Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Donkeys and Elephants: The Silly Season

If the results didn't matter so much, it would be really funny–the every-four-year circus that is the run for the U.S. Presidency. Billions spent, and come election day, a winner will be declared.

Let's get this out of the way first: Both sides shade the truth and spin it in their favor. Both sides outright lie. Both sides campaign in poetry, and the winner will govern in prose. Always been that way, and this cycle won't be any different, save that it will cost more.

Most of the promises either side holds up will, unless history is absolutely no indication, not come to pass. Whoever gets the job will move toward the center from where he started; it's the nature of the beast.

Friendships get made and unmade during the silly season. People who ordinarily can sit on different sides of the fence and have a conversation over the top rail get testy and personal and things get said that produce more heat than light. Enough heat to burn up communications.

What a fucking idiot you are, to believe that? Are you insane? Can you not see what a liar your guy is? 

Heard it; said it; I am not the guy to cast the first stone; however ...

Politics is how the world works, and the word "compromise" is a necessity. If you truly believe that your view, whatever it is, is the only valid way to look at things and you won't give an inch against the devils who say other? You can't get anything done.

And that's the point of politics, at least in theory: To get things done. To help the common folks get through their lives. To make the country a better place.

We lose sight of this. We forget how we felt the day after 9/11, when even old hippies who had no use for government unfurled flags out front. When, for a brief and shining moment, we were what the name says: United.

Didn't last, that feeling. What a shame.

I used to be a Republican. I was a fiscal conservative and a personal liberal, and the party reflected that. I don't think it does any more, and evidence of spending us into a hole? Look around.

Trickle down economics? Please. 

I used to be a Democrat. My feelings about social programs altered, and I became more liberal than I had been. But the D's sometimes offer things with which I don't agree.

Taxing the millionaires and billionaires? That isn't enough to balance the budget. I confess that having somebody who can buy yachts without asking how much the cost have to pay his or her fair share of taxes? Why, that doesn't bother me at all, but it won't fix the problems.

Now, I register Independent. And mostly vote for the D's because more of what I agree with comes from that side of the aisle. Not to say that they have it all together, certainly they don't. But overall, at this point in my life, I'm much more the bleeding heart liberal than I am conservative. 

I'm pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-personal freedom, anti-war. If you are black, brown, gay, straight, rich, poor, sick, healthy, there should be a place for you in our society. I see that the D's have a larger tent than the R's. 

Has Obama done a perfect job? No, don't be even more silly. Did he do a better job than George W. Bush? Absolutely. Did the R's dig us into a deep hole surrounded by war? Were the D's complicit in allowing it? Yes. That's how I see it. Do I want four more years of what got us there? Nope–but I don't blame Obama for it: The horse was lame when he got it.

What is best for the country? Who can say? I'm willing to give Obama another term to see what he can do. I don't expect him to entirely fix things–nobody can do that, and if you believe he or Romney can bail out the ship of state and make it look brand spanking new? You haven't been paying attention to history. Who is better to keep it from sinking?

No, government is not the answer to all our problems. But letting granny die because she can't afford medicine, even from Canada, is not an answer I like. 

(Normally in these discussion, I don't bring up religion, but since everybody else and her kid sister has? I don't believe Jesus was a Republican, not given what He did and said. I doubt he would have been a Democrat, either. He was a radical. But consider what he said about rich men and the poor and sick. About casting stones. And I surely don't think He and the Lost Tribe of Israel spent a lot of time in the Americas. Have you actually read The Book of Mormon? I have.) 

You weigh this and that, and then you choose. It's not just about whether I'm better off than I was; it's about is the country as a whole better off than it was. I see that it is and more so under Obama than it would have been under McCain. Or Romney. So that's how I'll vote.

Whatever you believe, you should seriously weigh the issues as best you can, and make your choice as informed as you can make it. Don't drink the Kool-Aid from either side. Do the research. Be honest. An educated electorate is better than one that is not. Do the work.


Daniel Keys Moran said...

"I used to be a Republican. I was a fiscal conservative and a personal liberal, and the party reflected that."

Me too. Mostly, these days, I think the only thing that matters is demographics. There's a big ol' wave coming...

Steve Perry said...

Yep. And it won't be the color of the foam ...

William Adams said...

An interesting site at which to begin one's research is www.isidewith.com --- hopefully they'll get more funding and extend it to encompass the House and Senate races.

Jim said...

At this point -- I'm really tempted to try to get the biggest, craziest, most nut-bar fringe candidates into office. (OK; so we've already done that with the incumbents who seem mostly to represent the fringes of their parties. Bah-da-bum.)

I figure, if we stack the deck with loons, they might actually work together... Damn sure can't do worse than the ones we have now.