So, by the time I went to bed last night 75 people came to my blog to see what I had to say about the election. Well, it was probably closer to 70. The other 5 people were just me (5 times) to see how many people were checking my blog. :)
I guess I'll tell you what I think. And, I'd love to hear what you think. Not stuff copy and pasted from the internet, but what *you* really think about the election and what is going on in our country. You know what I mean, original thoughts coming straight from your brain.
This is a family blog and a history for my kids. So although this isn't really directly related to my family, I think it would be interesting for them to know what I was thinking (and you all too) during the time of this "historical" election. Wouldn't it be cool to know what your parents were thinking when they voted for, or against, JFK. It is impossible to debate those issues now, especially considering the fate of JFK, but wouldn't it be interesting to know what people that you respect were thinking about him when the election took place in 1960?
Here goes. I spent the day yesterday trying to get in-tune and understand the excitement of the Obama supporters. I recognize it is more than "yay, we won". I remember being very happy when Bush was announced the winner over Gore 8 years ago. But, that was more of a "whew, I'm so relieved" sort of happiness rather than a "yay, I'm so excited about what this guy is going to do for our country!!". So, can you Obama supporters enlighten me about what all of the excitement is about? I'm looking for something more substantial than you are just happy to get Bush out, or that history is being made because an African-American is going to be president. I also need more than he is going to bring us "change"....*what* is going to "change??? I want to get excited about the future of this country too! I'm ready to forget about the election, change gears and get excited about how this "man of change" is going to improve our country.
One of my friends (a Democrat!!) emailed me yesterday. Her and I have gone back and forth several times about this election. She has been a good person for me to bounce ideas off of because we lead similar lives, but our political views are completely different. When I have a hard time understanding how anyone can agree with, or accept some of the crazy things with the Democrats, or Obama, she and a few of my other Democrat friends (can you believe I have more than 1!!!) at least were able to give me some insight into how they are able to agree with it, or at least reconcile it in their minds.
So, the email that I received from her yesterday was questioning me about a few things that I have said in my blog. I thought I would post my thoughts here instead of in an email to her so that I can better explain myself to anyone else that is interested.
"I read your blog and I get what you're saying about people who do not know about the issues voting. Yes, it would be nice if every voter was knowledge about all the issues. but I can't help but think how Obama's "Get Out the Vote" efforts were really no different than Rove's efforts in 2004 in Ohio w/the Evangelical Christians who were told to vote for Bush."
I wasn't specifically criticizing Obama with my statement that stupid, un-informed people shouldn't vote. Stupid white people that are only voting for McCain because Obama is black shouldn't vote either, IMO. But, really, my statement was really out of frustration that I don't think that physically going to vote is being Patriotic. Sure, it is great to celebrate that we live in the best country in the world and we can vote for our leaders. But, if you are un-informed, wear red, white and blue and march in a parade on election day. Voting is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. If you are not informed, even about the most basic of issues and the positions of the candidates, follow the example of our president-elect and vote "present". :)
"Clinton may have been morally bankrupt, but he did leave office with a budget surplus. yet, 8 years of Bush, we have a gazillion $ deficit. It's just been bugging me that the not one of you seem to be bothered by that. how do you reconcile that w/your "fiscally conservative" values? and that Republicans weren't acknowledging Bush/Chaney's role in this mess. I know McCain said "I'm not George Bush" but how can Republicans not admit THEIR administration was in power for the last 8 years!?!?!?!?!"
I think this is my biggest gripe with the media coverage. Why is it so difficult to get to the bottom of this? Let's see some finger-pointing with facts behind it. I'm guessing neither side wants to point fingers because they are greedy, crooked politicians that ALL have their hands in the cookie jar.
But, here is my take.
I don't know how the everyone else reconciles this, but I will tell you how I do. Now remember, I've spent the majority of the last 8 years sorta absorbed with my own life so, if you disagree with my understanding, let me know, I'm interested. I'm not trying to mislead, only explain my thoughts.
I think the biggest causes of the problems that we are having with our economy is the tanking of the housing market and the personal spending habits of the people in this country. I do believe that the sub-prime lending fiasco caused the housing problems that we are experiencing now. Representatives from the government (I'll refer to them as Democrats) forced the banks to approve mortgages for low-income people that could not afford the mortgages. The banks thought it was great because the mortgages were insured by the government, so they were making money for writing the mortgages, but not taking on the risk. The politicians thought it was great because they could go back to their constituents and talk about how home-ownership is at an all time high! The builders and realtors and homeowners were happy because everyone was making money. It was all great until it came time to pay the bills. Yeah, now we are all kind of screwed, aren't we? What made things even better is that it was not just the low-income people that were taking advantage of this screwed up way to approve mortgages. Upper-income people were doing the same things. Hey, instead of buying a $500,000 house, how about a $650,000 house with an "cheap" adjustable rate mortgage, and then instead of paying the mortgage, let's pay less then even the interest that accrues because the value of the house is going up and we'd really like to drive a new XL-SUV. Great! The bank will approve it no problem! Home values went up artificially because so many people were buying houses that they couldn't afford. This is a market correction, but it sucks. Especially for the people that did buy houses that they could afford, with a real down payment, that is now gone because of the market values.
Yeah, I'm mad at the Republicans. Why didn't anyone stop this or at least start shouting that something is gonna blow!?!?! As someone that is fiscally conservative, I can continue to vote for the Republicans, in good conscious because I don't think they caused this mess. They did not do much to stop it, but they were not the "brains" behind it.
Honestly, I think the American people should blame themselves for the economy being in the toilet. Americans, as a whole, don't know the difference between "a want" and "a need". And, our sense of entitlement is sickening. Being an American does not entitle a person to fancy clothes; big, new cars; satellite tv, vacations and dinners out. Those things should be enjoyed and appreciated after the monthly bills for the mortgage, insurance and education are paid. Until we get those things worked out and start living within our means, as a country, we've got some huge problems. And, no president can fix it, even one is great as I'm told Obama is going to be!
Ok, I've really got to get some real things done around my house now. Thoughts...