I’ve long been a fan of politics, but never passionate about it.
I would go as far as feeling sorry for those people who got too wrapped in it, only to have their candidate lose or their initiative fall short and then feeling like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were saddling up.
After all, if you review history, no matter which major election you look at, the passionate people on the losing side always feel like all is lost, the world will come to an end or threaten to leave the country. Yet, somehow, we always manage to survive.
I remember being very young, when someone at my parent’s house was overheard saying about John Kennedy, “If he’s elected, we’ll all have to pray to Mary” because of his being a Roman Catholic. The election after that, there was a powerful commercial the democrats played about Barry Goldwater that simply planted the idea if he was elected president, nuclear war would break out. Lyndon Johnson won easily.
Yet time after time, worry after worry, we’ve somehow managed to survive. No one candidate is that much worse than another candidate. Once in office, they really don’t have that much power. We’re not electing a Czar, just a figurehead who has to play the game. In the case of the President of the United States, he can have all the grandiose ideas he wants, but unless congress goes along with him, those ideas will never see the light of day.
For a while, I’ve been following the Republican candidate shakedown. First, I watched Bachman, Perry and Cain whither away or self-destruct. It pretty much seemed like Romney was their guy and, at least, a reasonable alternative to President Obama. I believe that Barrack, much like Jimmy Carter, is a good man, but his learning on the job has resulted in a nice guy surrounded by the wrong people giving him advice, leaving him in something over his head. While Obama has been learning on the job, to this point he hasn’t demonstrated to me that he definitely can fix this country. He’ll try, but another four years of trying isn’t good enough.
However, if Gingrich wins the Republican nomination, I’m going to become so pro-Obama, it’ll be annoying. OK, maybe it’s more anti-Gingrich, but for the first time in my many, many years of life, I actually feel sickened by the thought of Newt becoming our next president. His arrogance, his attitude, his desire to be seen as “the new Reagan”…only to find out later that there are several clips on film of him dissing Reagan and how he did things. He divorced his first wife to marry his mistress whom he divorced to marry the next mistress….and this is the far right’s version of a moral leader?
I started this collection of thoughts a week ago and in that time, the Republican race has gotten meaner and nastier. What they don’t realize is that, instead of convincing me that one candidate is better than the other, I’m starting to feel like none of them are fit for the job.
Then, the president gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night and I sat through the whole thing. He said everything I wanted to hear and while that doesn’t mean it will happen, he’s at least given me his intentions of how the United States could be if he stays in office over the next four years. Am I in complete agreement? Hardly. But the majority of his goals and aspirations for the country really resonated with me. After surviving his three plus years of on-the-job training, I’m started to feel like we’ve turned the corner and the worst is over. Remember, this financial disaster did not start on his watch and don’t know that replacing him for the sake of replacing him would be such a good idea.
I do know how I feel about Mr. Gingrich, how his popularity completely baffles me and if America chooses to ignore the many, many warning signs about this guy, for the first time in my life, I’m going to become “one of them.” But I have faith in the system. So, bring on the relentless, negative campaign ads. I’ll hit the mute button for six months every time one comes and just ride it out until the day after election day.
I’m holding out that hope that maybe, just maybe, I can completely avoid turning into “one of them.”