This is just a moment in which I'd like to share my opinion.
This has to be one of the dirtiest political seasons that I have seen in my relatively brief 33 years on this earth. I have never seen such a divided and distinctly separated America. Ever. What's worse is that we have all fallen into the game. It seems that we have become a nation that feels that it must be "for or against" something.
There is no compromise nor any middle ground. There are no discussions on any issue. All rational thought and debate have been dismissed as foolish and unnecessary. No one on either side wants to hear about the realities of a war, no matter what the reasons for starting it. No one wants to engage in the art of challenging someone to explain why they "believe" something should or should not be. Things seem, to me, to be following a path of acquiescence. Americans have become, as a whole, completely apathetic. The reason for this, I think, is that we feel powerless.
The power to be heard by the people has been taken away from us on a National level. The current President of the United States has said many times (remember the first protests against the war in Iraq) that he is not swayed by the people's voice in any way. He will do as he feels he should do. Period. Our nation cried out by the millions, and we were dismissed. We cried out for help after the 9/11 attacks, and we got nothing for an entire month. Then, the only action came in the form of a few thousand troops carpet-bombing empty caves in Afghanistan and setting up a new token president who is STILL asking for assistance from our country which had been promised so long ago. We are not heard when it comes to our basic rights to privacy, which have been railroaded by the Patriot Act. We have been told to sit down and be quiet as children who are seen and not heard.
All we have been left with is the power to take a side, without question. If you "believe" that the president is right, then you believe everything he does without question. If you think he is wrong, then everything he does is insanity and dictatorial in nature. We cannot come together to hammer out the details because we have become to absolutely set in our ways...
...which was the goal of this President all along. His business, political and religious agenda have been, from the beginning, to do as he pleases and to force people to decide something without thinking, without debating, without considering.
Those who would speak out against the way things are done are instantly labeled and categorized, then promptly roasted by the media mouthpiece of the White House. There is not one national media affiliate who can claim to be completely unbiased in their reporting, from either side. They eat it up and make a profit from the sensationalism.
I don't think that we can restore ourselves by simply voting out the current Presidential regime in Washington. We have to re-establish the connection between the People and our Congress men and women. That won't be an easy task. We have allowed our leaders to become powerful, too powerful. They can make decisions and pass laws without our outcry. We feel we cannot punish them, so they go on. Future candidates see this too, and are lining up to secure their own agendas. They cannot be trusted.
The only way we can fully and completely heal this political stagnation is to begin with ourselves. We have to remember that we have the power to change things by holding our politicians accountable for their actions. If they don't do the job we wish of them, then we replace them with someone who will. WE are the CEO's of this country. WE put into place people who work for the good of the majority. WE are completely responsible for our current undoing, and only we can repair ourselves. We must research each candidate who we would vote for. We must find their records on issues that are important to us. There are no absolutes in democratic politics. There is a constant give-and-take. No one candidate can offer the whole platter of perfection to any one of us. We have to pick the best he/she has to offer and deal with the rest as it may come.
Are John Kerry, George W. Bush, or (inevitably) Ralph Nader truly the best we can get? Are their ideals and ways of presiding (that's what a President does) over our country serving the most important needs in this world and in our lives? That's what we all have to ask this election season.
Research, ask questions, get and/or DEMAND answers, then go make an informed vote for your candidate.