Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

05 November 2012

The Devil You Know

You’re probably as sick of all the political crap as I am. I cannot wait for this election to be over. And you know what? I really don’t care who wins. Really.

I am either the most left-leaning Conservative you’ll ever meet, or perhaps the most right-wing Liberal. I staunchly oppose gun control, but I’m against totally against abortion. I think we need the federal government out of our lives, and we need a smaller military. I think every American should have health care. Not “access to” healthcare, but healthcare. We are supposedly the most advanced nation on the planet. What does it say about us that we do not take care of our citizens?

Anyway, does all this make me: Undecided? An Independent? A moron? Probably all three.

Politics has gotten so divisive lately that it’s sickening. People are so angry! On Facebook I have had to unsubscribe from the newsfeeds of some of my more vociferous friends so I don't have to be subjected to their continual childish rants. I’ve come very close to “unfriending” them completely. Sad to say, these are usually Republicans. They make post after hate-filled post about Obama and liberals. It wears me out. I get it, okay? I do not recall such anger back when George W. was running for his second term, but that may just be selective memory. I mean, let's face it, Dubya wasn't a very good president. And I love how Republicans keep invoking Reagan's name and keep skipping over the two guys named Bush. Clever, that.

I was confronted recently by a guy I know who is a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative Republican. He was literally steaming about Obama…how’s he’s ruined “the country” and how if he is re-elected “the country” will be totally, off-the-cliff destroyed. I offered that from my point of view it didn’t seem to matter who won this election. Oh boy, wrong thing to say!

This guy went into a Hannityesque anti-Obama tirade that included everything from our bad relations with Israel to the Iranian nuclear situation to gasoline prices to Benghazi – the usual Conservative talking/yelling points. Oh, and he also stated as a fact that Obama cancelled the “Keystone Pipeline” which is simply not true although many uneducated boobs believe in their feeble brains that it is.

I shrugged, refusing to get drawn into yet another pointless political argument. This put my buddy into Personal Attack Mode. Republicans really do believe that Obama is destroying “the country.” And Mitt Romney will save it. And if you’re not totally with Romney then you, yes YOU are complicit in destroying “the country” as well. Well! Made me feel like a right traitor, he did!

I recall that in 2008 then-candidate Obama ran on a platform of “hope and change.” He would change Washington, he promised us. He was just what we needed. And now, four years later Obama admits that you cannot change Washington from the inside. Oh really? Whodathunkit! And now along comes Mitt Romney, promising us that HE will be the change! HE is just what we need! Yeah…right. I’ll tell you what: I didn’t believe Obama back then and I don’t believe Romney today.

I think my biggest objection to Mitt Romney is that he’s a phony. He’s fake. He will say anything to anyone to get elected. Just go on YouTube; a quick search will turn up all of Romney’s inconsistencies. Flip-flop, back and forth. And this is not a trivial point…which is that no one really knows where Romney stands on issues. Because what he says today may not be what he says or does tomorrow. he tells us. Trouble is, I don't.

Is Obama any better? No. He promised us many things…over 500 promises of which he kept less than half (about 38% according to people who track these things). He promised us transparency, but his presidency is one of the least transparent ever. Like Romney, Obama is a typical politician. But in this case, President Obama is the devil we know. And for better or for worse, the devil we know may be the choice this election. Not “the best” choice, and not even “a better” choice. Just the choice. That, my friends, is sad.


Anonymous said...

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

Bob Barbanes: said...

The above comment was signed "Anonymous," of course. People tend to not divulge their names or email addresses when they want to complain about something but don't want you to know who they are. So brave! They're like little girls with their panties in a wad. I probably hold no greater disdain than for anonymous internet complainers...except maybe for people in front of me texting on their phones when the red light turns green.

The next time I read a comment, I hope it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one above. I mean, I know it's my choice to read, but I actually thought this whiny, immature responder had something interesting to say. But no. She was just looking for attention, getting her two cents in.

I hope it made her feel better. I imagine she needs all the validation she can get in her otherwise meaningless life. So sad.

Hal Johnson said...

I've had people get mad at me--yep, actually mad in a visibly obvious way--when I've told them that I plan to vote for Gary Johnson. One guy in our indoor mall here saw me with a Gary Johnson t-shirt and "informed" me that by voting for Johnson, I was taking a vote away from Romney and helping to elect Obama. He agreed with me that there was more wrong with our two-party duopoly than right, but he hated Obama so much that I became his enemy in a matter of moments because I represented a threat to the effort to remove Obama from office.

But here's the thing: most politicians will swing with political tides to a degree (the elder George Bush was once a pro-choice Republican), but sheesh, Romney is like a weathervane. That, more than anything, makes me uneasy about the prospect of him becoming our next president. It also makes me uneasy that he's dishonest about the fact that he was a Bishop in the Mormon church. He says he was a "pastor," when I'm pretty sure there is no such title in the LDS organization. Why does he feel the need to hide his standing in the Mormon church?

Hal Johnson said...

Oh yeah, about that guy in the mall. I didn't bother telling him that it's a near certainty that Obama will get California's electoral college count. I didn't have time to explain that to the poor fella.

Bob Barbanes: said...

It's funny, Hal, I was just recently thinking about that: "Pastor" Romney. No such animal. "Bishop" Romney, yes.

I actually wish that Romney had not downplayed his religion. I have some very close friends who are LDS and they are among the most kind, generous, loving, spiritual and community-minded people on the planet. This tells me a lot about Mitt Romney, the man. More people should know that about him.

On the other hand, *any* mention of a person's spirituality these days causes incredible anxiety. In the 1960's people worried that the Catholic Church would "tell" JFK what to do, and now people might worry that the LDS church might tell Mitt Romney what to do. So coming out, as it were, as a devout member/leader of the LDS church might just be the kiss of death for Romney politically. I wish it wasn't that way.

But while I like Mitt Romney the Mormon there is unfortunately Mitt Romney, the politician. And that is where I have trouble.

Mormons are taught to blend in...to adapt...to not make a big deal about the differences and peculiarities of their relatively new religion. They've had to: Back in the day you could be tarred and feathered and even killed just for being a Mormon. So they've learned to lay low and act like theirs is "just like" every other Christian religion. Which it most certainly is not. No other modern Christian faith that I know of believes that God was once man and that man can become God.

This carries over into the political arena, where Mitt has learned to adapt and say whatever his particular audience wants to hear. This makes me trust him not one bit.

But do I on the other hand trust Obama? Not at all.

What's a voter to do?!

Hal Johnson said...

Bob, now that it's all over with, let me say that I've known Mormons throughout my life, and I pretty much echo what you've said: Mormons tend to exemplify what we look for in a good neighbor. Some of their theology has me scratching my head, but hell, I was raised Southern Baptist, and some of their doctrines got me scratching my head enough to leave that fold late in childhood. What bothered me most about Romney was that he wasn't honest about his position in the church. I think many Americans feel the need to know about a candidate's standing within a religious organization--regardless of a candidate's particular association.

Anonymous said...

Great blog, contrary to some other opinions. Am I happy with the outcome? Not really sure, and that is confusing to me. Like you, I am center, not left or right necessarily. I was pulling for Romney, but now that he has lost I am consoled with the fact that hopefully Republicans have learned a few things on how to appeal to a larger contingency. However, just because I was pulling for Romney does not mean I trusted him any more than Obama. Let's face it...politicians are just that way, just as you stated. That makes trust a hard thing to come by.
The next round of elections wil be very interesting indeed, and hopefully be less divided (although I doubt it).
In summary, I would point out that raising two young children (that I really want to be responsible and productive citizens) is very difficult with the dissent so prevelant. I cannot agree more that this country is great enough to do better for the unfortunate, but there is a fine line between that and just buying votes through entitlements. This country has serious problems that will have to be addressed by both sides, but the left's main answer seems to be "more free stuff". I do not agree, and certainly don't want my children thinking that.
In the end, I hope both parties and our voters understand that, and realize their responsibility to try and reach common ground for everyone's sake and good.
Take care my friend,