Saturday, November 1, 2008

Election and stuff

I’ve been meaning to write a new blog for a while now. I keep thinking of topics while sitting in my car on my long commute each day (ok, it’s only a 10 minute commute, but that’s still plenty of time to come up with some good ideas). The problem is that there are so many good topics that I could write about – but most are ones that I want to go incredibly in depth with – i.e. the election – why I think Obama is a MUCH better choice than McCain, or why Prop 8 is the most bigoted narrow-minded piece of . . . well, let’s just say that I’m definitely voting NO on 8. Or I could write about health care and how our system is so completely backwards – which relates to the election, but is not necessarily one and the same. Or I could just give a life update, but that’s pretty short: Aaron is still working nights. I’m still at Extreme. Our cat may be the most adorable creature to ever cross my path.

With the election coming up so soon, I think maybe that will be my topic for tonight - though I won't go nearly as in depth as I would like - mostly just my opinion. It is hard to understate the importance of this election. This is one of those elections that, regardless of outcome, is going to make a huge impact on America, the World, and more importantly each individual’s life. For the first time in my life, I am holding my breath in anticipation of Tuesday. This is the first time ever that I have felt so invested in an election. It is really exciting – and scary all at the same time. It’s refreshing to have so many people my age and younger talking about politics and actually caring about it. These are some of the same people that, I’m sure, back in high school when everything on the world stage was hunky-dory, didn’t care one bit about politics. I remember as a kid going downtown with my parents to watch election results – some of my friends in school thought that was weird. To me, Election Day has always been kind of a family holiday – even though I didn’t feel nearly as personally invested as I do now.

Everything in the world has become so difficult that it has everyone looking at this election as a single ray of hope for something to change. America’s reputation on the world stage has deteriorated to nearly a joke. Even though our economy is tanking, America is still such a dominating power the entire world is looking to us. They want to see which direction America will take. Will it still turn a blind eye and pretend like the rest of the world doesn’t exist? Or we will start acknowledging that there is life outside the US, and maybe, just maybe, other countries might have some ideas that are better than ours? The current administration’s belief that the US is the best country in the world to the point of ignoring all other policies and social structures drives me crazy!

By saying that, it doesn’t make me un-American or un-patriotic. I still love the US and, for the most part, I am proud to be an American. However, I do not like the direction our country has gone in the past 8 years. I was living in England during the first year of the Bush presidency. I saw what an impact an inane president could have on a country’s reputation – and this was before 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, the horrendous economy.

One of my friends from Pepperdine posted a thing on facebook saying, “I know high schoolers who understand economics better than Obama.” At first, I was hurt and a little offended. My gut reaction was a quick retort of “oh yeah, because the Republican economic policies have been working SO well for the past 8 years.” But then, I stopped myself, and realized that what makes this country so great is that we can have different opinions. I didn’t bother responding to my friend’s message because, obviously, I am not going to change her mind.

However, I have several reasons why the Republican “top heavy”/“trickle down” (whatever you want to call it) does not work. McCain says he doesn’t want to take “Joe the Plumber’s” money and give it to other people. (I take issue with the Republicans labeling Obama’s economic policy as a Robin Hood-type concept in this manner, but that topic is for another day) McCain says he wants Joe the Plumber to do give away his money on his own. Now tell me, how many “Joes” do you think are really going to give away their own money? If they don’t want to give their money to taxes, they certainly don’t want to give it to you or me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that Republicans never give to charity. I have this theory that people are innately greedy. Rich people get rich by not spending money. All those jobs that the Republicans say rich people are going to create – where are they? Oh wait, I know! The jobs have been eliminated because the rich people decided that there was more profit to be made by eliminating people’s jobs and replacing them with machines or cheap overseas workers. That tax deduction for charity donations is pretty nice, too.

Before you jump and call me a cynic – I also believe that people are innately good (again a topic for another day). But I don’t think that supersedes the fact that people are greedy and want to hold on to what they earn. I understand – you work hard for your money and don’t want to give it up. However, there are certain aspects of a civilized society that I feel should be rights, and not privileges for the few who can afford it – i.e. healthcare, education, etc.

I also think people think they earn more than they actually do. I think that people hear that $250,000 mark and think “Oh my goodness, that could be me in a couple years!” I have news for those people - $250K is a LOT of money. You can almost buy a house in Southern California for that amount of money! I’m a lawyer and that amount is still way out of my reach. I would love to earn that kind of money – and honestly, if I ever do, I would be willing to shell out a little bit more. Of course I’ll gripe about it, but at least if I know that my money is going towards healthcare and education and anything else where I can see my tax dollars at work, it will be worth it. Maybe Obama should be touting is as a “quarter of a million dollars” instead – I think phrased that way, most people wouldn’t think they earn that amount.

Ok, I’m tired now. Prop 8 will have to wait for tomorrow. I just have this to say – I saw a sign today that said “Prop 8 = Religious Freedom.” I couldn’t help but think, “No, Prop 8 = Religious Oppression, which is exactly what this country was founded against.”

No comments: