doesn't actually accomplish anything, does it? And that's pretty much what I've been doing, I think. Sure, there's been one or two readers of my blog who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. There's also been more than one or two readers who appear to be downright apathetic about the election process, this election in particular. But by and large, the rest seem to be of the same frame of mind as I am. Although saying "the rest" may be a misleading turn of words as it would imply a "multitude"of readers, which is not the case. I fear I've lost many of my blogging buddies due to my political obsession of late. I've been spending most of my free time researching the candidates and writing about my concerns regarding one candidate in particular. Unfortunately for me, most people don't seem to want to engage in political discussion. Or maybe they just don't want to engage in political discussion with me (perhaps I come off as too right wing? I can see how it would seem that way, although I'm much more moderate than most Republicans or Democrats I know). Either way, Blogland is becoming a lonely place and, although I realize it's a situation of my own making, knowing that doesn't make it any more enjoyable to get up in the morning only to see an inbox empty of comments.
I'm torn as to what I should do...continue to post about this or shut the heck up about politics and hope I can rebuild some of the blogging relationships that I've run off and/or neglected. Believe it or not, this really is a tough decision to make. I'm honestly afraid that this country is on the verge of electing someone with questionable and dangerous associations in his current life, as well as his past... a person who, for 20 years, was a member of a church that espouses contempt and hatred for "white America", a person who has shown an alarming habit of associating himself with the leaders of a political machine that often put private issues ahead of the public good, and a person who is closely tied with Washington politicians and even some CEOs who are directly responsible for the American public suffering the consequences of the greed and willful blindness of those politicians and business people in matters relating to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. I hear the supporters of Barack Obama throw around words like "hope" and "change" and "dreams" like so much confetti. I've seen ordinary citizens on TV telling the entire world that they are voting for Obama because "he's different" or "we need a change". I've seen ACORN workers on TV telling reporters how they have encouraged people to vote for Obama during their "voter registration drives", even though that is supposedly not the purpose of those drives. I've seen video of poll workers telling voters as they came in to vote during the primaries that "this is Obama's house", then asking how many people inside the voting precinct building were voting for Obama (something that is blatantly illegal to do). I've seen video of Obama campaign workers actually having tables set up inside a voting precinct building during the primaries, ostensibly to provide "help" to those who were having "difficulties" voting. I've seen all of these things, heard many more and have read even more than that about matters that should outrage each and every one of us who enjoy the freedoms of this democracy. But what do I hear? I hear "yeah, the whole process is corrupt" or "so what?" or "what difference does any of that make?". Or, even worse, I hear silence. Our democracy is being corrupted every day and we, as Americans, are too damn lazy, apathetic or blind to care.
You know, maybe I'm just more aware of the consequences than the average American. Everytime I see my husband in uniform, everytime I talk to my son who is stationed half way across the world, everytime I remember the good-byes to family and friends as they've headed to the Middle East to fight the War on Terror, I'm reminded forcefully that freedom isn't free and it is, in fact, something that must be constantly and ferociously protected and guarded. Having a front seat to the sacrifices of our military doesn't make me a better American. That is not what I'm saying. But maybe it makes me more cognizant than others of the price paid for freedom. Maybe it makes me question our leadership a little more because the lives of my husband, my son, our friends and other family members depend on who's leading us. I'm not looking for hope and change and dreams in my president, as pretty as those words may sound. I'm looking for freedom and integrity and progress. If I could believe that Barack Obama could deliver those things, he'd have my vote. But after having done hours upon hours upon hours of research, I've come to believe that he simply is not qualified for the job, nor is his "vision" of America anywhere near the same as mine. His past, as well as his current, associations and connections are with people and groups who have worked, and are still working, to undermine the very values of America that set us apart from the communists, the fascists, the dictatorships and the socialist governments around the world.
I don't want or expect anyone to take my word for anything I've said in these political posts. I would have a hard time respecting anybody who did. We are (or at least we should be) responsible for our own research, our own conclusions and our own votes. My problem comes in when people declare their support for a candidate without doing that research. What is that about and how can you justify it? Do you honestly believe that using words like hope and change are enough? I guess you do. Okay then, I'm willing to give it a shot myself...here goes: I hope you change you mind and do in-depth research yourself, if you haven't already. I hope you get the stars out of your eyes and the cotton out of your ears and start listening and seeing the very real issues in this election. I hope you, along with me and others in this great country of ours, start demanding that our so-called "news" outlets change their policies of being part of the news and go back to simply reporting it. And finally, I hope the change you're hoping for isn't one that signals the end of a democracy and the beginning of a socialist government.
In the meantime, while we're all hoping and changing and dreaming and scheming, I'll be taking a few days off. Got to decide what this blog is for...talking about the things on my mind (of which politics is the main focus these days) or simply reaching out for friendship here in cyberspace. I don't think either purpose is wrong...but I do see where they might be in conflict. Before I sign off, I do feel compelled to throw one more political plea in here...please, please, please research the candidates. As important as voting itself is, it's even more important to cast an informed vote.