Simply My Opinion

Jason Evans

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.

Comments

  • B.K. DeLong (unverified)
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    Very good points. I was incredibly disillusioned with the politics, the parties & the system. I chose to vote for Nader last time around...mostly because I knew MA would be taken by Gore. But I also spent a lot of time trying to convince people to also vote for Nader. I am but one voice, but I can't help regretting it a bit - especially after I read about loads of hypocritical information about Nader from some of his former senior staff, about how he far from practices what he preaches.

    The more I listen to the dissent around the convention, the more I realize....Kerry isn't the best. I think a cross between Dean and Kuchinich would meet my views - but frankly, anything is better than Bush. And as long as I don't get complacent should Kerry get into office, then I will do my part to further the agenda of progressive politics.

    What is key - if Kerry becomes President - is to begin then and there to really bolster up grassroots politics. What often happens is that the party in power gets complacent & the voices of the party thrown out of office get louder. We need to keep our voices loud and strong regardless of who is in power until all our ideals, (whatever they may be, liberal or conservative), are heard.

  • Betsy (unverified)
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    I'd urge you both to get a copy of the transcript of Barack Obama's keynote speech tonight (or see the video, whether on C-Span or elsewhere - I've links on my site.)

    He addresses many of your concerns in his speech - particularly the role that we, as individuals, must play.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    I heard Barack's speech, and I must say I was definitely impressed, and felt as much hope for the future as I've felt since the 2000 election. I commented that he has the ability to pick up where Dr. King was cut short.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    -- So much what you describe looks like images in the mass media's view, and what you say you feel seems like mass media-induced emotions.

    Blogmedia might be new. Two-way. A vehicle for person-to-person news linking, a.k.a. grassroots-ing.

    It's sounds like what you're saying is we need leaders who can follow what we're saying.

    Blogmedia: The patch for TV addiction.

    (I didn't attend Obama's speech tonight but I can find a link.) --

  • (Show?)

    I think that assessment is too easy. And I am very much for or against more than a few things.

    People are remarkably willing to discuss complicated problems and nuanced solutions, but you have to approach them in a way that makes it clear that you are also willing to step off the high horse and listen to whatever they have to say. Of course, none of this honest discussion happens on TV or in print, but it will happen if you're willing to make it happen.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    The fact is that the current administration has absolutely refused to enter into dialog from the very beginning on any issue. The People's willingness to enter into dialogue may be there, but there is an overwhelming sense of futility in such discussion.

    I am encouraging people to "make it happen" as you say. I want people to become informed beyond the mainstream semi-consciousness.

  • (Show?)

    Part of the responsibility for a politician's positions is the people. Probably the major part. While s/he may be interested in veering left, that's only possible if the people will back up those choices. In other words, if we want Kerry to initiate a progressive agenda, we need to give him political cover by supporting them.

    Clinton tried to get a national health care system through at the beginning of his term. Predictably, the righties defended their interests in the HMO, pharaceutical, and insurance industries and pitched a fit. At that moment, the game was joined. But where were the people? If we had marched in the streets like we marched against Iraq, we'd have health care now.

    It's true that the leadership has failed to lead. The opposition party has failed to oppose. No dispute there. But if they're ever going to move left, they need support from us. I believe Kerry is pretty far left--if he just gets support. The real battle begins in January, and then he'll need our support more than ever.

  • brett (unverified)
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    What makes you think you have the support to move the country "far left"? Do you really think that Republicans are going to join in and sing Kumbayah while you enact socialized medicine? I'm sorry, but this is a pie-in-the-sky, Pollyannaish, incredibly naive post.

    What are you trying to say, exactly? That people disagree vehemently? I would point you to 1968 when there was actual political violence at the conventions.

    That it's the current administration's fault? Look no further than the Democrats' warm embrace (eww) of Michael Moore.

    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.

    That the war in Afghanistan was a bad idea? You really are far left. Outside of Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, I doubt there's a candidate who opposes, even now, the Afghan war. Do you think they would be better off under the Taliban? And you're a liberal?

    Afghanistan is poised for major improvements, and Afghans are confident in their future:

    http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/28160.htm

    I just don't get the point of this post..

  • Randy (unverified)
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    Apathetic America or a paralyzed America?

    This election clearly crystalizes the two basic elements of fear or hope.

    This country has been through some fear-inducing events and many react at the most basic level of fear -- and stop there.

    I, too, cannot remember a more divided America -- and I remember Civil Rights struggles, Viet Nam and Nixon.

    The guys at the breakfast place are all older (than me, at least :-)...) and are almost reliably Republican. I overhear their conversations these days and for the past 6 weeks they've been shifting in their public comments. Perhaps they are rising above fear reactions to think and even hope? I don't know.

    If emotionally you are programmed to be affected by fear -- you're probably gonna go Bush-Cheney.

    If you still believe in basic core values of America Kerry-Edwards presents the hope for moving us back to the core values of America.

    Move towards the light!

  • Jason Evans (unverified)
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    I never mentioned moving anyone to the "far-left" at all. The whole point of my post is that debate has been abandoned in favor of making definite and unwavering decisions on either the "right" or "left" side of things. I am more "left" than most, but am certainly not radically leftist. I am also slightly conservative on some things, but most certainly not a "neo-consersative".

    You're incorrect on Afghanistan. The Taliban still exists, it simply doesn't have a government to attach it's face to. Osama Bin Laden is, in theory, still out there and at the helm. We have done a good job of disrupting them as a whole, however according to recent statements by Homeland Security, there is still a very strong and well organized Al-Qaeda planning to attack us during election season. Two wars have not made America safer.

    Regarding Afghanistan being "poised"..they've been poised for years, and as early as 6 months ago their president was asking Bush when he was sending the aid that was promised them in the beginning.

  • brett (unverified)
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    You're right, you didn't -- I was actually responding more to Jeff's comment, as I am wont to do.

    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.

    Don't you see the contradiction in those two paragraphs? "Polarization is bad, and Bush is evil." Pot, meet kettle.

    As for Afghanistan, it's been an absolute shithole for 30+ years. It has an infrastructure that makes Iraq look like Manhattan. It is not going to turn into Disneyland overnight; given that, we have made good progress, which is reflected in the attitude of its population more than anything. The poll showed that:

    • 64 percent say the country is heading in the right direction.

    • 81 percent say that they plan to vote in the October election.

    • 77 percent say they believe the elections will "make a difference."

    • 64 percent say they rarely or never worry about their personal safety, while under the Taliban only 36 percent felt that way.

    <h2>That is an improvement.</h2>

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