Sunday, August 26, 2012

Muckety Mucks Running Amok

In the immortal words of Goofball in the fictional film "Weekend at Party Pier"...
"We're bein' invaded!"

Yep. Our city is currently being overrun by Republican delegates and big wigs who are here for the Republican National Convention, along with the media circus here to cover it, and the accompanying protesters. Apparently, we've already had credible threats of anarchist attacks, and rumors of plans to blow up our bridges. Oh joy.

We were half hoping Tropical Storm Isaac would head this way. At least that might have kept some of the crazy away. But I guess even Isaac has enough sense to avoid the area this week. We'll just get a glancing blow from him... a few sqalls and enough of a gusty breeze to be really annoying to any of the talking heads who's hair isn't shellacked.

I can only think of one other thing that would be as bad as being invaded by a bunch of Republicans, and that would be being invaded by a bunch of Democrats. (Charlotte, NC will have that dubious honor next week.)

It's not quite September yet and I don't know about you, but I'm already sick and tired of the negative political ads. Mr. RM and I have been exposed to a constant stream of vitriol and mud-slinging rhetoric for the last couple months every time we turn on the TV. I suppose the onslaught of these ads is due to Florida being a swing state. All I know is that we've now started changing the channel whenever one comes on. I'm not sure how much more we can take. We may have to give up TV altogether before election day finally rolls around. (That probably wouldn't be a bad thing.)

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather hear what a candidate has to say about him- or herself and what they hope to accomplish if elected. I think that's more important than what a candidate has to say about their opponent. If most of your ads are devoted to tearing down the other guy, what does that say about you? Is your platform so weak that pointing fingers at the opposition is your best political move? Tell me why I should vote for YOU, not why you think I shouldn't vote for the other guy.

I saw a report on the news a while back that said studies indicate the negative ads are more effective in swaying people's opinions of a candidate. What that says about our society saddens me.

I am disgusted by the current state of politics in our nation. I think the two-party system is broken. Both parties have become so polarized that they refuse to compromise, cooperate and work together. How can they possibly lead our country?

A couple weeks ago, a pollster called and asked which candidate I was leaning toward in the upcoming election, Obama or Romney? I said "Neither one."

Pollster: "So you haven't made up your mind yet?"

Me: "Oh I've made up my mind... I cannot, in good conscience, vote for either of those two candidates."

Pollster: "Ha ha ha! No, really... if the election was tomorrow, who would you vote for?"

Me: "None of the above."

I am registered as an independent. I don't vote for candidates based on party lines. I look at where each candidate stands on issues that are important to me, and then vote for whichever one's views lie closest to my own. And generally, my ballots end up pretty even split between parties.

Honestly, I don't know how I will vote when I cast my ballot in November. I only know for sure who I WON'T be voting for... and it has nothing to do with party politics. I can't vote for a man who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to drive from Boston to Ontario with the family dog strapped to the top of car in a kennel.

Romney said in another interview that he didn't realize it wasn't legal to do that. To me, legality has nothing to do with it! It's plain old common sense! You don't drive 12 hours on the highway with a dog in a crate on top of the car. Period. If a person lacks the common sense to realize it's wrong (or at the very least questionable) to do that, they sure as hell can't possibly have enough common sense to run the country. So I will not be voting for Mitt Romney.

That being said, I'm not enamored with Obama either. Granted, he inherited the bulk of America's current problems, and it does take time to get things corrected. Still, I'm disappointed at the lack of progress he's made, even though an absence of cooperation and party bickering in Congress has hindered any forward movement.

This election year, I'll be looking into candidates from outside the two major parties. I don't know much about them yet, or even who they are aside from Ron Paul... I haven't had time to read up on them. If I find I can't feel comfortable voting for any of them, I suppose I'll just write in a vote. For whom, I don't know. Maybe Stephen Colbert.

I know a lot of people will say I'd just be throwing away my vote if it doesn't go to one of the two major party candidates. But ya know what? If enough people who feel disenfranchised by our current political system voted their true conscience, maybe soon we'd actually have more than two strong parties. Imagine a Congress that had enough representatives from several parties to break the current cycle of my side/your side bullshit in Washington, DC.

A true multi-party democracy... it could be a beautiful thing.

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