Wish You Were (still) Here

We are so jaded that we’re never surprised to hear about a politician caught for lying, embezzling or secretly paying gay prostitutes for buttsecks and meth. That’s politics you say. It’s show-business for ugly people. The safety net for law school rejects.

If they are such insufferable morons, how did they get where they are? How did they become ‘leaders’? Did the Politics Fairy anoint them to their positions? As magical and depressing as that fairy sounds, the truth is they got ELECTED. They were approved by the electorate. They were handed the keys to the kingdom.

Did you vote? Who did you vote for? More importantly, WHY did you vote?

These questions are ultimately irrelevant, because collectively we didn’t vote for what believe in, we didn’t vote our conscience nor our principles. We voted out of FEAR. Whether you wanted to avoid having to explain to your brat why Dave has two daddies or voted “strategically” because of bigoted mouth-breathing biblethumpers,you acted because you were afraid, and politicians who are willing (and able) to wield fear in all it’s incarnations are not playing this game to look out for your best interest once they seize power. You know what’s coming but you choose the lesser of two evils, having learned from history that the good die young and evil prevails.

JL was different. JL was a leader. One of the last of a dying breed. You may have disagreed with his ideas but his intent was above reproach. He was an idealist, the sort that cynics like myself deride for using impotent tools to effect change but secretly wish all the success that the power of rainbows can bestow upon him.

His absence has left the Harpers and the Fords of the world to run it into the ground. Even their own supporters weep, for they know in their heart of hearts that such idealogues will sacrifice the common man at the altar of theoretical economic models, but JL would have fought tooth and nail on their behalf even if he didn’t win their support.

But he’s gone. So is Amy Winehouse. Nickelback and Stephen Harper, still alive. There is no justice in this world.

Jack Layton, being himself.