On Finding Some Common Ground

Ladies and Gentlemen of America, I have a news flash for you.  The Constitution Is.  It exists, it is interpreted by the Supreme Court, and nothing short of a Constitutional Amendment is going to change that.  Stop trying to make arguments that it isn’t.

To the Left:  like it or lump it, the Second Amendment is part of that document.  It’s there.  We can debate whether or not it’s a good thing that it is there, but it’s there and you’re not going to change it anytime soon.  I know, I know, you love to cite to dissenting opinions in the Supreme Court, but they’re the dissent.  Without a Constitutional Amendment, the Second Amendment is what it is.  As a nation, we have decided that owning guns is really cool, and getting shot at occasionally is worth it so we can own guns.  Support it or not, that’s the constitution.  Deal with it.

To the Right:  All that shit I just said about the Second Amendment?  It’s true of more than just the Second Amendment.  You’re willing to trade corpses for guns, the Left is willing to trade inert fetuses for a woman’s right to choose.  And it’ll take a Constitutional Amendment to change that.  Also, it will take a Constitutional Amendment to change the fact that gays can marry.  Suck it the hell up.  Freedom of religion means more than the freedom to choose your brand of Christianity, Congress has the power to tax and spend, speech is still free, and cops can’t kick down everyone’s doors for the fun of it.  Deal with it.

See, this county is divided so thoroughly that we are never going to see a Constitutional Amendment on any of these issues.  It isn’t going to fucking happen.  Have you seen what it takes to get one of those?   Not going to happen on any volatile issue anytime soon.

And yet, it is these very issues that we see getting kicked up, again and again.  The Left wants to talk about guns, even though it knows damned well it can’t do squat about guns.  The Right wants to talk about abortion and gay marriage, even though it knows damned well those issues are settled.  They’re not fucking issues.  Absent a Constitutional Amendment, those issues are done.  Decided.  Over with.

So why the hell are they the ones we keep seeing politicians talk about?

Because there is nothing a politician can actually do about them.  You can rail on and on about an issue, and never actually do anything about it.  Just use the issue to whip up some votes anytime you need ’em.  And nobody can come down on you about it, because what could you do?  That pesky Supreme Court was in the way of actually doing anything.  But you still want the votes, and so you can flog these issues endlessly.

 

That’s a clip from the West Wing, obviously.  And it’s fictional, but only in the specifics.  The idea that you want the issue, rather than the solution, is the thing running our country right now.

So, politicians of the world.  Show me something.  Do something.  And that means stop arguing and raising issues you know you’re powerless to change, and start talking about the issues where you can make a difference.

Interestingly, one of those keeps coming up from the Right.

See, in their demagoguery over guns, the Right has been referring to mental health issues a lot, lately.  According to your basic conservative talking points, it’s not guns that go on these massacres, it’s people with mental illness.

And that’s statistically bullshit.  But I don’t care, because the gun thing ain’t changin’ soon.

Dear Lefties:  there is an opportunity here to address a major problem in this county.  You can do a thing.  A thing that will help a lot of people.  No, it’s not anything to do with guns.  And I know, I know you want to talk about guns.  You want to talk about guns because talking about guns lets you portray the Right as a bunch of cold-hearted murderers, and that’s good for a couple of points on the ol’ tracking polls.

But there is something to be done.  The Right is talking about the problems in our mental health system, and your response is to come back on them about guns?

Fuck that.  Call their fucking bluff.  Whether or not it is related to massacres, we have a massive problem with how we deal with mentally ill people in this country.  

Put it this way.  If I were to ask a Lefty whether or not we should fix our mental health system, and ask that question independent of the mass-murder context, that Lefty would invariably tell me that we need to update our mental health system.  Because we do.  The one we have is shit, ladies and gentlemen, the Right is not wrong about that.  So if the Left would agree we need to update our mental health system, and the Right is now saying that updating our mental health system would fix the ongoing massacre issues, then why in the fuckballs isn’t there a bill ON THE FLOOR OF THE CONGRESS RIGHT GOD DAMNED NOW that would fix our mental health system?

It’s probably not going to fix the massacres.  But it’s going to fix a shitpot of other problems we have, and it seems like something you could get the Right on board with at the moment.  This is a thing that you could get done.  So why aren’t you?

Because you want the issue.  Because you’d rather point fingers at the Right’s sad attempt to dodge the gun issue than seize the moment for what it is; a chance to fix an actual fucking problem in this country.  And Righties, you’re not off the hook on this one either.  If you’re going to point to mental health as the problem, then come up with a solution.  One that involves more than tax cuts for pharmaceutical companies.

But, no.  We won’t watch this thing get done.  Because it’s much better for politicians to talk about hot-button issues than to fix the ones we all agree on.  Welcome to America.