Either you embrace the system or you don’t…

3 11 2010

I have been quite vexed by some of my fellow interweb acquaintances over the past 36 hours.   I will not name names as I do like these certain people and I would hate to exit their good graces.  But I feel the situation in general must be addressed.  Because of the vexing that I previously mentioned.

Yesterday twitter was literally besieged by talk of the election.  Rightly so, as it was an important one and record numbers turned out for this midterm.  Presidential elections always draw the crowds…  midterms, not so much.  I know here in Pennsylvania it was a big deal.  there was a Senatorial seat, several House seats and a Governorship up for grabs.  It’s not the first time these positions have been on the chopping block, but I will admit this is the first time I have ever voted in a non-Presidential election.

There was as much up for grabs in other states as well, so obviously the chatter was to be expected.  What was not expected, by me, at least, was the spiteful nature of it all.  Do we not live in a democracy?  Is not the right to vote and have our ideals represented by those who we feel will best represent our best interests one of the greatest parts of this country?  I believe it is.  And while I have not always voted in every single election, knowing that this is the process our country is run on makes me very proud.  I don’t have to fear being tortured, harassed or assaulted when I go to cast my vote.  There are numerous places, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, where this isn’t the case.  Where voting is as dangerous as going to a drunken frat party dressed like a whore.   And yet, people in countries where that is the case value the right so much that they will risk whatever it takes to go cast their vote.  All we risk is losing some time while we stand in line.  Our country is beautiful in that regard and our election procedures should be held dear.

I wanted everyone to get out and vote yesterday.  EV-ER-Y-ONE.  And you know why?  Because I truly believe unless we all get out and vote we will not get the outcome that the majority wants.  And if we don’t get the outcome that the majority wants…  then what’s the point of holding elections at all?  I was saddened yesterday to see comments asking one political affiliation or another to “forget to vote” or saying “get out and vote unless you’re (political party), then stay home”.  What good is a REPRESENTATIVE government if it doesn’t represent how the majority feels?

Was I happy when Bush “beat” Gore?  NO.   Was I happy when Bush beat Kerry?  NO.   Was I happy when Obama beat McCain?  YES.   At any time did I want people not to vote?  NO!!   Again….  NO.   And I feel that wanting people to stay home because you feel their views differ from yours AND you feel there might be SO MANY of those people out there that they might affect change is completely and decidedly un-American.

So the elections came and went, except for a few that I think are even still being decided…  and TODAY?  Today I daresay is worse than yesterday.  Because today the insults started.  The cries of calling people less than smart if they dared to disagree with one point of view or another.  You know what?  Yesterday displayed the best of what this country is.  And I’m not talking about the outcome in terms of political party, but just in the mere fact that many, very many people were apparently unhappy with how things are going and they were able to voice that and demonstrate it.  For all the complaining that the everyday person does regarding politics, the only time those people actually DO have a voice that matters is at election time.

Our ability in this country to effect change and have the chance to make opinions heard and make them matter is the very best of this country and I love it.  Win or lose, I love it.

If people disagree with you…  they are not stupid, feeble-minded or lacking mental faculties.  They’re just people who happen to disagree.  And they probably have their reasons… just as you have yours.   How can we expect our government to cooperate and engage in productive discourse if we are not willing to do so ourselves?

You can’t just love the system when you win…   Either you embrace democracy all the time or you don’t embrace it at all.


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4 responses

4 11 2010
Elly Lou

My frustration isn’t with the other side…well, ok some of it is…but really I get most upset with the people that fall under the heading of “similarly minded.” We seem to feel so entitled and confident that our liberal, educated ways are the right ways that we assume any common sense individual sees things the same way and therefore they will all vote that way. So why should I miss a conference call or look away from my Blackberry long enough to wait in line at the polls? My way makes sense so I’ll just let those with more time take care of the actual voting thing. Then they get all surprised when the election results aren’t what they wanted. It just feels so “all talk.”

Oops. Soap box. Sorry. I might still be a little riled up, too.

4 11 2010
Amy

That’s another side of it. People not bothering to vote. It’s infuriating.

7 11 2010
Redshoes51

Hey you… found you through Peggy Sue via the comments. I totally agree with you… when a politician of either/any party does something that I don’t agree with, I don’t go around calling his/her supporters a bunch of names. If anything, all that does is cause further alienation… which we do NOT need in this country…

You know the one thing that put all of this in perspective for me? It was when James Carville married Mary Matilin.. I mean, how much more of polar opposites could they be??

They seem to be deeply in love with each other. Yet, he goes about bashing Republicans and she goes about bashing Democrats… it doesnt seem to affect their quality of Life a great deal…

Great post… thanks!

~shoes~

7 11 2010
Amy

Hey thanks for coming by. And yeah, their marriage definitely says a lot about how big of a role politics SHOULD play in our lives. Where it should rank in the list of priorities. Yeah, our country is effed up. And no matter who is in office it will still be effed up. No one has the magic pill for this place. Well… no one on Earth has the magic pill. Take part in the system, educate yourself so you know what you stand for and vote accordingly but in the meantime, don’t bash everyone in your path and cast insults at those who disagree, you know? Politics among the people CAN be civilized even if it’s not among those we choose to lead.

HM

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