Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 1: The 'P' Word

The 'p' all know what I mean.

Politics. *waits out the dramatic drum roll*

There's an old saying that you should never discuss sex, politics or religion in polite company. It's pretty wise, though totally unfollow-able, advice because these are three things that people tend to have *strong* opinions on. And I think you'll find that they're also all tangled up together. A persons opinion/belief about religion informs their thoughts about sex and politics in a great many cases.

So what am I doing talking about politics?

It's all Malik's fault. Go blame him. *hands out tiny pillows to be thrown*

Okay, technically I suppose it's my fault, since I asked for ideas. Go ahead, throw the pillows at me. Or marshmallows. You could throw marshmallows. I would hate that. Yeah. :)

One week till election day, write your thoughts about politics.

My thoughts about politics are simple.

I hate politics.

The end. :D

*wanders away**not so tiny things are thrown at her*


I don't hate politics, I hate the way politics are done. I live in Florida which is one of the states that counts as 'more' in the American electoral system and we've been inundated with political ads on the phone, television and radio. I cannot tell you how many emails I get at my office email from the 'Tea Party' telling me that Obama is a Socialist Muslim Atheist Homosexual. I'm not even kidding.

Electing our leaders is important. I think that, while we certainly don't have the 'perfect' government (no one does), we have one that is as fair as any of the others out there. People should vote. It's the only way that we can cause any changes in the larger community of our nation. And we should take care to be informed on the issues that are important to us - I don't believe that any one person can be informed on *everything* to the same degree - and elect whoever we believe represents our interests the best.

If politics stuck to actual facts and allowed people to judge and make their choices based only on that it'd be fine. It'd be *beautiful*. That's not what happens though.

Ad after ad, argument after argument attacks the other candidate. I'm sick of it. There are so many people out there who are going to vote based on personal facts that *don't matter* in the running of the country.

For example: Romney is a Mormon. Mormonism is still viewed by many (especially in the South from what I see around me) as a cult. A non-Christian religion. I've read one relatively popular Christian theology blog recently that talks all about how Romney is a cultist, yes, but he's at least a competent cultist which puts him ahead of the 'incompetent non-Christian' Obama. *sigh* If we were basing this argument off of the competent vs. incompetent parts of this alone, fine. I disagree with the authors opinion, but that's why we each get a vote.

The problem is that people are basing their choices off of emotional responses to key words. 'Cult' is a triggery word. It brings up mental images of Heaven's Gate, Jonestown, the Branch Davidians. Death and suffering and innocent, easily led people who were desperate for meaning in their lives being misled by a charismatic evil doer. The truth is that every religion starts out as a 'cult'. Think about Christ in a different light for just one second:

A strange, charismatic man who comes through town, preaches about giving up everything (even your family!) to follow him even unto death. Who promises great rewards and eternal life. His followers break social conventions, taboos, and are (possibly) fomenting a rebellion against the established social order. There's also talk of what sounds a whole lot like cannibalism.

Sound a little hinky to you?

As for Obama's non-Christian status...the man says that he is a Christian. As far as I know he has done nothing that makes me believe he's lying. One could argue that he's not a 'perfect' Christian or the 'right' Christian (depending on what you might consider the 'right' flavor) but I have no reason to say that he's not a Christian.

And let me be perfectly honest: I DON'T CARE!

If Romney was, in my opinion, the best man for the job I would vote for him whether he was a Mormon, a Buddhist, an atheist or a pagan. Same for Obama. Religion should not be a deciding factor in an elected official. Unless we're electing the leader of a church. In which case it would probably be helpful if they were a member of that faith. :)

Elections should be based on social, economic and foreign policy issues. These are the things that we need to know about in order to choose a leader who is in line with our idea of what is best for ourselves personally and the nation in general.

But these are things that require too much thought for (sadly) far too many people. It's much easier to let the attack ads get us riled up - you'll notice that they focus on abortion, health care, marriage equality and the like. That way we can vote based on our feelings rather than on clear, considered thought.

So yeah. I hate the political atmosphere. I hate that both sides are so polarized these days that they can literally get nothing done, screwing their constituents over just so they can toe the party line and get points. Neither side perfectly represents me, I suspect that most (at federal and state levels I'm going to go with *all*) politicians are really just in it for themselves.

I'm sick of this election and I can't wait for it to be *over*.


  1. I understand you are feeling the same way as Abi about politics:) I like your thought about what is considers as cult that any religion starts as a cult. I think this makes sense for any religion.
    I think the attacks not just in the presidential level but also among the state's representatives is too much. Many of these Ads play with words or even sometimes may not be true about the other opponent.
    But, hey, at least you get to vote. A privilege not all citizens of the world have.

    1. I think the video sums up how a lot of people are feeling about this election! I just read an article that says a million political ads have been put out this season. I don't doubt it at all.

      We've been getting political phone calls (robots, of course, so I can't even have any fun with the person on the other end) at 9 at night. On Sundays! That's just...not cool. Not cool at all.

      Oh, yes, it's not just the presidential race that's this terrible. It's all of them. I like to kid my dad about Republicans being so skeezy, but the truth is it's every politician. They're all willing to go to great, terrible lengths to be elected. Lying about their opponents, taking quotes out of context or using only partial quotes. Playing on peoples' emotional weaknesses is only a part of it. And the whole PAC, Super PAC thing has just made it all worse.

      Very true. I take my ability to vote very, very seriously. I've voted in every election since I've been able to. I was raised in a house where the attitude was, 'If you don't vote, you don't get to complain.' Meaning that if you have the ability to vote and you choose not to, then you've forfeited your right to whine when the people elected do things you don't like.

  2. Thank you! I'm with you in that I think people should decide which issues are important to them, figure out which candidates agree with them (most) on those issues, and then go vote for said candidates. But maybe that's just because I'm an self-centered maniac who thinks everybody should do things exactly the way I do them because I'm right and they're wrong. That's what makes me American. (I'm being satirical with those last two sentences, by the way.)

    I went to college in Iowa and was there during the 2004 election. (Remember when there was no inucmbent and neither party really had anyone they could decide on.) And we all know how ridiculously important that state's votes are. I wanted to go down to one of the baseball player's rooms and ask them for a bat to take to my tv. And radio. I'm half-surprised there wasn't propaganda being broadcast from megaphones in the streets.

    There's an ad airing now in the Omaha market-I'm not even sure if it's for anyone, honestly-that has two guys introduce themselves. There's two versions; in one, they say something like "We're sick of attack ads, so we're going to show you some nice scenes from Nebraska," and then do. After they announces themselves in the other one, they say something like, "And now we're going to show you something more pleasant than attack ads," and cut to someone at the dentist. They're probably on YouTube somewhere.

    1. But maybe that's just because I'm an self-centered maniac who thinks everybody should do things exactly the way I do them because I'm right and they're wrong. That's what makes me American.

      I see nothing satirical about this at all. This is the way of the universe! :D I tell people sometimes that they don't have to agree with me, they just have to acknowledge that I'm right. :p

      There probably were people shouting in the streets. You were just lucky enough to miss it. I work for a newspaper down here and we've had people literally walk in off the street and want to rant about their political choice and how they have proof of this or that (for both sides).

      Oh, those sound fun! I'll have to look for them. :)

  3. I enjoyed your post even though you don't care for politics. And what a sad video. Poor kid!

    I'm eager for the election to be over, too. Are people really still undecided at this point?

    Thanks for tackling this topic. I'll only throw marshmallows at you if you want them for making s'mores. :)

    1. See, it's not that I don't care for politics, I don't care for (hate) the personal attacks. The way scare tactics are used to distract people from the actual issues and convince them to make decisions based not on their best interests or anything like reality, but on straw men that the opposition has set up. And both sides do it, all the way down the levels of government. I'm pretty sure the last bastion of non-assholish politics is school government and that ends when they hit highschool.

      I'd guess that anyone who is undecided at this point is either not going to bother voting at all, or they're going to make a snap decision the day they vote.

      All marshmallows are welcome! If I don't make s'mores with them I can use them on top of the sweet potato casserole!

  4. What bothers me about American voting is Americans will vote for someone based on 1 issue, not many. And yes this has to do a lot with those distracting tactics our candidates use. "A" doesn't want abortion so A votes for the candidate who wants to make it illegal regardless of what else they'll do. I just don't get voting that way. It should be a collective decision, not based on one fact especially one that is unlikely to go your way. Its the same for voting based only on gay marriage. You've gotta have some other reasons because it may not happen. Does the good balance the bad? You need to look at the collective objectives not just one piece. Its like deciding a puzzle is complete because you really just like the way that one corner piece looks by itself. Lets forget about what the rest of the puzzle would create.

    1. *nodsnodsnods*

      I need a *like* button on comments.

  5. LOL Thanks. I just want it all to be over myself. Then I can decide if I'm A) A bit nervous about what will happen next or B) Terrified that we will go back to the stone age and as a woman I will have no rights and the middle class will have no probably can tell who I'm voting for LOL


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