I’m over politics, so if you were excited to read a well-documented commentary on this presidential election, you may want to visit elsewhere.
What is happening to our country? Did we used to be more sophisticated, or was I just walking around in a joyful stupor for the first 37 years of my life?
When I was a kid and following politics was my parents’ job, who was elected to the White House was about as important to me as what bedazzled, knit cardigan my teacher chose to wear to school on any particular day. Both were sort of there and blindingly in my face from time to time, but, otherwise, I was fairly indifferent about the whole situation. This was also a time in my life when I really only cared about what I was going to do after school, or if the cute boy in class would pass me one of those coveted “Will You Go with Me?” notes from the row of desks across the room. Life was just easier back then, give or take that whole parent/child dependency fiasco.
Looking back through my poll memory bank, I remember voting for Bill Clinton. I also remember NOT voting for George DUB-YUH; although, when I came to Nashville with my then boyfriend (now spouse) when the final election results were called, I was sorely disappointed that Al Gore didn’t come out to give his speech to the flood of voters awaiting his appearance on the lawn of the Capitol Building. For at least a week I had wished I had voted for Bush based purely on Gore’s lack of integrity about the whole thing. Money was hard to come by as a college kid, and traveling from the campus of Western Kentucky University to downtown Nashville was a fortune for us back then. I still feel like Al Gore owes me $20.
Generally, there is just more at stake now;
I have the future of my children to consider.
The most memorable election years for me have been the last two because I have since been voting as a grown woman with my own family; therefore, I have my own personal views when it comes to politics. For instance, I know for certain what my Catholic faith says about abortion and I’m still to this day a pro-life advocate. Also, things like healthcare and tax reform are important issues for me to consider as I approach my 4o’s and have retirement accounts to consider. Given my considerable amount of growth from elementary school girl to now being a full-fledged grown up, the most memorable election years for me have been the last two, and the current election is no exception.
Although I would like to have all of my needs neatly met in a orderly package with one political party affiliation, that just isn’t a realistic expectation; therefore, I don’t really lean one way or the other. More or less, I float around in the middle where I look more closely at the individual running for office than whether or not they are a Republican or a Democrat. For me, there is another aspect to consider in a candidate which goes beyond whether or not they directly align with my belief system, and that is whether or not they are generally a decent human being. For instance, I don’t agree with everything Obama has stated, but I do generally like him. I think our country is still a great place to live. Jobs have been created. Then there was the whole social security holiday shindig that put some fat money back into our pockets for a few years when we really needed it. Overall, without a micro-evaluation of all of his successes and failures, I feel like his presidency has been as successful as humanly possible in his given amount of time as the Big Cheese of the United States of America.
What gets me this election year is the completely asinine display of reality televisionesque banter coming from the Republican party. As my 12-year-old daughter stated, “If we acted like that at the dinner table, you would excuse us from the meal and make us all go to our rooms.”
Someone needs to give this pool of candidates a spanking and take away their iPhones for a week. Perhaps there is a dunce hat out there for politicians? A timeout corner they can sit in when they act like dumbasses on a public forum? Considering that we have neither the hat nor the corner, I’m suggesting the next best thing: we simply stop giving them so much attention for their bad behavior, and by all means, we DON’T vote them into office. Can you imagine what that type of immaturity and lack of filter will look like on a global scale? I imagine Trump and Kim Jong-un would get along fairly well. You never know, perhaps putting up barricades all round our country might not be enough. Maybe we need a Berlin Wall approach; Lord knows the number of new jobs it will create just hiring all of those marksmen to stand guard in the watchtowers for those looking to cross the border. God forbid that they would seek a better life in this country where they can more adequately provide for their family, not to mention the whole freedom from the extensive risk of human trafficking and ruthless drug cartel situation.
Perhaps we can pull ourselves out of the centrifuge of right-wing politics and accept the fact that we live in a world of continuous global transformation within a country built on immigration.
To make a long story short, if immigration rights into this country had been restricted to those who met certain standards according to religious beliefs and nationality, our forefathers would have been scalped and thrown back into the ocean ages ago, thus I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it. Many thanks to our ancestors coming in, learning the ropes of farming the land, and then turning the tide with a seize-control mindset. Without them there would be no Apple Empire, no Google, no Starbucks, no zero-degree turning lawn mowers, no convenient trash disposal from our doorstep that magically takes our wastes out of sight and out of mind. If we did manage to break into the genetic pool somehow, we would all still be worshipping sun gods in our loin cloths with headdresses of feathers and twigs.
When it comes down to it, as this election trudges on through insecure waters of rioting, bigotry, and other preschool tirades, I will still wake up on that morning in November. After dropping my children off at their private school (let’s assume they would be in session this day) in a country where we have not only educational opportunities, but educational choices, I will take my registration card and my first cup of Starbucks to the polls where I will cast my vote for whomever I feel is the best candidate for the job. More than likely, that candidate will not align 100% with everything I believe. Just like most of my friends, my chosen candidate and I will feel the same on some issues, but drastically differentiate on others, and our religious viewpoints will differ in many ways. However, I will happily exercise my right and freedom to vote (Thanks, Women’s Suffrage Movement!) before heading to my hot yoga class followed by Fresh Market. I will continue to exercise my given freedom in this country to approach life from a viewpoint of holistic health and well-being because no one is telling me from the womb exactly what path I am destined to take. I have the freedom to decide that for myself. I will also choose on this particular day not to wear my “I Voted” sticker because I would rather discuss with people I come across the beautiful weather we are having as opposed to my political points of view.
When it comes down to it, I try to see the best in other people, and I have never met a single person whose political affiliation was their best quality. In other words, that type of thing doesn’t determine what I think of another person. I rate people purely on scale of decency.
All of these people are walking around with their underpants so tightly in a wad that they are ready to start lighting the torches and taking them to the streets with their soap boxes and pitch forks, but still, no one is listening. The arguments between Trump Nation and Bernie Nation are counterintuitive at best. I don’t want to vote for either based purely on their large following of angry people trying so hard to make their voices heard that they are unable to move forward without dragging themselves into the proverbial ground. We are at a point where the boxing match should have ended and common sense should have moved back in. We should be coming to some sort compromise that we should at least put forth the effort to look like we are an intelligent and sophisticated nation evolving for the betterment of man and all of his differences and freedoms to choose. Instead, we are just making global asses out of ourselves, so much so that those of us remaining on the outskirts of this political fight club are threatening to pack our bags and desert our homes for greener and happier pastures.
I imagine that there are many more people like me out there. We might be able to ban together and form a new nation. If we scrape together all of our funds, it might be fairly affordable to purchase a small island in an obscure location on the globe and live off the land. We may have to start a hunting and gathering society and fight with the natives, but we can come up with resolutions in an effort to live together peacefully. Someone bring a kayak. We need shovels and seeds. We also need a priest because I am obligated to attend Mass on Sundays, but religious diversity would be welcomed. I also don’t think I could live without Banana Republic denim, Bare Minerals skincare, and a decent selection of television series and movies, so Amazon Prime would need to offer services and drone delivery, but I’m sure we could work that out. We also need a few really good yoga instructors because I can’t live without that either, and I am too ill-coordinated to instruct myself through vinyasa. This list of wants and needs could become pretty extensive. On second thought, moving to a deserted island sounds like a big hassle.
Let’s just be happy where we are.
Now that I think about it, it would probably be easier just to stay here in this country. It’s really not all that bad when we realize that the world is bigger than each of us, our political views, our religious beliefs, and whether or not our neighbor is married to someone of the same gender. We live in a country where we actually have choices, so much so that when someone is elected into presidency whom we don’t agree with 100% of the time, we can learn to deal with it for 4 to 8 years and do our best to work together across party lines. What other choice do we have? We can’t realistically go back to scalping our neighbors because they might sin in ways that are more visible than what we each do behind our closed doors and more refined clothing. We also can’t assume that because someone–such as myself–is moved to be a better person by worshipping a Christ whom I admire and adore with all of my being, that they are idiotic, anti-science creationist who should be obliterated from simply having a choice at all. At the end of the day, we are all a society of people trying to coexist in the best way possible, but lately, we have been doing a really shitty job of that in this country. People are angrier than ever, but no one is really expressing it in a way that promotes a positive change for the better.
As a nation, we desperately need to come to our senses so that we can work in unison to elect the person in 2016 whom we trust to run our country with the type of wisdom and guidance we would expect from someone in a position of leadership. In a perfect world, this person would be able to fully represent everything each of us individually stands for, but that can’t happen unless we devolve into a brainwashed dictatorship, and I’m pretty sure none of us want that to happen. Personally, I like being a woman with the right to vote and a right to choose how to live my life within moral boundaries. I am free in this country to grow and develop as nature and nurturing seems fit, and there is no other travesty that I could imagine than being born into a country where none of these freedoms exist.
Do you want to make this country great again?
First, quiet down a little because no one is listening when everyone is screaming at each other. Secondly, Get off of the soapbox because the more you do that, the farther you push people away from God, and, frankly, I know more homosexual atheist who are closer to God–even though they don’t realize it–than people serving from the pulpit on Sunday morning. Thirdly, open up your heart a little more to the fact that the world will simply never-ever revolve around your point of view. This doesn’t mean you can’t share your opinion and create waves of change, but it’s going to be much more effective in this century if you do it in a way that makes you a fairly likable and influential person instead of being viewed as a pompous, miserable, close-minded human being. And, lastly, just smile more often while slowly chipping away the huge chip of I-know-best weighing heavily on your shoulder. Seriously, just try it. You may find that it actually makes you feel better in any situation you are in, especially when the polls close on that fateful day in November when your chosen candidate might not win. Realistically, none of us will be willing to jump ship for another location on the globe at the end of the day.
As for me, I would rather stay here, exactly where I am. My choice is to continue doing the best things possible for myself, my family, and my community. I choose to exhibit a wealth of goodness for my girls to follow so that this country can continue to make strides in future generations because that is how I personally serve this country the best way that I know how. It’s breathtaking to imagine the kind of impact we could have toward betterment on a global scale if we could all just swallow our pride and our false sense of entitlement in order to do the same.
I highly recommend yoga as a start. It’s a great way to release all of that tension and stress and it may even get your underpants to dislodge from your behind while your foot consequently dislodges from your mouth.