Sunday, September 21, 2008

Election Day, Part 2 - 40 odd days and counting

Well, here we are, 7 months plus since my last election post and guess what. Still no President. Half a billion dollars spent, running mates picked conventions held, interviews given and rally after rally after rally held and televised. And still this endless process continues. We still have debates to look forward to and who knows how many months of vote counting before the partisan power grab is over and we can have dances and parties and all pat ourselves on the back on our exemplary, peaceful, political process.

Most people I know, my relatives excluded, are civilized enough to keep their judgements and opinions to themselves most of the time. Maybe your outfit isn't quite ready for Vogue or you're having a bad hair day. Maybe you're making stupid decisions that are messing up your life and your kids'. Maybe your spouse is an ass and everyone knows it but you. The folks in my circle are usually polite enough to keep their opinions about this kind of situation to themselves until asked. Moreover, they wouldn't presume to tell you what to do or how to think. Until an election comes around.

For the past months, I can't open my email without some propaganda from someone about their favored political candidate. Presumably, until election season, I was deemed intelligent enough to think for myself, to make decisions on mundane things like whether to vaccinate my children, or to send them to public school, or the best way to take care of my and my family's health. Now, all of a sudden, I need to be told by my friends who to vote for and why, whose family values and vice presidential qualifications are acceptable and whose aren't, and which Facebook group to join to tell the world my political views. I need to have the news analyzed by these sudden political experts.

I didn't ask.

It seems, as a matter of fact, that everyone is an expert. As I watch the Emmy Awards tonight, I'm annoyed, but not surprised, that so many of the presenters choose to make political statements. Once again, this is not what I tuned in for.

Last I checked, I was smart enough to know where to go for political information and analysis: any number of cable news shows, magazines, political blogs, the newspaper. That one I can figure out. What I can't figure out is why people who are otherwise lovely, charming and thoughtful would be so insulting as to force their unsolicited political views on me, and then judge me for either not agreeing or asking to be spared. Wasn't it considered in poor taste not too long ago to even discuss politics and religion?

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind a healthy political discussion, a respectful exchange of ideas, of point and counterpoint between equally matched intellects. What doesn't work for me, and never will, is being told by someone not to vote for Barrack Obama because his middle name is Hussein and "Jews can't vote for Hussein," or that John McCain and Sarah Palin are "evil" and a joke. Again, I didn't ask. I notice that most people don't ask about my views, other than to ascertain whether I'm voting their way. As soon as they hear that I'm most likely not, they make it their personal mission to tell me why I'm wrong and why I should.

Now, this is my blog and you came here, so you must want to know what I think. If you're here by mistake, leave now. Once and for all, these are my views:

  • I hate our electoral process. It makes me sick. It's no longer about governing, or improving the lives of the citizens. It's about a power grab for one party at the expense of the other, and of the interests of the American public, who are the last people considered when policy and legislation are being crafted.
  • I don't like either of the candidates for President. I'm not embarrassed to say so. One is too old and one isn't experienced enough. Giving good speeches doesn't make you a great president. As the "greatest democracy in the world," what we deserve is a real choice, with more than two options.
  • I don't like Sarah Palin and I don't like Hilary Clinton. This doesn't make me anti-feminist.
  • I live in a blue state. My vote doesn't count.
  • I'm disgusted by the stronghold of the religious right over the Republican party. This country was founded on the tenet of separation of church and state, yet this party seeks to blur those lines further and further every day. Sarah Palin has called the war in Iraq a "task from God." Jihad, anyone? Yet her party is energized and excited by her nomination. That disconnect is frightening.
  • Whoever gets elected, it won't make a fundamental difference in my and my family's daily lives. This is an unpopular view and certainly some things may change. We all know, though, that what's promised in campaigns isn't what will happen anyway. But our personal challenges and triumphs will continue regardless of who has taken over the White House.
Again, these are my views, and you don't have to agree. Unless asked, I will keep them to myself. If you disagree, I won't judge you and suggest you have inferior intelligence. And I certainly won't let it get in the way of our relationship because in my world, people will always be more important, more genuine and much, much more relevant than politics.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Go Shopping. Again.

If you haven't already visited Today's Creative Blog to support the Nie Recovery (and even if you have), now would be a good time to do so. I have a package of Uppercase Living items up for auction and it's all for a great cause. Go bid it up! And send your friends.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Go Shopping. Now.

You know I love nothing more than when two great things come together to make something even greater. That's how I feel about what's going on over at my friend Kim's mega-hit Today's Creative Blog right now. To support a family in crisis, she's brought together some of the greatest artists you've never heard of who are donating their creations for a benefit auction. The starting bids are L-O-W and you might even find a donation from yours truly over there. Please go to Today's Creative Blog, browse the auctions or make a cash donation. Shopping is good. But shopping for a good cause is good squared. Cubed even.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

He Like to Move It Move It

We're pretty excited for Madagascar 2 to come out around these parts. So much so that Brady loves singing his favorite Madagascar song over and over and over. Come to think of it, he's not unlike King Julian in a lot of ways. They're both boisterous little bossy dictators who think they know everything, while those around them know better.