Nothing Special, Really

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sorting Through The Bullshit

I received an email about a month or so ago, one of those mass emails that gets forwarded across the country that somehow found its way into my inbox. The subject of the email was questioning Obama's qualifications to be President. Unfortunately, I deleted the email, but the gist of it was this:

1. Obama is less qualified than McCain because, if you exclude the times that the Senate was not in session, his experience as a Senator was less than two years, maybe even one year. Likewise, in the same sentence, the claim was made that McCain had over 20+ years as a Congressman

2. Quotes from Obama's two books were also mentioned, although the excerpts taken were fragmented in an attempt to portray Obama as being somewhat racist towards whites, or at least very pro-black. These quotes were listed as one-off statements, completely out of context from the book.

I doubt that I would ever get an email that would significantly influence my vote, but what really struck me is that I could really see someone who is on the fence being swayed by this to vote for McCain. In this particular situation, I don't think that was an issue because the majority of the recipients were probably voting Republican anyways. But I wonder how many undecided people received that email and were influenced to vote for McCain.

The truth is, I myself don't know who I'm voting for. I'm very heavily leaning towards one candidate more than the other, but I do consider myself undecided. My goal is to not make my vote an emotional one but a more logical one. And with that, it means filtering out all the bullshit coming from both campaigns to figure out what is truthful and what is meaningless.

On top of that, I have to weigh all that with my cynicism about the election itself. There's a significant part of me that feels it doesn't matter if it's McCain or Obama, it's more important to know who's in their back pockets. In some ways, both men are just figureheads for the initiatives & agendas of the organizations supporting them. So for me, it may not even come down to what the candidates have to say (I haven't even seen or heard a speech from either candidate thus far); it may just come down who's agendas I support the most.

But above anything else, my main purpose in this election is to really understand what exactly I'm voting for. I don't find any shame in admitting that I'm hardly the most politically knowledgeable or politically aware, but my goal is to do something about that. I feel that if I want to be a "true American", then it's my duty to base my vote off of more than the following points:

- McCain was a POW in Vietnam so he has the resolve & experience to defend this nation from terrorists
- Obama is a champion of change and has the vision & willpower to put this nation on the right track
- Obama lacks the experience needed to be President
- McCain has moved too far to the right-wing & no longer represents a departure from the neo-con Bush Administration
- Obama is black
- McCain is old
- McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin, has a husband with a DUI from 20 years ago & a pregnant teenage daughter
- Biden is too old (honestly, I don't know anything about Biden)

It's always easy to simplify the election into Republican vs. Democrat, Liberal vs Conservative, youth vs. experience, old vs. new, red vs. blue. I'd venture to guess that majority of this nation has already made up it's mind, but what bothers me so much is how many of those decisions were made based on biased, incomplete, or downright untruthful bits of information.

For the next two months, if I can muster up the motivation to write, you'll find me getting a lot more political on this blog. I'm not going to try to influence anyone to vote one way or the other. I'm just going to write about what I find when I try to sort through the lies & figure out what's really going on, because I truly believe that the only "wrong" vote is an uninformed vote.

3 Comments:

  • Only wrong vote is "not voting."

    By Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage, At September 5, 2008 at 1:19 PM  

  • Since the President is basically a "figurehead" and Congress is responsible for screwing everything up, the only true indicator is the individuals honesty and integrity. Several weeks back both Obama abd McCain were asked the same question:"What is your personal moral failure?" Obama waffled and never did give a straight answer, McCain immediately said,"My first marriage." No waffleing or evading just a straight answer. Yes, there is a LOT of BS in any campaign, but the individual who admits thier mistakes will probably be the most reliable if elected and yes the only "Wrong or wasted vote is the one that is not cast" Love ya

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 8, 2008 at 6:46 AM  

  • They both suck. Obama will get my vote by sucking a little less than McCain. That sucks.

    By Anonymous mark, At September 10, 2008 at 5:33 PM  

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