Decision ’08 (thank goodness almost over)

The yahoo politicos of the nation are getting ready for their annual party:  cloaked in flags and patriotism, they call upon everyone to do their duty and become involved in a process that is at best fallible, and at worst mired in dirty tricks and corruption.


This is a good one.  In Virginia, someone has been passing out fliers informing democrats to vote the day after the election, to alleviate long lines due to the higher than expected turnout sure to happen on election day.  Dirty trick.  Yep!  Though, if you read most of the dimwitted responses from the people responding, a few note that anyone willing to fall for such a hackneyed ruse, might very well not be the people we want having the power to select the next leaders of the nation.

One of my younger colleagues is going through her first election in Illinois (she had to be taught how to get multiple IDs, and how to register under false names and at multiple precincts ….;-).  She decided to vote early, and did so with her husband.  She had been following the national election closely, and knew that voting for whomever is running against Dick Durbin in the senate is a waste of time (I don’t even actually know for sure )if the Republican Party is actually running anyone …. I have not seen an actual name anywhere).  She was upset that she had not taken the time to research the candidates for other offices, such as the 41,982 people up for election as judges.  I commented, laughing, but dead serious, that mom used to vote by picking the Polish and Irish names.  She noted that her husband had told her not to worry, because no one actually knows anything about those people, and that he was not actually voting for any of them.  Heck, he ought to know, he is working on his graduate degree in political science!

The fact is, I could care less about who wins this election (so long as it is not Hillary Clinton or W … I can eliminate those two immediately).  I have a devoted Obama supporter howling over the selection of Sarah “what has she done” Palin ….. saying that we have a moral obligation to keep someone so inexperienced away from the White House.  I don’t think I need to remind folks that if it weren’t for Sarah Palin, Mr. Obama would be the least experienced person involved in this race.

The McCain folks talk about the stress on values and personal freedom.  However, after this Republican administration, it is hard to see Republicans as standing for anything remotely close to that.

Maybe I am a a bad role model.  I encourage my students to vote, but I am sick of the game.  When I moved up to the North Side, I gave up my right to vote.  I gave it up to avoid jury duty, not because I don’t want to serve, but because my students don’t deserve to have their education put on hold while I am away for something that someone else could do, and I would freely do over my summer break.  I am constantly told that they draw jurors from drivers licenses as well, but I was called three times for jury duty within five years before giving up the right to vote, and have never been called since.

That’s the ostensible reason.  However after 16 years of Clinbush, I have been turned off of politics and government.  I am not convinced that I see a politician out there worthy of my support.  I look at shenanigans and tomfoolery, and have decided that I no longer wish to participate in the game.

Of course, as my grandmother would point out:  people like you are what’s wrong with this country;  people of good conscience who do nothing.  That if more people were like this, poor leaders get elected.  Others would say “if you don’t like this country, go to Russia (or China or North Korea, or Venezuela …..)

I don’t think I am doing nothing.  I am educating students to be problem solvers and to not settle for making decisions, unless they can be sensibly justified.  Hopefully, they will not be as jaded with me.  I also do love this country.  I cannot say I am a patriot, because I was never asked to defend this nation, but I am deeply gratified for the opportunities that I have received.  My everyday work with young people, hopefully, makes this nation just a smidge better.

I would also argue that bad leaders are already being elected, and have been for some time.  Maybe our country needs a really bad leader …… someone to take us all somewhere really dark ….. before the nation realizes that it needs to snap out of its collective stupor, and stop treating elections like they were voting for Miss America or for the next to be eliminated on “Singing With the Stars” or some such.

Maybe then the electoral process will live up to what it should be in this nation.


6 Responses to Decision ’08 (thank goodness almost over)

  1. Jamie Holts says:

    Can you tell me who did your layout? I’ve been looking for one kind of like yours. Thank you.

  2. Jamie Holts says:

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  3. Alan P says:

    “… we have a moral obligation to keep someone so inexperienced away from the White House. I don’t think I need to remind folks that if it weren’t for Sarah Palin, Mr. Obama would be the least experienced person involved in this race.”

    Come on, you’re comparing apples and oranges – your first argument is to keep someone “so inexperienced” out of the White House, but the second argument is that Obama would be “least experienced”. Do you intend to argue that the least experienced candidate away from the presidency, or that Obama and Palin are about on par for lack of experience?

    “Of course, as my grandmother would point out: people like you are what’s wrong with this country; people of good conscience who do nothing”

    I agree with her. But I think there is more to it than that. Voting is almost the least an intelligent person can do (right ahead of *not* voting). To really make a difference one must take an active role, take leadership. Learn about the political process, about what types of activities the current political leaders engage in (in terms of government, not their personal lives). Write in your blog (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Write letters to them. Band together with like thinkers. Join an activist group. Run for office. Something to actually be involved in the political process other than just punching a ballot every once in a while.

    I’m certain that almost all our political leaders got into the game because they thought they could make a difference – they had a passion about something, and they got involved to try to do something about it. They didn’t come into politics motivated by how they can screw up the lives of millions of people.

    It’s really the fault of the public. In order to get any of their meritorious work done, politicians have to get into partisan politics, attached this or that rider to their bills, suck up to the right lobby to get funding – all this overhead just so they can try to do what is right. And the political process is corrupted as a result. We are too willing to be spoon-fed misinformation from the media, to be affected by emotional pleas and half-truths without doing a little work to think hard about what we’re hearing. It’s not that we should all be experts about what is going on in politics; rather, we should all have enough brains to be able to ask questions when someone tells us something, and to recognize a bogus argument from one that is based on merits.

    Tom, you’re doing one great thing to help – education. But I think it’s a disservice that you don’t vote. Especially to avoid jury duty – think about who will be on the jury instead of you – some no-brain that will convict the innocent or let a criminal off the hook just because of some slick lawyering. Just as it’s important for the intelligent people to participate in the political process, it’s just as important to participate in the legal process.

    So keep doing the education part. If people had half a brain, then we’d be in a lot better shape.

    “Maybe our country needs a really bad leader …… someone to take us all somewhere really dark ….. before the nation realizes that it needs to snap out of its collective stupor,”

    Isn’t this where GW took us? And we’re still not out of our stupor? You mean it has to be someone worse than him?

  4. Alan P says:

    Can I edit?

    Do you intend to argue that the least experienced candidate BE KEPT away from the presidency, or that Obama and Palin are about on par for lack of experience?

    Man, that was a lot longer comment than I expected… I should get my OWN blog…

  5. teganx7 says:

    Hello Jamie! Thanks for the kind words.

    The layout is a standard wordpress layout called “Kubrick”. I tend to avoid flashy and gaudy, and I don’t think I will have any pics or videos to post, so I just wanted something simple.

  6. teganx7 says:


    My main argument is that anyone supporting Mr. Obama, and saying you should vote for him on the basis that you cannot allow someone as inexperienced as Mrs. Palin that close to the White House, is not looking at things in a balanced way. Mrs. Palin has very little experience in politics, and I would not call Mr. Obama’s level of experience much more.

    Personally, while experience is a good, almost certainly the best teacher, experience can be bought. No president can have all the experience necessary to run something like the modern United States. A good president realizes this, and brings in the necessary experience to run the various departments and advise them on what to do. In that sense, I think this is where our current president has made his most disastrous mistake: he trusted the wrong people, and flat out refused to listen to people with contrary opinions. Based on what I have heard, I would trust Mr. Obama to bring in better advisors than Mrs. Palin might potentially do.

    All I have argued is that you can’t logically support Mr. Obama’s lack of experience while attacking such in the opposition.

    I agree that virtually everyone in politics got into the game with the best of intentions. I would even go as far as to say that many of them maintain the best of intentions. However, the system has gotten to the point where it doesn’t work much. Where I live, I can run off a list of the people who represent me (from the mayor and town council, to the state rep and senator, to the national Congresswoman and senators, to the president). I frankly look at the lot of them and see none of them as representing me (I mean, I know they do, but their views don’t appear to be mine) ….. they don’t vote they way I would, and they certainly don’t propose ideas that I would like to see proposed.

    One answer is: then you run for >insert office here<. I’m not a leader. I would not do the necessary job. I don’t think most people want a leader like me. I think I am a good teacher, so I teach. IMO, I think this is what leads to many of the good intentioned politicians going the wrong way. They want to make changes, but are themselves poor leaders, and unable to get things done.

    As for taking us to a dark place …… W has even come remotely close. Think of all the well intentioned voters in Germany in the early 1930s. That’s a democratically elected leader who could take a nation somewhere really dark. If W were really taking us to a dark place, Mr. Obama would have been arrested for something ….. anyone with contrary political objectives/ideas would have been harassed/arrested based on info gleaned from phone taps. People think what we have now is bad. I agree that it is, but we’re a long way from the bottom. I was suggesting this as a hypothetical point, not as something that I hope will actually come to be.

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