Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Political Coming Out

Friends, readers, family members...I am coming out of the political closet. Now that the election is over, I feel the need to reveal myself as who I truly am politically, because I'm sure you were all dying to know. (eye roll) Typically I'm quite vague as political fights are not something I'm interested in having with anyone, so I usually just don't say much at all. So, here is the big reveal: I am an elephonktarian. Yes, you got it - basically I have the political version of multiple personality disorder. Loosely translated, I am an open-minded, engaged and educated Independent.

I don't really think I am alone in this. Lots of people I talk to seem to feel the same way. Our political perspectives are complex and intricate things, and this is why I think the current two party system does none of us any favors. Voting is a precious liberty that people around the world have died for, and yet, how many times have you heard someone say, "My vote doesn't matter because nothing will ever change."? I've heard that way more than I'd like.

To me, this bespeaks something much larger than the individual running for office, or even the different parties. How many candidates are going to "change Washington!" only to find that Washington changes them? How many candidates are shocked to realize that no matter how hard they work, who they collaborate with or where they sleep, they run into the same roadblocks over and over? And to be clear, I am including all people elected from all sides of the aisle.

People in this country are furious, for all kinds of different reasons. The left is leftier and the right is rightier and those of us who truly want to find common ground feel left behind and we are all unhappy. Personally, I despise feeling forced to chose between two things when I agree with neither. But again, I think that it is an indicator of the system at large more than the people involved. It's like some kind of runaway cruise boat that doesn't stop no matter who is at the helm or dragging on the anchor. The situation at hand is, plain and simple, MADDENING.

I'm not saying I know what to do or how to do it or where to even begin, but I do know one simple and irrefutable fact: repeating an action and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Things will never be any different if they are never any different. See where I'm going with this?

Recently, I told my husband that I thought that maybe there should be two Presidents. I thought he was going to faint. But here is where I was coming from: when the Constitution was framed, the world was such a smaller place. I don't think the Founding Fathers could have possibly imagined the world we live in today. The rise of the Internet, a global economy, nuclear weapons, etc. wasn't even on the horizon so my thought was that maybe one person could be in charge of domestic and one in charge of foreign policy because I think the job itself has gotten too large for one person to genuinely excel at it.

(dear NSA - if you are reading this, and I'm quite sure some computer somewhere is, please know that I am not an anarchist or any other such thing. I would like to be consider a kind of armchair political philosopher and do not want to disappear. Kthanksbye).

Anyway, I know this is, and other ideas like it are kinda off the wall, but I truly believe that it will only be some kind of enormous change in the system itself that will help right the ship. Until then, I will chose my candidates individually, will vote my conscience even when it seems hopeless, and will believe that this country is truly greater than the sum of it's parts.

PS. I'll leave you with this gem: "If you get into a fight with someone on the Internet, you have already lost." Repeat it to yourself. I promise you that I'm right on this one!


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