August 8, 2009

What's a Polimerican?

Since this blog is literally only hours old and the question has already arisen, I thought now would be a good time to explain from where the title, Polimerican, originates.

Polimerican is simply a portmanteau of "Political American." Let me explain.

The vast majority of the American public claims to not be interested in politics at all. In fact, a great number of those same people take enormous pride in their ignorance of the workings of the government, what bills are being debated, or even what happened at the last city council meeting. They are, you see, far too involved in their own lives to be bothered with such "trivial" matters. Leave that those who are far less important with far less busy lives. We are important people, so stop bothering us with such mundane details.

Right up until the point that the government does something they don't like. Then, they're suddenly shocked (SHOCKED!) that the government has decided to seize their property through eminent domain, build a sewage treatment plant behind their house, or even nationalize vast swaths of the nation's economy. Then suddenly they are awakened from their delusion that what's happening in politics has no impact on them. The truth is that they were just always too self-involved to notice.

The Polimerican, on the other hand, realizes that the only true restraint on the empire-building bureaucrat and the corrupt politician is a vigilant citizenry. Perhaps in days gone by, the media could be counted on to act as a check on unrestricted government growth. But that was only because there was sufficient diversity in the media to hold all parties accountable: if one paper overlooked a potential scandal because they held political or personal sympathies for those involved, its ideological opposite across town could be counted on to do the necessary legwork to uncover it. But it's been longer than most of us have been alive since there was any real ideological diversity in the national media. So it's up to us.

Whether it's the guy who takes a video camera to a city council, a lonely blogger digging through public records or a mother who is mindful of the future her children will inherit; it's Average Joe American who is responsible for holding our representatives' feet to the fire on the issues of the day. We each owe it to ourselves, to our neighbors and to future generations to be Polimericans.

That's the purpose of this blog. It is by, and for, Polimericans. That doesn't mean that every post or discussion needs to, or will, be about politics. After all, "all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy." But most forget the last part of that rhyme: "but all play and no work makes Jack a toy." So let's have fun and play, but let's also not forget that there's important work to be done as well.