And then I went to get my free Starbucks.

November 4, 2008

Obama HOPE

We only waited about 15 minutes in our voting line this morning, but Gruff and I were prepared: a hot cup of coffee in my travel mug, a diaper bag stocked with snacks and a change of clothes, Smooch’s mini backpack full of toys, and the travel potty and an extra blanket in the understorage of the stroller, just in case we were outside in a line for hours. Because however long it took? We were going to vote this morning, and it was going to be worth it.


It’s getting political in here again. (Wait, don’t everybody leave at once!)

February 7, 2008

I’ve been doing my homework. (Aren’t you proud of me?)

When I sat down to watch the first debate, I even took notes. There were a lot of phrases bandied about that I was just not familiar with. So I’ve got a scribbled little sheet of paper that says things like “Petraus Doctrine” and “socialized medicine.”

(I’m thinking of putting it in my scrapbook – maybe with red, white, and blue background paper, and little “I Voted” stickers, and a headline like, “You Gotta Learn Sometime” or “LEARN OR DIE.” Maybe “Vote Your Conscience 2008”? Just to memorialize this occasion, you know.)

Anyway. So I’ve done some Googling and some reading-up on all those little notes I took. I’ve been watching news pundits and so-called political experts. I missed at least one debate – didn’t realize it was on until I saw the debriefing the following morning – but I did see the Republican debate in Boca Raton a while ago. (By the way, we lived down there for four years. It’s Boca Ruh-TONE, not Boca Ruh-TONN. Those experts don’t get everything right.)

I’ve actually been working on this post for weeks. I’m struggling with how to approach this subject – I know that there are plenty of people who already know who they’re voting for and who think that undecideds like me must be stupid to not have it figured out yet. There are people who simply don’t want to talk politics – or read it on blogs. And quite frankly? I feel childish and silly, and I’m afraid that anything I say on this subject will make people think I’m an idiot. So there you have it – total transparency.

Now that Super Tuesday has come and gone, I think I’ve heard dozens of ideas about who should have won this state or that one, and why they did or didn’t. Theories about who will drop out of the race next, and what that will mean for the remaining candidates. Who has spent the most money, or launched the most negative ads, or visited the most communities. And even with all this information and pseudo-information… 

 I’m still Undecided, on both sides of the aisle.

 A conversation with my brother – three years my junior, living in a southern state that participated in Super Tuesday – revealed that he was voting for someone I never thought he would choose. Once he started to lay out his reasons, though, I started to see his point: his dissatisfaction with certain candidates’ histories, positions, experience, and ties; his excitement about his candidate’s campaign all made sense.

At least, they made sense until I turned on the news and heard the exact opposite position being expounded! What’s a girl to do? I’ve been enjoying the varying points of view at BlogHer, and this post by Mother Goose Mouse is thoughtful and links to On The Issues, which was helpful as well. Luckily, I still have ages to go until I cast my primary ballot, which means I have time to keep reading, watching, listening, and asking.

Hopefully, the next time I sit down to write a political post, I’ll know what I’m doing.

Of the people, by the people, for the people

January 4, 2008

I nearly feel like this should be a guest post over at Karen’s. I have a secret, too.

I really hate politics. Actually, that’s not true. I can’t seem to muster up the energy to even hate politics. I just don’t care about politics.

Over the years, I have had a variety of inner-monologue excuses for this apathy. The problem is, most of my ‘reasons’ just don’t hold water anymore, and I’m starting to feel guilty about my ignorant bliss. Take, for instance, the Big Three things I keep telling myself:

I’m too young to worry about politics.
The problem is, I’m really getting too old to claim this one. I’m 27 – on the downward slope to thirty! Besides which, I have so many of those “maturity” check-boxes filled in by now (married, mother, homeowner), I really shouldn’t be trying to weasel out of it.

I’m only living here for a short time, so it doesn’t matter if I don’t get educated or involved.
We bought a house this summer, and my big justification for staying firmly out-of-the-loop on local issues is gone. We’re invested, with our time and our money, in this town and state for the next four years at least.

I don’t know anything about {foreign policy/the economy/immigration/tax reform/fill-in-the-hot-topic}.
And here lies the crux of the matter. I should be more ashamed to admit this, but I just feel resigned to it: I don’t know much about a lot of big world issues. I know a LOT of things about a few important subjects, mainly education and child-development related, but somehow? All of that stuff they told me in high school about economics went in one ear and out the other. I have a horrible sense of geography and can’t keep my historical facts in order to save my life. I watch the news, I try to get a grasp on this nation’s conflict or that one’s hold on oil, and two days later I can’t remember if they were talking about Namibia or Gambia.

I realized last night, as Gruff watched three or four channels’ coverage of the Iowa Caucuses, that it’s probably about time I got my shit together and learned a little more about this stuff. At the very least, I ought to do my research on the candidates who’re running for President this year. But it’s a slippery slope, ain’t it? Once I learn about the candidates – their positions on big “hot-button” issues and their policies on big world matters – I need to figure out how it applies to me, how it matches up with my worldview. The hot-buttons are probably simpler; I’m sure I have an opinion on at least a few of those. But the ones I don’t understand? The ones that seem to be all shades of gray, with no black or white discernable? That’s going to lead to more research, more learning.

 And really, who has the time?

Which brings me back to my original point. I hate politics.