Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm NOT Joe Plumber

It's pretty scary. All the people I know who are intelligent aren't registered to vote..well not ALL of them, but a good majority. The excuse of course, "I don't want to vote for the lesser of two evils." That's a self-important crock of bull pucky, folks, seriously. You can't make changes by sitting at home complaining. You have to make effort somehow.

There would be MORE choices if MORE people put effort into saying what they are about, who they want rep'ing them, and if there was- quite frankly- NO party system at all. I think anyone who says, 'I dont' vote because I'm not a Democrat or a Republican' is really saying, "I don't vote because I ONLY want there to be democrats and republicans." You set up a system that perpetuates itself if you do NOTHING to change it.

I've been a registered NON-Partisan for about 20 years. Being from Massachusetts doesn't mean you're a democrat, but it can mean you've had better public schooling than other places. I did. I was "honors" and "gifted", and got through Latin Academy for three years so I could go to a Magnet Arts school, as a journalist/theater person. I elected to make my education important enough to me to graduate high school early, and to go to college. I elected to leave college and go into the service when I saw there wasn't financial options for me. Yes, emancipated children can do that, so I did. I elected to go back to school, and earn a few degrees, predominately in the creative arts. But I elected to do this, as it was the wise course for improving a life that could have been less than worthwhile.

I didn't grow up originally in a neighborhood that was filled with people driving Mercedes, and sending kids to summer camp. I started out several blocks from the projects in a relatively poor neightborhood, that was peppered with people from Lebanon, Italy, Ireland, and Haiti. Many of the people I grew up with settled in on the life of parenting, working at the local shops, and enjoying a high school education. I elected not to be this way.

In my later childhood years, I did end up living in a neighborhood where homes and the car people drove were more expensive than most people's entire lifetime fortune. I had a 27 piece silver service to use on Sundays, and did. I saw the other side of the tracks, and there were no subways, sewers, or five and dime stores- there was tea parties, cocktail parties, and "dinner meetings". The culture was as different from food stamps and government cheese as could be.

But, I don't understand why people ELECT to be ignorant. Ignorance is a choice. I grew up with no opportunities and yet, I found them, was given scholarships, and moved far ahead of what I could have had I elected to be just a kid who went with what people told me I was supposed to do. Free will is a magnificent thing.

People know I was a Richardson fan. A Mexican in the White House has so much comedic potential, but I had first-hand experiences with him, when he was my governor, when I lived in New Mexico. I read Richardson's blogs, and understood WHY he was going to pull out of the race, and WHY he was going to support Obama. I'm also one of the few people making sure C-Span gets SOME ratings. I've sat and watched votes that went on for days. I sat and listened to philibusting bombastic blunderers.

One of my students in New Mexico was pretty disdainful of me as I would rib her constantly for being an ardent Ross Perot supporter. In fact, I admired her greatly for going against the grain, and electing to be aware of whom it was she was supporting. Mostly, I prodded her because it gave her a platform for the speech class. She taught many students to stand up for who and what they believe in, and never be goaded by someone else's ideas. She was fabulous for it.

I watched the debates, along with many of my friends, as I sat at Facebook, typing commentary. Patton Oswalt, Brody Stevens, and Taryn Reid also did this, and many others had great moments of hilarity that Letterman and Leno would envy. But, really, we were trying to get people to LISTEN to what is being said. Don't just assume that someone is in favor of your beliefs because you were the same title, logo, or skin color. LISTEN to what is being said, and watch HOW it's being said to see if there is any genuine passion. Where there is passion, there is truth, where there is truth there is purpose.

I'm not Joe Plumber. I'm the one in my house who votes. If there is Atheist to vote for- that's great. I'm not going to vote for someone JUST because I support Atheists. If there is a pro-choice person to vote for, great. I'm not going to vote for someone JUST because they share my thoughts. If there is somehow someone who actually funded education before war- well- that person just doesn't seem to exist, does it? But, it's up to me to decide if I will follow my free will, elect someone who best represents the majority of my beliefs, and then put that person into office.

I'm not going to be Bushwacked anymore.


Chris said...
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writerdd said...

I'm not sure what this post has to do about atheist living. Sigh. I'm doing my best to avoid political bullshit on the TV and everywhere else, and I have to find it here? Let's stick to the topic of this blog.

Author, Atheist, USN Veteran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Author, Atheist, USN Veteran said...

Skepchick- you missed the point that at the Atheist Alliance Convention, several key speakers were telling us, "Just vote for an Atheist" no matter what the reason is we vote. This was in response to that thought process. If you feel that an Atheist shouldn't have a stand on an isse regarding the vote, which is indeed a humanist issue.. that's fine. But by all means, don't misinterpret the idea that a plea to get people to vote during the most controversial race in history should be ignored simply because it's omnipresent in non-secular media. And, to whomever was misinterpreting my comment about Richardson's comedic value - it's DIRECTLY related to the talk show hosts who started in with Bill's family history, and used that for late night fodder. As I pointed out- he was my choice for president to begin with as someone I admire. Communication works best when it's not done as fly-by heckles, and scribbles on internet-bathroom walls, don't you think?
(I also wrote this in response to people who thought a candidate's religious beliefs somehow are important to the long term status of our country.)

writerdd said...

Well, please don't call me Skepchick. :-)

I wasn't at the conference. I agree that voting for someone ONLY because they are an atheist, a woman, have a certain skin color, etc. is stupid. But voting for someone based on their personality, which is what many Americans do is just as stupid. You have to vote for a person based on their party platform and their past job performance history if you want to have any sort of chance of knowing how they will perform should they win the election in question.

Author, Atheist, USN Veteran said...

I think we're very much on the same page..apologies for misnaming you. You are well spoken and have a great way of saying your thoughts. Looking forward to reading more, of your blogs and future comments.