Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Warning: Political Rant

by Valerie Mann
It’s Election Day here in the USA. Apologies to readers who aren’t from the United States, but this is going to be a semi-rant about the recent election process here in my great nation.

First, let me emphatically state I am just about the most patriotic person I know. I watch the news faithfully, I’ve been a poll watcher in past elections, I helped a candidate run for office, and I take no prisoners when it comes to telling people that just because they don’t know who to vote for is NOT an excuse to stay away from the voting booth.  

I had to remember that being a mother means unconditional love when two of my three adult children said they weren’t voting because none of the candidates for president rocked their world. Especially annoying that one of them was a daughter and I reminded her that her great-grandmother didn’t have the RIGHT to vote, and her great-great-grandmother was heavily involved in the Women’s Sufferage movement.

Having said all that, here’s what I’ve observed and what I’d like to tell the candidates and the media:

Religion shouldn’t matter. Super left or super right…it’s how you conduct yourself that matters. There are hypocrites everywhere, no matter what they say they believe in.

Don’t make your religion or anti-religion my problem.  On the other hand, respect my beliefs and don’t ridicule them.

Race shouldn’t matter and quit making an issue of it. Wasn’t that the purpose of the Civil Rights movement? To ensure equal rights for all, because skin color should be about nothing more than DNA.

Gays can vote conservative.  
Christians can vote liberal.

Voting for liberal candidates does not make me a hateful, spiteful left-wing idiot.
Voting for conservative candidates does not make me a hateful, close-minded right-wing nut.

Women are strong. Women make up half the voting demographic. Quit telling us what we need. We had that figured out a long time ago, we aren’t stupid. And quite frankly, we’ll do what we want to do regardless of what you think is best for us. We’re a pretty resourceful group.

Spend my money wisely. Here’s a novel concept: the economy will never be fixed unless you quit spending money. Every kindergartner knows that the more money you put in the piggy bank, the less you spend, and the more money you’ll have for stuff you really want.

War is a necessary evil.  Just don’t ask my sons and daughters to fight a war unless there’s a compelling reason to do so. I’d kind of like having them around for awhile longer, you know?

Times are tough, people worry. I don’t know anyone who isn’t feeling weighted down by what’s happening here and the rest of the world. Even if none of the candidates make you warm and fuzzy, you need to vote. People in countries where there is no democratic process would gladly take your place. Ask this woman how happy she was to have that opportunity...
An Afghani Woman votes


Anthology Authors said...

Hey, I'm with you here, Valerie. I'm tired of people making stereotypical comments. Just because someone believes differently than you does not make them an idiot, a racist, a nut job, and so on.

What really bothers me is that there are many citizens who feel disenfranchised. Those in primarily red states who vote blue or those in primarily blue states that vote red and all the electoral votes go with the popular vote. That's how it is in CA. I think there are other states like that. Last presidential election, voter turn out in Orange County (a primarily red county) dropped 9% because of this. I am certain this happens in other states as well. I thought this to be a travesty.

Today, I brought Lily with me to the polls. We discussed the importance of voting. Earlier this morning, I was talking about this with my nephew. He's a veteran, spending 6 years as a medic in the Navy on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's discouraged with the apathy and ignorance of the population. I'm disgusted with celebrities swinging their weight around trying to influence how people vote. It's nothing new, but voting is a private decision, a decision a person should not take lightly, and something a person should research to ensure they are voting for someone who either best represents their beliefs or against a proposition they disagree with. That isn't easy. There is so much chatter out there, so much dishonesty--in the press and just about everywhere else, it makes it hard to find it. But, you know, if we dont' exercise it, we won't have it.

Personally, I'm at the point where I think all of them need to go. We, the People, are not being represented anymore. We, the corporations/unions/special interest groups, are.

But how do we solve it? And how do we change the apathy?

Anthology Authors said...

BTW, one of my neighbors said, "If men could become pregnant, abortion clinics would be as common as Starbuck's." I tend to agree with him.

Silke said...

I'm not American, but I watch. I have opinions.
I also understand some stuff that's being done -- even if (it seems) the average American doesn't.
I've had raging arguments with people (Americans) about Obama's Health reform.
I know how it works. I grew up in a country where it works VERY well, and I now live in a country where I'm not faced with huge medical bills -- because of universal health care.
Yes it's a tax. Suck it up, that's how it works.
I got sick of people's status posts on FB, because of all the hatred being spewed.
Both candidates had good and bad sides. That's the nature of man.
But not voting "because it won't change anything" is the most idiotic response I've ever heard.
Yes, if everyone who wants a specific change (e.g. red to blue) doesn't vote...then no, it won't change.
People take the freedom to vote for granted.
I have a German passport, but I've lived in the UK for over 20 years. I AM NOT ELIGIBLE TO VOTE here. I can do local elections, but not the national one, the one where the Prime Minister is picked.
Because I'm not British, and don't hold a British Passport.
I can't vote in Germany either, because I don't live there.
So I know exactly how our grandmothers and great grandmothers felt.
(And that needs to change. You ought to be allowed to vote in the country where you live and pay tax, regardless of where you were born. But that's not how it works here.)
Vote, dammit.
Do it for those of us who can't!

Faith said...

Sadly, the electoral vote decides who becomes president.

Valerie Mann said...

No better example than your state, Faith, LOL It was definitely an interesting night and Ohio was a nail-biter to the end! Lots of happy and depressed folks right now. Fifty/fifty.

Faith said...

I already knew months ago who would be president. The dau kept asking me because her husband works for the biggest coalmine in the area and they're worried he'll lose his job. I kept telling her it was going to be Obama. I texted her to find out if she'd heard yet, but so far nothing. She's probably sulking, lol. Regardless, things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better. When I read a book about how money really works and why we're so far in debt, I wanted to throw up. I see a huge crash looming in our future.