In 2008, I wrote too much about politics. I got caught up in it. It’s embarrassing when I go back and read those posts. Most weren’t well thought out. Some were, but biased. I’ve thought about that a lot recently. Who was I writing for? I wasn’t saying anything that wasn’t being said better on “The Rachel Maddow show.” If anything, I wanted my voice to be joined with the other screaming maniacs who felt like the 2008 election would be the defining election of our countries history. I wonder if it was? We’ll have to wait a few hundred years for the historians to tell us.
2008 was an important election, in so much as it brought politic’s true nature to life. Most of us know now that money is a major factor in how we vote and who we vote for. Most of us have an awareness of what a President can and can’t do. Most of us have a deep awareness that one political party has said “No” for the past four years while the other political party has let the President carry every once of the weight. There are no winners or losers. Who you vote for matters, but it is like looking at a dog and looking at another dog and thinking, which one do I want to bite me? One of them is going to bite you. Which one? Which will hurt least? Which one might bite and let go and which one will hang on for a while, grinding the teeth in until it reaches the bone?
The problem, though, is that our ideology is tied to these political parties. If you’re a progressive, you vote Democrat. If you’re conservative, you vote Republican. If you’re ideology is complicated, you vote for whomever has the best hair that year. This year, for example, Republicans are calling President Obama a liberal the likes of which we have never seen. That’s just not true. If it was true, President Obama would have come out in support of Marriage Equality. Democrats are saying that Mitt Romney is a conservative neo-nazi in hiding. That’s not true, either. Mitt Romney isn’t that interesting. What we have are two men that are supposed to represent two options, even though there are way more than two options of how to run our country. There are, actually, about 300 million different options, one option per person who lives in this country. And, if you want to be real about it, we have 7 billion options, one per person on the planet who is affected by this country. We have a political system that is simple, even though the act of running a country is a complicated act. It’s an illusion. It’s false. It’s not true. Every four years, we try to act like it is, but it isn’t. In November, when you vote, you are not voting for someone who completely agrees with you. That’s impossible and we need to stop acting like it isn’t.
But we do form into little molds, don’t we? I believe that anyone who loves each other should get married (including groups of people). I believe in infrastructure and public transportation and public works and the EPA and regulations and higher taxes to fund all this. I also believe everyone should pay taxes evenly. I don’t believe the government should have anything to do with our capitalistic system and I don’t approve of aggressive oversight when it comes to risks and capital. No one, neither Mitt Romney or President Obama, agrees with me about all of this.
Here is the logical part where I want to say that who we vote for to be President doesn’t matter. It does. President Reagan ended the Cold war by creating an arms race, pushing us into debt and leaving us with thousands of nuclear weapons to worry about. President Bill Clinton allowed for people to get a mortgage easier so “Everyone could buy a house,” putting down the ground work for the 2008 crisis. President George W. Bush did so many things wrong that we don’t have time to list them all here. And President Obama spent most of his time trying to “fix” Health Care when he should have been trying to get us out of the Great Recession, a recession started because of crappy mortgages given to people who couldn’t afford them and two wars that we shouldn’t have really started. They all suck. Some much more than others.
Who you vote for matters. Because it matters, I think you should read everything you can, both written by people who agree with you and by people who don’t. You should watch the news sometimes, not cable news, but like, the 6pm news. It’s not as biased. Try coming up with your own opinion. Listen to the candidates speeches. Keep up with what is going on. Then, when it’s time, vote. You’re smart. You don’t need me to be someone’s cheer leader for the next six months. And there will be endless mobs of people on the “left” and the “right” who will try and demonize each other. I don’t need to add to that conversation. I don’t even like that conversation. I know who I’m voting for, so I don’t see any real point of me writing about the election to the point of boredom. Something could happen to spark my angst, but, for the first time in a long time, I actually feel that we, as a country, are engaged in the political process. We finally care, for whatever reason, good or bad. We’ll see if this last, and we’ll see if I can keep my mouth shut. It feels like the right thing to do.