Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pardon Our Appearance During Ranting

I'll update my poll tomorrow evening, but I have to get something off of my chest first.

I hate parties.

**Begin Rant**
No, I don't mean birthday parties or baby/bridal showers or holiday parties. I mean political parties. I hate it when people align themselves with a party and then stick WITH that party just because they like to call themselves a Democrat or a Republican or a Libertarian. For crying out loud even INDEPENDENTS are a party now... I was listening to Joe Lieberman's speech last night on NPR and all the while he was calling himself a Democrat. Then the telecaster gets on and corrects him, calling him an "Independent, former Democrat". Well... excuse him for breaking away from the norms of the Democrats, but the man is standing there calling himself a Democrat. I felt like they were getting in a "I'm a Democrat"/"No you're not you traitor" argument without even talking to each other.

Aligning yourself with a party can give you this sort of group mentality and then poison your mind to think that the other group is all bad. Over the last few months, I've seen more blogs/"news" stories and more talking heads and heard more radio personalities say things like "Only the Republicans could screw something like that up" or "Guh, stupid liberal Democrats, they don't know what they're doing". Why in the WORLD do people say/write things like that? How do you know that 99% of your readership/listenership don't consider themselves Republicans, or how do you know that your best friends don't consider him/herself a Democrats? What ends up happening is that you get more readers/listeners that buy into that sort of destructive pattern, and then THEY go around saying things like "Only the Republicans could screw something like that up" or "Guh, stupid liberal Democrats, they don't know what they're doing" - it's just perpetuating the wheel of hate!

One of my favorites is when people proudly state "I'm a registered Republican/Democrat". Let me let you in on a little secret - THAT DOESN'T MEAN A THING! I live in New Hampshire which means that presidential primaries are a BIG DEAL here. In order to vote for the person you want to vote for in the primary, you must be registered for their party by a certain date. That's something that I believe to be true in most states, but it also means that there are a lot of people who might be registered to a party that either a) don't want to be registered to a party or b) isn't the party of who they'll vote for in the next election or general election. Take me for example. I'm a registered Republican right now. Why? Because I wanted to vote for a Rudy Giuliani in the presidential primary. Does that mean in the next election I'll stay a registered Republican? NO! In the LAST election, I voted for Wes Clark. Guess what - DEMOCRAT! So being proud of how you're registered doesn't mean a hill of beans - it just means that the person you want happens to be in that party. WHOOP. DEE. DOO.

And don't EVEN get me started on elections. This is the worst of the worst, people who are supposed to be setting an example continuing to perpetuate the ridiculousness of the party system. Candidates slinging mud at each other and each other's PARTIES. Whatever happened to just debating about moral values and policy issues and how you're going to solve world hunger? Instead they rant on and on about the Republican mistakes of the last 8 years or the liberal agenda of the Democrats. JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU STAND ON THE ISSUES. Abortion, gay marriage, the economy (which, by the way, presidents should have NOTHING to do with), the military, foreign policy, and lots and lots of other things that are way more important than pointing out the flaws of the moral base of the other person's party. I want to know where YOU stand, Mr. or Mrs. Presidential/VP candidate. Not where the other guy doesn't believe what you do. Give me a BREAK!
**End Rant**

So now that I'm done ranting... what's my point to all of this?

Last night while Joe Lieberman was speaking he referenced a quote made by our first president, George Washington. I don't remember the exact words but the spirit of the quote was that political parties would be the biggest downfall of our democracy. And here we are, over 200 years later living the downfall. People taking stands on party lines instead of really looking at what a candidate stands for. In stark contrast to Washington stands Hillary Clinton, urging her voters to come to the arms of Barack Obama because he's a Democrat, and Democrats have to stick together. Or all the times that our current president George W. Bush talks about the need for bipartisanship, and then mentions the need for Republicans to come together.

Hey people - before we're in a party, we're first Americans. Americans who have ancestors that fought hard for our rights of free speech, overall democracy, women's rights, abolition of slavery, and all sorts of other wonderful freedoms that help us to have an identity as a nation. People in other less fortunate countries don't look at America as a beacon of party lines - they look to us as a beacon of freedom. I think that it would serve us all if before we began to look to party lines for guidance and wisdom that we remembered we are all Americans and being a Democrat or a Republican doesn't make us any less of one.

In the coming election, I encourage you to follow your own heart and your own beliefs to the little boxes on the ballot. Choose who best fits where you stand right now in your life, and not which party you think is best or how good of a job you think G.W. Bush or Bill Clinton did as a president. Do your research on the candidates and use your individual thoughts and your own right to vote - not the urging of a party line - to guide your decision.

For your research purposes:
John McCain
Barack Obama
Candidate Comparison


Anonymous said...

preach it girl!!!

Laura :) said...

YEAH Danielle!

Tania said...

I totally agree with everything you wrote. One thing that people forget about is that you should really pay attention to your local elections as those are the elections that can make or break our country going forward.