Friday, September 12, 2008

Apolitical

For better or for worse, I have been blessed (or cursed) with the ability to see all sides of an issue. That doesn't necessarily mean I agree with all sides -- but I do agree most of the time that each side has a valid point. (A professor indicated this would help make me a good journalist.)

This can make it hard for me to make a decision or take sides.

When it comes to elections, this is especially difficult because voting is a hard-earned right and is so important. There is a lot riding on each person's individual vote.

The thing is, with the upcoming presidential election, I don't feel either of the two major candidates deserves my vote. There are things I really don't like about both. I have reservations about either of them leading my country.

For most of my voting lifetime, I have felt I was choosing between the lesser of the two evils when it came to voting for a president. I wonder why I can't have additional choices. Other countries have more than two main political parties. I know the United States has parties other than Democrat and Republican, but those parties are in the minority and seldom discussed, other than perhaps the Libertarians.

Discussing some issues that I actually take a side with, you might think I am a Republican. But on other issues, you'd swear I was a Democrat. There is no in-between. I'm not conservative enough for Republicans, and I'm not liberal enough for Democrats, so neither really cares what I think, anyway.

And that's what literally turns my stomach: the bipartisanship. The Democrats are going to negate anything the Republicans say. The Republicans are going to wave away whatever Democrats say -- and it's just a big power struggle to see whose team can win. It's as though America has divided itself in two and is just looking for an opportunity to prove the other side wrong.

How does this division really help us as a nation? Certainly, a healthy debate has its benefits. But the "I'm sticking with whatever my party says" attitude prevails anyway -- a Democrat isn't going to change a Republican's mind or get that person to see things in a different light, and vice versa.

This ridiculous two-party push and pull completely turns me off politics, and I refrain from talking about politics with people unless I can make a lighthearted joke about something that is being said.

My problem now, though, is I have a child. I am a woman who needs to vote for the sake of her child's future. But in all good conscientiousness, I am not sure I can.

I can't possibly be the only mother who has these beliefs. I'm not asking for a show of hands -- I just wonder when the country will wake up and realize there are more than two flavors.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

Well, I'll show my hand. I agree with you so much- and it's so frustrating. I don't WANT to have to vote for the lesser of two evils... and this election has me still in the air. I wish I had a better idea.

Steph

6:51 PM  
OpenID verygoodyear said...

Although I'm a US citizen and feel strongly about my candidate in that election, I live in Canada. It's really amazing how different politics are up here. For example, there aren't set election dates up here like in the US (although as I understand, that's supposed to be changing), and the federal government has just recently been DISSOLVED. The Prime Minister went to the Queen's representative here in Canada and asked permission to dissolve the government because nothing is being accomplished by the people currently in it and they do not have confidence in the current prime minister -- she said yes -- so now there's no Parliament or whatnot, and in October they'll be holding a new federal election. There are five "major" parties and yet every single one of them is further to the left than the US Republicans. The diversity of opinions and political stances is really amazing.

7:57 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

you are very, very right friend...i too wish we recognized more flavors.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I am craving more choice too! I am finding it hard to even register to vote here in Kansas. I just have no idea who to vote for when both choices are really bad.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Devil's advocate here...

I wonder if we had more choices if we'd still think there was no "good" choice? I don't think there could be one person who holds all of the same ideals and beliefs as we do.

9:40 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

I completely agree with you. I feel like the candidates are both such extremes. I also believe that our government is extremely divisive. I can't say with confidence that it was never like this before, but because of the size and influence of the government now, it is more dangerous than it might have been in the past. I HAVE to vote, because as I always say, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain, but I am really struggling this time.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

I'm having a lot of trouble with this one too. It's very frustrating! So I'm right there with you in your thoughts.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

As you probably already know, I have pretty strong views of the left-leaning persuasion, but I do understand what you're saying. I guess what I would tell you is to pick the top 5 issues that are of the greatest importance to you, and then vote for the candidate who best supports your position on those issues. There is no one perfect candidate for me either (especially where gay marriage is concerned) but I picked the candidate (Obama) who most represents where I stand on my other top issues. Good luck choosing, Ms. Swing-Stater. Your vote will actually matter!

8:11 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I am having concerns about who to vote for as well. Several of the political blogs I do read are pushing the idea that if there are ENOUGH of us who really don't want the D or R that we COULD actually put a third party candidate in office. I don't know if it could really happen, but it seems to me that the more I read the more I see people who are torn on who to vote for. And maybe, just maybe we actually could put in a third party candidate. I am leaning towards the Constitution Party Candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

The point is, there is other choice. It will just take A LOT of us standing up for those other choices to actually make it a reality in the White House.

12:26 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Given that not all that long ago, women couldn't even vote, I do think it's important that we all go out and do it. I do feel strongly about one candidate and hope you can reach a decision you feel comfortable with.

Great post.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Nap Warden said...

I have no answers, but I agree with you.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

Hmmm... Maybe go vote, but just spoil your ballot. Then you have voted and exerted your right, and yet I believe a statement is also made. But what do I know. I have yet to actually follow through with that. I think I'm just going to spoil my ballot, but I usually figure it out.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Motherhood for Dummies said...

Amen. That is why I keep saying we need ot start the reprocrate party. Because I am republican and demoratic. I feel the same as you, I see both sides and understand why people might think that way, but I don't always agree with their plan. I am not in love with either (okay I am an Alaskan Palin fan) but between Obama and McCain, I didn't like either. I just try to remind myself that really, it isn't the president that passes most the laws and creates a lot of the issues, it is the congress and senate. So since I am at my wits ends, I am trying to focus on them and those elections.

12:50 PM  
Blogger White Hot Magik said...

I am in the same boat sister. I think I am going to have to make a list and try to vote my best. I need to check out the third party candidates more. I have Iron Jawed Angels on my netflix queue I think I need to move it up.

4:36 PM  
Blogger oh amanda said...

I agree...the dems think everything the rep's say is wrong and vice/versa. It's annoying.

I'm always going to be a one or two issue voter b/c there are just a few issues that are near and dear to my heart.

But politics are SUCH a turn off that it makes me not even care about it. We watched the DNC and the RNC and I have had enough politics to last about 5 years. Ugh.

7:04 AM  
Blogger ames said...

Hear hear! (or is it here here?) I so agree with you, it's completely boiled down to my team vs. your team and it never really matters where they stand on the issues or, most importantly, what they are going to do to *fix* the huge problems. Our government was never supposed to be bi-partisan and the founding fathers must be rolling in their graves!

11:46 AM  

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