WHO or WHAT? Politicians or Ideologies?

There is something about the way people treat politics that I have never fully understood. More specifically, it bothers me how easily people blame all their problems on politicians.
We demonize them, accuse them of sinning against humanity, make them responsible for absolutely all our troubles, and peek into their private lives to condemn them for their mistakes.

Now, while I won’t deny many politicians deserve a mob to raid them off their priviledged positions… Guys, it seems like we’re forgetting the whole meaning behind democracy. WE choose our representatives in the government.

My thoughts regarding the subject started when I was very young. I usually talk a lot about the 90’s and 00’s, when everything here went to hell.
I remember watching people on TV curse the president(s) with all their might, call for the people to go to Plaza de Mayo (from where the president governs), and manifest there, bring the people responsible out. In 2001, Fernando de la Rúa had to leave the place in a helicopter.
“Que se vayan todos” came to be the words by which that time in history will be identified forever -at least to me. “We don’t need politicians”, “they are all corrupt”, “we’re better off without politics”.

Now, granted, those were times of terrible social drama. Many people crossed the poverty line during that time. The manifestations were incredibly violent, and many people died at the hands of the repressive police body.
It was such a traumatic experience for everyone, to the present day there are still social groups that claim to be a-politic with pride holding their heads up, as if that was a compliment to their honor.

Again, I’m not defending the bastards that lead my country to its worst crisis; nor the rest of the corrupt people governing the world through history, and even right now. But I must admit that it’s shocking how people lay the blame so easily on the most visible faces, before looking a themselves and thinking “well, I did vote for the bastard”.

Moving away from my country for a little, where things now are anything but a-political, I find people behave in similar, yet slightly different ways in places like, for example, the US.
Just the other day I found an article that presented the readers with the following question: “how can the people trust a political leader that is known to have cheated on his/her marriage?”. It seemed odd to me that anyone would connect both issues.

I don’t care about this or that politician’s marital life. I care about them being politically honest and similar to my views, and to act according to their ideology. Whatever happens between they and their partners is honestly none of my business.
People might argue: “ah, but if he isn’t loyal to his/her wife/husband” -or something of the sort- “then how can you expect him to be loyal to his ideals?”. Well, since when do they have to be related? If you learned that the cashier at the supermarket is cheating on his wife, would you stop going to that supermarket?

People seem to forget all too often that the political life of politicians is their job. Sure, it’s a complicated world, there is a lot at stake, and they have a lot of personal involvement on it. But it is separated from what happens inside the walls of their homes.

And yet, the media obsesses with stuff like that.

The reason I’m bringing this up, is because I whole-heartedly believe that this way of thinking truly hurts politics. It ends up personalizing political ideals, and that is the worst thing you can do -and one of the points where I differ from peronism.
I think that it’s good to admire politicians, and to support them -but what you really need to fight for is not a leader, but an ideology. People are finite, and imperfect. Ideals can embrace people through generations and bring them together for the future. Depending on a single person is not a smart strategy on a long-term basis.

We need to stop treating politicians as celebrities, as saints, as demons, and start seeing them as what they’re supposed to be: representatives of a political party of this or that ideology.

I don’t know, this really bothers me.
During the year I was chosen to be the student’s centre’s president, I attended many reunions with lots of other centres, and their representatives. There, I saw the same mistake being committed over and over again, only in a slightly different way: the question they wanted to answer was “who are we fighting against?”.
I would usually stand up in the middle of heated discussions of blame being thrown here and there, only to say that looking for an enemy was what a short-sighted organization would do. That we need to find an ideology that represented all students, objectives to fight towards. Sure, it’d be more difficult, because building is always more complicated than destroying. But, in the end, it would be worth it…

Of course, I was epicaly ignored by most people, who only cared about pushing their parties’ structure further into our students’ organizations. Now-a-days these organizations are a mess, and I’m fully convinced that this way of approaching the political fight is one of the main reasons that’s true.

I guess that seeing how that worked was what has kept me from joining a party and working inside it. I love politics, and I want to contribute, but… Being smart.
If political involvement will mean being told who to idolize and who to demonize, then I’m better off walking my own path, even if alone.

What do you think? Is politics all about the ideas, or all about the face who’s representing it? Why?

Thanks for reading my mess,
-Mila.

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Maybe I want to write a post…

It’s been half a year since the last time I checked what was up -or, rather, since the last time I told you what was up.
I’d like to say much has changed, and probably a few things have. But I’m still a teenager with much to learn, and share, and complain about, and enough free time and English knowledge to do so on the internet.

So many things have happened in my country, explaining everything would be too much for me right now -I just came back from work, and some time’s gotta pass before I can even think of something other than printers, which I sell. A country’s future seems brilliant, horrible, unpredictable, and obvious no matter what happens, after all, so maybe it’s not that necessary. Maybe it’s always more or less the same.

Hm? Yeah, I’ve been working. For like 4 months now. That’s probably part of why I haven’t been active at all. It’s a nice job, easy to do, people are really nice and we have a lot of fun.
I’m not gonna make my career here, but I’m saving up for my biggest project so far: going to New Jersey in June. A few more months, and I’ll have the necessary money for it. I’ve even finished my VISA application, and now I just need to settle a date for the interviews, when I’ll have the chance to convince the people at the US embassy that I, in fact, am not a threat for their country. That I wasn’t lying when I said I do not partake in terrorist activities, human trafficking, drug dealing, or any of the sort. More importantly, I’ll have to make sure they understand I do not intend on settling there.
Yeah, I think the last part’s gonna be the most important one.

Sometimes I think all the paranoia they have over terrorism and drug dealing is only there to cover for how seriously awful they are to immigrants.
But hey, your country, your rules. And I respect that.

Another obstacle for my trip is gonna be how difficult it is to buy US dollars. The official way takes too long and it’s impossible for me, so I’ll have to buy them from someone I know, at a very high price. Luckily, both the VISA and the plane ticket can be paid in ARG pesos, so I only need to get enough dollars to take with me there to survive.

Ah, yes, the infamous plane ticket. How can it cost so much? Doesn’t anyone notice how wrong that is?
Also, why does a flight to New York cost, say, $12k ARG pesos, while a flight to Seattle is $21k ARG pesos? Something is not ok. Definitely not ok.

Gosh, I hate money sometimes.

Moving on to the brighter side, this is totally happening. I can’t wait to be there -I really really can’t. All my hard work’s gonna pay off when Brian and I meet at the airport, and have a romantic-movie-moment, then laugh about it and go have some cold beers. ‘Cause it’s gonna be summer there in June.
It’s weird to think about it being summer in June.

I’ve been drawing too. I’m looking for my own style, and I think I’ve found the right path. Maybe I’ll show you something later.

I have a weirdly optimistic feeling for this year, I don’t know why. 2013 wasn’t easy on me. Not because of any superstitious silliness, but because I went through the biggest of my psychological crisis, in my opinion. I’m still fighting it, but I feel better. In fact, I feel ok. And that’s what matters.

SUDDEN CHANGE OF SUBJECT!
Have you ever read anything by Spinoza? My grandmother lent me a book about him, and I devoured it in a few days. I was so relieved to see so many of my thoughts regarding religion and politics so beautifully laid down on a book from the 17th century. I’m going to read more, so his name is going to come up quite a couple of times.

I hadn’t been reading that often lately, but now I feel how my brain is back on the business. No more mental stagnation for me, nu-uh. Not reading for a while can make you feel like… A rock. Like nothing. Your brain slowly stops its workings. Even though you keep on thinking and analyzing, it grows in difficulty every day.
And then, you pick up a book, and suddenly you think so freely. It’s amazing, the power they hold. Specially when it’s a physical book, when you can smell the paper and feel the solid ink under your fingers as you help your eyes follow a particularly complicated line.

I should start writing more too.

This will go under “thoughts”, because that’s mostly what this is. A compilations of things that came to mind when I thought about writing a post.
I’ll go back to Argentinian politics soon. Probably.

Thanks for reading,
-Mila.