Friday, September 16, 2011

We the People


Yesterday I was talking with a few members of my family, and we were lamenting the fact that we don't have one viable candidate we can feel even moderately excited about supporting for president. What's more, none of us wants to be affiliated with our political parties any more because we are all so disgusted with them. Not a good way to go into an election year, is it?

It seems our political system has devolved into a mad scramble of egocentric, unprincipled individuals to first, seize power by making promises to their constituents and second, hold on to that power by abandoning those promises in favor of the party line. Sadly, the honest and committed need not apply...nor would they wish to, because they are unwilling to dive into the smarmy, backbiting cesspool that has become Washington DC.

I can't even stand to listen to most of the news programs at this point. Where are the steady, truth-finding reporters and commentators of old...examining both sides carefully in an attempt to uncover truth, wherever it may lie? Good luck finding one on any television station today. Hosts and guests alike don't care where truth lies anymore, because their truth does lie, blatantly and without apology, in support of whatever self-serving cause they are using to exact personal gain in that moment.

Have you ever taken a close look at a politican's eyes during an interview or debate? Their shifty orbs dart from side to side like sneaky little foxes, trying to find a way through the hen house without getting any feathers on them. Those all-too-oft repeated talking points and "at the end of the day's" are enough to drive a concerned citizen looking for real information crazy, and I am just fed up to here with the whole freak show.

The question is and continues to be this: What do we do about it? How can we vote our conscience when our conscience tells us none of these candidates is worthy of being called President of the United States of America?...or anything else, for that matter?

I only wish I knew, but I do know one thing. We need to speak and write and discuss our displeasure in the public forum, and I hope you will join me. Talk to friends and associates, both at work and in the community. Blog about politics now and then, however distasteful. Contact your senators and congressmen/women so you can let them know how you feel about two-faced behavior, personal glory-seeking, and double dealing. These people need to realize their careers will not survive if they are serving themselves instead of our country and its citizens, and we are the ones that have to make that true, by and through our own votes. The same goes for presidential candidates, who can be contacted via their various personal websites.

I've heard many say that they will refuse to vote at all if they cannot do so in good conscience. While I completely understand their reticence to support a candidate they neither respect nor trust, I suggest that if we fail to keep exercising our right to vote, we are lost. With that in mind, I will continue my ongoing commitment to discerning which individual is the lesser of two (or more) evils and marking my ballot in his or her favor.

However, in the not entirely unimaginable event that there is no one I can possibly vote for and still look at myself in the mirror the next day, I intend to utilize the write-in option and place on the ballot, as both a protest and a suggestion that our political system needs an overhaul, the name of someone I think might conduct himself honorably. (I realize this would not be a valid vote unless that person were to pre-register as a write-in candidate, but it would still be a valid vote for my purposes.) Think about it; if enough people did this, a loud statement would surely be made. If nothing else, political hopefuls might be forced to court independents by making greater efforts to work together for the good of our nation and to exercise a measure of integrity in their dealings.

I have to believe that we, the people have more power in this union than we are making good use of at this point. I am going to do more this year to make my voice heard, and I hope many other Americans will do the same.

18 comments:

Wendy said...

"We, the people" is a powerful phrase especially when it is used for the people instead of as a prop for an office, travel, and being wined-n-dined.

So much lies in the balance with the future. I wonder if past generations felt the same with their potential for presidential candidates and Congress representatives.

Fiauna said...

I think what you and your family are feeling is common today in America. It seems today's politicians are in it not for the love of country, but more for the love of self. I know that this sounds like a harsh, blanket statement, but that is how I see it. It is difficult to utilize our vote when we can never be sure that the person or ideals we believe we are voting for may dissolve once they hit office. But, I vote anyway because I feel it is my duty and my right that was hard-fought and won by so many who didn't share this right.

Ames said...

Not one to really go into politics on my blog I can honestly say I agree with your comments today. And I too am thoroughly disgusted with my own party! I am tired of people being voted into office by people that have no clue what the politician's platform is. And first time voters (and I am not talking about 18 year olds either) being bused to the polls only to see that a certain politician gets the vote is just wrong.

For once I'd like to see an American born citizen of the USA get voted into office, follow the Constitution of the United States, respect God and bring prayer back in our schools, bring our industry and jobs back to the United States, and stop the foolish spending! Oh and it would also be nice if every politician had to pay Social Security, pay for insurance and have their salaries reduced. We need it now more that ever!

....I better stop now, I can feel my blood pressure rising. Hugs and God Bless America!~Ames

Anna M said...

Oh Sue. I agree.

I haven't claimed a party for the last ten years, because frankly I don't see the "all good" in either of them. Not even the mostly good. And when I hear a party person claim their side's superiority it reeks of ignorance. The great schism of parties makes it so there will never really be "reaching across the aisle" which only reinforces the ignorance of the individual and not the strength of the people as a whole.

BAH! I hear you, friend.

Brian Miller said...

great post...spot on...let your voice be heard...in letters, in blogs, in votes...we are at a scary juncture in the life of our country...

Gail said...

I completely agree! Where are the honest people???

One year I wrote in Mickey Mouse. I know it gained nothing and no one ever knew but...

jen said...

I agree so strongly. I've lost all sense of what's right, wrong, in between, since everything anyone says is spun till I'm dizzy.
Sadly, it's hard for me to care any more. And I used to. A lot.

karen said...

So many people feel that same way - me included! I'm not always the most aware person, politically so if you know of an opportunity to make our voice heard, don't hesitate to make me/us aware. It's hard to stay interested and focused on issues when we're always lied to by all sides.

Grandma Honey said...

Amen to all you said. I wish I could disagree with you, but I can't.

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

So many things distress me about election years - particularly when the presidency is up for grabs.

The top of the list: People moan and groan, but they don't vote! If you don't vote, you don't get to complain. :)

#2. People don't understand what the issues are and/or their candidate's stand on the issue - and they pull the lever anyway.

#3 - People vote a straight ticker without even learning about who their party's candidate is.

Yeah. Those are just the top three. I try not to blog religion or politics...operative word being 'try'.

Jenny said...

Powerfully written.

Eva Gallant said...

It is discouraging that things have gotten so bad. Right now the majority in Congress are doing all they can to make sure Obama doesn't bet re-elected. Never mind that their inaction on the jobs bill and tons of other things is causing our country to spiral downward. Whether or not you like Obama, it's hard to believe that these guys have the good of their party ahead of the good of their country and their constituents. And I also agree that all government officials should be on social security...and go on Medicare when they retire. I'll bet those two problems would be solved quickly if that were the case.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Good post.

First, people need to really understand history and economics. Then you can see the patterns, like what we are in now both domestic and internationally.

Secondly, we need real people in office. How about a farmer, a small business owner, someone who understands what affects us all and someone who was not privileged, who knows the struggles we regular folk face. This is how the system was originally set up.

Thirdly, We're a republic (. . .and for the Republic for which it stands . . ), we're not a democracy where the majority rules- that's mob rule or as my husband says, two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for supper. Elect your representatives carefully, watch not what the promise but how they have voted in the past.

Robert Brault said...

Sue, this is so well said. Though we live under a representative government, so many of us feel unrepresented. The only thing represented in Washington is money. and it is money completely divorced from productivity. The US government is an alliance of political parties, banks and big business -- the very model of fascism. This unholy trinity milks the middle class and further impoverishes the poor, while the only organized protest in the country, the Tea Party, rails against socialism. God help us all. rb.

VK said...

We can't complain about the politicians is we aren't involved in telling our representatives what we want and think.
Starts at the basic me and you.

Caroline said...

I have to agree with you here, Sue and It's so frustrating to watch all of these politicians because they are all just actors. Americans from all parties are feeling the same way, I sense and feeling like we can't trust the folks in office anymore.

I also agree with you that we must continue to exercise our right to vote. I have heard people say this too--that they will not vote--but we HAVE to. And we have to believe that our opinions matter.

Joy For Your Journey said...

I am curious as to why you don't like any of the candidates. There are a few I like--and enjoy listening to in the debates. And I think some sincerely want to help.

But I agree with you about the political parties. I think you are 100% correct. They are both pretty evil. But this is such a critical election. The course our country is on right now is so self destructive. We need to vote someone else into office and then pray changes are made, or we are all in serious trouble.

anitamombanita said...

hear hear... I think YOU should run. I know what I'd see if I looked into your eyes!

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