“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence—it is a force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." ~ George Washington
The US 2012 Presidential election is over with. Thank God. I'm not sure I could have taken much more. America is so divided it's insane - a nation of polar opposites. I did not vote to re-elect President Obama; I voted for Gov. Mitt Romney. I admit I have joked with friends (those who oppose Obama) about packing up and moving to a different country. But we all know, in our hearts, that we truly love America and wouldn't leave her.
I did not vote for Obama because I have not been impressed by his first term. Rising costs, rising gas prices, rising unemployment, his "Obamacare", and a huge increase in our national debt. I'm not saying Obama is a bad person. In fact, I believe he is a good person and wants to do good and right by America - in his own way. I just don't necessarily agree with his way. I admit that he faces challenges that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and there is no "easy out" or "easy fix" for any of those challenges.
"You won't be able to afford college when you're older - hell yeah!"
In all honesty, if Romney had won the election, I'm not sure how much he could actually fix in four years. Think about it. The President can't just decide to do something and do it. He has to have Congressional approval. He has to draft a bill, it has to go through the House and the Senate and get voted on. That was the system designed by our Founding Fathers so that one man couldn't become a tyrant or dictator to the people. And several people have mentioned to me that a vote for Romney was a vote to end abortion rights to women - that women's rights would be revoked. Bull. Shit. Do you honestly think Romney has the power by himself to take way those rights? He may be against abortion because many religions/faiths/denominations are against it. I, myself, do no condone abortion. However it is not my place to tell another woman what to do with her body.
Either way, the President has a lot on his plate.
Romney - "You're a schmuck."
Obama - "Don't call me a schmuck, schmuck."
I do not normally discuss politics on my blog, for various reasons. Mainly because people are so divided and in some cases, if you don't see it their way, you are wallowing in wrongness. I consider myself "middle of the road" on so many things. I can understand both sides of the argument and believe that if politicians would start listening instead of talking over one another, shit might actually get done. I also believe many politicians forget that they are, in fact, public servants. They are voted in office to do a job for the people, not to continually screw us over.
I watched some of the debates and was continually reminded that no politician ever answers a question. It's always vague. It's circutitious. It's beating around the mulberry bush instead of just hitting the damn bush and getting it over with. I think Americans want some answers - direct answers. Hell I think we deserve direct answers to our direct questions. And I'm sorry, but when I ask a question, I want an answer. Am I alone in this?
"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." ~ John Adams, 1776
I did not post much in the way of politics on my personal Facebook page, either. I had one post when I heard that Obama had been re-elected, "Damn it." That was it. However many people took it much greater (and angrier) lengths and people were suddenly telling others that they would defriend those people if they didn't shut their pie hole. Good grief, people. Say "damn it" and move on.
Another thing I did not do, on my blog or Facebook, was shout to the world that they had to vote. Yes, I agree that we should all vote. It's our right. Men and women have died to give us that right. However, I don't like to be hounded by people - from family to coworkers. Yes, I'm going to vote, otherwise I have no right to complain.
I am ecstatic that the election is over, however, because now I don't have to deal with political ads anymore. At least not for a couple years. I'm so tired of their mud-slinging ads, their debates, their speeches, their empty promises, their incapacity to answer a single question, and their slogans. I am fully aware that political mud-slinging is nothing new to American politics. I think we think its getting worse because it's shoved in our faces for longer periods of time and more often because technology keeps progressing. It's been going on since we started this business, well, since after George Washington was elected. After his two terms, it got ugly. Fast.
There was a difference though. For starters, I'm talking about the turn of the century. I'm talking around 1800. There were no computers - no Facebook, no Twitter, no internet of any kind. There was no radio and definitely no television. You had pamphlets and news papers. The best part? Social convention back then did not allow Presidential candidates (indeed, I believe candidates for any office) to campaign on behalf of themselves. This meant that in the beginning, they did not run around from town to town campaigning how they will be the best leader of the country. They, instead, relied on others to make their platform for them - this particular societal convention did not apply to supporters. And there was lots of mud-slinging. But the men running for President never uttered a public word about themselves. Wouldn't that be nice?? (at least part of the time?) Of course, this did not last all that long, and before we knew it, Presidential candidates started campaigning on behalf of themselves.
I also pay no attention as to which celebrities endorse which candidate. I don't care. However, since the 1920's, candidates have been getting huge publicity boosts by getting celebrities to back them. Sorry folks, I don't like to give the celebs that much power. I mean, hello, I don't care who Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, or Lindsay Lohan vote for.
In a world of mud-slinging, lies, empty promises and half-truths, it can be difficult to become an "educated voter". It's also easy to become disillusioned about all of it. I admit I have a hard time stomaching politicians of any kind because I'm 99% positive they are lying through their teeth so I will vote for them.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be… if we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed." ~ Thomas Jefferson
In my little perfect dream world, politicians would cut their own pay. They would make laws that actually make some freaking sense. They would realize they have their hand glued inside the cookie jar and Americans are fucking tired of baking. I work my butt off to pay my taxes so that some politician can spend it on promoting new taxes.
I believe America will overcome this hurdle - this mountain we're having to climb. It's going to take some time, but I think we can do it. With all it's flaws, to me, it's still the best place on earth - it's home. We just need to work hard and smart. But most of all, we need to work together.