Oh it is that time of the election year once again, when everyone throws issue and real-life to the wind and engages in a battle of "he said this" "he said that" or "he voted 90% of the time" blah blah blaah blah.
It's driving me crazy.
I read a certain blog - and I really respect the author. She's cool, she's hip, I think she's kind of a rockstar. She was in the Hillary boat for a long time, which is cool, everyone's entitled, and even spoke out against Obama, his record, experience or lack thereof, yada yada. Then she was all aboard the Obama Biden train once he got the nomination. I am even cool with that. Now though, it's become an obsession. Good Lord. You visit her blog and it is filled with anti-McCain rhetoric, what exactly he meant by a certain phrase, and how could we possible ignore and write off his use of the term "that one" when referring to Obama in a debate.
The beauty of this nation and the blogosphere is that you can say/think/believe whatever you want, and you can read or not read whatever you choose - I chose today to leave her blog without comment because it's her space and she's writing very passionately about her own beliefs and I respect that, but this is exactly why I can hardly stand this type of attitude, this let's forget the issues and go full tilt crazy with the trashing and mudslinging of ANY conservative/Republican (or liberal, I assume, but I only seem to visit pro-Obama or "I don't care" blogs!!)
Here's the thing - it's no secret I'm voting for B-rock. I mean I've been planning this vote for months, l0l, before the damn primaries! I will say though, that I've tried to listen to everyone's side of the story. Of course there's stuff I don't like about Obama. Of course he is not the solution to all of our nation's and world's problems. I'm not delusional. To me, he is simply the best choice for our country. There is no perfect candidate, but I believe Obama best fits what our nation needs in terms of economy, diplomacy, security and is a leader that we will be able to trust and look up to for guidance. It's as simple as that. I'm not going to waste my time breaking down piece by piece what McCain or Palin said OR for that matter, suggest anyone vote for Obama because what McCain said was racist or because people voting for McCain are doing so because they are racist and that Obama should get sympathy votes from those who consider themselves not racist. I mean, I don't know, maybe McCain is racist - the point is, I don't really care because I'm not voting for him. I'm going with my beliefs, going with the man who is the best for the job and not wasting my time on words (yet I am blogging about this, LOL).
Like I said earlier, I am a staunch supporter of free speech and thought. Yeah, I didn't have to like the fact that a bride's drunken cousin draped herself all over me (ok she didn't do that, she was just touching my bare leg.....a lot) and said "I'm voting for McCain because I make 350,000 a year and don't want to pay more taxes" Nah, I don't like that for a whole host of reasons, but I fully support and validate her right to an opinion and belief. I'm not going to call her "stupid" for voting for McCain - she's got her reasons! I'd think someone was maybe stupid for voting for a candidate because he wears a flag pin, or because he has a nice smile, though again, we all have a right to vote. You hope a person goes to the polls with some sort of logic beyond superficial qualities, but I'm sure that doesn't always happen.
Finally, I am going to end my rant with the whole stupid/rhetoric/conservative-bashing issue. I belong to a fantastic bookclub in town. I am the youngest person by 25 years, only one who is unmarried, only one without kids, only one who does not own property, so it's been really fantastic to get people's perspectives on the presendential race. Everyone except me and two other ladies voted for Clinton in the primaries. When Obama got the nomination, the bookclub was devastated, as they are all STAUNCH democrats and thought Obama to be ill-equipped. There was talk of casting votes for McCain come election time. How soon their tune changed. The last bookclub was not filled with a discussion of that month's selection "Brother, I'm Dying" (a fantastic book) but rather how any one who liked George Bush was "stupid" and anyone who was voting for McCain was "stupid" and "what was wrong with them" and "the Republicans represent the dark side." WOAH. First of all I have Republican friends. They're smart, they are rational, they are logical. And guess what? We can go out for a beer and have an awesome time and not dwell on the sh*tstorm that is politics in America. Secondly - how is their narrow-minded agenda any better than a conservative one? I am a damn liberal person who choses not to affliate themselves with one party or another (but we all know what that means, you're usually forced into the "Democrat" party even if those representing it are driving you WILD with RAGE at their maddening ineffectiveness!) but I hate, hate, hate narrow-mindedness and the cop-out that is simply calling someone with whom you do not agree "stupid." Aren't we all intelligent enough to come up with a better line of reasoning than just saying "Bush is stupid." Sigh. I want a reason why you think that.
I said that once at bookclub and got no response. Crickets. Finally someone said "I don't like his policies." I said "Me neither." Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. I said "What did you think you had a Bush supporter amongst you? Would that have been the end of the world??!" Everyone laughed nervously. "Here's the thing," I said. "I am an optimist, and always have been, and I think that this country's biggest assest is the ability of an entire country to come together for a cause, the ability for a single person to make a world of difference. We're an amazing group of people and we can really change the world, and we absolutely positively CANNOT rely on politicians to help us do this. It's too late for them - they've lost their idealism and have become something unrecognizable to the "little people" that helped elevate them to their status. I'm personally taking the fight to save the world underground. I'm gonna do it little by little, encouraging people to work together, to change the world around them in small ways. Of course we'll always need the government there in the background, and of course it's still important to be involved in the political arena, it's important to vote and let legislators know what you want and what's important to you, but if we REALLY want to see change, we've got to get out there and do it ourselves. Maybe I can say this because I'm young and I'm not too disillusioned yet, but if you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself, and I am ready to say "Eff off" to Washington and do stuff my own way. Never underestimate the power of one person's goals and ideals and dreams - they could be the person who literally saves the world - that's why I'm out there, I'm sending a girl to school in Kenya, I'm sending books to Pakistan to help kids learn about the world and not about fundamentalism, I'm sending running shoes to Africa, I'm knitting for kids who are cold in Boston - yeah it's small, it's so small people might laugh at it, but that's only because they can't even imagine the scope of people whose lives I might touch and change so that they may grow up and change exponentially more lives."
Crickets again. No one said anything. I sat back.
Then my pro-Obama friend piped up with this:
"Al, you should really run for president one day."
HA! As if.
I said "No way! If I did I'd no longer be an idealist."
Anyways, my point is, stop the talking, start the doing. Go out there on Tuesday and vote for what you believe, then wake up on Wednesday and, despite any outcome, take a vow to start changing the world for the better, a teeny tiny piece at a time.