Exit Signs

Like that existentialists’ room with no doors or windows, we are now in what Jean-Paul Sartre called in his play No Exit, “the hell that is other people.”  The month of January has begun, and the silly season that is the interminably long road of time stretching before us between now and the Republican National Convention in late summer is upon us.

I look forward to this year’s general election campaign like I do an invitation to a goat slaughter. Needless to say, like many of us here, I haven’t been able to get too worked up about this season’s Republican primaries, their candidates, last night’s primary in New Hampshire, or the 2012 election in general. It’s not like we were finally getting rid of George Bush and Dick Cheney in 2008. It’s not because I’m a Democrat and the President has pissed me off on more than a few occasions these last two years, or that it’s the Republicans’ turn to nominate a candidate. It’s not about whether or not I am for or against any one party or any one person — because all members of the elected parties have proverbial ‘stains on their dresses’. This is just what Washington has become.

It’s clear on the part of Republicans that the election of 2012, like most general elections in the last twenty years, is not about issues. In fact, its very hard to find that the issues we actually face — like poverty, joblessness, access to affordable health care, an increasingly diminishing environment — have any connection at all to the platforms of the Republicans campaigning for the presidential nomination. Unless of course, you live off a trust fund or you’re a fetus. A bizarre costume contest at masquerade ball in Versailles could be the more accurate summation of the Republicans’ race for the White House so far, coupled with mud-slinging, race-baiting and other egregious forms of pandering to the base.

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About Fe Bongolan

Fe Bongolan is a writer, dramaturge and actor living in Berkeley, California. Along with her Planet Waves column "Fe-911," Fe performs with Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," which produces work empowering the voices of incarcerated women, ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS and young girls. A long-time Planet Waves fan and an employee in the public sector off and on for 30 years, she describes herself a "mystical public servant." When it comes to politics, she loves reading between the lines.
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5 Responses to Exit Signs

  1. Fe Bongolan says:

    GaryB:

    I share your view, though I hope that if President Obama wins, he will have no worry about re-election, and there may be the chance that he can make changes that he wanted to make in the first term, hopefully, “burrowing” enough of the left-end of his administration into the government like Bush did in the DOJ and other departments.

    Then in 2016, I look to Elizabeth Warren putting in a presidential run. She seems like the real deal. This is my hunch, anyhoo.

  2. GaryB says:

    Fe,

    It has been some of the best comedy ever-The Republican debates. However, there is a great sadness. This upcoming election raises the stakes for 2016. If Obama wins as many Dems may assume, he will still be beholden to over $1 Billion of contributors expectations of paybacks and the Pubs will spend just as much or more. 2016 will be a record for campaign contributions whether we rescind the Corporate personhood or not. Until we overcome this concentrated flow of money for benefit we will indeed collapse as a nation as only the extreme interests to right and left will have benefit.

  3. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Fe:
    Thank you for giving eloquent voice to a passion and rage that many share. The fact that there are many who do or would resonate with your words supports Brendan’s positive feeling as well as your point that there is a way out of that proverbial room would we take it. Until then, we may have to see the absurdity grow. After all, quite recently, one clever fellow nearly succeeded in exposing the emperor by purchasing the naming rights of a state primary. Can product placement and suits with corporate logos be far behind?

  4. Fe Bongolan says:

    Brendan:

    It took me awhile to arrive at the point of this piece. But it came like a waterfall theinute I notified Amanda it was ready for view. We need to be ready — this election can and must be about us.

  5. Brendan Brendan says:

    Fe, girl, you have done it yet again. Thank you, for you have said so well what I have felt. Yeah, those last 13-14 years have not gone well for me personally, and finally I feel like I’m climbing out of a big black hole.

    Politically, it feels like we’ve reached that point in the “Emperor’s New Clothes” when the boy calls out the Emperor for being naked: we see it all now, and frankly it’s not all that pretty.

    What I can’t shake (and don’t want to) is an immense feeling of positivity building within and around me. It is very subtle this feeling, but it is there all the same. It also brings a sense of the beginnings of great changes on the horizon, of what feels like a new world being born.

    Yes, the R’s absolutely suck. With the mental midgets that are running (no offense to either little people or runners), it has been mind numbing to read what they say every day. I have refused to watch any of the so-called debates or listen to any speeches at all: they are simply too revolting. There is no ‘there’ there.

    The Dems need to engage in some true contemplation as well: who are we, and where are we going? Some navel gazing as it were, to define their truths, and regain honesty in action and thought. No one should be immune: it needs to start at the top and move downwards.

    That’s my few cents worth, it’s late and time for bed. Have a wonderful week to come, everyone!

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