Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Presidential Race.... A Canadian Viewpoint

I enjoy watching the US Presidential race. It is full of mudslinging and juvenile nitpicking. It's entertainment, it's like the bloody accident you rubberneck to see, the train wreck you just can't stop watching. I actually follow US politics more than my own, Canadian politics are so boring.... so lacking in scandal. Let's face it we are too damn nice ... everyone in Canada is too damn concerned with what the other person is going to think, heaven forbid we offend someone.

I was intrigued when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not surprisingly the Obama camp and many others started stating their sometimes scathing opinions. I was rather disgusted when individuals started dragging Palin's kids into the equation; kids really ought to be left out of the whole ugliness of politics. There was speculation that her youngest child, Trig, was really the off spring of her oldest daughter Bristol. The rumor mongering led to the announcement that Bristol was an unmarried mom-to-be. Since when are children fair game for advancement in the unforgiving world of politics?

I have to wonder if the Obama camp has sealed the fate of a possible Presidency by driving a nail into the ol' campaign coffin with this particular line of attack. Average America, those with half a brain in their heads, are going to look at their teenage daughters and think "there but for the grace of God go I"; or see their wee grandchildren playing around the dinner table while Mommy finishes her homework... and they WILL envision themselves on the receiving end of that judgement and it will sway their votes.

What really gets me is of all those people spewing forth their "opinions" on teenage pregnancy, how many of them NEVER had pre-marital sex? How many of them were just damn lucky to not get "caught"? I could be waving my hands, yep I'm sure many of us were "lucky" when we got lucky. How many of them have or had perfectly virginal teens, teens who never messed up. What they are failing to see here is that this young girl is stepping up to her responsibility, how many teens truly do that? How many seek the easy way out? I'd say this girl has a strong foundation and will be just fine.

I heard some woman going on and on today about how Palin is putting politics before her family. I say bullshit. Palin has a chosen career path just as many of us do, how many of us would turn down the opportunity for advancement or personal growth? If Palin is indeed putting her career before her children then by God we'd better start boycotting ALL movies starring parents... isn't that the same deal. Don't they go off on shoots leaving their children in the care of nannies? Let's not lose sight of the fact that Palin is married to her high school sweetheart, they love and support one another. If a long happy marriage, that has produced fine upstanding citizens (Track is in the Army) isn't the epitome of family value and dedication then I don't know what is.

This is a woman who truly has nothing to hide. She admitted to smoking AND inhaling marijuana back in the day; she openly brought forth the news of her daughters pregnancy BEFORE it could be maligned by others; she strikes me as being one very up front and down to earth individual. She is tough, and doesn't back down once she takes a stance. She stands by her word, she said she was going to clean up AK governments and she did. Integrity is a wonderful thing, it is something that is lacking in politics for the most part, maybe she can bring a refreshing change.

I've also heard it said that she lacks "experience". Well perhaps she isn't as experienced as some of the prior candidates, however, lets be real here...the "experienced" ones don't always bring much to the table. The "experienced" ones are quite often the biggest bullshit artists, the most easily puppeted by the behind the scenes people. Who would you rather, inexperience with a mind of her own ... or experience with strings? Honestly, when I have watched Obama speak he appears to be a marionette, he is weaselly (this has been my opinion right from the time he was running for Illinois senate)... definitely not someone I'd want running my country.

I don't understand why the candidates need to make each race so personal... why dig WAY back, so what if someone made mistake when they were younger (Palin's husband's impaired 20-some years ago)...shouldn't it just be about the job and the ability to carry out said tasks. If the prior mistake has not been a chronic lifestyle, if it truly was a mistake of youth... leave it where it belongs, in the past. The mudslinging and rumor mongering is so junior high schoolish, if you can't play nicely in the sand box, perhaps you shouldn't be playing at all.

I think McCain made a good choice, he chose someone who has values and heart, someone unknown, someone untainted by Washington. He chose a WOMAN, he chose someone who can relate to blue collar America. He chose wisely and I think his decision may well have ensured his place in the White house.

Perhaps it's time to vote in someone who has values and integrity. Perhaps it's time to make values and morals an important part of our lives again. Perhaps it's time to vote for someone who can relate to the average Joe's and Jane's, someone who lives it...someone who is untainted and unjaded.

I know how I'd vote if I was American.

Maybe it's time to do away with self serving governments and get back to basics.... By the People...For the People!!



Mandy said...

Hmmm... family probably shouldn't discuss politics, but heck, I'm going to wade in here. Don't throw the salt shaker at me during the next family dinner we're at together.

So, politically, I am diametrically opposed to your point of view. I'd just point out a few inconsistencies that I can see.

1. Mudslinging, in my mind, is attacking Obama for appearing to be like a marionette and for being "weaselly". I think you have every right to endorse a party or political leader who supports your world view. However, calling Obama names based on gut feeling rather than his political policies is not a reasoned argument.

2. Palin supports abstinence education in schools. That obviously hasn't worked with her own daughter, thus, in my mind, pointing out a fundamental flaw in one of her political, conservative party planks.

3. Ultimately, this is a presidential race for presidential candidates. If you want someone who is untainted and unjaded, then McCain, at 72, who has been a part of the American political machine for many decades, is not that person. Obama is much closer to fitting that description.

On the larger issue of Palin putting her career before her family, well, that is a matter of opinion. I'm not saying whether or not I agree with that statement. However, I would say that while I agree that a candidate's family life should not be fodder for public consumption, the very harsh reality of American politics is that it is. And has been for decades. So, as a parent, Palin had to know that she would be subjecting her children, especially the eldest, to a very harsh public spotlight. She willingly chose to do that.

The analogy to movie star parents is not the same situation at all. They don't expose (or at least don't have to expose) their children to a public spotlight, nor do movie stars shape public policy or attempt to sway public morals simply by acting in a movie.

Overall, what I take away from your post is that you are emotionally buoyed by the McCain/Palin ticket. Perhaps that best illustrates why Palin may prove to be a wise choice by McCain.

Jenn-n-n said...

Hmmmm, I concur Mandy, you make valid points. It was an opinion based blog. I don't care for Obama, not sure why, there is just something about the way he presents himself.

As for the exposing the daughter thing, again I agree, however since none of us are privvy to what goes on behind closed doors for all we know this may have been something that was discussed prior to her accepting. Also, while she may support abstinence in schools it doesn't mean her daughter follows the same line (obviously not). We can raise our children with strong values, morals and foundations but ultimately they will make their own choices as they get older. In order for them to grow we have to give them freedoms and hope they'll be ok, we can't be with them 24/7 or they would be stifled and stunted. I still don't feel that this is something she should be judged upon, does it really reflect upon her abilities?

Again, I concur on being emotionally buoyed by the McCain/Palin ticket. I realize that it is a presidential race and she is the VP candidate, but with McCain's age there is a very real possibility that she could end up in the big seat.

No worries about discussing politics with family, I am not fanatical and won't toss salt at you haha. Politics and religion are two topics on which two people will rarely ever agree wholeheartedly, which is partly why they can produce such charged debates. I respect your comments, in fact you are more fact based whereas I am more opinion based. Based on what you have said, I will pay more attention to Obama's background and qualifications instead of how he "appears" to me.

We were discussing this during a lull at work yesterday and I decided to blog about what we had talked about (my view).

Thanks for your comment :o)

Rebecca said...

One of the volunteers here is from Alaska. He is not a Republican, but he thinks she is great. Had nothing but good things to say about her. I just wish she were pro-choice. I think that is really important.