Political Thoughts

The American President was elected to run the United States of America (and it’s affiliates, he he).   No seriously, he was elected to run one country.  A country with a myriad of issues and troubles right now.  Now, he has some diplomatic international responsibilities, yes, but his focus (not even a year in office) really has to be THIS country.  You know, the one we live in that put him in office. 

Now I understand that Iran is having a hell of a time.  Imagine living in a country where you have an election and you thought you voted person A into office and yet person B seems to have won by shady means.  Imagine that.  That could never happen here, right?   Land of perfect democracy that we adore.  Now imagine, in that unbelievable circumstance, that another country – any country – tried to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do to resolve the matter. 

Now, comparatively, we do process things a bit differently.  We recount, send issues to the Supreme Court, protest, use the media to express out opinions and if we don’t get our way, take every opportunity to point out why the guy who won sucks and should never have been in office.  That’s just how we roll here. 

Note:  Iran is not the USA.  They don’t work the same.  We can’t make them work the same.  All the rhetoric, stern warnings, badmouthing in the press, and nasty Twitters in the world won’t make them do what the President we elected to run THIS country tells them.  Maintaining vigilance, waiting to see if there is a crisis requiring intervention because of crimes against humanity, and working cautiously with our allies while encouraging a fair voting process and the rights of people to protest without government brutality seems like a very smart thing to do in this situation.

After all, if the President is doing his job in this country correctly, he doesn’t have much time, money, power, or political pull to do much else.  We’ve got our own internal wars to wage – let’s keep an eye on that battleground folks.  I’m more interested in what his plans are domestically, with the wars we’re already fighting, and the future plans of our place in the international financial world. 

Aren’t you?


February – isn’t that a funny word.  Y’know, phonetically speaking.  That “r” after the b is a real treat and yet you find yourself wondering – what made someone decide that the second month of the year should be called February.  Frankly, this question can be asked of all the months.  I’m sure some genius somewhere has the answer on the history of the words, but I really don’t care. 

That’s right, I’m asking a question to which I really don’t care about the answer.  Welcome to “polite society” and “the American Mainstream Media”.  This is not a complaint, it’s a fact of life – we all do it.

“How are you today?”  is supposed to be answered with “Fine, yourself?”  (Ok, the grammar teacher in me wants to inform you all that the correct response is actually, “Well, thank you.  How are you?”   Well is an appropriate response to “how something is” not good or fine – you can’t BE good or fine in that context, it doesn’t fit the terminology.)  I digress… 

Anyway, we ask questions to be socially correct or to make ourselves seem intellectual.  “Did you hear the rhetoric regarding the Republican review of the President’s economic package?   Wouldn’t you say some of their ideals are detrimental to the overall fabric of democracy?”  (This is a true quote of a question asked by a coworker.)   Ok, so I actually have been half-way following this story.  I have some general feelings on the topic, but do I feel the overall “fabric of democracy” will be affected?  I don’t know.  I mean, offhand, probably not – No, I think democracy as an ideal is stronger than the economic platform on which it stands.  This country has been poor before and managed to survive and strengthen.  But, as it turns out, my coworker really didn’t care about the answer.  The question was just a starting point for him to espouse his personal feelings in an overly articulate manner that was intended to make him look exceptionally intelligent.

I personally got “pompous turd” out of it, but that’s just me. 

There’s actually nothing wrong with doing this – I know, I know “What am I saying?!”, but it’s the truth.  Intelligent conversation for the sake of discussion and conversation without actual investment in the outcome is not a bad thing.  It sparks debate and ideas that usually get back to someone who IS invested and appreciates the rhetoric. 

I just wonder how much our usage of this type of dialogue affects our ability to trust others and share genuine concerns.  How many times do we hold our tongue on the assumption that “they really don’t care anyway” and how many times does that thinking lead us astray?  Did the people in the housing industry have questions about practices in the early years that they never asked because “no one really cares anyway”? 

Not that I expect an answer…  I’m just asking.

I very deliberately try not to comment on specific political personalities, policies or partisan debates because most of the time, my voice isn’t necessarily that divergent from one group or another.  Why egg on a fight?  In this case, however, I feel like I have something different to say.

First I read this article in the Washington Post.  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/11/obamas_impossible_high_expecta.html?hpid=topnews

Now, put aside the rhetoric on “what kind of paper” the Post is and take the article at face value.  After listening to many of my peers talk, I feel this article reflects a lot of the feelings his voters in the DC Metro area have.  I worry about it – greatly – because a pedestal that high is a long way to fall.

Asking President-elect Obama to represent the healing of massive racial issues in the country is like asking Jesus (whether you call him prophet or Son of God) to represent the healing of two warring nations that dated back to two women having sons by the same man and one of them not inheriting.  (Oversimplified for the sake of brevity – forgive me please.)  Pick up a paper, even that argument is still on-going.

The responsibility of healing the racial divides in this country belong solely to the citizenship of this country.  Regardless of race, social status or geographic location, we should all be working to teach our youth that everyone is equal and forgiving grudges of past hurts. 


The economy sucks.  It’s not a newsflash, but why it has gotten to this point might be if you’re not paying attention.  I love my country.  My father was in the military for 26 years and I grew up a died-in-the-wool patriot.  That being said, America is nowhere near perfect.  We have some growing up to do as a nation and while we’re ahead in some areas, we’re tragically young in others.

Take for instance the “air of entitlement” most of us have.  Yes, I said us, because I’m as guilty as the next of spending recklessly because God forbid I deny myself something or have to wait for it.  I’m an American, by God, the wealthiest country in the world (really?!) with milk and honey flowing over every valley, couture clothing for all and a free latte from Starbucks for anyone who completed high school.

Well, OK – maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s the behavior of a nation in trouble.  The United States of America, a country built on the premise that you could have anything, be anything, go anywhere if you were willing to work for it.  We are quite proud of this heritage, but in the past few decades we’ve tried to drop an important piece – the “willing to work for it” part.