The Primaries are under way, Super Tuesday is already behind us, and November is right around the corner. While this election year may be more laughable then many before it, you cannot forget that American politics have always been the butt of so many comedians’ jokes. But no one was better than George Carlin at opening our eyes to the bullshit of American politics while simultaneously making us laugh at ourselves. Here are some of the best moments Carlin gave us on American politics that still hold true to this day.
Everyone is always complaining about politicians, but they never seem to remember that they are a product of their environment. Carlin was always one to hold people accountable, so it’s no surprise that when it came to our politicians dropping the ball he reminded us to look at ourselves before pointing the finger. “This is the best we have to offer, this is what our system produces. Garbage in, garbage out.”
One thing that seems to come up every election cycle is the presence of big money in politics. This time its been Hillary taking money from Wall Street, Jeb being backed by oil companies and Super PAC’s, and Trump’s billions. It’s nothing new and Carlin loved to remind us that this country and its leaders have owners, and “they’ve gotcha by the balls”.
Everyone has always been told that in this country we have more freedoms and rights than anywhere else in the world, but that list has been slowly shrinking for years. First it was the patriot act, then the collection of information by the NSA, and now we’ve got Trump who want all Muslims to be registered in a government database. Carlin warned us years ago when he said, “Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away, they’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, a bill of temporary privileges.”
Climate Change has been one of those topics that gets people up in arms for years, but whether you believe it or not what Carlin has to say on the matter is worth a listen. Someone should have shown this to Martin O’Malley before he based his entire campaign on saving the planet. Because as Carlin so eloquently put it: “The Planet is fine. The People are fucked.”
More and more over the past few decades language has been changing in this country. Some call it Political Correctness, others call it non-discriminatory or unbiased, but Carlin called it what it is: euphemisms that conceal the truth. Offending people isn’t the goal, but this country should not use words to hide from reality. “Americans have a lot of trouble facing reality, Americans have a lot of trouble facing the truth, so they create this kind of soft language to protect themselves from it and it gets worse with every generation.”
When it comes to facing reality lets not forget that Carlin was the best at reminding the American public about the reality of our foreign policy. We’re always told by the government that we’re trying to preserve peoples freedoms when we meddle in other countries affairs, when in reality it’s just a bunch of prick waving. “I don’t get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I consider them symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.”
Kids growing up are always told that America is the greatest country on Earth and given a list of reasons why it’s so. Well as George explained, there’s a reason they hit you with all this bullshit when you’re a child: because you won’t question it. If there’s one thing to learn from Carlin its that you have to question everything. “Up until a certain age kids will believe everything a grown up tells them. Everything. So kids never learn to question things, nobody questions things in this country.”