Category Archives: politics

Some thoughts on shutdown

I don’t talk politics much. It’s a deeply personal subject for most people, but within that very few are fully versed on political topics. I’ll readily admit, I don’t know all the details of every political move made. I only know three things for sure:

1 – I don’t consider myself Republican nor Democrat. I vote based on the individual and their stance, not based on their political party.

2 – I consider myself a conservative. But I’m probably one of the most liberal conservatives you’ll find in that I acknowledge others have different beliefs/wants/needs than I do, and I respect that. I only ask others respect my feelings in return.

3 – I think a multiparty system is crucial. You may be staunchly one party or the other, but you gotta admit you need a check-and-balance brought from the other side.

All that being said, I’ve always felt very thankful to live in a democratic country. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” (Abraham Lincoln) However, as the American public has asked for more laws on one topic or another be made, I’ve slowly felt like our democratic society has started to fade a little. And that fact has scared me.

And I sit here today a solid mix of scared and angry, as our lawmakers refuse to find a compromise on budgets, health care, and who knows what all else (because lets face it, every law passed these days has half a dozen non-associated things attached), leaving our country at a standstill in so many ways. I’m scared of the repercussions of this — things we may not find out about for days, months or even years down the road. I am angry that the country has become so divided. I sometimes wonder if this is how people felt in the time of the civil war, as friends and family sit on opposite sides of the issues. One person is screaming the Republicans are evil. The next screaming the President has become a dictator. And while we bicker amongst each other over what “they” are doing, those in office are treating this whole shutdown like its some sort of game to win. Treating one another like parents with a child throwing a tantrum.

Meanwhile its the American public — the ones who put our politicians into place and who are the ones that our politicians are supposed to be working FOR — that suffers. Families are left wondering how they are going to put food on the table, as government employees are put on furlough. (Meanwhile, Congress still gets paid.)  Others who have saved and dreamed of a vacation to a national park or monument find those dreams and that money go to waste as they are told, “No.” by federal security people. (Except for those who give a proverbial middle finger to barricades. These guys are my heros.) Even worse, those kicked out of their homes because they sit on federal land. Still others, who are in clinical trials are left without medicine. Don’t even get me started on our military not getting to celebrate mass nor having death benefits during the shut down.

The only “positive” spin I could possibly put on this is that at least now we realize how much we rely on our government. And that realization is more than a little bit scary. But perhaps its time we rely on our government less and more on each other.  The Bloggess wrote an amazing blog on this point last week. Perhaps we’ve come to expect too much of “those guys & gals in office” who often seem to be more worried about how they look to fellow politicians and less about how they look to “the people.” They forget its “the people” who gave them their jobs. It’s “the people” being used as a pawn in this game. It’s “the people” who are suffering.

I wish this could be like in the movies, and some one up in office would sit down and read the news and then the constitution and suddenly be inspired to swoop in and fix everything. But this isn’t Hollywood.  I’m not Sandra Bullock and you’re not George Clooney. (Unless you really are, and if you are — hey thanks for reading!) This is America, and there are no special effects nor a script to read.

So what do we do? We help each other. And we think long and hard about who we put in office next. We pray for this shutdown to end soon.

I’ve read more news articles and editorials for and against both sides than I can fully digest. At the end of them all, I can only surmise what I already felt: they’re all wrong. (And I don’t want to hear either side defended in comments, because dammit in the end they are supposed to be leaders… and leaders bring people together not rip them apart.)

I don’t want to hear neither President Obama nor House Speaker John Boehner point fingers any more. I’m tired of hearing, “I’ll negotiate, but only if…” from both sides. I want to scream/cry/beg them all to grow up and work together. Stop being like a bunch of eight-year-olds bickering over who gets the ball first in a big game of HORSE. Because that ball is the lives of Americans, and we’re all getting scared and angry as a whole.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Election Day

I’ve always taken pride in the ability to vote. I was so excited when I finally reached the legal age of being able to vote, and I was actually disappointed that I had to wait until I was 20 to vote in a presidential election.

Today… today election years leave me weary.

I’ve actually looked at this day with fear. This country is so split, and it seems everyone is very passionate in their feelings. I know I’ve felt attacked for supporting the candidate I support… even though I’ve never come right out and stated how I feel.

My request today is to vote with pride in your ability to vote. Vote with YOUR heart and gut. Respect others voting with their hearts, even if they are voting different from you. We’re all in this together, but we all have different points of view. Let’s please respect that.

Hope, fear, worry, and faith

I last wrote in this blog right after the inauguration, when the country’s optimism was high and hope was the feeling in the air. I still stand by my belief that optimism and hope are something we needed and still need. However, with unemployment rates at 1983 levels and home foreclosures happening just down the street on almost every street in America, optimism is hard to find again, and hope seems like a childish feeling in the face of the economy’s harsh reality.

I’ve not written in here in awhile because I’ve been “on the road for work” myself. I’ve been in Texas working with my parents through tax season. I’m grateful for the work, and I honestly enjoy it! It’s at times like this that I wish more than ever I could move Arkansas and Louisiana and bring Texas and Tennessee a lot closer together!!

Working with people’s taxes, I’m amazed how the economy’s downward spiral is a lot like a tornado. Hitting this house and that house, but not touching this other one over here. For every few people that are struggling — praying for a large refund to get through for awhile longer — there’s that random person who is thriving. Their company is growing or they’ve just been able to more effectively manage their money. That random person who is proud of their success, but sometimes I get a sense that there’s this underlying feeling of guilt to be thriving as others struggle.

Personally, I see those people who are thriving as those beacons of hope that we all still need. Hope is not childish or naive. Faith is not a lack of realism. Fear is to be expected. Worry runs rampant today. But I, personally, choose to use all of them together. Worry and fear to feed my desire to keep fighting. Hope and faith give me the determination and ability to win.

38 more days until April 15, 2009