By September 27, 2012 3 Comments Read More →

Answering Political Apathy

A few years ago, the Republican Party had an internal revolt against their own big government policies, large deficits and spending levels that would make even the most intoxicated midshipman blush.  Out of this rebellion, the Tea Party was born.

During the next election cycle, many new Tea Party heroes were born.  Several candidates were elected under the newly christened banner. Thousands of angry Americans packed parks and town halls across the country looking to vent their frustration with soaring spending levels and draconian domestic policies they believed encroached on their liberties.  The national media consistently bent over backwards looking for the Tea Party’s response to the issue of the day.

Fast forward a few years and look at the Tea Party today.  They are toast.  Done.  Over.  The large, angry crowds have disappeared.  Town hall meetings are once again exclusive to the AARP crowd.  The rhetoric condemning astronomical spending is gone.  The Congressional freshmen who rode the wave of Tea Party anxiety to national prominence have all endorsed the establishment candidate.  Everything is back to normal in the GOP.  All of the pesky naysayers are now on board.  The troublemakers have been silenced.

In a parallel universe, the shepherds at the Democratic National Committee have worked tirelessly to make sure they never see a similar revolt.  Irrespective of the policies of their incumbent candidate, the DNC made sure that their herd never strayed too far from home.  They used their sources at liberal publications to ensure their stories were properly sanitized before release.

The young, articulate, political outsider they chose as their candidate last election cycle has emerged as the chief promoter of the status quo.  The message of change is gone.  We now have daily excuses and a “Change Takes Time” theme.

The guy who promoted himself as a “constitutional professor” now says he can kill Americans without charge, trial or judicial review.  Democrats who organized countless anti-war protests against the previous administration are eerily silent as their guy uses American drones to bomb and kill people in many countries never considered hostile to American interests.  Surely, he hasn’t made the world any safer during his term.  In fact, quite the opposite has occurred.  We are now closer than WWIII than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

However, if you mention any of these facts to the party loyalists, they will consciously and willfully ignore them and continue with their cheers.  The Republican anger about spending levels is about as silent as the anti-war voice in the Democratic Party.  It is no longer acceptable to criticize party leaders for straying from party principles.  It is much more agreeable to blindly nod and applaud.

Some citizens frustrated with the shenanigans question the effectiveness of even participating any longer.  Those paying attention realize there is much to be desired from the current two-party system.  The influx of money, corporate personhood and political apathy has done more to tear down our political system than any terrorist has done.  Candidates without the blessing of establishment elites may succeed in inspiring their base of voters and bringing more people into the world of politics.  However, their naïve exuberance is soon replaced with political apathy or the willful ignorance that consumed others before them.

The only solution is a strong third party voice willing to buck the two-party system and disregard the threats of the establishment elites.  Our country needs someone who will challenge the compromised media selectively whitewashing inconvenient stories.  They will ignore the polls and focus on the American people, not foreigners and politically connected corporations.

The lessons of the Tea Party and the anti-war movement should teach us all.  Are we mere apathetic sheep to be led by political whims?  Or are we the sons and daughters of those who worked tirelessly for liberty?  Will our legacy be one of political corruption or resistance to the cancerous corporatism that has plagued the last decade?

The rest of the story is yet to be written.  But surely it must be penned by the citizens.

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Posted in: Politics, USA

About the Author:

Ak’Bar Shabazz is President of Shabazz Enterprises. He can be reached at
  • I don’t normally talk about politics but I will say that I am a registered Independent. Picking sides is not my way of looking at the facts but seeing who is best to do the job. Not sure a third party will work but I always have hope. My dream though is that the extremists, ignorant and corrupt will stop overshadowing the actual issues that need addressing. We need people in government to do the right thing -- NOT the right thing for them (personally/politically) or just for their party.

    Welcome to the site!

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  • Dani Heart

    I love this article. This is right where I am, but I know…there are not enough of us and that until that changes someone from one of the two big parties is always going to win. We do need to focus on the issues and the people. Right now I vote for a lessor of evils, as do many I suspect, because I feel that is my only real option. I vote for who I believe will be less harmful, even though he may not be the best man for the job, because I know no else stands a chance. sighs.. I do feel that many become apathetic for this very reason. Many feel helpless in the process. I don’t feel there should even be parties. There should be debate and examination of the issues and of how a particular candidate would address those issues, and may the best man win. Welcome to Expats. 🙂

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  • Ak’Bar, First and foremost, Welcome!

    Your article is a thoughtful presentation of a refrain I have often heard and with which I have some sympathy.

    For a minimum of three decades one faction in the political realm has routinely disparaged the government and positioned themselves as people who which to starve the beast. They have robbed people under forty of the heritage all Americans are heir to.

    Fortunately, I came of age prior to this protracted and effective smear campaign. I grew to manhood and went to war with a belief that the Republic I pledged allegiance to as a school student was worth fighting for and if need be dying for.

    I had real living political/civic leaders who sought to strum the mystic chords of memory and awaken our better angels. They were dead before I got back from Vietnam.

    Regardless, for me, the principles of the Founding and the purposes of the Framing are still noble and deserving of dedication. Despite their failings, shortcomings, and frequent loss of focus, the Democratic Party still champions worthy values and still fields candidates deserving of support. I am skeptical of much, but cynical in nothing.

    I hope your article will be the first of many which provoke true thought of the long-twilight struggle which is the true nature of citizenship. We the people are the true sovereigns, but we the people must keep at it. If we can write, talk, march, and work for the realization of the Republic’s foundational principles and stipulated purposes, then we will be able to go to the grave confident we have done what our children deserve of us.

    Thanks again; welcome; I look forward to an ongoing conversation.


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