Thursday, September 04, 2008

Random Political Thoughts and Opinions

I was all set on Friday morning to offer up a few thoughts about the speeches at the Democratic convention, but then I got caught up in watching Sarah Palin’s introduction on TV. I was too interested in being in the great outdoors and in real life to be at the computer on the weekend. Now I’ve seen much of what the Republicans have to say.

Although I lean toward the Democratic position on many things, I have voted for both parties in the past. There that is my disclaimer. Here are some of my thoughts and opinions:

Anybody who runs for President has to be just a little nuts. And ambitious. I don’t understand the political mindset.

Anybody who brings their family onto the literal political stage is asking for questions about the members of that family and their own place in that family. You can’t trot them out and then cry foul at the questions. And if you didn’t get this ahead of time, I can bet that the “handlers” did and that they were “using” those family members. The Obamas had the girls present for an interview and later regretted it, yet, there were those girls at the convention. All the Palins, except the one in the Army, were at the airport publicly greeting McCain. This is after there were criticisms about family matters. Which way do they want it?????

Many of the comments regarding Bristol Palin weren’t called for. People are making all kinds of assumptions about private matters that they know nothing about. Leave her alone. Yet, it was the family that made the announcement. I wanted to barf when I heard people saying that because the daughter is pg that makes Palin seem more human. Huh? She wasn’t human before?

While it may be sexist to ask how can a woman be in a high office when she has kids at home, etc, it is a legitimate question because we want to know how she will use her time that she will be paid for. Will tax payer money be flying her back and forth to Alaska every weekend? But it does, in some ways, demean the husband in that family. It is NOT true that this hasn’t been brought up regarding Obama. I saw it addressed in a CNN documentary about him and I saw it referred to in print. Michelle Obama mentioned the difficulties for her family when he was in Springfield, and she mentioned that in the White House it would actually be better. How often will he leave the Oval Office to spend time with his kids?

Actually, all the questions regarding Palin being a mother and how can she do it, etc. show that people still regard the mother as the most important parent, rightly or wrongly. But not working doesn’t necessarily mean being emotionally present for the children. I’ve witnessed this more than once with some of my friends, unfortunately. It would be legitimate to have the same concerns regarding all the parents that we’ve sent to war. Emotionally neglected children suffer, even when it is the dad who spends most of his evenings with business clients while climbing the corporate ladder.

As a rural, small town person, I think the real “ism” that came out in regard to Palin is that she isn’t from a city, therefore can’t possibly have what it takes to compete on the big stage. I’ve heard this too many times myself. What city people don’t understand is that in a small town and small school, ordinary people get more opportunity to be leaders than they would in a city.

Political jabs can be entertaining. They can also be misleading, overly simplistic, and sometimes they contain lies cloaked in clever language. There are now several web pages put out by news organizations which purport to compare truth and reality regarding the “facts” and “tax cuts” stated in the speeches. Here's one looking at both sides. I hope thinking people check out the truth from both sides. I don’t count on that. It is easy to be persuaded to a point of view when that is the only one we listen to. Or as my sister said, “They were speaking to the choir.” I’ve checked out several web pages where people post their thoughts and opinions after these speeches. Some of those “choir” members have rather snarky and even hateful opoinions.

When I was listening to Obama, I found myself agreeing with many of his goals. However, the only specific phrase of his speech that stayed with me is “I will ____.” After about a dozen of these statements, I turned to my husband and said, “Huh? In a 24 hour day?” He laughed. Why phrase a goal that needs the cooperation of many people to even hope to accomplish in a way that makes it sound like he himself is doing it all? That is bound to set any politician up for failure.

Lastly, I cannot respect the Cut Taxes mindset. This country has great needs and also a huge debt. It needs to be paid by the generation that is creating it, not by my grandchildren. One of the fact checking websites showed that under each persons’ plans, the taxes would actually rise. I don’t understand that hocus pocus, but a tax preparer told me that he never saw anybody’s taxes go down under the Regan Tax Cut.

My own proposal is that there needs to be an “I’m glad I’m an American” voluntary tax that we, especially the people who have made it big because of our wonderful country, could pay into to help off set our debt. I suppose that has the same chance of success as getting people in our churches to tithe.


  1. The very rich end up paying a smaller per cent of their income in taxes than the poor.
    I like your well balanced approach to this very difficult subject.

  2. what Dr. John said.

    I remember thinking the same thing you did when I heard Obama keep saying, "I will." I think he was trying to be strong....but everyone knows he won't be able to do everything...

  3. by the way, also liked your link to the "truth-o-meter." very balanced.

  4. Every candidate for president says, "I will..." Funny thing is, they need congress to agree with them. This is why I'm in favor of candidates who understand the meaning of the word "cooperation". Neither one of the candidates will be able to fix anything single handed. My greatest concern is which one might end up making things worse. Thanks for your mindful post here, this is a conversation we all need to engage in.


And what do you think?