Friday, August 31, 2012

Slip sliding away ...

... on a river of NyQuil, I fell asleep last night as balloons were falling at the RNC.  I heard a lot of Mitt Romney's speech, but mostly it had a dreamlike quality about it.  Not sure if what I heard was really what he said.  But earlier in the evening when the couple who lost their son spoke, and the woman who Mitt helped with her laundry when he came to her house - oh I cried.  I couldn't help myself.  And I wasn't crying simply because the stories were so touching.  I think part of the reason I was crying was because I knew these stories had to be out there.  I surmised a long time ago that Mitt did not talk about his good deeds because it is part of his faith to minister to other people, to do it, not talk about it.  And some of it finally came out.

Full disclosure, I was baptized as a Mormon, when I was a mere 17 years old.  Truthfully, I had a crush on one of the young 'elders' who came to our house and converted me.  So .. my conversion lasted about a year, and then I went back to being your basic Protestant.  But my experience with people of that faith has always been positive and I was SO hoping some of Mitt's goodness would come out.  His reluctance to talk about himself in that fashion has made people accuse him of not having a heart, of being uncaring and only being interested in making money.  I knew that couldn't be true, but I was afraid the truth would not come out.

Now it has.  And now I'd like to see Barack Obama show his compassion and love for his fellow man demonstrated in a personal way - where are his stories?  Does he have any?  Honestly, I doubt it.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tomorrow's voters

I started a new job in July, after leaving a company I worked for - for 25 years.  It was a tough decision but one I needed to make.  One of the biggest adjustments has been to find myself in the midst of several twenty-somethings, right out of college and full of knowledge they think they have. 

Sometimes I feel out of place.

My job is health care, health care I.T. to be more precise.  One of my co-workers in 22 years old and her specialty is medical billing, CPT codes and all of that fun stuff.  That's great but she doesn't know how any of it applies in the real world which is to be expected to some degree.  But what frightens me is how she will say things so casually as if they are fact.

"Y'know Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Medicare."

Before I sprayed my tea out of my nose, I managed to calmly say "No, no he doesn't.  He will have to make changes to it so it can survive, but he does not want to get rid of it.  And if those changes aren't made, Medicare will go broke anyway."

She looked surprised that I apparently disagreed with her "fact".  I mean, wasn't this just KNOWN?

My boss, who knows me from my prior job jumped in and gently explained to my young colleague that it's generally not a good idea to talk about some things at the work place.  Things like - oh - religion and politics.  She seemed surprised by that too but on the other hand, this is the person who looked at me the other day and said "If you don't mind me asking, how much money do you make?"

People wonder why I am so concerned about the youth out there.  They have been told over and over how important a college education is, but no one has told them that every scintilla of information they get there can actually be questioned.  So many don't.  That frightens me. Especially since most universities these days are bastions of liberal thought. 

They learn, are influenced, and they vote. 


Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm glad I didn't vote.

Not too many years ago people would say to me - don't complain - you didn't vote.  And my reply would be that I didn't have to vote to be able to complain, that's what's great about the United States - free speech extends even to people that don't vote!

Why didn't I vote?  Because politics bored me silly and when I tried to pay attention it just didn't sink in.  My eyes would glaze over and off I'd be onto something else.  I'd convinced myself it was all too enormous - the economy, foreign policy, domestic policy, the house, the senate, secretaries of this and secretaries of that.  I knew who the main people were but beyond that - the whole subject didn't compute for me.  I reasoned that I was uninformed and would rather not vote than place an uninformed one. 

I thought I was a democrat because at some time in my life I remembered someone (no idea who) telling me that democrats were the party of the working man, and republicans were for the rich.  So I must be a democrat, right?

Then September 11th happened.

Suddenly I paid attention.  I found myself drawn to the news, day in and day out.  Suddenly, people who I rolled my eyes at in the past when they said they were political junkies started to make sense to me.  I was hooked and I realized - I wasn't a democrat.  Not sure I'm actually a republican either but much more on the right than the left.  It took the next few years for me to realize what I believed and who I believed in and to form strong enough opinions to confidently feel like I could vote as an informed member of the electorate.

In November of 2004 I voted in my first election, ever.  And I voted with both of my children who were voting in their first national elections.  We went together.

Every citizen in this nation has the right to vote.  But I sincerely wish that if they cannot say they are truly informed - they would wait to vote until they are.  Especially in this election.  It is too important to be a popularity contest or a response to the slickest campaign.

I'm glad I didn't vote before I educated myself.  Because I wouldn't have been voting for the right reasons or with the correct information.

I mean really - the People of Walmart vote.  It's scary out there.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do you allow dissent?

Many blogs I frequent are of the crafty sort, full of vintage images and clip art, home ideas, decorating and feminine decor.  Most are not political blogs but sometimes in between the yellowed lace and recipes a political opinion slips in.

Apparently the photo ID thing has some people up in arms, enough to sully their pretty blogs with strident calls to spread the word - thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote because 11 states now have voter ID laws on the books.  The writer also noted that the idea that there is voter fraud is ridiculous, as only 10 cases have been prosecuted in Pennsylvania in the last such n' such years. GASP! 

I confess that I generally do not comment on most of these blogs, I look at the pretty pictures and read a bit of the fluff and move on.  That is what I enjoy about them, not a lot of commitment, they're nice to look at.  But I commented on a post about picture IDs - something to the effect of -

do you really believe that citizens will not be able to vote? Today I went to a casino for lunch (not my usual practice) with some co-workers, and we had to have picture IDs to enter.  If I wanted to buy a pack of cigarettes in the next town over, I would have to produce a photo ID to do it.  And if I wanted to fly on an airplane or buy a bottle of wine, I would need a photo ID to do those things as well.  Also, I live in the Chicago area where people brag about voting early and voting often, so I suspect voter fraud is out there, it's just not being acknowledged or discovered.  So .. the law may keep non-citizens from voting, but citizens?  Not so much.

Curious, I went back to the blog today.  There were several comments agreeing about the voting thing, how requiring photo IDs was unfair and horrible .. but funny .. my comment was not published.  Made me wonder - did anyone else have the position I did - but like the main stream media, they were just ignored too?

Obviously, a blog is rarely objective, and the only rules are ones the blogger wants to have.  But a different opinion that isn't vulgar or abusive or rude being left out?  Seems it's easier to ignore the facts and just play to people's emotions.  Seems to be a lot of that going around these days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MIA and Dear Sweetpea ..

I haven't written here in so long .. and I find myself longing to, daily.  Changes in my life have given me less spare time but one of the main reasons is my daughter.  I could not love this child more, but on politics we disagree.  We don't just disagree, when we try to discuss the issues it makes her cry. I have never quite understood why except that she feels just as strongly about her views as I do about mine, and it distresses her to be so opposed to all I believe, and it distresses me too.  But I never meant for her to see this blog, I created it using a pseudonym to keep it separate from my other non-political blogs and mainly - from her.

But she found it quickly, due to stupidity on my part.  So Honey - please - do not read this blog.  I don't want you to.  I don't want to feel that what I say is directed at you - or worry about what you may be thinking or feeling about what I do write. 

For this post I just want to say the difference between us can be described by some wise words from Rob Lowe - yes - Rob Lowe.  He said "Democrats are long on empathy and Republicans are long on logic." 

So Sweetie - you are a tender-hearted, dear, wonderful woman.  I love you more than I can ever express.  But please - allow me this space - this place - to talk about my beliefs without worrying about hurting you.  And if you read this post and read on anyway - please try to be logical and not emotional about what I say.  If it hurts you - just don't stay.  Please.

I love you.