For those who don’t know, that’s the chorus from a song titled “Peace Sells” by the band Megadeth. Been listening to it a lot lately. It seems fairly appropriate as we approach Election Day. I imagine there’s a few folks who don’t necessarily see it that way. I’m sure there’s a good number of people who believe the system is fine. Nothing is broken. Continue on your way, America. I’m also sure there’s an equal (if not greater) number who believe the system is flawed. That we are yet again forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. That the country is in a downward spiral and we show no signs of pulling out of it. So what are we to do?
My last post touched on this and apparently fell on deaf ears. Not all that unsurprising. One small voice, not many readers, wasn’t all that close to the election, etc. That’s understandable. I hope this one hits home with a few more folks. Back to the question: what are we to do?
For starters: START THINKING FOR YOURSELVES! Seriously folks, I have see more lemming-like “holy God I MUST believe EXACTLY what my chosen party tells me” simple minded sniping on the web than I’ve seen from a group of high school cheerleaders. Grown adults playing the “they’re wrong because they’re different” card on Facebook. The same adults decry teenage girls for bullying each other on the same medium. Maybe no one has pointed this out so let me be the first to tell you, it’s the same mouthful of mouthwash swishing to the other cheek. Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, they’re both full of shit. Got that? Both are in the business of entertainment, just like your favorite actors, musicians, performers, etc. My wife, daughter, and I went to see KISS last week, a group of four men who are very much in the business of entertainment. The difference between KISS and the talking heads on TV and radio? KISS has never pretended to be anything else. I can respect them for that. I also won’t accept their words as gospel truth. The makeup, the lyrics, it’s theater. Just like Limbaugh and Maher. The difference is that Gene Simmons openly admits that he laughs all the way to the bank.
Another one that troubles me is this illusion that everyone who has served in the military will automatically vote Republican. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there’s a lot of us who lean conservative, but it is not automatic. After 7 years of active service and 3 years of working with the military, it’s been my experience that folks with military service tend to fall just left or right of center. Don’t believe me? Take a look at how things have worked out since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed. Haven’t heard about openly gay military members completely screwing up their unit’s readiness, have you? That may be shocking to some, others may claim it’s just being covered up to force a political agenda. Neither is true. Here’s the reality of it: while some generals may have taken an open stance against repealing DADT, the majority in the military didn’t care. Not a very Republican stance, is it? Welcome to being socially liberal. I served while DADT was in effect, and we had a few gay folks in the ranks. Didn’t matter because they did their jobs effectively and didn’t bring their personal shit to work. Just like straight folks.
While I’m on the subject of social issues, let’s hit that “legitimate rape” comment by Todd Akin. First off, there is only ONE standard for “legitimate rape” and that is unwelcome sexual contact. No means no. Anyone who believes that the female body can magically deny unwanted sperm is a fool. Anyone who supports such a fool is a moron. Y’all do realize there are still people out there who support Todd Akin, right? Look, as a result of my personal beliefs and upbringing, I tend to lean toward the conservative candidates. However, as the father of a little girl, I cannot in good conscience support a man who thinks this way. It’s 2012, we have this thing called science. Look into it. If you cannot wrap your brain around that concept, I suggest you pack your bags and relocate to the Middle East. It’s the Dark Ages with electricity, I suspect people like Akin would do well there.
Now, I’m sure at least one person reading this is thinking, “Jesus, he’s been going after conservatives, this guy must be voting for Obama.” Nope. And I really can’t say that President Obama has personally done anything that I vehemently disapprove of. Yeah, I thought the “Beer Summit” thing was a waste of time, and I do believe he was rather naive during the 2008 campaign when it came to national defense. But other than those two and his background in Chicago politics (I grew up in Northwest Indiana, been watching the Chicago political machine all my life), there’s really nothing I can call him out on. Now, I can’t say I approve of his Attorney General. Claiming executive privilege in regards to Eric Holder and “Operation Fast and Furious” was a shady move in my opinion. Truth be told, if President Obama had instead asked for Holder’s resignation, he probably would have my vote.
The fact of the matter is this: it really doesn’t matter which candidate is elected President this year. Because Congress will have still failed to vote on a budget. As a Nation, we are $16 TRILLION in the hole. We’ve been hemorrhaging money and rather than fix the problem, politicians have instead been involved in pissing contests. Or just ignoring the issue. And you’ve been buying their bullshit. This election is NOT about social issues. Yes, I know I just harped on them, because that’s what your candidates have been pushing. I’ve yet to see a solid economic plan out of the candidates. You want a President? Here’s what you’re looking for: a candidate with a rational domestic and foreign policy. Quit blowing money left and right. You cannot spend money to save money. You can, however, quit throwing good money after bad. Quit concerning yourself with other people’s personal lives. Unless a person’s actions are causing harm to another person, stay out of it. Quit building nations. It pains me to say this, but we have wasted time, money, and lives for ungrateful people. You can’t force self-determination. Oh, you can encourage and support it, but the people you support have to be willing to work for it. The funny thing about nation building is that it only works if everyone has the same goals. Doesn’t work with a tribal mentality.
One more reality check for you: in the past 11 years, our national debt has doubled. We are subjected to invasive security checks. The economy has nose-dived. People are out of work and getting hostile. A once-prosperous Nation, one that was a guiding light in dark days, is crumbling. The terrorists are winning. How does that make you feel? Pisses you off, doesn’t it? Then do something. This is America. We never used to be afraid of hard work, making hard decisions, and getting shit done. Oh hell, I’ll just let Bill Murray say it:
We can overcome this. We can get back to the Nation we were before. But we have to throw this partisan crap out the window. The two party system is a joke. People are too concerned with sticking by their gang to actually vote the issues. I’m tired of hollow promises from politicians who only want my vote in order to attain power and money. I’m tired of politicians who use their position to force their beliefs upon others. I’m tired of voting for the lesser evil. Campaign spending is at an all time high and the majority of the campaign advertisements are attacks on opponents. It’s the old way. Show me a new way. Show me a candidate who will actually work for his or her constituents. Show me a selfless Congress. Most importantly (to me), show me that my service to the Nation was not wasted, that the sacrifice of my military family was not in vain. You say you support the troops? You support the veterans? You honor the Fallen? Prove it. Vote your heart, not what you were told to vote. And if no candidate represents you, step up and serve your countrymen by representing them honestly. I’ll be the first in line to vote for you.
But it better work this time. We can’t afford to stay on this path.