ekspreshon #20 – different versions for different times…
we have rules for a reason. we set guidelines for how we want to live and we try not to cross those lines. when we do, we feel bad. some things are not beneficial for us to do. some things won’t hurt us, but we know we’ll enjoy life so much more if we don’t do them…
today, i’ve broken my own rules. but only by a little bit.
see, i love thanksgiving. a lot. it’s one of my most favorite holidays ever. i love it as much if not more than christmas. I. LOVE. THANKSGIVING. and, because i love it so much, i get pissed when people start to celebrate christmas before my beloved t-day has come and gone. i steadfastly refuse to think about christmas before thanksgiving. this causes all sorts of issues of course… ALL my christmas gifts are pretty much last minute since i’ve only got a month to shop…
but today i broke out the stack of christmas albums that have been sitting in my office off to the side waiting for thanksgiving to pass. i couldn’t help it… i’ve been putting these albums through the digital supply chain for months now. i was curious. i was impulsive. it was a one time thing… only then i put in another one…
i’ve started to compile this year’s christmas playlist. and it’s gonna be killer. if you’re all very nice, santa might let you listen to it…
anyway, that’s my confession… i was feeling guilty. i’m sorry t-day! i haven’t forgotten you. i love you still and can’t wait to spend next week with you!
ok, this is it, folks. this is my one and only political post. i don’t like to talk politics and this is not the place that i do so even when i can be drawn into a political discussion…
know that i am not a democrat. nor am i a republican. i, like the vast and growing majority of this country, am an independent moderate. i won’t toe anyone’s party line because i don’t agree with anyone 100%. in a better day, i might have been a republican… but the party (or maybe just dubya) has turned its back on and betrayed so many of its stated positions – and done so with great vigor and persistence. in a different day, i might have called myself a democrat… but too many of the people wearing that badge are unrealistic, head-in-the-clouds, rabid dreamers for my comfort. i’m a moderate and quite happy to be so, thank you.
also know that this is not an attempt to sway you towards or away from any candidate. i don’t give a flying rip who you vote for, honestly. i believe in the democratic process and, because of that, i believe that the person that america votes for will be the one who’s policies and ideals match those of the majority of americans.
maybe that makes me a dreamer after all…
no, the point of this post is to get some junk off of my chest before this all goes down. so here it goes and it’s gonna be a long and rambling post, so bear with me.
i voted early last week. and no, i won’t tell you who i voted for. why? it’s none of your damn business, that’s why.
it’s an important part of american democracy and i support it.
one of the reasons that i’ve gone ahead and cast my vote early is that i’m sick and tired of people trying to scare me into voting for one candidate of the other. i’m tired of people trying to persuade me with buzzwords and scare-tactics.
so i’m done. i voted. leave me alone about it already.
part of the problem is that i’m connected to so many people over this miracle that we call the internet. i read blogs from the left and blogs from the right. i read kat, the libertarian and i read cwage who’s pretty outspoken about his liberal social ideals. heck, i read aunt b AND kleinheider… and they’re about as far to each side as they come. and that’s just local blogs… let’s not talk about the folks that i’m connected to on facebook and myspace.. it’s a hot race and people are worked up about their candidate. i get that. i really do. i’m EXCITED to see so many people get passionate about being involved in the future of this country. it’s amazing and it gives me hope…
1) fear and finger pointing are not acceptable debate styles in grown men and women. if you asked a six year old child if they had broken a lamp while playing softball indoors and she said, “but TOMMY said a dirty word!” instead of answering your question, you’d tell her “that’s not what i was asking, young lady. don’t be a tattle-tale… now did you break the lamp?” you wouldn’t let her distract you from the issue at hand by pointing out someone else’s flaws. so why do we let our politicians do it? and why (dear God, WHY?!) do we do it “in support” of them?!
let me tell you what it says to me when you say, “did you know that obama isn’t a US citizen?” or “you know that mccain is just going to die in office and leave us with that evil hockey mom as president.” you’re tell me that your chosen candidate’s stance on important issues are not strong enough to carry him to the highest office in the land. you’re in effect saying, “crap… these issues aren’t enough. he’s too weak… better make the other guy look like the devil so that we look better in comparison.” you’re saying that your candidate is a loser and the only way to get him elected is to make him the lesser of two evils. that’s a fail, ladies and gentlemen. fail.
2) socialism isn’t a bad word. it is not the same as communism and it’s not the same as marxism. it also would never work in our democracy/economy. not possible on a large scale. the infrastructure isn’t there to support it and won’t ever be because, even if one desired it, no president has enough power to push something like that through the senate and the house without the vast majority on board. and the majority of democrats aren’t even socialist not to mention republicans and independents. even IF they were, that’s too big of a shift to accomplish inside of the 8 years that any one president is in power. too much infrastructure would have to be ripped out and replaced. it’s just not possible to put it into place in this country full of individualists and “mavericks” on a large scale.
that said, think about this, my right-leaning friends. our school systems are ALREADY socialist. we have publicly-funded school system in the US that all of us pay for (even those of us without kids) because the government says that an educated populace is in the best interests of the country. let me say that again: the majority pays into the school system, not everyone uses it, and people can opt out of sending their child to it if they so desire as long as they have an equivalent or better option lined up. that, ladies and gentlemen is the definition of a socialist system. not marxist (since marx felt that religion should be eliminated as a divisive force and government put in it’s place) and not communist (because communism doesn’t allow it’s constituents to “opt-out” of anything – it requires full obedience and constant sacrifice of the rights of the individual in order to work). it’s socialist. and it’s the right thing to do. the majority of americans consider education a fundamental human right because we know that, without knowledge, it’s almost impossible to pull one’s self up out of the gutter and achieve the american dream. whenever some politician tries to cut funding for education, people come out of the woodwork screaming bloody murder. as well they should. but these same people have hissy-fits when you even mumble the word “socialist.” i don’t get it.
from what i can tell, it’s the idea of socialized medicine that gets people up in arms. ok. socialized education is alright, but medicine is not. i can see that because this country is never black and white. there has never been and never will be a single solution that solves every problem. what works for education may not for health care. personally, i don’t think that socialized medicine is a good plan. i can’t see how it would work. but i’ll tell you one thing – the health care system in this country is mightily screwed up. as someone who just got out from under medical bills from FIVE YEARS AGO – medical bills incurred while being “covered” under health insurance – i can tell you, something is WRONG with the system. it’s busted. will a socialized health plan fix it? maybe not. but SOMETHING has to change. if education is a basic human right, why is good health not?
3) john mccain is not going to just keel over and expire upon reaching the oval office. that’s silly. the man looks pretty spry for his age to me and, if he were to become the president of the united states, he’d have the best medical care possible in the entire world at his disposal. it’s his brain we’re voting on folks, not his frame. you don’t like what his brain comes up with, fine. but don’t say stupid shit about his health and age. you look like a ninny. we’re not running a beauty contest here, we’re voting for the next leader of the most powerful economic/military/political force in the world. who cares if he’s got wrinkles or a bad hip or a swollen face or a freaking life alert thingy in case he falls and can’t get up?! screw that. vote the issues, character and ideas of a man, not his age or looks. that’s just foolish. what are we, pre-teens??
4) racism and sexism are rampant in this country still. if you don’t think that’s true, you haven’t been paying attention. ultimately, many many people in this country will choose to vote for one party over the other because they just can’t bring themselves to help put a black man or a woman in office. praise God that, either way, we’re going to have one or the other in office. i mean that. i thank God that, either way this election swings, there are going to be some people who’s prejudices get stepped on and there will be some people who breathe in hope that someone like them has been able to ascend to one of the most powerful positions in the world.
that said, race or sex are really really LOUSY reasons to swing your vote one way or the other. seriously. shallow. stances, policies, and character are what you’re voting on, folks. even if it’s not WHY you’re voting for a candidate, make no mistake, that’s WHAT you are voting on. because, when it comes down and the vote counts are in (and the REcounts are in… and the supreme court has heard the case) the person you voted in will not be making policy based on the fact that they are black or a woman. they will make policies and use their powers in accordance with their policies and beliefs and based on their fundamental character.
5) there is more than one issue at stake here. you may think that there is one issue that is paramount, but don’t discard all the rest for one. we (as a country) elected ol’ dubya because of one-issue politics. and we’ve been consistently let down (as a country) because of it.
let’s just go with one hot-button example: abortion. yeah, i’m gonna go there. i’m most definitely pro-life. sorry if you don’t agree, but that’s how i land. the human mind is the single most powerful force on this planet. it is the single most valuable resource in existence. the potential of a human life to change the world is immeasurable. it’s sacred. the destruction of that potential is devastating to me. i also have a very personal stake in the issue. my mother was advised by medical professionals to have an abortion when she was pregnant with me. the accepted medical “wisdom” of the time predicted that, because of the circumstances of my conception, i would be physically and mentally malformed and that it would be a mercy to end that life before it began. my parents believed that every life has value and that the life of a mentally or physically handicapped child has the same worth as that of an able-bodied or able-minded child. praise God for that. i am neither physically or mentally handicapped. but, even if i had been, my life would have been worth living. accepted medical “wisdom” is not always correct.
i am decidedly against abortion as an “option.” that said, it’s not the only issue in this world. in a world where millions are dying in useless wars and millions more die because of lack of basic food staples, how can you focus on one issue? this country voted dubya into office. the christian right played a huge part in that election because of his stance on abortion. has he even TOUCHED roe vs. wade?? no. and you know why?? because he CAN’T. because it’s not something that can be just brushed aside by any president. i want it gone, but i know that it’s not going ANYWHERE anytime soon. meanwhile, the economy is in tatters and we’re involved in not one, but TWO wars on foreign soil… and we ain’t winning. millions are dying for the lack of water that would take $10billion to fix – permanently – but we’re spending $700billion on bailing out people who’s unethical business practices cracked our whole financial system wide open??
our focus was too narrow. we failed to consider the bigger picture. we can’t continue to participate in the illusion of one-issue politics. you have to look at the whole picture. don’t like obama’s stance on abortion but like his ideas on foreign policy? love mccain’s ideas on the disposition of our military force, but hate the concept of taxing health care? balance the issues and remember that there are more than one… more than two, even. shocking, i know. each of these candidates brings a whole PILE of policies and ideas with him. you vote on one, you get ALL THE REST whether you like ‘em or not.
so choose wisely, if you haven’t already. choose based on your beliefs and your positions on fiscal and social policy.
really that’s all i ask of you. vote wisely. vote for stances and policy. don’t vote for a pretty face or a charismatic voice or a single issue or to toe the party line. this is too important for that kind of mess.
and know this: whoever takes the office, it is the will of the majority of america that put them there. it was democracy at work. we’re already seeing record voter turn-out across the country. more and more people are being motivated to make their mark… to add their voice to the history of this country. that’s what really makes this country great. whoever looses and walks away, america won because america spoke and was heard.
that’s mighty powerful stuff no matter who wins.