The War on Apathy
As the debate over Iraq continues it becomes clearer and clearer that the real casualty of this war is not sanctity of the United Nations, nor Arab-American relations, nor even the children of Iraq, but the very fabric that unites all Americans as a people: Apathy.
For years we lived in peace and harmony, never caring whether our neighbors were Republican or Democrat. Never caring whether those teaching our children were conservative or liberal. No matter what our declared political belief system, we slept soundly at night knowing the way we voted would never, ever fundamentally change any aspect of our day-to-day lives. Regardless of the election results, all choices we faced in the political arena would eventually lead to narrow variants of the same tried and true cookie-cutter outcomes that have kept this great nation from going astray for over two-hundred years.
The War on Iraq has changed all that. Just when it looked like post-9/11 America might return to those carefree days when an American child need not know the name of a capital city outside of D.C., we find ourselves faced with a choice. A choice that may change the way people with funny accents hate us for years to come.
Should we nuke Iraq?
There are many who believe yes. Still, others believe no.
But let us not forget a small, often-overlooked minority that states boldly and in no uncertain terms:
"We Have No Opinion Whatsoever."
For the sake of the nation we must increase the numbers of this vigilant minority.
For those of you who fail to grasp the importance of an apathetic citizenry, quit clinging to the antiquated notion that the actions we ordinary laypeople make in our ordinary laylives will ever have an effect on international policy in Washington. The Big Boys will make their decisions, declare their wars, eat their Freedom Fries, with little or no regard for the incessant chipmunk garbling from the ill-informed masses. These people have more experience dealing with punk-ass dictators than you and all the people in your co-op put together. So don't even go there.
Our President has selflessly taken on this responsibility so we normal people don't have to. Remember, you voted for him to do just that. And even if you didn't, nearly half of all those who voted in the last election did, which makes him the leader of the Free World. So if you don't like the way he's running things, it doesn't really matter. Most voters will have forgotten about this whole little Iraqi squabble by the time the next election rolls around anyway.
The point is, there is no point. We are all tripping futilely down a spiral coil toward a final deposit from which no traveler ever receives a refund. So why bother. If we invade Iraq, people will hate us. If we don't, people will hate us. If we attack, people will die. If we don't, other people will die. And those original people will die too, only much, much later.
The only sane choice is choosing not to choose. This war season stand up for indecisiveness. Join the millions who have found sanctuary in American Idol chat rooms and game show reruns, who have made the weather channel their home page, who turn immediately to the sports and movie sections, and who state loudly and proudly, I'm apathetic and I don't care.
Or maybe they don't actually say it aloud, but they think it. And even if they don't think it, their every gesture seems to allude to it, by virtue of not denying it.
And at the very least, even if you do have some opinion on this whole international charade, whatever you do, please don't forward your political inclinations to your Congressman/Senator/Webmaster in the form of a mass e-mail petition. Your local politician is starting to catch on. Dense as he may be, he has noticed many of these forwards contain more names than people on earth, and quite frankly, many of them are out of his contituency.
But more important, please refrain from doing so because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE FORWARDS must pass through MY COMPUTER several times before it ever gets to your Congressman. Half of these petitions contain incorrect information, objections to "upcoming" legislation long since passed, and motions to protect animals already extinct.
If you do feel the need to write to your Congressman, please put forth a motion to ban all mass e-mail petitions. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, but it only takes one moron sending out stupid chain letters to clutter up my hard drive.
Don't fight the power.