Friday, September 5, 2008

Some Political Help.

[NOTE: This post has been updated considerably since I first put it up.]

God help us all if I start to write about politics on this blog, but I did feel the need to share something with you.

So much of what bothers me about our current political system is that so much of so-called "news" is really just preaching to the choir. Punditry and analysis reign on all four (FOUR!) 24-hour news networks, and rarely are we given straight-up facts to help us make up our minds. Then we have the slew of books from said pundits and analysts clogging up bookshelves. Add to that all the rhetoric from both the Ds and the Rs (and don't even get me started on talk radio) that consists primarily of saying "The other guys are bums! Vote for us!" and I'm downright disillusioned with the whole shooting match.

No one is willing to admit that anyone on their side has ever made a mistake, or that anyone from the other side has ever done anything worthwhile. It's nonstop preaching to the choir in concerted efforts to keep the contributions going, and it's turned me into a hardened, follow-the-money-on-both-sides cynic.

And then, in the midst of this, someone shared these little nuggets with me (see the links below). Basically, they are factual breakdowns of the promises made in both Barack Obama's and John McCain's acceptance speeches at their respective party conventions. People, one of these guys is going to be your President for the next four years, and whether you wholeheartedly endorse one of them or, like me, have a tough time believing either of them, you owe it to yourself and to the country you call home (if you live in the USA, that is) to at least hear them out.

My recommendation: read them both, then please--please--make up your own mind about which candidate's vision of America most closely aligns with your own. Don't let anyone else tell you how to vote, and don't turn this election into a one-issue circus. Don't say to yourself, "Well, I really love everything about that guy, except for that one pet issue I have where we don't agree, so I'm going to vote for the other guy." Please. Don't.

Let's all put aside the rhetoric and punditry and take a clear-eyed look at what the two sides are proposing, then vote according to our own senses and values.

Vote responsibly.

Obama's Promises || McCain's Promises

Note: Since whomever gets in office will be there for a solid four years, it would behoove us all to take a little extra time--an hour, maybe?--to read the full text of each of their speeches. So, with that:
Complete Obama Speech || Complete McCain Speech

And, since the VP candidates are often trotted out to say the things that the Presidential candidates want to say but can't for fear of looking bad:
Complete Biden Speech || Complete Palin Speech

[One last note: The thought dawned on me as I whacked some weeds in the backyard the other day--this is the first time in twenty-eight years that the ticket does not include the names "Bush" or "Clinton." I consider this to be a positive sign.]