Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All I'm askin...

I dislike politics. Well, I am intrigued by them, but discussing them is not something I enjoy. But I am going to do it - sort of.

If you haven't been sitting in your 1950's bomb cellar you may have heard whispers of a certain speech that was given today to our nation's school-attending children. It was given by a man who goes by President Obama. Heard of him? Thank goodness the speech is over. If I had to hear one more Yay or Nay about it I think I would have to remove myself from the internet and Facebook forever! (Crap, does this mean that I am going to have to give up FB? Because certainly people are going to update over and over about it. Forever.)

Do I have to agree with his exact wordage? Do I have to agree with his health policy? It doesn't matter because I do agree with the basic message of today's speech - education, education, perseverance, accountability. I asked my 2nd grader if he watched the speech. He excitedly told me yes. I asked him what it was about and he said, "I don't remember. Staying in school?" What can we do? He is in 2nd grade.

I was speaking to a friend about the whole Democrats vs. Republicans issue. We do not see eye to eye on most of it. I would say that I lean more towards one side, but am not a straight party thinker. She was saying that "my" side's media spews hate at "her" side. And I said that "her" side throws it out too. But really, which came first? Who starting throwing the rotten eggs first?

What I would really love is someone in the media to be COMPLETELY neutral. Report things based on facts and not tainting the information with political bias. Is that too much to ask? I hate reading in between the lines.

America is great for many reasons. Fro-yo. Drive-thru windows. A little something called democracy. Being able to campaign and hold popular elections is good. Being able to form one's own opinion is also good. Not being stoned for it, way good. What gets me is when someone tells me that I HAVE to think their way or I HAVE to be an idiot to think the way I do. So I have to respect their political beliefs and opinions but the favor is not returned?

What I would REALLY love is for everyone to stop complaining and just start respecting one another! It has to start somewhere, why can't it be here? Why can't it be with you and me? I realize that in order to have progress we need to be able to "complain" a bit, but can't we do it with consideration for another's viewpoint? Can we not do it without being "infuriated", "offended", or calling names? And let's be honest - both "sides" are at fault. Both "sides" need to cut it out. Both "sides" fuel the contention with just a few radical statements here and there. Or everywhere. Oh, and if you just want to jump on the proverbial boat and post "infuriated" or "offended" statements on your FB or some other social forum (except this blog of course, because I totally know what I am talking about) (I really don't and can probably be called out on about a million things on this post, but please refrain from infuriated offendedness), please know what you are talking about.

Oh, and to be fair, 18 years ago when President George H. W. Bush gave an address to the nations' school children, the Democrats denounced it and even asked for congressional hearings into the matter. I found some information here, but I am sure you can find more out there.

So I am thinking something along the lines of Dove's Carnation Revolution. Can we not all be a little less politically peacock-y and a little more of the "here, take this beautiful flower and keep an open mind" type of peeps?



suzan said...

Honestly, this whole speech controversy scared me a bit because I didn't realize before just how divided our country is right now. This really brought out the fury in both sides. Why can't we all just get along :)

Through the Looking Glass said...

I shook my head in disappointment so many times this week as I watched the news, I think I have whiplash. It will be the common thread of our history that as we move forward with progressive ideas, many will cling, in fear, to the things that make them feel safe against the unknown. When we're scared we lash out and call names and toss accusations, but really, we all want the same thing.

I heard someone on the local news; a white male someone with his lovely brick two story in a tony neighborhood poised behind him, say this: "I don't need my kids to go to school and have the president tell them about the importance of education. I'm educated and my children have been taught about the importance of being educated their whole lives. I'm keeping my kids home tomorrow and not participating in this propaganda."

And my thought? Lucky kids, those kids of yours, sir. They have a nice home, an educated father who most likely has a good job and health insurance and drives something with a leather interior and XM radio. They've been taught to reach for their dreams, that they can achieve anything, that college is an expectation. But what about the other majority population in this country? Those with less, those without influence, role models, a voice. Who's talking to them over a well-balanced dinner about the importance of education?

I don't care on which side a person's politics fall as long as that person acknowledges that we are a country built upon one another's shoulders and the broken backs of those who often had less. We have a responsibility, nay, a calling, to care about the population at large versus just our own freshly scrubbed, fortunate children in their crisp back-to-school jeans and brand-new squeaky tennies.

And I love our president for caring too, even when his kids were safely tucked away at their private school as their organic vegetables grow under the White House's eaves.

Anonymous said...

There are people working to straighten out what is true and false, without taking sides.


dove said...

amanda, i really love you!

this is exactly why my political identification on facebook reads "apathetic." i don't know who to listen to our who to trust so i withdraw. my forefathers would kick my butt, but c'est la vie.

Through the Looking Glass said...

D to the Ove,

I get apathy, really I do. Unfortunately I'm too loud to be quiet. Darn.

Here's my thought on apathy in politics: It's easy to bow out of the political scuffle. There will always be someone who watches more CNN, who majored in poli sci, who interned for Sen. Orrin Hatch, or who reads The New York Times AND can do the weekend crossword (nothing to do with politics, but those people are otherworldly...) and he or she will make you feel intimidated, uniformed, unlearned in a political discussion. Sometimes this person is a heckler, a debater, a love-to-fight-er, and then you're toast. You can't get dissuaded and consider this whole dynamic - this banter, this lobbing opinions back and forth - as politics.

We are politics. Why we do what we do every day, where we spend our money, how we choose to recreate/eat/entertain and what books we read. That is politics, to me. Because I think politics is understanding and acting on those things in our society that matter to us, but also, and this is KEY to me, matter to the greater society as a whole.

Now don't misconstrue this with socialism - we don't have to have communal values/allowances/ideals and all that jazz, but we can agree as a country on certain things that should matter to us as a people. Caring for the children and the elderly, keeping our neighborhoods safe and clean, protecting our Earth, encouraging every child to get a solid education and give back to the community, and so forth. From there, individual political strands begin to spread like tree branches; each branch twists and coils and spawns 20 more like it. Then someone somewhere, in a leather padded chair, smoking a cigar, decides to call these ideas "democratic" or "republican" and we all start to fight.

You aren't apathetic, you just don't want to be in the fray. I don't blame you. But rest assured that you are actively participating in politics on a daily basis - we all are.

And I love you too, though I have to be content with Mavis' glorious descriptions and my fantasy of you in real life. Oh yeah, I said fantasy.

Meghan said...

i was gonna say amen to mavis... and then i got to read some looking glass - and it was so pleasant to read you again.
and even though you and i party on different sides amanda, i want to vote for you. for what you said - 4th paragraph down.... that's what i want. before it gets all dirty and nasty and politicized. when are you running?

i'll even put a sign on my yard...in davis county (i'm brave, huh?)

Christy said...

Just wanted to say great post, great comments. Miss you guys - been offline a bunch lately. Hope you're well.

mave said...

dove and amanda, get a room already. The rest of you (well and them) let's practice non-partisan kindness, shall we?