firsthand.
Writing curses is a fun way of achieving catharsis and exorcising devils, and the following was addressed to the presidential incumbent in 2004, whose name I must not utter in fear of detection by a new wave of AT&T "data mining" which might put me on a watch-list somewhere in Washington.
Struck down at the edge of the highway, your
hindquarters shattered into broken misshapen
exsanguinating stumps ground into the asphalt
by a passing truck, your mangy, blood-drenched
skin matted into ugly clumps, your teeth cracked
into white splinters embedded in the cold black
pavement, your cheek-pouches infested with
foul maggots, you lie face-down, dribbling
vomitous bile from your stinking liver.
May those assigned to dispose of your loathsome
remains slash with a thousand bright knives
the putrescent entrails clinging to your barely
recognizable neo-conservative skeleton, and may
what’s left of your shredded face break forth into
a twisted smile, just as you smiled in the last election,
when you promised peace, justice, and compassion
to those who were dumb enough to vote for you.