The three conversations (at least growing up) I’d been conditioned to avoid at a dinner parties, and at any other public and private gatherings alike.. Religion, Politics & Sex. However, in the midst of a Presidential Election, all that preconditioning goes out the window, and these become the common hot topics. Media is partly to blame, but part of the reason is that that these three aspects have a direct bearing on how people react. A canidate’s core belief system is thought to be a mirror of what we can expect in the future. Their stance and integrity on that stance is why there is so much interest.
I am not, nor have ever been a “politically” focused person. In fact (maybe due to my preconditioning) I’ve tried to avoid it as much as possible. That being said, I turned 30 this year, and I have these three little munchkins that live with me that make me care about the world we will be leaving them in. I think my awareness has grown this past year, from originally being primarily focused on my family’s and friends bubble of space, to inadvertently finding that I may actually have an oppinion on some of the bigger issues at hand. Another reason maybe was that when I was younger, I just trusted that the government, while not perfect, I thought it was basically sound, so I didn’t need to pay much attention to what was going I guess. This I think was a very naive veiwpoint on my part.
But then.. I remember being in a hospital room having just given birth to my youngest son in March of 2003 when on the news they announced an official declaration of war in Iraq. I remember being dismayed that my precious little guy’s birthday would be shared with an official declaration of war. It was disheartening that while I was celebrating new life, our country was setting out to be involved in the direct opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I know that war is unfortunately necessary at times, but I remember thinking even then that the I wasn’t sure I agreed with Bush’s focus or plan of action, course my thoughts on what should happen next was probably closer to the storyline of a James Bond movie than a war – Secret agents, covert missions to actually find Osama bin Ladin and such… again naive probably.
My tendancy is to not talk about things that make me uncomfortable, or make others uncomfortable, or may cause problems. Especially ifI don’t feel I have a good basis of actual fact upon which to forge my own opinion. Politics definitely is one subject that I do feel I’m very inept at understanding. Partly because in my opinion, the whole”politics” thing just adds a whole other level of difficulty to things that should be common sense. What happened to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” To me – that statement covers the vast majority of all issues. If people thought of others first.. and worried less about being affiliated with a certian clique or group we’d have far less problems!
That being said, this election I’ve made an effort to be more informed about what both sides of the political parties have to say so that I can feel good about my single small vote.
I had decided to give myself a few ground rules…
- To base the greatest portion of my newly formed opinion off of actual interviews with the candidates, rather than mud slinging sessions of mouthy media personalities.
- To totally disregard any forwarded e-mail on the subject, as most of these are the epitemy of word twisting and half-truths.
- To give myself permission to understand that these candidates are merely people, just like you and me, and are not going to be perfect.After all, we are electing a human, not a God. In my opinion, if God himself was asked to hold an office, he’d turn it down flat because there would be far too much bureaucracy and politics in the way of his main concern of helping people.
At this point, I find that I do now have the beginning of an opinion.
One of my biggest pet peeves are people who create drama, or are gossip mongers or mud slingers. I am also a “Plan loving” person, so I’m innately attracted to the side that has talked not only their stance on an issue, but have chosen to include some of their ideas on accomplishing that the goal. I would love to see an election where the sides, instead of berating the others running, all involved focused on conveying to the public their visions and plans for this country. One where past “Laurels” aren’t being sat on, but instead a focus on the future. Plus I like Optimism, and I’m not going to discredit a candidate because of the sometimes unfortunate name their parent chose for them… Any guesses where my current affiliation is? hehe 🙂
I don’t have TV at home, so I’ve watched parts of the Republican & Democrat National Conventions on Youtube.com, as well as the Saddleback Forum with the Candidates, and a breakdown of a speech by Sarah Palin (who I will throw out there that I’m not as impressed with as some of my family friends insist I should be – and the view has nothing to do with her daughter either, and, since I’m here, I think it is a pretty remote chance that her youngest son is actually her oldest daughters first child.. Down Syndrom is far more common in women over the age of 35 ~she’s 44~, than those at age 16 or 17. Come on people focus on the issues not the drama!) I’ve looked at some forums and discovered (what we already knew) that people can be extremely vile and can say some pretty incedible things and really believe it!
Perception as always is such a big force as well. People in many cases hear what they want to hear. In truth, I’ve found instances where I listened and heard what I felt as a thoughtout responsible response to a question – others deemed it as soap boxing or inexperience. In other instances where I thought someone evaded the question with a “let me tell you a story” remark or only offered short quick robotic “what the people want to hear” type answers, I go on to find comments posted appreciating that candidates “to the point” nature.
It reminds me that an old cliche I hear frequently is true.. “Opinions are like <insert derogatory name for your rear here> …. Everyone’s got one!” (sorry.. I try to stay family-friendly^^ )