I promise this blog will not be so political or issue driven for very long. I'm just in the mood to spout opinions, dearies, and I'm going to indulge. Besides, I have at least three knit projects I need to post, plus several pieces of jewelry. Oh, and a master bathroom re-do that includes cabinets refinished by moi. The fluff will return pronto.
Today, however, I want to talk about confidence–specifically, lack thereof.
The idea that John McCain might end up being president (and worse–Sarah Palin might be VP) scares the bejesus out of me. Frankly, I need my bejesus–it keeps me warm at night, and I don't have a lot to spare right now.
Unfortunately, the last eight years have convinced me that my political views and values are not in sync with the rest of the country. I first lost confidence in the voting decisions of my fellow Americans on November 7, 2000. I went to bed that night thinking Al Gore had been elected and woke up to find that George W. Bush was our president. Whilst this was indeed a grave disappointment, I could forgive them (American voters) for that, because really, what did they know about how the man would govern? Fast forward to 2004 when George W. Bush was re-elected. I honestly couldn't believe it. In just four short years, the man and his administration had lied to us in order to justify an invasion of another country, thus beginning a war that would lead thousands of American troops to their deaths (not to mention Iraqis), all the while stripping away many of the freedoms these men and women were fighting for in the first place. These are but a few of the Bush Administration's many transgressions, but they are certainly among the worst.
Americans voted him in again anyway.
What is so obvious to me apparently isn't so obvious to other American voters, many of whom continue to support George W. Bush and his corrupt administration. And while John McCain strikes me as a more sincere politician with some kind of a moral center, choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate was a slap in the face to anyone who has even moderately liberal views, let alone a pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-war atheist like me. Because of these fundamental differences in world and social views, there is really nothing McCain can say or do that would convince me to vote for him.
There are, of course, conservatives just like me who wouldn't vote for Barack Obama if he actually were the second coming of Christ. There's really nothing I can say about them except we will have to agree to disagree. The voters I worry about most are the undecided ones who still haven't decided between Obama and McCain. Voters who are disgusted by the Bush Administration but not ready to vote for a liberal democrat. Voters who have been scared shitless by terrorism and buy into the claim that we are safer because of George W. Bush and that by extension, only McCain can keep us safe. And worst of all–lifelong white democrats who would never call themselves racist but just can't stomach putting a black man in the White House.
I can see why a politician like John McCain might appeal to those voters, and since I've been let down by the last two elections, I have no confidence that I won't be let down again. But I shouldn't say "let down," because American voters were exercising their right to vote as they see fit. It just saddens me that what they see seems to be so different from what I see.
A couple of years ago, when I was training for a marathon, every couple of weeks I was updating my running playlist. One of the songs I ran to for weeks was by Morrissey, called Irish Blood, English Heart:
I've been dreaming of time when to be English is not to be baneful, to be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial.
Substitute American for English, of course, but these lines resonated with me. I have never been someone who has bought into flag-waving patriotism, but I realized for the first time in my life I was actually ashamed to be an American. My version:
I am desperate for a time when being American is not to be painful, to be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist, or fearful.
I hope that time comes in November. In the meantime, I will be hording my bejesus so I'll have some in reserve.