I have been coming here almost every day, though I'm not posting much these days. There are a couple of reasons for that, including the intrusion of my personal life into my computer time. Primarily, though, I have burned out, tired of the debate. I think most of us have decided which way we are going to vote, and the chance that any one of us is going to sway anyone on the opposite side of the fence is pretty much nil. Reading through some of the threads, though, has given me something I wanted to say.
I've said before, and will say for the record here that the upcoming presidential election is about like most presidential elections (with two exceptions) since I've been voting. I'm disappointed in the whole thing, and don't plan so much to vote FOR anyone, as to vote AGAINST someone. I am again forced to choose the lesser of two evils. I believe that we as Americans have settled comfortably into doing this time and again. We have come to expect it, and I for one am tired of it.
The presidential election process in our nation has become nothing more than a mudslinging contest, with the loser being the guy wearing the most mud at the end of the day. The process self selects for the least desirable candidates. We ALL have skeletons in our closets. Unfortunately, these skeletons can, with enough spade work, usually be dug up. And politicians are masters at excavation. The men and women in our society who are decent, who have integrity, who are the kinds of people we really need as leaders unfortunately have too much dignity to subject themselves to this insanity. So, we are left with the egomaniacs, the self promoters, the "righteous." Gone are the candidates who want to address the issues. Gone are the men and women of character, who run because they believe in the US, rather than in themselves. Gone are the elections (if they ever truly existed) where we could vote for a person because we believed in their message, rather than because we believed they would do the least harm. Look at what we are calling "issues:"
"He jumped out of Viet Nam at the first opportunity with three minor wounds." Yes, and so did just about every other soldier, sailor, and Marine who had the same opportunity. It was not a sign of cowardice, it was not a dishonorable thing. It was the rule. Three purple hearts and you go home. Don't hold following the rules against him. Don't hold a survival instinct against the man.
"What did he do with his medals?" While the question of changing stories may have some impact, I believe that the truth is less sinister than many pundits are making out. Bottom line, they were (and are) his medals. Whatever he did with them, I admire him. First, he earned those medals. Then, when he got home, he stood up against something that he saw as a crime, the Viet Nam war, and did so with the authority of a man who had been there.
"He went AWOL from the Guard." If it were true, it would be of great importance to his character, but it isn't true. It isn't an issue, but the democrats are hoping if they keep beating the drum hard enough, maybe the beat will drown out the truth.
This is what I believe about their service: In different capacities, both men wore the uniform of their country at a time when wearing that uniform got you spit on. I admire EVERYONE who wore the uniform then. Just wearing it took courage. At least neither of them dodged the draft, deserted, or went to Great Britain to be "Rhodes Scholars" with no scholarship, majoring in being high and bashing the US from afar.
I joined in 1978, when wearing the uniform might have made people question your intelligence, but no one ever called me a "baby killer." No one ever spit on me. By the time I got out in 93, people loved those of us wearing the uniform. We were still on the post Gulf-War high. It was a lot easier for me to wear it than for men and women in the 60's and early 70's. Hell, I admire all of them just for putting the uniform on.
It has taken me a while to get to this, but what I really believe is that those of us who are Americans should be outraged. Outraged at what the political parties have turned the election process into. Outraged that the process the Republicans and Democrats have bequeathed to us self selects for scoundrels, rather than men and women of character. I'll vote in the upcoming election, and that vote will be based on what I believe. But my vote will be less FOR a candidate than AGAINST the other candidate.
Man, I'm tired of that.
Apr 30, '04
Kevin, that was very well said and I agree completely with you! Thank you for expressing yourself so eloquently!
Apr 30, '04
Kevin - at last we can agree (Okay don't go into shock it is a bit far for me to perform CPR:chuckle)
This cynical view of politics and politicians is a very Australian view.
We tend to look at the inhabitants of Parliament as "A mob of raving ratbags and toerags" who couldn't "lie straight in bed".
In some ways it is a liberating view.
No more disillusion - keep your expectations low and you also keep the mindset of humanness (not humanity but humanness), mortality if you will. Once you come to that belief then it is a small step to realise that a politician is OUR EMPLOYEE. They are there to do what WE want them to do - not to play out a party agenda - not to be a figure head but to work for us and represent us.
This view is empowering.
It gives you not only the ability but also the interest to become more active in the issues yourself to put yourself forward and have your say.
In holding a politician up as an "ideal" candidate you run the risk of enthroning them making them at least temporary royalty - beyond reproach and ruling by divine intervention - this is not true democracy - let us depose these false kings - off with their heads!!!
Apr 30, '04
I have said this all along Kevin. It's democracy under attack frankly. When we have to vote "against" someone, there is a problem. And a hellalot of it has to do with bipartisan politics and special interests that steer them. Is there NO room for an alternative? I am sick of the whole thing.
Your revelations here are not new thoughts to my mind. I have said all along I am sick of the whole thing and sick of the two-party system in our country today....and the method of "voting" is such a joke. They wonder WHY so many DO NOT VOTE? Sheesh with the electorate in charge, many feel why bother?
Apr 30, '04
Thanks for your thoughts. I hear you. I feel the same way about politics. The two major parties in our country have little meaning as far as I'm concerned. The candidates will say anything to avoid the scrutiny of the press and the electorate.
I have not voted for a Republican or Democrat for years. I tend to vote my conscience...which I've been told is a waste of my vote. This makes me think that even our votes should be more about politics than values. Odd, though, this wasn't what I was taught in my government class in high school. Go figure.
I don't know about you, but my thinking is that as long as those who are elected to serve us choose to serve themselves (or their parties) the state of our nation will not improve. Also, as long as the citizens of this county choose to be entertained & anesthetized rather than informed & involved our society will continue to decline.
Apr 30, '04
At dawn on the morning of July 11, 1804, political antagonists and personal enemies Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on the heights of Weehawken, New Jersey to settle their longstanding differences with a duel. The participants fired their pistols in close succession. Burr's shot met its target immediately, fatally wounding Hamilton and leading to his death the following day. Burr escaped unharmed.
This tragically extreme incident reflected the depth of animosity aroused by the first emergence of the nation's political party system
George Washington, Thomas Jefforson, Alexander Hamilton, Aron Burr, Adams, et all.
Hamilton and Burr's second clash occurs during Burr's bid for the U.S. presidency. Although Burr is officially on the Democratic-republican ticket as Thomas Jefferson's vice president, he garners as many electoral votes as Jefferson himself.
The tie must be broken by the U.S. House, where the debate is finally resolved by Hamilton's Federalists colleagues, who vote for Jefferson. The new president soon dismisses his vice president as an "enemy," and Burr spends much of his time at home in New York, rather than in Washington, the new capital. Meanwhile, Hamilton falls into deep despair when his son is killed in a duel , and his frustration grows as he watches Jefferson taking the country in an unwanted direction, away from Hamilton's views.. Both Hamilton and Burr remain in political exile until 1804, when they have their third and final clash over Burr's plans to re-enter public life. When Burr runs for governor of New York, Hamilton is outraged and launches a smear campaign against his nemesis. Burr's reputation is destroyed, and he loses the New York race. But Burr's defeat leaves him with hard information to use against Hamilton, and he now provokes a new "affair of honor" against his enemy. Their letters heat up the confrontation, and in mid-July 1804, they meet on "dueling ground" in New Jersey; dueling has been outlawed in New York.
Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 30, '04