If you pay any attention to Minnesota politics you probably know two things: Minnesota doesn’t appear to follow any specific political philosophy and our passive aggressive nature makes any political debate very boring. The person many Minnesotans refer to as Governor (I’m not sure why they all use that title, I think it’s supposed to indicate the person is a psychopath or crook or something), Mark Dayton, decided to hold a public meeting in Shakopee and wasn’t happy about the way he was treated. A few weeks ago the politicians in St. Paul decided to give themselves a 35 percent raise. As you can guess the people stuck footing the bill for the politicians’ salaries, the tax victims, weren’t overly happy. During his meeting in Shakopee Dayton tried to justify the raise and was appropriately heckled by the audience:
As he was explaining why, the audience heckled and interrupted him.
“Let me just finish,” he objected, according to video recorded by the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. “I’ve been all over the state and I’ve never had people behave this rudely. You know, if you want to say something, raise your hand and get a mic.”
Asked about the comment, the governor said on Tuesday that members of the audience did not just disagree with him they displayed “very juvenile kind of behavior,” which reminded him of the 9th graders he taught in a New York City public school decades ago.
“It was rude and if they can’t handle the truth, they can’t handle the truth, but that’s the truth as I perceived it,” Dayton said. He added that the audience applauded when he hushed the crowd, one of the few points of unanimity at the event.
Responses to the incident have been mixed but seem to be leaning towards disapproval, as you would expect from a state where people refuse to openly state their disagreements. A lot of people believe that politics is serious business and must only be conducted in the most bland lawyerly manner. Anybody who shows even an inkling of disrespect while discussing politics is derided and told that such behavior is unbecoming of civilized people (yet stealing more money from tax victims is somehow regarded as civilized behavior, go figure).
Fuck that. I hereby endorse the actions of the hecklers at Shakopee. The people were rightly pissed and being spoon-fed bullshit. Why should the audience act “civilized” under such conditions? Furthermore why should anybody be expected to show respect to a politicians? Politicians are little more than mobsters. They demand “protection” money and will kidnap you if you refuse to pay it, always try to take a cut of whatever economic activity is occurring on their turf, and claim their actions are legitimate because a bunch of people showed up to polling places and filled in an oval next to their name. In fact politicians are even worse than mobsters because mobsters usually admit that they’re stealing.
In fact I believe we’re taking this politics thing far too seriously. Listening to most people discuss political matters would lead you to believe such discussions actually mattered. The reality of the political system is that the state doesn’t listen to us mere peasants and does whatever it feels like doing. When somebody becomes too big of a thorn in the state’s side they have him kidnapped or killed and write off their act of malice as being legal and therefore, somehow, legitimate. This is why I prefer political discussions involved the Internet. Instead of a bunch of people discussing politic matters in a super serious fashion you get things like this:
Image swiped from Facebook.
Yes, that is a cat holding a gold Desert Eagle riding a fire breathing unicorn. That’s a political argument on the Internet and it’s far more productive than most political discussions in real life because you actually have something to show after the discussion concludes. That picture is awesome to look at in any context. Hell I want that picture on a poster so I can hang it in my living room.
I believe that Internet-based political discussions are more jovial because underneath the discussion is an implication that the situation will be worked around. Most of the real life political discussions I’ve been a party to involve people looking for political solutions. They discuss running or supporting candidates, introducing legislation, and playing within the rules set by the state. Denizens of the Internet generally discuss ways of bypassing new legislation. Sure, there are calls for writing congress critters but there are also people working on technology that renders proposed laws irrelevant. An Internet sales tax, for example, can be defeated by anonymizing transactions. Silk Road uses Tor hidden services and Bitcoin to bypass laws on drugs that haven’t received the state’s blessing. The proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) can be rendered powerless with proper cryptography.
I think the general tendency to focus on practical solutions allows a great deal of the Internet to see politics for what it really is, a joke. It’s unfortunate that more people don’t see this. The people of Shakopee obviously realize that Dayton’s visit was mere lip service meant to shut the peasantry up and they acted accordingly. Those people should be applauded and looked at as an example of how political discussions should be held. What can I say, I’m a fan of calling a spade a spade and treating a joke as a joke.