Friday, February 22, 2008

A REAL blog...

I am actually going to do something that I haven't done in YEARS. Just write a blog. Hmmm....

This began as an email to my very dear friend DG, but I don't think she deserved to have my politically charged, moderately liberal inspired idealism distract her from her chilly Friday morning at work. So I'll share with everyone in blogger land instead.

Ok...here goes....

I am enamored with Barack Obama. He is highly intelligent and can say more than 2 syllable words as well as pronounce difficult foreign leader's names (unlike the current "commander" in chief.) That may come from years of others mispronouncing his own unique name, and now that I have married into a name that no one can ever get right, I appreciate it even more.

I enjoy seeing Barack thinking before he speaks, even going as far as writing it down so he won't forget, as opposed to just thinking about what he wants to say next, which is what the rest of us are usually doing when we're conversing. After which, he puts his pen down so he can then continue to actively listen to his opponent, usually Ms. Clinton, when they are in the throws of debate. That is something my husband has done in the past, whether at work, or a mediation meeting during our custody case. The mediator complimented him several times for this by the way, as it was rare to see in a supposed "intimidating" man such as my husband was claimed to be many a time during that whole process.

So, maybe it's because Obama shares that trait with my own wonderful husband, or perhaps because it is such a rare trait among politicians, but I really am impressed with that quality. You know, thinking....processing....listening before speaking. As my husband says from his military experience in the field with a radio, we must all learn to "Think...Push....Talk." Never break up that order or you will find yourself in a potentially precarious position.

Or perhaps it comes down to the fact that since our forefathers risked their lives to be treasonous against their own mother country, all for the hope of something better...well that whole HOPE thing really strikes a chord with me. My husband has a book written by a General in the Army (I believe it was a general) several years ago called Hope Is Not A Method. I would like Obama to prove him wrong. Hope is the one thing Pandora left in that box for all of us. And as old as history Hope has been the one thing that has saved humanity in the most horrific afflictions we impose on each other. It was audacious of Barack to think we were ready for hope now, but I really believe we are. That's why the following is so huge for his movement. We want to hope again, to dream again, to live in the present moment while preparing for the future again. We are tired of living in the fears of the past.

I also think it's so past time for there to be diversity in gender or race in the oval office, and it's embarrassing that there will still be people (both democrats and republicans) voting against these fine candidates solely based on that reason. Although I try to give our country a break, as we are only a few hundred years old compared with other democracies who have broken down some barriers there. And as far as our forefather's vision, I'm so glad DG mentioned that to me yesterday, because that's precisely the main reason I first decided for Obama.

I think it's odd when people mention his lack of experience. He has had more experience in congress than our first president had. I think the forefathers envisioned a country where there weren't lifetime career politicians. Where the average man of humble beginnings could grow up to be president. I don't think they would be very happy with the lobbyists and politicians "in bed" together (sorry McCain I don't really mean that literally!) or with special interest groups funding politicians to have their needs/wants/best interests represented over those of the people. And if we need to elect someone less experienced in all those things to get there, then that's a good thing.

I have also continued to hear the concern expressed that no one really knows what Barack is for. Well....you can find his blueprint for America, as well as his stance on every issue here-
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

I think all the candidates are actually easier to track with this wonderful thing called the Internet. There's one to add to the plus side of the pros/cons list.
And in the interest of fairness here are the links for the other three candidates on both sides of the contest:

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/
http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/
http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.Home

One person recently mentioned to me that they are concerned that they heard that one person Barack idolizes (their term not mine as I hadn't heard about this) a Communist. Frankly, this is an old fashioned fear that I really thought we got over with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and former USSR. Maybe it's because I grew up with that wall ever present in my thoughts, or maybe it's because the red scare of the 50's was so important to me growing up in the theatre. I couldn't imagine a culturally broad crowd mentality ready to string up folks in the liberal entertainment industry, blacklisting and deporting of hundreds (thousands?) of people simply because they went to a meeting about communism. Although...I was alerted to similar happenings here after 9/11 involving Muslims when I read Eat Pray Love.

Now this may put me on some scary GWB DHS list of citizens with concerning viewpoints....but I'm not ever overly concerned about communism or socialism or religious diversity.

As far as socioeconomic philosophies, I think communism and socialism are actually very lovely in theory (everyone gets a fair share.) I also feel regretably that, when mistaken as a form of government they then fall privy to the pitfalls of all governments, including the one we hold near and dear, with horrible corruption. Unfortunately, any governments, or philosophies differing in theory from our own have been subject to tons of propaganda from our capitalistic point of view that they are all forms of fascism or dictatorship, which by the way are not all mutually inclusive with communist or socialist theory.

In light of the fact that we are living in a free country, I should be allowed to consider, think about, discuss any form of government /philosophy without having my patriotism questioned. That's one of the most beautiful things about a democratic society. The right to be heard without the worry of persecution.

I've also heard folks say they're concerned Obama's dad was a Muslim. The fact that we're still so prejudice in the country against Muslims is another side effect of Bush's regime. As a Unitarian Universalist, I embrace the good in all world religions as well as shun the bad in all world religions. The Islamic religion, the original deal, is actually one of the most beautiful, accepting, women empowering religions in all of history. And Jihad has nothing on the long and sordid history of women oppressing, bashing all other religions, torturing people til they convert- Christianity. ALL the major world religions have underlying beautifully similar messages- mostly the ever present "Golden Rule". And ALL world religions have at one time or another been used to oppress and torture people.

In other words, “As long as there has been one true God, there has been killing in his name.” ~The DaVinci Code

So there you have it. My thoughts on this crazy thing we call politics. And why, though I have been proud at times, and disgusted at others, both grateful and privileged as well as concerned and overwhelmed, while I have enjoyed the freedom to work to raise awareness on causes near and dear to my heart, while I have always known I was fortunate to be born in this amazing land of opportunities...

for the very first time in my 39.8 years on this planet...I am excited to be an American.

7 comments:

tiggysmum70 said...

I have enjoyed reading your viewpoint on Mr Obama.

The few things I see that he "stands" go against my conservative core. I do no want more government in my life. Less is best. Our country thrived on less government all through its history. Now, our government wants to legislate health care.

Being a part of a partial national health care system as an army wife, I find that what they are asking for is downright crazy. There are certain things our health care doesn't want to cover b/c they don't see it as life changed or necessary. Well, if the doctors didn't ask for then I would agree. Having just a family doctor as your OB/GYN instead of a doctor specilaized in that field scares me. Especially if there are complications that a family doctor would not know to look for. There have been babies born with major problems b/c the family doctor didn't realize the baby was in danger, an OB would have. Now these children will have challenges in front of the for the rest of their lives and who do they have to thank.... the US Army and their insurance company.

Requiring you to purchase or sign up for their health care program while they are not too is just out right wrong. Why should the American people have to wait for life changing proceedures or medicines all the while they are able to go to any dr they want, have the necessary surgeries they need, and benefit from the private sector?

We need to be able to make our own decisions and quit letting the courts, congress, and yes, the President make them for us. The more we let our government into our lives, the more they control. The more they control the more freedoms we loose. The more freedoms we loose the less of a Republic we become. When this happens we have totaliarian rule. This is not what I want for my sons or their families in the future.

I apologize for the long post, but I just wanted to share my thoughts w/ you too. HUGS!!!!!!

state of grace said...

Tigs,

Thanks for your detailed comments.

Of course I have been leaning liberal all my life, placing civil rights above private corporations. This has led me to never be able to stray to the right, even being married to a conservative former Army major.

Interestingly, my husband and I sit comfortably side by side, with him to my right, and me to his left. On most issues we are amazingly in sync, which keeps us engaged in an easy discourse during this incredibly exciting election period.


Regarding health care, having worked in the field for over 10 years, I have a different perspective. I would like to see privatized insurance made competitive by letting the people purchase it directly, rather than employers dictating what benefits, if any, we can choose from. I would like to see it change to the way fire, auto, and life insurance are run, an a la cart system if you will.

But...I do feel all should be entitled to affordable health care, and as long as the insurance cos and pharmaceutical cos have a hold on DC, that just won't happen.

Unfortunately, speaking of illnesses, I am very ill, just out of bed for the first time since Fri night. So that's the best response I can offer you at the present moment :)

Hugs to you,

Z

Design Goddess said...

I agree that this is an amazing country where you can have and express your thoughts and beliefs without fear of persecution. It is great, isn't it?!

Barack is an intelligent person, never said he wasn't. And it is good that he's actually being attentive during the debates. However, in your fear of people voting against him b/c of his race, I have the same fear that many will vote for him b/c of his race (and for Clinton b/c of her gender). People say "Nah. There aren't that many out there that are like that." However, I think they're being slightly naive. I've heard countless people say they're going to vote for Hillary based solely on her gender. They have NO idea what she stands for or believes in.

As with anything, it's the extremists of the group that give others the impression of their "goodness" or "badness." I don't believe ALL Muslims are bad. I know a few and they're not crazy like some. It's those extremists who say their religion is one of "peace" and at the same time have NO qualms about beheading people "in the name of Allah." There is a movement that wants Sharia Lawto become OUR law here in America....and anywhere there is freedom. That frightens me.

I also don't believe all liberals are nutjobs. It's those extremists who want everything to be equal for everybody. But you know what? We already HAVE equality. Everyone has the same freedom to make their life what they want it to be. Some choose to remain where they are while others do anything and everything in their power to make a better life for themselves and for their family. Plus, I don't think that you can make things equal and still remain a free society. I think it's just impossible.

On to health care. I believe the gov't should not be involved. If the gov't did get out, then the ins co's and drug co's wouldn't have to grease the palms of the gov't in order to get what they want.

Also, employers don't have to provide health insurance, as well as employees don't have to take it. One could purchase their own plan and not the one of their employer. I did that and it worked for what I needed until I was eligible for it where I worked.

I just don't see how the gov't "giving" us health care is going to work. Who's going to pay for it? We are! So what's the difference? We pay for many to have Medicaid already. Now we'll have to pay for everyone?! Doesn't seem right to me.

I guess I am just finding out that I am more conservative than I thought. Although, not an extreme conservative! And I do appreciate the differences we all have b/c if we were all the same, we wouldn't be able to have wonderful discussions like this! :)

Hope you're feeling better!!!

state of grace said...

Feeling better...I think I should like to go for a walk!

Sorry. That's from Holy Grail which we watched a few weeks ago. I'm not quite up for walking yet but finally am able to walk further away than my WC.

I do appreciate our differences. I think as you go on through your 30's in particular (as I'm just leaving mine in a few short months) you start to realize who you are and what you believe in even more.

I know that everyone has a different view point on this stuff, and sometimes I am on the fence about which candidate I really want- change/hope or what we know. I think that I understand some of the feelings you guys have about Obama in that I felt the same way when Clinton left office. We had eight years of what I feel to be the best economic and peaceful years during my lifetime. You are about the same age I was when Bush took office. I remember being very worried about what this unknown would bring. And I saw my fears realized in all that changed the next 7 years. The cost of that change, is now influencing the excitement you see around a positive mindset. Barack does inspire hope. That we can all do and have better.

And I really don't feel as many will vote based on color or gender FOR a candidate, as I am older than you both and have seen this dance before. The candidates this time had to be incredibly viable to OVERCOME their gender and race. No one else ever has accomplished this in my lifetime. Besides Obama is getting a huge women voter turnout and Clinton is getting a huge black voter turnout, so I don't think we are all simply backing our own.

We are just crazy idealists who think enough is enough as far as war, the ever shrinking middle class, jobs going overseas or south of the border to the cheapest bidder...etc...

And as always...we agree to disagree and I still love you both:)

tiggysmum70 said...

I agree with DG in the fact that gov't should stay out of health care. The state of Tennessee tried this whole pay for health care and it bankrupted the state. I just don't think our gov't is that efficient to run our health care system. Heck look at Social Security and Medicare.... they're a mess.

Having affordable health care is the option. Lest we forget it was those who went on a lawsuit happy jont that brought us some of our high prices.

I just hope and pray that who ever is elected by the majority knows where the American people stand.

I personally do not want national health care, illegal immigrants to get citizenship w/o being her legally, and for us to hastily pull out of the middle east. All those are important to me.

Again, we all agree to disagree and that's why the world goes around.

Kingcover said...

And after your good and helpful advice through this post she STILL went and voted for Billary! ;-)
I read what DG had to say about Sharia Law - they are trying to bring it into force over here in the UK also. Not a good idea b/c then people will be able to choose what law they want to live under and if they find themselves in trouble under one they can switch to the other one. I believe that if someone comes to a country they should learn to abide by their adopted country's rules and regulations. I don't see that any Muslim countries would change their laws to suit 'western people' coming to live on their territories.

state of grace said...

Oh KC,

Now I'm pretty sure neither DG nor Tigs voted for Senator Clinton. Though she is my obvious second choice. If she goes all the way and offeren Barack VP I would happily check the box.

Speaking of, we had some voter issues on Tue here as a woman was given an "Issues Only" ballot and cast it before getting to vote for the primary as a democrat. She had to vote provisionally.

I'm not very concerned about this Sharia law thing. Our country doesn't historically adopt foreign law as our own, although a little prison in Cuba does come to mind. But hey! When in Rome, yes?

We do like to impose our form of government and laws on other countries though, which we share with the UK, as unfortunately you know all too well I suppose being in Ireland :( Long live Colonialism!

Z