Power Junkies

Imagine a world without leaders or power brokers. It’s hard to ponder because it would be nearly impossible. As a species, humanity places its faith in a representative system of government. This is unfortunate because if gone unchecked, leaders can become corrupt. American founding fathers knew these things and went out of their way to create a three-tier system of government in which no one person could brandish absolute authority. In the current political arena, the public holds the collective power because we have inherited voting rights from our constitutional framers. Corrupt lawmakers know this, and currently scramble to sow seeds of discontent by poisoning the political well. Moreover, state governments are actively sabotaging election integrity at a local level through acts of gerrymandering and re-districting.

We’ve heard that ‘power corrupts,’ but we seldom recognize that power is also highly addictive. The lust for power is subtle at first, but once you’ve gotten a taste it’s hard to put down. The pursuit of power begins with a need to indulge in one’s darkest secret vices. Power is habit forming because the afflicted can do whatever they want at first, but only to a certain extent. Like a painful addiction, the quest for power leads to utter depravity. It starts small, but the afflicted soon realize they can buy their way out of trouble with bribes and pay-offs. Like heroin, people build up a tolerance to power, meaning they continuously need more of it to chase the initial thrill! Like a junkie strung out on smack, power grabbers find that wealth, drugs, and lust no longer scratch that itch; they still need more. When it comes to power, it’s never enough! Armed with ultimate power, one could rule the world and that’s exactly what madmen secretly desire! They yearn to command armies because they secretly crave glory; but even that wouldn’t satiate them. This is because ultimate power is ultimately unattainable. History teaches us that many have pursued the beast only to meet a cruel demise (Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Alexander the Great). Too much power, like anything, is a bad thing.

This begs the question; what can we do about it? Clearly the power-hungry conservative right needs an intervention! Republican power-grabbers feel the need to impose their will onto women and that’s not okay. Roe v. Wade is being systematically dismantled because the power-hungry wish to treat women as if they are incapable of making their own reproductive choices. Once they’ve achieved this, why wouldn’t they continue the assault on varying cultures as well? Could feckless Republicans go on to establish a common religion? Perhaps a tainted Supreme Court would vote to outlaw free speech! What’s stopping them? If left to their own devices, the power grabbers would gladly abolish voting all together!

To remedy this, it is incumbent upon Americans to rethink the concept of power. We need to address it as the destructive force that it is, and vote at all levels to keep current legislators in check. We must mobilize a vast army of informed voters to counter-act the power grabbers. I’m optimistic that American youth are an untapped juggernaut waiting to be heard. I’m confident that disenfranchised voters can be rallied in such a way as to challenge the entire body of politics. The time for voter apathy is long past, and the younger generations know this. They are emotionally intelligent, well educated, and well informed. Most importantly, they are not amused with the world they’ve inherited! Once this voting block comes online, they will present a formidable alternative to the status quo. Until that time America must carry on somehow, as she precariously ‘whistles past the graveyard.’

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” __John Fitzgerald Kennedy.