Politics in Action

Politics can often be very frustrating and boring, especially when the conversation seems to be going nowhere. Although our governmental system is superior in many ways, it is often inferior for the same reasons. The US government is best known for its checks and balances system, which, as well as keeping people safe, can make things really hard to get done. For instance, it takes so much legal processing and procedure for a guilty murderer to be convicted that he/she can roam free for years before being put in prison.

Serious public issues sometimes get continually worse while politicians sit around discussing how to fix them. It often seems like more would get done if there was less regard for political etiquette and party based opinion. This clip is of Dylan Ratigan “losing it” during a political debate. Although he probably could have handled it better, this seems to be the only way to get his point across.


The points that Mr. Ratigan had made are correct. We as Americans have little control over what happens in the country. As much as you would like to believe that your vote counts, it doesn’t. America runs on a system called electoral college. Here’s a very condensed version of how it works: from the selection of people that are running for your state government, you pick the candidate that represents your views best (the keyword here is best). When presidential election time rolls around, you vote for who you want to be president in the popular vote (which can sometimes include a whole bunch of people you may not realize you were also voting for, since most states use a short ballot). Your state government takes a look at who the public wants to be president, and then they cast votes as representation of the public. Those votes are then counted and the new president is chosen.

Here’s the kicker, your state representation may not agree with the way you voted, and it’s their vote that counts. Your individual vote itself is statistically irrelevant, and is only as good as the state representation you have to choose from. Lets face it, not just anyone can run for office . You have to have the funds and the political skill to campaign, something that few citizens have. It is virtually impossible for the average Joe, whether he has awesome political ideas or not, to run for office. Theoretically, all citizens are eligible to run for office, but few make it simply on wit and charm.

This is the issue that Mr. Ratigan seems to be so angry about, and rightly so. The control of the country is out of the hands of the citizens who live in it. There seems to be more concern about which party is right than what will actually solve our biggest problems. It is worth considering that BOTH parties may be wrong, or right about some issues and wrong about others. No matter what your political view is, what is currently being done is obviously not working. We must consider the facts, or mathematics as Ratigan put it, instead of the opinions of one party or another.

Perhaps the solution is to “lose it” politically. Getting to the point seems to be the most effective way to get things done in this clip, instead of politely discussing viewpoints over tea. If something is not done, a second civil war may be on its way. One thing is clear: the individual citizens of America must stand up and take the government back from politicians.


Comments on: "Politics in Action" (1)

  1. Nice article. I often wonder what people are thinking when they harp about one’s duty to vote. I wonder if they are aware of what you explain concerning the electoral college. It’s ironic. Democratic legitimacy is achieved via participation, yet, according to our electoral college, our participation doesn’t matter. So much for a legitimate government, or a democratic political structure for that matter.

    Again, I enjoyed your post. Keep up the good work.


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