Blago is cautionary tale to voters

By Jonathan Allen

Sweet, sweet justice. Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in the Big House. After feebly attempting to sell Obama’s old Senate seat to the highest bidder, two drawn out court cases that were nationally drooled over by the 24-hour news cycle finally came to a close and a sentence was made. I will personally be passing around a petition to have his head shaved as part of the sentence.

But let’s take a step back and examine how this incompetently dirty politician got to such a place of power. Oh, right. We elected him. Illinois, one of the most fiercely democratic states in the country, elected a man who would regularly throw wrenches into the political process for his own personal gain.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not just blindly bashing the Democratic Party. I am a dedicated liberal. I keep a picture of Rachel Maddow in a heart-shaped locket around my neck. I listen to Air America podcasts as background music while I play Xbox and I’m all about the 99 percent movement. But at the end of the day, I have to wonder how we messed up so badly with this schmuck. It is our fault. We, the voters, ultimately failed.

I worry that this is becoming a trend in our generation. We like to portray ourselves as vastly knowledgeable in national and global politics, yet we as a generation of voters, whether Democratic or Republican, appear to be herded into one voting class or another, and we refuse to step across those lines we’ve drawn.

I’ll admit that when I first voted, my main goal was to hand my vote to that lovely commander-in-chief of ours, Obama. The rest of the voting process was kind of a blur. I wasn’t really paying attention to any of the propositions, judges or other elected officials, depending on my opinion. I just voted as liberally as possible.

It’s pretty embarrassing. But, I have to assume that it was this exact pattern that elected Blagojevich to office.

Other states are making the same mistakes.

The Tea Party ultra-conservative South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint regularly takes the stance that the entire Democratic Party is out to get America, most recently opposing a bill that would help U.S. veterans obtain jobs, calling it a trick from Obama. Minnesota congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann takes some of the most unreasonable political stances, from mass privatization of government assets to strictly religiously guided stances on social issues, like gay marriage and abortion. She is so nuts that she has physical panic attacks when in the same room as a lesbian.

No, these things aren’t illegal like the things Blagojevich tried to pull off. They’re just incredibly moronic. Obama isn’t out to ruin America, and neither are “the gays.”

And here is the worst part: You and I (hopefully) both know these things. We are rational beings who don’t look across party lines and react to them like some sort of fun house mirror that makes us look fat. So why don’t we hold our political representatives’ feet to the fire? Why is it that we are so willing to settle for the lesser evil?

The fault is not with either party. The fault is with America. We, the voters, are the building blocks of our political parties. Our growing indifference combined with our shrinking political attention span is crumbling the very foundation of our nation. It doesn’t matter what side you stand on. Just be passionate about your opinion and consider your ballot well before you cast it. More is at stake than you think.