(Warning … this is a personal rant. Feel free to rant back.)
I love the U.S.—the principles on which our country was founded, our constitution, freedoms, and diversity. I hate politics. Never have these statements been truer for me than in this political season. On second thought … I recall feeling much the same in presidential election years past.
Why is it that candidates can’t simply release documents—fact-checked, of course—disclosing their backgrounds, qualifications for president, and their positions on the issues; disseminate this material to every U.S. household; and let voters study the documents, decide which candidate’s beliefs coincide most with their own, and then vote accordingly? (Of course, you’d have to count on the politicians to commit to positions and give up flip-flopping according to which way the voting wind is blowing.)
Why, oh why do we have to have all of this worse-than-counterproductive, down-and-dirty, schoolyard fighting, and name-calling? Frankly, I find it embarrassing. The U.S. supposedly is a developed, civilized, cultured nation, but our politicians behave as if they are ready to go outside, duke it out, and let the best fighter win. Where is the theory of evolution as it applies to politics? Nothing seems to change.
Politically speaking, my friends run the gamut from self-described bleeding-heart liberals to ultra-right-wing conservatives. Me, I’m almost smack-dab in the middle and, consequently, have a difficult time backing any candidate wholeheartedly. While I agree with one on some issues, I agree with his opponent on others, which is why I really can’t comprehend the fervor with which some deify their candidate and vilify his opponent.
Mercifully, the candidate-bashing e-mails have stopped. In 2008, I e-mailed all of my friends who were forwarding “political” messages trashing both Obama and McCain and told them to cease and desist. I was deleting their e-mails without reading and really didn’t need the “spam” filling up my inbox. I tried to say it in a nice way.
Unfortunately, some of the Obama-bashing e-mails continued to arrive after the election (nothing like getting a head start for 2012). When I received these, I wrote back and said, “Obama is my president, and as such, I support him and hope he does a good job. We need him to.” And that put an end to that.
Now it’s not e-mail; it’s Facebook. If you could see my newsfeed, you’d see that among those who post political thoughts and links to videos and articles they either support or condemn, half strongly support Obama and the other half, Romney. I can’t say whether their lives are better or worse now than they were four years ago, but some have great jobs that they’ve had for a long time, and some are unemployed/underemployed. What they all have in common is that they are passionate in their beliefs. Come November 6, one half will be elated and the other deflated.
(And then there’s the apathetic group that won’t care. According to a recent survey on thefabricator.com, 2 percent of respondents don’t like either candidate and don’t plan to vote.)
I just hope that when the last ballot is counted, we can rally behind our president and encourage Congress to move on legislation that will improve our country’s economy—to move beyond politics as usual.
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