Friday, August 31, 2012

My Fellow Americans...We, the People are a Hot Mess!

Since this blog was originally started to leave a legacy behind for my kids and to chronicle their childhood life and times from my perspective, I feel like I can't shy away from this topic any more. What I am about to say may make some of you uncomfortable but I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway. Besides, It's just my opinion. Okay, here goes...

First of all, I hate politics. I love America but politics give me an Excedrin headache. Usually I like to stay out of politics mainly because I'm not under the illusion that I know it all, unlike so many others I see blowing hot air all over the internet. Since I am aware of my intellectual shortcomings, I try to do a lot of research about the issues because the mainstream news media is, for lack of a better word...whack. Since this is an election year which I believe is crucial to the well being and the very future of the country I love so well, I have rolled up my sleeves, removed my rose colored glasses and taken a hard look at both candidates and the issues whirling around them. In this case, I am an inquiring mind and I  really want to know. What I am discovering is that politics are not necessarily the underlying problem. The problem, my friends is none other than We, the people.

Before you get all indignant and outraged and whatnot, hear me out. I will admit that I am very blessed to have a loving husband, 3 healthy children, a home and safe vehicles to drive around in our safe little city with a great school district. I worship God freely in a church I love. I am here, at this place in my life by the grace of God, the incredible integrity of my hard working husband, some sacrifices made in the early years of our marriage and some hard choices we, as a couple and individually, have made along the way. Some may look at my life and say "Must be nice to be her." Well, quite frankly...it is. I am immodestly proud to say that because, well... it wasn't always 'nice' to be me.

If you've read my blog you know I've been on my own since the age of 16 and there was a time in my life when my 71 Chevy Chevelle was my only  home. I existed on Fritos and baloney sandwiches and the kindness of my friends' parents and sometimes even total strangers. I have worked at countless minimum wage jobs doing all kinds of manual and service oriented jobs. I know what it is like to have plenty and I know what it is like to have next to nothing. Homeless is about as poor as you can get. So...when I hear people saying that if someone is a Conservative (which I am), then they must automatically hate the poor and are out of touch with social issues and are just a wealthy, Bible thumping bunch of windbags, stepping on the heads of the downtrodden to climb the ladder of success, I must respectfully call BS on you. I will point out that you are unfortunately doing something that I believe is systematically unraveling our society and that is: judging an ENTIRE group and placing them into a category which you judge to be despicable. You denounce them and dismiss them all outright, refusing to listen to them, without taking a moment to realize that we are all INDIVIDUALS with our own story and experiences. Conservatives and Democrats and other political parties are all doing this. I see it every day and it makes me furious. It also makes me sad.

Here's one reason why I think we do this. And remember I'm stating my own opinion based on my own experiences, here. Some people...lets call them fringe groups...get so 'in your face' while trying to recruit others to adopt their philosophy that they go off the deep end. Westboro Baptist Church n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church is one of them. Complete lunatics who have no shame and commit hateful acts in the name of God. They don't speak for Christians and are a disgraceful hate group. Here's another example: I was astounded to discover that there is group of women, who call themselves feminists, dressing up and parading around in (and I'm sorry to say this out loud) vagina costumes in order to call attention to their feeling of victimization because they want the government to, and I quote, "stay out of their wombs." This kind of childish nonsense is not serving anyone and basically sends the message that women (by their definition) are apparently only the sum total of their girly parts. If you don't believe me, I'll show you what I'm talking about. I'm sorry in advance for the tacky nature of this picture but I didn't think you would believe me unless you saw it for yourselves. I find myself helplessly giggling in horror at the absurdity of this image. Who thought this up? Why did anyone agree with it? Where does one purchase a pattern for a vagina costume? So many questions....

"Code Pink" activists
Is this the most constructive way to make a point for your cause? I think not. Though I suppose you mean well, I'm a woman and I say: Change your clothes, grow up and do something more productive and appropriate with your time. You are embarrassing yourselves, which is your right. Still, I'm sure a lot of women wish you would stop it.

I'm going to give it to you straight, ladies. There is no 'WAR on Women.' What a ridiculous notion. We may strongly disagree on issues of abortion and paying for women's birth control pills and other female reproductive issues. We can debate that thoughtfully and respectfully and most importantly with the most powerful resource we have...the right to VOTE. Please don't buy into the assertion that anyone is at WAR with women. To do so is an insult to anyone who ever served, fought, lost their life or lost a loved one in combat. War is war. It is hell. Debating women's reproductive rights is a difference of beliefs and opinions that is being considered and (whether we agree with the outcome or not) will be legislated by our elected officials. That's the way our system works. It is not war, it is a constitutional debate. Get that straight in your heads, please. (P.S. Condoms are cheap and abstinence is free).

My fellow Republicans, this is for you. Democrats should not be recklessly characterized as atheist, socialist, tree hugging, activist, hippie intellectuals. Members of my family are Democrats and are some of the smartest, funniest, socially conscious, responsible and hard working, sweet, and loving people I know. They are amazing parents. Though we may not always agree, I respect them and their views. I learn from them. I am certain that not all thoughtful and intelligent Democratic or liberal women agree with the kind of spectacle shown in the photo above or advocate these women speaking for them. Why? because it detracts from their message and makes them look foolish.

The same goes for the other side. Todd Akin said some painfully ridiculous things about his cockamamie ideas about rape. It made me cringe. It made 99.9% of Republicans do a nationwide, simultaneous  groan and eyeroll. Let me make this abundantly clear: Just because a bunch of women dress up in nutty costumes doesn't mean all Democratic women are supporting them. Just because Todd Akin is foolish and irresponsible with his words, doesn't mean all Republicans agree with his outlandish comments. Do you see where I'm going with this?

We the people spend way too much time shouting our own message and too little time listening to each other. I mean listening with the intent to understand. The thing is, opinions by their very nature can't be wrong. It's just a personal belief that is expressed. They are just opinions. Why argue over it? Listening to each other, especially our differences, that is how we learn. It's all about respect. We need a lot more of that if we're going to come to a better understanding of one another. After all, we are called the United States of America. If we're not careful we'll just be the Divided States of America.

One more thing. When President Barack Obama was elected, although I did not vote for him, I stood in front of my TV and tears came to my eyes as I saw him take the podium for his victory speech. It was a momentous event in American history. I was proud for him. I was really rooting for him. Praying for him to succeed. I was hopeful for the change he wanted to bring about. It sounded so great. Four years later, I am sad to see that he was unable to move the country forward as he thought he would. Through research, I've learned more about him and his background. I don't agree with many of his core beliefs and don't believe he has proven to be an effective leader. Some say he wasn't given a chance. I have to wonder how many years worth of a chance a President should be given. We are beyond the point of blaming this side or that. There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle. I'm voting for Romney/Ryan because what is going on now is not working. I feel we need a President who has a better understanding of the way business and finance work in the private sector. Here's another thing...I am not a racist because I'm not voting for Obama. Casting a vote for the other guy does not make someone a racist. Voting for someone strictly because of the color of their skin would more likely fall into that category. I'm not doing that. Please don't assume that about me or anyone else.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue. As a nation, I pray we will come together and stop talking so loud that we drown each other out. Of course as a believer, I'm trusting God and His will for our country. Whoever wins the election, I will do my best to stand behind them and do my part. I'll try to be careful with my words and opinions. I will listen and give others a fair hearing. The Bible tells us to do that. As you can see in my comments above, I don't suffer fools gladly. It's not always easy but the most important lessons never are.

I'm hoping and praying that by the time my kids read this they will be able to say "Wow, I'm sure glad people started behaving like responsible adults and cleaned up that hot mess they had back in 2012." I hope they look up to our generation with gratitude and pride in the same way we respect and admire the generations that came before us. Don't you?

Peace and Blessings

~Cat


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8 comments:

  1. Again, well said Cat...especially the part about judging an entire group. I've read a lot of comments lately written about today's young people and how rude and inconsiderate they are. As you know, I teach eighth grade and find that there are many wonderful, amazing young people out there. Also, I have a seventeen year old son who is very kind, considerate, and compassionate. Maybe we, as adults, should get to know our young people better instead of complaining about them.
    Bless you!

    Pam

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  2. Exactly my point, Pam! Thanks for taking the time to respond and thank you for doing what I consider to be one of the toughest jobs there is!

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  3. Good thoughts and I totally respect your opinions. I also agree with you about many of the antics of groups like Code Pink and some grassroots Tea Party groups that want to push people into sharing their opinion so badly that their message is lost in their behavior, and people they try to reach are actually driven away. I feel I must disagree on one point though, and that is that I believe about 90% of the stagnation in the economy over the last four years is mostly the fault of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress that have obstructed any kind of progress over partisan nonsense. I firmly believe that Obama has tried (maybe not as hard as he could, being the president and all) to bring both sides to the table, but like most Americans, has become increasingly disillusioned at how gridlock on Capitol Hill has prevented more from being done to help the people in this country that need it the most.

    I understand if you may not feel the same way, but I just wanted to share my thoughts as well. :-)

    EP

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    1. Thanks and I mentioned that point in my blog. If President Obama is not able to inspire the (admittedly obstinate Congress) then what good will four more years do? It is frustrating, to be sure. Hopefully change will come about and it won't be too painful for us all. I respect your opinion. :0)

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    2. Honestly, I don't think anyone in the White House will be able to inspire this Congress, whether it's Obama or Romney or someone else. My vote in November will be strictly based on whose policies I agree with more and who I feel would be best to sit in the Oval Office and make executive decisions on a day-to-day basis.

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  4. The title made me LOL for real! :-P Good post!!

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  5. Great words, I am so sick of the demonizing and the if you are not for us you are against us antics that are tearing our country in two. I don't think anyone votes or is elected with the intention to harm our nation. Do I think well meaning people put things into place that will do harm, or not the most good, sure, but demonizing them does neither of us any good. And if we remember that the other side has good intentions maybe we can work together to get things accomplished. I don't think it is fair to tell anyone what issues must matter to them the most or fault them for what issues matter most in any given election year. Both men have records and actions they can be judged by. Can we stop the production of fear of the horrible things that will happen with absolutely no evidence from their words and actions and instead look at the men and their principals as a whole and make our choice without being belittled or demonized. - Leigh Anne

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