Friday, September 7, 2012
A Lot of People Name Their Kid "Hope". But No One Names Their Kid "Change".
Almost four years ago, I sat in the Suncoast bowling alley, staring up at the television screen as tears rolled down my cheeks. I was watching Barack Obama become President of the United States.
I remember the feeling of relief. That we had accomplished something as Americans. That we had actually taken a step in the right direction for the first time in a long time. I felt proud to be a progressive American citizen.
An equally vivid memory is of my brother scoffing at my tears. “Do you actually think it makes one bit of difference who becomes President? Do you really think it will change anything?”
I guess that’s the moment when my “hope” and my desire for “change” began to falter. At least I got to enjoy it for about 30 seconds.
Politics are a necessary evil in this country. I inform myself enough to know what I’m talking about and at least have a clue about what’s going on come election time. However, the media and society make it very difficult to get unbiased information. Hop on Facebook for two minutes and you’ll see what I mean.
I used to watch the BBC to get my political information because at least it came from an outsider’s point of view. Now, I get the priority of my information from Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. It’s not unbiased one bit, but it does make fun of both parties, their extremist points of view, their ridiculous behavior and, thankfully, outlines very clearly what they stand for. No, not their stance on birth control, military involvement in other countries, the economy, bail outs, gun control, etc. It’s very clear what each party stands for and what they find to be their most important messages:
Republicans hate Democrats.
Democrats hate Republicans.
If you can understand the gravity and intensity of these statements, you will understand how my brother was right. Forward progress is almost impossible when the hatred for one another is so intense.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not a Democrat. I am not a Liberal. If I was forced to identify with a party, it would be Libertarian. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative and scared to fucking death of anyone who wants to combine politics with religion and then try to run this country.
However, the party I affiliate myself with doesn’t matter. Because come election day, I have to vote for Obama. Not because I want to or because I think he has done such a fantastic job in the last four years, but because I can’t afford to have a filthy rich Mormon who is socially disconnected and WAY too tan to be normal telling me, especially as a female, how to live my life, what kind of decisions I am allowed to make about my body and how my money needs to be spent.
Once again, as a country, we are faced with the lesser of two evils. And Paul Ryan scares the shit out of me.
But truthfully, I don’t want either one of them in office because what they believe is very different from what I believe. Namely when it comes to God. In my very strong opinion, God has absolutely no place in politics. Especially when we are supposed to be a country that was founded on freedoms like speech and religion. Let me get this straight... I’m allowed to believe whatever religion I want, but it better be Christianity or I’ll be an outcast to my leaders? Okay...
A lot of my fellow Libertarians are also Atheists. And don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with those who choose a god to follow and have faith in. Whatever floats your boat (after all, I actually BELIEVE in the constitution). But when it comes to making decisions about the country and our overall welfare as a nation, you have to pocket that shit, look at the facts and make decisions based on numbers and statistics. At least, that’s what I believe.
That’s why I can’t get behind most Republicans.
I don’t hate Ron Paul and if I had to see a Republican in office, it would definitely be him over Mitt Romney. But I still can’t fully support him as a leader because of his religious views and opinion on abortion. I’d take him... but I wouldn’t be thrilled.
Libertarians are making progress. But come on... everyone knows we are still a very long way from having more than two parties to choose from. And if I actually vote for Gary Johnson, all I’m doing is taking one vote away from the Democrats and, like I said, Paul Ryan gives me nightmares. It’s gotta be those eyes...
I’m not the smartest person in the country when it comes to politics. However, I think I very much represent a vast number of voters when it comes to how much I stay involved, how much of my life revolves around the politics and how often I keep up with the issues.
I have a life to lead. Like those Fidelity commercials say - I’m worried about my own economy. And as long as there isn’t someone like Sarah Palin calling the shots, most Americans in my position can find their way through the political mud and at least keep our heads above water until the next major change in leadership. I have a job, my own apartment, access to health care, the right to choose whether or not I want to have a child, the freedom to believe whatever I want from a religious stand point and, let’s face it, I’m American. I’m pretty happy with my options. I take responsibility for what I have and make sure I am being the person I need to be to have it. I don’t fear that one man is going to take away these things.
I don’t believe Barack Obama is creating a Socialist society and no amount of blasting from Republicans will make me feel any different. And if he is in office for the next four years, I’ll be fine with that. I’ll be annoyed and frustrated if Mitt Romney somehow wins the election, but honestly? I’m okay with that too. It’s like getting a 10% tip on a really big check at work. Sure it pisses me off, but if I let it consume me, I’d never find it in me to give my future tables good service.
My brother was kind of right... it doesn’t make a huge difference who gets elected. Both Democrats and Republicans are talking heads. Representatives of the 1%. Until we find a way to introduce other ideas and opinions and take them seriously, forward progress will always be difficult.
I anticipate some interesting comments and of course, I always welcome feedback. I don’t think I ever claim to be “right” about anything, but I do celebrate the fact that I’m allowed to believe and say whatever I want. So I guess until someone comes along and tells me I can no longer write in this blog and that I need to get my ass to church, I don’t really care who gets elected.
In the meantime, I’ll keep pretending Gary Johnson has a chance.
Posted by Tina V at 6:48 AM