I struggled over the last day or so, not just with what to say about the goings on at VW, but with the news in general that is consuming Jalopnik/OPPO and big media in general right down to my local 6 o’clock news broadcast here at home.
The story overall is bigger than just VW itself. While in the automotive universe it is the only or at least the greatest story being covered, it is but a single story and the overall arc of news in general is rather dire.
That in itself is not news but it’s the means by which we have come to this seemingly depressing time in our existence: hence the title of this blog.
What really should be the consequences for Mr Winterkorn and VW? Is it reasonable to fire him or demand he step down? Should the US feds levy an $18 billion dollar fine? What do the Canadian, French, Brazilian, UK, German, Korean,,,,,,, the list goes on, governments do either separately or jointly to remedy these actions and frauds? Is there a reasonable solution to this mess or should we even be reasonable?
The other side of this coin is us, the general public, John and Jane (Klaus and Helga) Q Public. What role do we really play in this game? Are we just the pawns, the victims and expendables?
Is the line worker at the various production and assembly lines around the world in various VW plants responsible for this mess and should he or she have to pay a price for it? The simple answer is NO! But they will!
We have convinced ourselves, with help from politicians and business ‘leaders’ that we serve the corporation and without them, the corporations, we would cease to exist. We serve them in order to live.
This is partially true. My argument isn’t a rally against corporate America or Germany or anywhere else: it’s an argument with you, the apathetic John’s and Jane’s of the world.
From VW ‘Dieselgate’ to current elections going on in America and Canada, to mass exodus and slaughter from Syria and Iraq, to climate change, to megalomaniac world leaders like Kim Jong-un and Vladamir Putin(yes I put them in the same category!), from rights issues and territory disputes, centuries old now, with Native North Americans, to police conduct and incarceration objectives that are killing entire distinct groups of people and the list goes on and on.
We have many problems to tackle and solve, It seems are willingness to do so has waned over the decades and we just seem to accept whatever fate is hoisted upon us: it’s a good thing I didn’t tackle the religious piece of this argument.
Yes, Martin Winterkorn should be fired! Yes, VW should pay hefty fines wherever it is deemed approprite and neccessary. We need to start holding people accountable for their actions, no matter how high they sit or how powerful they are.
Apathy, apathy I repeat, is the silent killer of our time. You and I are responsible for that. Making excuses for people or things that are or have done wrong is not acceptable. GM got away with what they did, I hope we do not do the same with VW!
Your participation can be quite simple. I’m not expecting you to go protest at the front doors of BP tomorrow but simply participate in the process. The simplest form of that participation is your vote!
I don’t know why, especially here in North America, roughly only %50 of all eligible voters actually cast a ballot. That’s disgusting and I will tell you why I use that word and why I always vote, no matter what!
For me personally, it’s a pay back to my Grandfathers, all three of them. Yes three, my paternal Grandfather died well before I was born and his Brother stepped up to marry my Grandmother to help raise my Father and Aunt. It’s along story and not one I’m going to write about here.
All of my Grandfathers participated in one way or another in WWII. In particular, my Grandfather on my Mothers side enlisted, volunteered, in 1939, he was shipped over to England that year and did not get to return home until 1946. 7 Years!
He sacrificed 7 years of his life so that the men and woman he served with survived and went home to their families, he was a field medic on and in the front lines, for 7 years!
I veiw all of the veterans, let they be from WWI/WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afganistan or wherever else duty called them, as my Grandfathers. I owe them and their sacrifice. We simply do not have the freedom and life we have today without their sacrifice. The easiest way to repay that is to simply vote!
Get up off your ass, shut your fucking whiny mouth and go vote!