Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Next Vote Matters

After sitting basically on the sidelines this last month and trying to take all of the political mess we have before us in on all levels: local, State, and National I cannot imagine another time in my life save 1979 where our country has been in such a state of complete disconnect and at a crossroads.

We would like to think we addressed this crossroads last Fall on the local level but I am still very skeptical but have extended some benefit of the doubt no I did not say "suspending disbelief" but am willing to give the new Board some time.

Now I know we are witnessing a movement out there being coined as of late as "Obamania" that appears to being attracting large numbers which may simply distract us from the reality that the disconnect truly exists but regardless of ones political persuasion this is a time when many of us are once again, like 1979, questioning exactly what the next five or ten years are likely to be like and concensus is its not good.

Could a victory by Obama be the equivalent of the 1980's Winter Olympic Hockey Team as the mechanism to snap Amercia back just like that great victory over the Soviets. Fact is we are dealing with much the same issues as then; a rising oil market now over $100 a barrel, a falling dollar and economy that is not nerely as bad but has been portrayed as such by the major media outlets, a housing market that is turning upside down, aging infrastructure and an antequated educational system all of which contribute to an individuals view that the next ten years will not be better than the last.

To me this may be the very basis for the broad atrraction of the Obama movement. Its not mere politics. For every reason one could criticize Hillary Clinton, save the War, one could also levy the same criticism on Obama. In fact, Clinton may even be more moderate on some issues than Obama. The differences between the two is not on issues, but rather the struggle for the personification of the Democratic Party. This is the struggle unfolding and the establishment is nervous and so is the special interest.

Setting aside particular issues, what we are witnessing is a debate over the future direction the Democratic Party. In this light you have two very contrasting styles and "personnas" attributed to the campaigns which in my mind are very reflective of the current political dynamic across the country on all levels. The establishment or insider rhelm of control versus that of the will of the people out in the country. ( remember the forgotten immigration issue?)The rhelm of those who seek nothing more than political gain over connecting with and helping fellow Americans. The rhelm of those who seek to undermine an individuals name and family or religion or sexuality for nothing more than poltical points. Many would say that our leaders are nothing more than a reflection of ourselves and to that line of rationale I say; No way.

These pundit folks on MSNBC, FOX, CNN I am sure must have a hard time sitting in church and looking fellow Americans in the eye. In fact, it appears as if politics (not civics) has become the religion of these people who seek to divide us or pigeon hole us as a society in little groups of conflicting interest and seek to exploite that for political gain or for there own perverse motives.

The idea that a Republican is somehow evil comes from where exactly? The idea that Democrats are weak on terror comes from where exactly? Does it come from our hearts? Do we as a nation think that we as citizens are accurately characterized by political distinctions that soemhow if you are a Democrat you care more about the environment/climate change or welfare state and if you are a Republican you care more about a Marriage Amendment or ending same sex marriages or is it simply that these are the issues that the media outlets seek to exploite to perpetuate the divide.

You see I learned a long time ago that people as rational beings would rather have (unfortunately) someone to blame for things than someone to praise. We tend to leave the praising for our Lord and then leave blame to be directed at those on the opposite side of our individual realities. If we are paying more for gas it is the gas companies (business) which are to blame, if our children are falling behind in school or struggling it is the teachers to blame, and if we cannot afford to purchase healthcare insurance it is somehow the insurance companies whom are to blame, and in today's housing market it is the banking/lending/mortgage people to blame for that house going into foreclosure.

The reality is "we" are to blame for much that we experience. We should conserve energy as best we can, we should be seating with our children and reading and writing with them, we should be searching for better jobs where healthcare may be provided by employer at lessor costs than buying it outright from an insurance company and we ought to be responsible enough to know what home we can realistically afford before buying it. Yeah. I know. Not exactly what most of us want to hear is it? We would rather just deflect the responsibility and put it on someone or something else.

You win elections, generally, by qualifying and directing the blame in one particular direction long enough and hard enough for it to be the determining factor in the vote. It creates a mentality of voting against rather than voting for a particular candidate. The media of course plays a pivatal role on all of this. You see the media has the greastes platform in the world to impact the lives of everyone on the planet should the make the choice to do so, but instead they use the platform not to inform but to divide the country. Now that may seem quite harsh but after witnessing all three major news networks during these Primaries its not hard to see that all have thrown objectivity to the wind.

In fact, maybe these networks and those pundits on the programs ought to wear patches like Nascar drivers on their clothes so we know exactly who it is they are shilling for on a daily basis on all the shows they go on. It would make things rather easier I think. If you think that the media has maintained what was once a long tradition of objectivity ask yourself this:

Why was it okay for everyday to call into question Mitt Romney's religion (he of course is Mormon) regardless of the state of the economy and his expertise in this area every time he was mentioned there was a link to Mormonism? Was it to place a fear in the evangelicals in the base of the Republican Party in an attempt to undermine his bid? On the surface it may come across as reporting but then why was Mike Huckabee, whom I feel is a great orator like Obama, was given a pass. This is a guy who stood up and spoke vehemently against same sex marriage, called homosexuality as being sinful and yet Liberals in the media who like to champion more liberal ideals gave him a pass on his religious views. Romney was tame compared to this guy on so many issues that the Liberal media has been on the polar opposite of with Huckabee and yet they attacked Romney at every opportunity. Why exactly was that?

I do not think I ever heard Romney preach his religion to anyone in the public forum and yet Huckabee continually references these things and no one on MSNBC seems to have a problem letting it go unreported or simply giving him a pass as simply being a southern preacher by profession. And yet Mormonism was a bigger issue? No. But it was an issue that they could tear Romney down with and they succeeded in the end of taking out what was probably the best Republican candidate on the big stage. Kudows to the media for using the airwaves not to be objective but to be the determiners of outcomes. They branded Romney "A Mormon" thats all.

And by the way, why if Romney's Mormonism is such a question how is it that Barrack Obama's Muslim faith gets a pass as well. Why is it the same media networks that thrawted Romney every step of the way with the religious conjecture never talk about Obama's religion and if God forbid some actually refers to it the media portrays them as somehow "hatemongering" (ala Obermann). I do not get it. Its okay to question Mormonism, Evangelicalism but not the Muslim faith; thanks for clearing that up MSNBC. In my view using religion as a sword against anyone is out right shameful in America let alone when you pick and chose which religions you are going to go after and which are somehow off topic. Shameful.

Another point is why do the networks feel on national TV in is appropriate to instill division within America. Why do we have to have these guys break down the African-Amercian vote in every Primary? Why do we have to exploit groups as a means of over examining a race? The Womens's vote oh that matters because there is a women in the race, the Black vote matters because there is an African-American running, the Evangelicals because a preacher is running, heck why do we not just disect the entire gambit from religion, race or sexual orientation as a means of examining a race? Please. These crafty folks in the media know that by doing so they can shape an election the way they wish and present what "facts"??? work within the scheme they are forming....all under the guise of reporting. Oh, its entertainment not news reporting or did you not get the memo!!!

If you agree and want to end the divisive act of division then remeber:

NEVER PARTICIPATE IN AN EXIT POLL, EVER!!!!!!

So now in 2008 I am at a crossroads.

I know that this election will have every bit of the significance as that of 1979. Why? Simple. My oldest daughter is turning 7 and when the next President leaves office she will almost 12. Why is that significant? I was ten years old when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter. I rememeber dropping the car off the night before in long lines for gas at the pump and coming back to it in the morning with my dad to fill it up. I remember at ten years old my President was Ronald Reagan. By twelve years old I became aligned with Republicanism. I was proud to be an American and by 1982 so was most of the country I think and that time shaped my life and would ultimately lead me to join the military after high school.

This election will seat a President who will have the greatest impact on my daughters political perspective. It could shape her for the rest of her life and though I know down the road she will have to stear the course of her political beliefs I want for her to have the basis I had in 1980. I want her to experience the unity of America and not the divide. I want her to experience the joys of being an American and the pride of being a Virginian. In order for these things to occur I wonder just who we have left on the stage who can deliver such a place that would water that seed.

While in the future it will be a President of her choice, for now her mother and I will have to make that determination both for her and for us as well since we could do with a little more inspiration again given the last two decades.

4 comments:

Ellen said...

I never considered that participating in an exit poll amounted to much but when put in this light it really makes sense that it is the one thing pollsters use to attempt to divide voters. From a statistiscal point I have no issue but when the numbers are used by the media as a wedge like down in South Carolina during that Primary I tend to agree that the media is using public info in a very selective way to create controversy or at least perpetuate that America is a place where we judge people and the votes they cast based on gender, race, and such and correlate the vote being cast as being "because" of ones gender or race. They are working a fine line and of course know it. Its ratings afterall they seek.

James said...

Well said. I wish more people would surf over to your blog. You have a knack for getting down to it from a Main Street view.

Anonymous said...

Are you actually saying that the crisis within our economy has not be created by business interest and Corporate America as well as the foriegn influence in trade over our currency as well as the influence China has had on our economy. And your portrayal that the housing crisis facing the nation today is out right simplistic at best and irrational at worst.
It is no wonder you are just another Chesterfield Republican living in denial.

Will said...

I think you made the posts point Anonymous. Democrats put zero repsonsibility in the hands of individuals and place it always at the doorstep of the government, hence the "rebates" for the economy boost and the view that it is not the fault of individuals making us the largest debtor nation in the world.

This is the real contrast between the liberals and conservatives today.