Batman is my favorite superhero and always has been. When I was a kid it was because he drove the coolest car in the world, the Batmobile from the television show. I think all of the Batmobiles are cool, but to me the one on the television show was the coolest, I guess I’m nostalgic. As I got older though my reasons for Batman still being my favorite superhero evolved and matured beyond thinking all of his toys were cool and even beyond the fact that he, or rather his alter ego Bruce Wayne, was ridiculously wealthy – though I’d still like to have a taste of that lifestyle – to something of more substance. I like Batman because he is really just a dude. He can’t defy gravity, he wasn’t bitten by a radioactive bug imbuing him with otherworldly strength and abilities, he is a man, flesh and blood, like everyone else on this planet, except he wants to serve as an incorruptible symbol of justice. That is unfortunately where he differs from most people.
I am not, repeat NOT, advocating that each and every one of us dons tights and start enacting our own brands of vigilantism. He is after all a fictional character in a fictional world and we all live in reality where many of things Batman does would, if nothing else, leave him crippled, let alone land him in prison. What I am saying though is that we all can do little things that can make a difference. How many times have you seen or heard of something and said, “Someone should do something about that.” I know I have said or thought that many, many times. We all are waiting on someone else and it doesn’t have to be that way.
A lot of the time that someone we are referring to is Uncle Sam and that’s fine if you honestly believe that the government and its representatives are fair, just, and incorruptible. I don’t believe that though. I saw a report yesterday on one of the 24 hour news channels saying that when combined, both the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign has raised something like $1 billion, and the total amount is projected to be upwards of $3 billion; the kicker was that the reporter kind of made it sound like this is celebratory news – it isn’t, at least it shouldn’t be. I am not so naïve as to think that it doesn’t cost money to run a campaign at any level, but seriously? $3 billion? That is an awful lot of cheddar and I think that money could be better spent on something a little more worthwhile than a politician. (Click here to see a Reuter’s breakdown of each party’s treasure trove)
You might think that this money goes towards buying advertising and paying expenses, which it does, but it also buys influence through a tidy little quid pro quo process – so much for the incorruptibility of government. He, who gives the most, gets the most, and I don’t think your $100 is even going to get noticed when there is another $40,000 per plate dinner to attend. Do you think that the George Soros’ and Sheldon Adelson’s give their money away without the expectation of some sort of return? They may be billionaires, but they are far from Bruce Wayne’s notion of an incorruptible caped crusader. Hell, some large donors hedge their bets and finance both candidates, that way it is a win, win – for them.
Don’t think for an instant that either of these two dudes really give a frog’s flying fat ass in hell about the “little guy” because they don’t owe the “little guy” anything, they do owe all of those big fish though and it is and will be their interests that get addressed long before yours or mine. Take for example a friend of mine. He is retired Navy, where he was a dentist, and now owns and operates a dental supply company; he IS small business. He has in the past sold dental supplies to the military and according to him it was a fairly simple process. He tells me now that there are so many hoops to jump through, regulations to meet and paperwork to fill out, just to get your name on a list of approved contractors, to where a cottage industry has popped up that will handle all of that stuff for you, and they will do it for the low, low price of $7,500 but it won’t ensure that you get any business out of it. Umm, that is a pretty big expense for a small business owner – not so much if you are General Dynamics or Dentsply. Who do you think pushed for those hoops to jump through and regulations? Here’s a hint; it wasn’t the small business owners.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want my elected officials to be beholden to a bunch of billionaires and corporations. So, this is where we all can be heroes and actually do something about this. We are the ones who actually elect those who propose to represent us and yet we are the ones who seem to consistently get the shortest straw by those representatives, so why not do the heroic thing and serve as our own symbols of incorruptibility, by not electing either of these money sucking political prostitutes and instead vote for the guy who isn’t receiving billions of dollars with just many strings attached to each penny; a campaign where your $100 does get noticed and appreciated. Or, we all can just wait and say, somebody should really do something about that; while all of “that” is being done to us. Consider this a universal Bat-Signal.
If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on. (Immanuel Kant)