Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Step Up, America

I may regret having written this when I'm a 53-year-old, hard-boiled, conservative mother of three living in Casper, Wyoming - which is the EXACT life plan I've made for myself - but I need to say something.

America, I love you. I love our form of government, I believe we are a people of ideals and compassion and brotherhood. I believe that we have the potential to be truly great, not just in rhetoric, but in actual practice. At the same time, I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't been bitterly disappointed with your voting habits the last 8 years. Obviously. I think George W. Bush's administration will truly and deservedly go down in history as the absolute worst we have ever suffered under. Just fucking awful. I'm not saying it couldn't have been worse. I don't live in Georgia or Zimbabwe or some other country that suffers from leadership ranging from poor to fucking EVIL. But for America, we have certainly experienced our own personal worst. Indeed, we're lucky that thusfar W. Bush has been the worst. But that's all the more reason for an outcry against him - so that we never let our standard for amazing leadership falter. Maybe that is how we remain in our position, by chastizing those who even let us down a little - as a warning for those who would do worse. (And, while no Mugabe, President Bush let us down far, far more than a little) Anyway, I'm getting off track. Here's my point.


I may have a nervous breakdown if McCain wins. It's not that McCain the Man is so awful. I like the guy. For one thing, he was in a really solid episode of SNL that remains one of my favorites. His politics, well, his former politics, were of a pretty good sort for a Republican. Now, of course, he has ceased to be John McCain and is instead this newly made over GOPCain. It's like the GOP swooped in on the brunette with the glasses and gave her blonde hair and contacts, but I LIKED the brunette in glasses. That's why I AM one. Sure, he blows up at people sometimes. But so did Walt Disney. People are flawed. I just don't want him to be my President because of allllllllllllllllll the mess that would come with him. And especially when the alternative is Barack Obama, who, after his speech at the DCM, has officially earned my fervent hero worship. Seriously, Obama is it, you guys. We are at a turning point in history where things could get really amazing for this country again or fucking worse and worse and worse and WORSE. On every level. Economically, spiritually, abroad, in civil rights, in equal rights . . . just EVERYTHING. We have the opportunity not just to repair and re-stabilize ourselves, but to make things BETTER. I keep using all caps. I'm sorry. But I'm excitable.

And then there's McCain's VP pick - Sarah Palin. We can talk about this issue of her daughter getting pregnant out of wedlock, but frankly, that doesn't work for me because I think people should have the right to live their lives and make mistakes. Sure, it's not the ideal way to have a child - by accident - but the public hasn't the ability or the right to judge whether a) she'll make a good parent, or b) her becoming pregnant was the result of bad parenting on Sarah Palin's part. We don't know anything about it and it has nothing to do with whether or not she is a good politician, much like Bill Clinton and John Edwards' infidelity has nothing to do with their governing abilities (yet the right wing looooooooooves talking about that, which is so obviously hypocritical that it seems outright ridiculous to state it here).

We can, however, talk about her earmarking funds for Alaska, her association with a party that wants Alaska to secede from the Union, and her association with a 527 group -- all of THAT is extremely valid. It's completely ridiculous that McCain's camp is trying to shut off questions about whether she was sufficiently vetted. Which, in my opinion, she was not. Not at all.

[Read all about Sarah Palin's effect on Alaska in an amazing reader comment here.]

So what kind of political judgement does this show on McCain's part? Well, for one, it shows that he can be heavily swayed by conservative opinion. Do we want that in a president? He chose her because she is staunchly conservative AND religious. So religious, in fact, that she's a BELIEVER IN CREATIONISM. She wants a goddamned religious tale to be taught in schools as if it were a science. I can't think of anything the Founding Fathers would have hated more. For one thing, they were not Fundamentalists, as Creationists are. Christian Fundamentalism is a movement that didn't even start until the 20th century. That's what always pisses me off with this argument about us being a Christian nation. But we were founded on the principle that we could be a nation where people could be ANY religion. I don't understand how they continually get away with this bullshit. Am I to understand that America of the 20th and 21st centuries is a LESS RATIONAL nation than that of the 18th and 19th centuries. Why this disdain for reason and science? Are you fucking telling me that it's possible that the first female VP we might have in office is fucking bananas? Oh, sexist men everywhere would loooove that, wouldn't they? "See, women are irrational creatures driven by their emotions (faith) rather than reason (science)."

Sarah Palin is the very worst kind of woman we could be promoting right now, in the wake of Hillary Clinton's inroads. Hillary Clinton is a true stateswoman. Sarah Palin is a cipher and any self-respecting woman of principle and reason will have nothing to do with her. I pray we have enough of those in this country.

I know I'm not saying anything new here. I'm just echoing what every other person with sense in this country is saying. But I needed to rant this one out of my system.


When I seriously start considering the idea of Obama losing, I begin to weep. That's not an exaggeration. The other day in the car, I pictured watching the election results with people and when I thought of them being in favor of McCain, I began to cry. Because I don't know a lot of things, like whether or not there is a God. But here are two things I know with every fiber of my being and would be willing to argue with anyone on until I had no breath left in my body:

1. All men are created equal, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
2. Voting for Barack Obama is correct and voting for John McCain is incorrect.

I feel with every fiber of my being that I am right about these two issues - and that anyone who doesn't share my opinion is wrong. I don't say that often. I like to think I am open-minded and compassionate, but if you aren't planning on voting for Barack Obama, I feel a disconnection from you on a profound level. I understand now how religious people must feel about their particular religion. People who try to save my soul by convincing me to accept Jesus into my heart - this is the same assurance I feel about voting for Obama. I'm not trying to say he's Jesus. I'm just saying that I get the conviction now, the conviction that there is only one correct answer to something. Which is why--


Yes, I will suffer such a sad and oh so painful breakdown of faith in my country and my countrymen, that I think a blood vessel in my brain might burst. I cannot accept that more of us are insane than sane, irrational than rational, conservative than progressive. Oh. My. God. Just the thought is enough to light a passion in me that causes me to write a blog entry that goes on for five days, clearly. I can't even talk about the issues with people. Like, my father, who says he's undecided and lives in Nevada (and voted for Bush - twice). What I should be doing is calling him daily and talking to him about a different issue, until I calmly convince him that Obama is the correct choice. But I am off my rocker about this. I am so convinced that I'm right and that the alternative is terrible that instead of remaining calm and swaying my dad's opinion, I just have the urge to yell, ARE YOU MAD? WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE TO DISCUSS THIS? JUST ELECT THE MAN ALREADY!

And that's not a sound argument.

I don't know how to end this crazy rant. Except to say that my sanity is on the line here and, even though I know it's the right thing to do for this country already, I need you to vote for Obama if only so that I don't turn into a crazy bag lady, wandering the streets and eating bugs and shouting Obama's DNC speech on street corners, wearing a dress made out of his bumper stickers.

Also, I love Samantha Bee dearly.