Friday, August 29, 2008

The Political Balancing Act.

This morning, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has come out of the political shadows to be announced as John McCain’s VP candidate, and the first woman nominated for VP since Geralidine Ferraro in 24 years. And last night, Barack Obama gave a stirring speech in Denver to accept his presidential nomination, complete with streamers, confetti, families, and sweeping music to create the ultimate feel-good movie ending, painting Obama as America’s hero.

Now I have questions. And I should probably wait to ask them until after watching the Republican National Convention next week, but I’m compelled to write about it now, so deal with it.

I question EVERY motive of modern politics nowadays. It’s hard to decide what’s real…everything seems to be smoke and mirrors. Was Joe Biden chosen because he’s the best guy for the job? Or was he chosen as an old white guy to keep the Democratic ticket grounded and appealing to the undecided masses, because he’s the typical face America is used to seeing on a presidential ticket? And on the other side of the coin, was relatively unknown Sarah Palin only chosen because she’s a female, and could help the already old-white-guy-saturated GOP look more progressive? “See guys, we can slap a minority on our ticket, too! Ta-dah!” Don’t get me wrong, it’s about time we mixed it up in the political arena. Either we’ll have our first black president, or our first female vice-president. WOW! But I can’t help but wonder if my previous questions are true. These campaign teams have a lot of money and pride on the line to make sure their candidate wins. Are they motivated by the need to win, or the need to do what is right?

The vast majority of the American people make their decision based on a sound bite, or a knee-jerk reaction to something they think they connect with a candidate on, without doing any real research about where they actually stand on an issue or what their voting records are. I’ve been guilty of that in the past as well, but I really am trying to remedy that during this election. I’m looking for something genuine. Nothing phony or scripted. Just straight answers. That may be a pie-in-the-sky thinking, and I know that’s not the way the world works, but I’m within my rights as an American to want that.

The information out there is overwhelming, for sure. But it’s our responsibility to find out the facts. It’s up to each of us. Until we as Americans stand up and demand real facts, and actually go out and look for them, things will not change. Elections will continue to be dumbed-down for the American public, and we’ll continue to be spoon-fed attack ads, spin, finger-pointing, and candidates with perfectly crafted answers.

Soap box aside, I’m LOVING this…


Wagontrain said...

I am ALL about pie-in-the-sky thinking!! It shouldn't be any other way. Dammit.

lee said...

Well said my love!! You know I've always been a little left leaning. Not always proud of the choices in politicians that I have, but none-the-less the Democratic platform is what I believe in. Anti-war, pro-gay rights..well, pro-human rights, not just the gay ones, pro-environment, pro universal health care, pro-middle class tax cuts...the who sh'bang. I'm not so much pro-choice, but for me it's not a poltical issue it's a personal and religious issue.

And I agree it shouldn't be all about rhetoric but don't let a well crafted speech detour you either way. Pick apart the speech and listen to what is being said and what history has proven. At the end of the day, this election for me is a no brainer. I despise the current state of our country, I believe we are better than this and I can't help but believe change will be good. I am placing my bets on the change candidate (who was not my first choice) over the old white guy who voted with Bush 90% of the time. I really am concerned that we are almost too far gone to fix...I'm quite sure another 4 years like the last 8 will be the nail in the coffin.

I know, surprise, surprise I'm voting for a Democrat. But this time I'm actually pretty excited about it. Last time it was just because I hate Bush and Kerry was the only option. Yes Obama inspires me and McCain puts me to sleep. But it's more than that, I really am excited about what I believe Obama will do for our country.

By the way, I love that you have a political blog entry! It makes me feel so close to you! :o)