My thoughts on Election 2012

I’m going to end up voting for someone who I often don’t agree with. That’s me. I’m a centrist/independent. Got that from my dad. And while I admire my choice for the presidency, I don’t worship him. It’s just that overall, I either agree with him more than I do his opponent or I’veĀ found something in his opponent that I don’t like enough to make sure my vote goes against that person.

The guy I won’t be voting for is not someone that I’m going to take the time to hate. In fact, I admire him and I admire the fact that he loves this country enough to put himself one the line here. He obviously is dedicated to America. And I don’t hold in disdain the people who will be voting for him.

One of the things that has disappointed me the most about this elections is that it has been almost completely void of ideas.

We’re at war. We’ve been at war for over ten years now. We need to develop some sort of strategic vision as to how we are going to face the international challenges over the next half century. The ascension of China and India in the world stage and how we will adapt economically and, to an extent, militarily. Add Latin America to that. The rise of political Islam in some countries. How we will maintain an energy policy that will meet our needs yet now harm the environment. How we will a changing Europe.

We’re in a complete economic flux. Our manufacturing base is all but disappearing. Technological implementations mean more productivity with less employment. Stagnant wages brought on by international competition and, yes, the amount of illegal immigrants/undocumented workers that move into the employment pool. All of this has lead to an increase in income disparity while, from what I can gather, less upward mobility. For some, that means less hope for a prosperous future. We may be creating a permanent underclass…one that seems to be very easy to pick on. It seems the powerful in both parties don’t address any issues related to poverty.

Our environment is a mess. Yeah, I believe that climate change exists. And I also believe that we’ve yet to understand the ramifications of it. I’ve also read where something like 40% of our lakes, rivers, and streams are too polluted to swim in or eat fish from. The Chesapeake Bay has huge dead zones where nothing exists.

And lastly, this election shows me once again, we are a divided nation. Hateful rhetoric thrives here. Whether it’s from the actual political arena of from many of you here on Facebook.

Obama is a communist. Romney voters are racists. The poor are lazy and want handouts. The rich are greedy. Whoever votes for the other guy is an idiot.

I could go on. In fact, I will.

I’ve seen Catholicism attacked for standing up on its principles. I’ve seen Mormonism defined as a cult. I’ve see gays attacked for hateful religious reasons when all they want is to be accepted. I’ve seen Muslims deemed as potential terrorists. I’ve seen loosely veiled attacks on blacks as somehow being less American than whites. I’ve seen hardworking business owners positioned as being selfish all the while I’ve seen hardworking employees who may be struggling being positioned as playing the role of being victims. I’ve seen women attacked for considering having an abortion. I’ve seen conservative Christians openly attacked as being morons. I’ve seen government workers get attacked for not having a real job.

Fuck all that.

Most of these simplistic, stupid digital posterboards trashing one side or the other show no interest is improving the country. Sure, some of them are funny, some may raise legitimate points. But most don’t say much being “the other side sucks”.

I’ve seen a lot of vicious battles here on Facebook over the past few months. Got a few arrows in my back and I’ve had to remove an ax or two from my forehead. I’ve seen a lot of people that I’ve come to admire make, what I consider to be, idiotic comments, predictions, etc. I’m sure post-election I’ll regain some of the respect I’ve had for them as it has been tarnished. But it disappoints me that from so many I saw so little. Work to make a better America? No…my side is so right and we’re doomed to hell if the asshole on the other side wins.

Either way, I’ll predict that no matter who will win, at the end of their term in 2016, the republic will still stand. We’ll still be America, an awesome country overall.

Suggestion: if you bitched about how this country is or how it will be under the other guy, you may want to try doing the following over the next four years.

Mentor a disadvantaged kid who needs a break, who needs someone who has faith in him or her.

Thank a veteran who took time out of his or her life to potentially put his life on the line for all of us.

Talk to someone who you normally can’t relate to…a small business owner who has to deal with government regulations, a social worker who deals with unimaginable stories, a person who’s lost their job and has come to the realization that their way of life ain’t coming back, a recent immigrant from another country (legal or illegal) who can speak on how America can likely offer more opportunity. This country isn’t just about you and the issues that you’ve come to feel are the most important.

Vote. And after you vote, get off your high horse and get off your ass and make this a better country. That’s what I intend to do.

Peace.

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