Category Archives: politics


When I was studying journalism, I can clearly remember being quite amused by how easy it was to slant a story to say pretty much whatever I wanted it to say. Fast forward to today and that slanting of a story just frustrates me, because it is so rampant in today’s media in general.

I’m proud of the fact that I have a journalism degree. But I’m often ashamed of the field these days.

I can vaguely remember in high school being told at some point that the press was often considered the fourth branch of government.  You have the judicial branch. You have the executive branch. You have the legislative branch. But you also have the press, who is there to hold the other three accountable — who is there to keep the government’s actions transparent to the American people. And while I never was interested in covering government or political issues, I still took that angle of the journalism field very seriously. I still saw that job of the press as being a very noble and important function. Frankly, I still do.

I would describe myself politically is pretty much right down the middle. A friend of mine often says she’s a little left of center. I respond that I’m a little right of center. I think that’s part of what makes us good friends, because we see eye to eye on a lot but respectfully disagree on others.

We respectfully disagree. Remember that.

Perhaps my being more middle of the road is a big part of why I like journalism. I want facts. I like to get down to the bottom of the story. I want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how. People have been known to point out that there seems to be no end to my ability to find stuff out.

I don’t much like opinions, though. They leave me bound up and stressed out. ESPECIALLY in the political world. I don’t want the right attacking the left. I don’t want the left attacking the right. I want the facts about what is happening today. I want people to realize that I’m smart enough to make my own decisions.

I have friends from both ends of the political spectrum. I have strong opinionated liberals I consider dear friends. In the exact same breath I have very strong staunch conservatives that I also consider dear friends. I don’t think either one is wrong. I think this world is big enough for both sides. I just wish we all could acknowledge that we aren’t going to agree on a lot of things. If we could just respectfully disagree.

It’s hard to wade through the slanted media articles to get to the bottom of the story these days.  So-and-so said this. So-and-so did that. He took my doll. She called me a bad name. This woman is an idiot. This guy thinks he knows it all. Between left and right, black and white, male and female, north and south, Christians and atheists… We’re so divided these days it hurts my heart. We can’t seem to respectfully disagree anymore. The stance is all too often, “If you don’t agree with me, you are against me.”

Journalism is feeding that discontent day in and day out.

Discontent sells. Discontent gets more clicks. Sometimes I feel like watching the news or reading it online is like driving down the interstate and coming up on an accident.

The accident isn’t it in your lanes. It’s not even on your side of the interstate. But traffic is going to come to a crawl, as we all turn and rubberneck, searching for someone to blame for this distress.

Searching for someone to blame for our distress. Isn’t that what we’re always doing? Meanwhile we are so busy looking at the accident on the other side of the interstate, we’ve missed the fact that we’re about to cause another accident on our side.

You can apply this same principle to our political leanings.  We’re so busy pointing fingers at the other side, we’re not looking closely at what we’re doing on our own side. We’re so busy butting heads that we don’t see what we actually agree on anymore. We no longer seem to ever respectfully disagree.

And I’ll be honest, I blame the media for a lot of this. Because discontent does sell. People often aren’t mad about something until they’re told they’re supposed to be mad about it. Maybe if people got strictly the facts. Maybe if people got both sides of a story. Maybe they’d have to make their own decisions. And, within that, maybe we’d all find ourselves a little more understanding and tolerant of each other.



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.