Sunday, November 02, 2008

my candidate of choice

I'm not really a political person -- at least in the mainstream sense.
I don't read political forums. I don't get campaign newsletters. I don't like to feel antagonized.
I'm a pacifist. I'm a non-conformist. I'm willing to boycott. I believe organic gardening and farming is the only acceptable practice. I believe in "Think Locally, Act Globally". I believe in One World, One People. And I expect freedom to make my personal choices. Indeed, I presume liberty.

I might have voted for John Edwards (or Al Gore!), though John's smile is a little to "I'm the wiz!!" for me. I'm always kind of leery of a too sparkly smile.

My beef with Mr. Obama was/is his nonchalance (and seeming acceptance) toward nuclear power. Nuclear power is a biggy with me.
Note: Just because Uncle George finally got the mispronunciation put into the dictionary doesn't mean that it's actually correct.... it it is Nu-clear!, not Nu-cu-lar. God's nightgown.
It sickens me that people want to use it -because it's so safe! No one wants to store it in their backyard. Nor should they.
We use coal in my state. (I'm not saying I'm a fan.) And we pay dearly for it. Our skies are horrendously polluted in the winter (we live in a beautiful high-desert valley, and the pollution gets "locked-in"). But at least we are paying the price for it. We're not sending our dangerous toxic waste to an Indian Reservation, or to Haiti to make them suck it up.
I hate that there are large companies (several of them) in my state that store nuclear waste --and toxic waste and chemical warfare. It makes me want to cry. But at least I don't have to see those horrendous towers, and be reminded daily of Chernobyl and all its consequences.

So Barack's "alternatives to fossil fuels -ie nuclear energy" was pretty much enough to make me run the other direction.
So this election is somewhat a "lesser of two evils" election for me.


I like Barack Obama.
He feels right to me. He's smart. He's not smarmy in any way. He's eloquent, and diplomatic. He's respectful, and doesn't come across as "I know what's best for you" [pat, pat] - while padding his and his cronies' pockets, as well.

It's imperative to me to end the war.
And it pisses me off that those that claim to be pro-life (whom should really be called Anti-Choicers to my way of thinking) have no qualms about killing thousands of people of all ages in a distant land. Over a vendetta, even. Which, admittedly, is the usual reason for war, probably.

And the "feed the rich and they'll pass it on" trickle-down theory isn't working so hot at the moment.
I'm still waiting to benefit from Exxon's profited billions. Again.

The other day I was waiting in line at the grocer's, and I looked up and on a tabloid (I don't read tabloids of any kind - even the who's who Entertainment ones. I'm just not interested.) I saw a picture of Obama and it said "Secret Muslim!" or some such thing.
I couldn't believe it.
I couldn't believe that that's the worst possible thing that anyone could imagine. It made me sick.
On one hand this country can -I guess- be considered "advanced", because we live within its confines with such diversity. Considering even in Ireland, there are constant wars between Catholics and Protestants.
But on the other hand, if saying that a presidential candidate is a "secret muslim", and the masses become hysteric, then in my opinion we have a serious problem.

The last two elections I considered over-and-done-with before they were even decided. The first time I was shocked by the results.
The second election, I thought "Well, obviously things are going so abominably that there is no way Uncle George will be re-elected. Why is he even running?"
You can imagine how devastated I was. My faith in humanity had been sorely shaken.

This time around I haven't dared to even hope.

That is, until just a few days ago.

Nothing really happened. Maybe lots of little things. Maybe it's my Little Son's comments of "I'm pretty sure the whole world wants Obama to be President," (to which I say, Maybe the world, but do our neighbors?). And maybe it's the polls that have given me hope. Or maybe it's that young Evangelicals are becoming more liberal in their decisions - it's not just the pro-choice issue anymore.

It's interesting that Barack Obama's campaign is one touting Hope.

I don't necessarily believe that things will change drastically. (But I am desperately hoping to be Pleasantly Surprised.) I don't believe the cursed economy will change overnight. I don't necessarily believe that all of us will be saved if Barack Obama becomes the next President of the United States.

But my faith in humanity will be restored.
I will believe again -more strongly, even- that the planet's consciousness is changing.
That people are done with hating men of a different color.
That people do indeed, care for the Earth.
And for their Fellow Man.
That people want to Change The World.

So I will join my Little Son, and Hope.



ladybug-zen said...

my beef with obama is whne i hear him say things like "i will hunt down bin laden and kill him." makes my skin crawl. although the other day i heard that he had changed his wording to "...kill him or capture him and give him a fair trial." so now i am wondering if he said the "kill him " part becasue he thought that it woiuld sway more conservatives?? what's the deal? in general i trust him and have trusted him from the beginning.

but the one [part of this post that sticks with me is the "secret muslim?" question. hee hee. know that song secret lovers. i keep singing that song, but with "secret muslim".

"secret muslim, yeah, that's what we are. we try so hard to hide the way we feel..."

brilliant. it'd be a hit. i just know it.

Stephanie S. said...

lz - lol.
you maka me lauff.
That bulldog thing upsets me, too. Hopefully it's an appeal to all the folks who feel justified in supporting this war.
To sway them to the other "more peaceful" side.
I hope.

Melissia said...

In the beginning my beef with Obama was his zealot like followers. As if he was the reincarnation of Buddha and I was thinking umm- he is a politician not the second coming.
For me, the fact that Obama is black, young and not from the elite class is actually a plus. And, I trust Obama more than I trust Mccain and Palin hands down. However, my hang-up is policy. I feel Universal Health Care is being overlooked as the beginning of socialized medicine in America and although I want the 15% who do not have health insurance to have affordable access to coverage, I am absolutely against socialized medicine.
The other thing I have real issues with is 0-5 education. I am not interested in extending the mediocre public school system. Young children belong with people who love and care about them not in institutions.
And you touched on nuclear energy. Yes it might be safe and clean for 85% of Americans and then they bring the waste here where it is detrimental to 85% of Utahns and who cares because we are just a small number of people who are worse off but the majority is better off. Mass rules, sorry about that Utahns.
I think my government philosophies are most likely libertarian. I want the government out of personal lives and out of our wallets. I look at social security, medicaid, public school, and other government run things and think "why would I want these same people in charge of my health care?" Yes, Obama is a change but the mass of politicians in Washington have been the same forever- no term limits some have been there 30 and 40 years.
So I am one of the undecided and I even looked at the third-party candidates. I am not sure straight libertarianism works on a large scale- I am not sure I am a purist on anything. I wish I could embrace the message of Hope but I feel like I have to swallow more government intervention to do it and I just want to be left alone to live my life. I also have to admit that I am a political cynic, it is possible that George Carlin was right and it is all a show. Oh, how I love the irreverence of George Carlin, may he rest in peace.
I am not religious at all but hoping for some divine intervention tomorrow. I also think I was happier when I was clueless at it was a straight up one party is evil and one has the force. Damn, I would love to go back to pre voucher propaganda days of last year.
Sorry for the rambling and long post.

Stephanie S. said...

Melissia - I agree with the universal preschool thing.

That's why I was most anti-Hilary, I was really nervous about her taking away parental rights.

And then my friend said to me "She's not going to take your children away, Steph - you're a good mother."
And while I think these are the issues for Republican voters - less government in their lives (to which I agree) and my thinking has always been "Why wouldn't she?"...
I had to get to a place where I can't be afraid of that.

I will note vote based on fear.
I'll damned well not do it.

Stephanie S. said...

And for the record - when I say that "I'm not a very political person" I mean that I don't understand a lot of it, and that often I'm bored by it. (because i have no keen understanding of policies and practices, mostly).
I did not mean that I don't vote, or that I do not think that elections are important.
I've always voted, in every election since I was of age, if I remember correctly.

EC said...

I voted for McCain but am glad Obama won. I decided early on to be happy either way.

Melissia said...

This is your blog and I do not want to take up too much time or space but I feel that I did not express myself well. I apologize for the use of the word zealot but it is how I felt.
Questioning the various political issues does not make one a fear monger. Questioning my own stance on abortion rights made me a more firm believer in choice and since I have looked at ALL the arguments for and against abortion rights I could have a reasoned and logical debate with an anti-choicer. And for the record the mantra "My body my choice" is an anti-government intervention stance.
I did not come by being a political skeptic because I am naturally a cynic. It started with the voucher issue last year and the sickening propaganda from both sides and the money dumped in to our state by the NEA.
My politcal skepticism was extended by the bailout issue. When the bailout was being talked about I did what I do- I went out and did research. Guess what? The house republicans had been asking for oversight of Fannie Mae and Freedie Mac. There is footage on Youtube from CSPAN from 2004 showing the house republicans and house democrats talking with a regulator of Fannie Mae. The regulator was telling them there was a problem. The house republicans were pushing for more regulation the house democrats were fighting them all the way. If you are interested I will go find it and forward it to you.
The very next day I watched the same democrats that had beat up the regulator make statements about how the republican administration had been "driving drunk" and let Fannie Mae run itself in to the ground. In fact one of the democrats who beat up the regulator the most and actually called him names (he was from NY but I do not remember his name) was the most outspoken and blaming of the republicans. How do you like them apples?
Then I watched no major media outlet report about the regulation wars that had been ongoing in the house. I also saw the scathing speech given by Nancy Pelosi and then saw the media call what the house republicans were doing a "tantrum".
So either, the house republicans never defended themselves and said anything about the ongoing regulation battles or the media never covered it. There is no way for me to know which one of these things happened. Although when I tried to research I did not see anywhere that the republicans pointed out that they had been fighting the democrat controlled house to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Why would they take the political fall for something they had tried to prevent? This is a question that really I have no idea about except it does make me skeptical of the honesty of many of the representatives in Washington, especially with no term limits.
My critcism of 0-5 has to do not with the fear of having my children taken from me. Go read the position on the Obama campaign site. Look at how many times they talk about "research based standards" and the like. There is reason to believe that these standards and funding will involve certifications and the like. Do toddlers and possibly infants belong in an environment based on research based standards or in loving, caring, nurturing environments not based solely around education? What does this mean for small in home providers who may nurture children well but have no curriculum or academics other than access to age appropriate toys and books? Now remember that they are talking about toddlers. I had my toddler in day care and up until the end it was a very nurturing environment. There is no way to know if an in-home provider that I feel did mostly a good job would be able to keep the new educational standards and although it is being billed as voluntary for the state No Child Left Behind is voluntary, unless you want federal funding which most states want and need.
Now to the issue of political affiliation and thoughts about government intervention. Republicans are fiscally conservative and socially conservative. They want government to say you can't do things they call "immoral" and leave the rest alone. Democrats are fiscally liberal and socially liberal. They want more government intervention unless you are talking about things like abortion rights. Libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. They think what you do as long as it does not interfere with the right of others is your business and that government should do the minimum possible to maintain peoples rights. Ideologically I am a libertarian. However, I stated, I am not sure that works on a large scale. In fact, if anything I think I pointed out that I am not "certain" about very much.
No one likes government intervention when it interferes with their own life. Look at our local liquor laws and tell me you have not found them a little annoying. Going to make margaritas on a Sunday afternoon and realizing you have no tequila and cannot buy any is annoying.
As the amount of taxes the federal government levies grows and the amount of say they have in our daily life grows the power of the federal government grows too. That is not fear that is fact. As that power grows as long as there are dishonest politicians and huge dollar dumping special interest groups, we the people effectively lose more and more of our power.
If believing that the power the federal government has over our daily lives should be kept in check makes me a fear monger then most of the founding fathers were fear mongers too.
Politics is not black and white and neither are social issues. I never thought about voting for Mccain my gut reeled at the thought. I gave Obama a lot of thought read through the policies, checked the facts and was not sure I liked the platform. I looked at every other candidate and thought about what they had to say. I am taking a long look at myself and still wonder if I am looking for the "perfect" politician and platform which I am beginning to believe is unreasonable.
Politics is not black and white and not a war between radical religious folks who are wrong and liberals who are right. For instance, did you know the democratic nominee for Attorney General in Utah had only 3 items listed as issues and one of them was investigation and prosecution of homeschoolers for "educational neglect". Which would open up a whole bunch of government intervention and oversight on homeschoolers. Do we as homeschoolers not care about that kind of government intervention? Does not wanting that government intervention make us republicans? Making politics black and white and good versus evil is a really easy way to keep people from having open conversations about the relevant issues and from taking a hard look at the platforms proposed by the various parties and projecting possible outcomes and how those outcomes directly affect people and their lives.
I have voted every year since I came of age and this is the first year I took a hard look at the platforms and politicians and tried to make a decision that I felt fit with my belief system. This is the first time I have tried to wade through the mass of information. And in the end what I have found is that we need to have a much more active role in politics. We need to know what our representatives are doing democrat or republican. Voting is not enough and it seems in that Obama and I agree.
I wish him well in his presidency. I hope to be pleasantly surprised at his non-partisanship and reasonableness. I am so proud that a person from the black community is getting a turn. I hope it is the beginning of change and some kind of revitalization of America. But as long as people keep bucketing people in to arbitrary buckets of liberal and conservative and republican and democrat and as long as no one chooses to be reasonable and listen to the other side, like Obama suggests, then what hope is there for real change in this country.
Sorry- you are under no obligation to post this. But I feel satisfied that I have been given the chance to respond. Here is to hope and change in America based in conversation and respect for one another as Americans.