Sunday, November 4, 2012

Apolitical

Now, I spend a fair bit of time trying not to offend people here. Call it a peacekeeper tendency, if you will -- it's just part of my personality. However, that doesn't mean I don't have opinions and as it is election season, I think it's high time I stated a few of those. I'm not too worried about offending most of you because hey, we're friends, of various sorts. We understand each other and can respect each others' differences.

And if we can't ... I'm just not going to worry about it.

So!

I dislike political seasons. In fact, it's borderline hatred -- I don't like being inundated with yard signs, I get annoyed with commercials blasting oppositions far and wide (which, by the way, bump local businesses off the air), and I have yet to find a candidate that I really, truly feel like backing. In any race. Ever.

Which makes voting hard.

This rant started with a website ... ISideWith.com exists to clarify. There are questions -- long lines of them, if you like -- with just about every answer you can imagine. And they cover every hot-button political issue out there (and plenty of ... cold-button? issues as well).

When I was done, I found that my beliefs were so alarmingly varied that I will probably never be able to be truly happy with how I place any future vote. I kid you not -- my scores with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Ron Paul were all within three percent of each other. Not just within 3%, but all three were well over 60%.

I didn't even know that was possible.

Here's the thing: my views are less "central" than they are "scattered." I have a difficult time siding with one politician or the other because I never fully agree with any of them. I am, however, seeing a general trend toward libertarianism -- the less government involvement, the better. I don't think death (whether of unborn babies or felons) should be governmentally sanctioned, nor do I think the government should be responsible for rescuing companies or restricting marriage. (I've been conflicted about the various bailouts since they first came up as an idea.) And for crying out loud, I think we should be fixing our current programs before heaping new programs on top of them.

My problem isn't a lack of opinions. My real problem is that I think we as an American public have terrible taste in politicians.

The first catch is that in order to run for President, you have to a) have an awfully high opinion of yourself, b) be able to fund at least the beginning of a campaign, and c) be able to win over a devoted, very loyal chunk of the population. Which means ... we have a lot of rich, entitled jerks to choose from, and they're rarely crowd-pleasers.

Don't kid yourself. Not for one moment. These men (and women, but I'm talking specifically about the current Presidential race) are all well above the income level of most of us. I find it laughable that any of them can point at another and say, "Don't like him! He's rich!" when what he's really saying is "He's rich!...er than me." Moreover, the mainline options seem to think they can use the government to "fix" our problems.

In the meantime, we look for men and women that are "like us" to represent us. I have to ask -- is that really what we want? Or should be be looking for those that represent the best of us? The smartest, the strongest, those with the highest integrity? Those whose opinions only waver when they truly think they were wrong? Those who consider campaigning secondary to their work, and when they did campaign, spent their time talking frankly of their own agenda instead of cutting down their opponents? What if, like a well-run business, the person in charge had truly earned the right to be there?

What would that look like?

Heck, what if we went back to the original form, where runner-up was Vice President?

I know, I know. It's a pipe dream, just as me finding a politician I can truly back. We've gone too far down the rabbit hole for radical change ... and it seems we're getting worse.

And as tired as I am of choosing from the least of various evils, come Tuesday morning I'll be in that booth. Why? Because there are local elections and laws at stake, and because only a century ago some of my biggest heroines fought tooth and nail so that I would have the right to step into that booth and get annoyed by my choices. All sarcasm aside, it's not a privilege I take lightly.

Thanks for letting me get that out of the way, folks. I know it's just another disjointed, annoyed rant in a long line of disjointed, annoyed rants, but hey, if I can't put it here, where can I?

Best of luck, all, and here's hoping we can all look back in two years and know that we made the right decision.

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