Disclaimer: I get a little political and ranty.
Today was the last day of early voting in NC, and I stood in line for an hour to cast my vote for Romney/Ryan.
It’s probably not much of a secret that I’m liberal and as likely to vote for Romney/Ryan as I am to use a comma splice in a sentence. I promise this isn’t going to be an extremely partisan post. Maybe.
I’ll be very happy when this election is over. Yes, I am liberal and I vote the Democratic ticket exclusively, but truly? I don’t think this election will change much. I believe that Romney/Ryan could mean very terrifying changes for women in terms of status and reproductive rights, but I doubt they could get them passed. Rhetoric on the campaign trail is very different from actually getting bills passed and laws changed.
I’m frustrated with the government like pretty much everyone regardless of party affiliation. Everything seems broken in Washington, and I really don’t think the election of Romney or Obama will do much to change that. I’m not being anarchist or nihilist; I believe in government. I believe in the need for a strong central government. Hell, I’m willing to pay more taxes to ensure we have essential services.
I think what I’m mourning is the dearth of common sense and consideration of reality. It’s one thing to say government is too big and let’s cut food stamps, but what are you going to say to your constituent who relies on food stamps because her job doesn’t pay her enough to support her family? Are you really going to tell her it’s her fault for not getting a better job? Or call her lazy? Really??? Let’s acknowledge the fact that not everyone can have a high-paying job. Someone has to do the jobs many deem beneath them. Someone has to decide to teach public school instead of pursuing a private sector job that would likely pay more. And your reaction is to punish them by implying they don’t work hard enough? Or they should have made better choices?
Where is the esprit des corps in this country? Americans have always been individualists, but our history is full of major examples of where we pulled together to do the right thing. I don’t see that any longer. Today it is too much about me, me, me and fuck you if you don’t like it. I don’t think that’s a sustainable mindset for a nation.
There’s a lot about the current election that concerns me. Why are reproductive rights a huge issue in 2012? Why are women still paid less than men by default? Why are we still debating the legality of same-sex marriage in terms of civil unions? Why in the world is the definition of rape up for debate? Why do candidates continue to posit that the government should be run like a business when if that were the case, many, many essential programs – probably more than many realize – would no longer exist.
And the tone. Can’t forget the tone. I believe that the office of President deserves respect. Whether you like the incumbent or not, there is a certain amount of respect accorded. I didn’t like George W. Bush, but he was our President, and he deserved my respect. The allegations and comments about President Obama have been outrageous and unbelievable. It’s hard for me not to believe that they stem from racism. The Republican party knows better, and I condemn them for appealing to their party’s basest instincts in order to get ahead. It is deplorable, and I cannot state that emphatically enough. DEPLORABLE. Character assassination. Don’t like President Obama? Fine. Decide your vote based on his record and the realities of legislating with a Congress determined to obstruct every move (I swear, they would have contradicted him if he said the sky was blue). But don’t decide your vote because of stupid shit allegations that he wasn’t born in this country, didn’t deserve admission to Harvard, his race, etc. That just makes us all look stupid, and I believe we are better than that.
A little over 250 years ago, we did something pretty remarkable. We told our colonial overlords to go fuck themselves and backed it up militarily. We created a new nation based on principles of equality and fairness. If the same challenge presented itself today, I wonder what the outcome would be. Would we be able to get it together to fight a common foe or would ideological differences tear us apart?
Election day is in 3 days. Please, go vote. Exercise your hard-won right. But think. Please think hard about who you are voting for and why. Please base it on reason and research. It’s the future of our nation you are voting for, and that nation includes everyone, not just those in your party.