Friday, January 18, 2008

Let's Get Political - first political rant of '08

It’s my blog, I can say whatever I want. So can you. Just not necessarily to me.

I find it so frustrating hearing people around me spout political opinions that are so rarely really well thought out. And I agree with some of those opinions – but I agree because I’ve put some thought into it, I’ve researched it and I’ve come to my own decision. Not because it’s the “party line”. Those of you have chosen a political party and support that party’s platform no matter what it is… I don’t understand you. Email me. Explain it. Leave a comment below. I can’t find one human being on the face of this earth that I can agree with on absolutely everything – let alone a politician. But an entire political party??? Forget it.

And I’m not just talking about strangers. Some of these people are my loved ones. My friends. My coworkers. People I respect and admire – people whose success I’d like to emulate.

How is it that absolutely every word that comes out of the mouth of a candidate from the opposing party is totally wrong? Why is your candidate always right? Do you even listen? Is there honestly never an opportunity to learn from another’s point of view? It’s amazing to me that you can judge someone so harshly, find everything about them and everything they stand for so laughable on the strength of their political affiliation. I can guarantee at least half of you reading this are wrong about which party I lean toward… yet you think you agree with me. Would I suddenly become a pathetic laughable moron in your eyes if you knew my political affiliation?

I’ll be voting in the Missouri primary on Super Tuesday. I always do. I do agree with more of the tenets of one party over the other, but I’m certainly not a “die hard” Republican/Democrat (those of you who know me well know which party I relate to – but that’s not what this message is about). I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I take the success, freedom and protection of this country very seriously. I am a news junkie – I watch the news every morning while getting ready for work. I immediately log onto and as soon as I get to work. I check them again on my lunch break. I watch the news every night, and if there’s nothing interesting on TV – I put it on CNN or Headline News for background noise. If you want to discuss politics with me, feel free to do so – but do your own research first. I don’t want to hear what your parents raised you to think. I don’t want to hear what Bill Maher or Rush Limbaugh told you. I couldn’t care less what you read on some stupid email (I swear the next moron that sends me an email about Obama being a radical Muslim or Cheney’s daughter going to Baghdad to be a human shield… I will hunt you down and beat the shit out of you with your own computer – people, GO THERE before your forward yet another stupid and intentionally misleading email).

DO NOT ROCK THE VOTE PEOPLE! I hate that. I don’t want you to vote if you aren’t interested enough to go register like a responsible adult. If you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself on the issues of the campaign and familiarize yourself with the candidates – do NOT vote. I don’t want your unconsidered and reactionary opinion to sway the direction of my country.

That being said, what I do want is participation. PARTICIPATE in the election of our next president. Watch the debates – both Republican and Democratic. Listen to what everyone has to say. I can guarantee that if you’re truly honest you’re going to find that you agree with candidates from both sides of the fence on different things. My most important suggestion – MSNBC is a great place to start. There’s a matrix on their website that you can view and rate. You read each candidate’s stand on five of the biggest issues in this campaign and you rate their opinion in comparison to your own feelings. Do it without really paying attention to the party or candidate – just read the opinion and rate it. I filled it out a couple of months ago – I had plenty of red and green on both sides of the fence. And my top three candidates were not all on the same party. You might be surprised at your own results… Once you’re done, click on “All Users Ratings” and see the other 200,000 people who’ve filled it out felt.

Rant over. For now.