How dare we call ourselves Americans?
Or, perhaps the real question should be:
How dare we act as though we don't give a damn for three years, only to pretend as though we really care about politics every fourth year?
Listen. This series has not been against blacks, or whites, or republicans or democrats or purple people eaters. It has been a call to action to those who would otherwise not be interested in what goes on in the upper echelons of our government. To those who cry about what our government does, but who don't care enough to actually check out the candidates. Those who'd simply take each candidate at their word, then spend the next four years complaining only to start the cycle all over again.
These men and their running mates are not perfect, nor will any candidate ever be. They are not outsiders, like they would have you believe. They are not going to bring any kind of change or hope or glory to this nation on their own, and that much is certain.
Obama uses wonderful catchphrases, like "change" and "hope." McCain says "country first." Frankly, the only change we'll see is to the history book, no matter how this election turns out. Either we'll have the first black president, or the first woman vice-president. Let's not make this about the history book.
Look at McCain. A skilled leader. Not a skilled orator, but certainly one who speaks his mind. Who refuses to allow anyone else but himself define who he is. A prisoner of war, and a servant to the nation.
Now, look at him again. He speaks out of turn. He has defined himself as two-faced on many occasions. He was certainly a prisoner of war, but he also showed reckless disregard for his post prior to his imprisonment. He has said himself that he has been an imperfect servant.
Look at Obama. A skilled leader. A gifted orator. A soldier in his own kind of war- A war against inequality and discrimination. A man who has remained married to one woman, and who claims moral and ethical standing.
Look at him again. He never seems to speak unless from a script. Two-faced. A certain recklessness towards his constituants and a lack of scruples regarding his allies. A victim of discrimination, certainly, but one who uses his heritage to his political advantage as well.
Through the course of this series, I have recieved countless attacks ranging from race-baiting to a lack of patriotism to racism to full blown communism. It is amazing how quickly people respond personally when one points out their inconsistancy. It is also amazing how folks who react violently to radicalism, in example, often respond in kind. Some folks get extreme when you point out a problem they may have.
Some folks have actually employed conversation in their responses to me. They want to know my views. They want to know my background. Strangely enough, these questions fall into what I was going to be talking about now.
I grew up in an area with a high caucasian population. There were very few blacks in my town, but I was raised to believe that all folks are equal, no matter how they look. It was originally taught because of a disabled vet I insulted at four years old. However, as I grew older, I began to understand that skin color is not a disability, but beauty. Just as we all have hair, our skin color is nothing more than pure external beauty.
I realized that disliking someone based upon skin color is equal to disliking someone because their large intestine has an extra coil. Or because their hearts are slightly larger. Or because their tongue is a bit longer.
Conversely, LIKING someone for any of these reasons makes about as much sense.
I took a liking to politics when I was twelve, and I've kept up with it. I've got countless newspaper articles on various events throughout our country that I've kept and stored and refer back to. I do not refer to these to concentrate on the negative, but to always keep a balanced objective. Politicians would like us to develop amnesia every four years, and far too often they get their way.
Not with me. I cannot be lied to regarding their voting records because I know it. I cannot be lied to regarding their public life, because I've kept up with it. The only thing I may be lied to about is someone's personal life- And there are usually ways to learn the truth about even that if one digs deep enough.
THAT is what this has been about. THAT is why I encourage the American people to DIG. So they cannot be lied to and taken in. My heritage is a mix of Indian and French, and I do have American-Africans in my direct ancestory. I see the things this government has done to my Native people in history. I see the same things regarding other peoples- Not just my own heritage but others as well.
Every major betrayal in the history of this nation has come about because someone or many someones refused to do any research about the person they were dealing with. Why, I wonder, do the people of our present day refuse to research? Answer- They have forgotten their history, and as the saying goes: Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
To get past racism in this country, there must be an agreement at ignorance; That is, while not forgetting the history of what has occurred, we must make a conscious effort to not associate it with the hurt of that history. This is just as much a necessity for whites as for blacks.
The problem is, as has been stated, there will always be those extreme groups who refuse to get along. We as a nation, apart from these groups, must unite against them- We must NOT allow these small groups to set the tone for the whole of our nation.
When it comes to the upcoming elections, we need to realize that there is more at stake than the presidency. There are local elections, for instance, which affect change at a local level. To be so caught up in the history or charisma of either candidate that one ignores everything else is to perpetuate the wrong kind of ignorance- The kind that got us to this point in the first place.
In my honest opinion, neither of these men DESERVE the presidency. BOTH have shown themselves to have more of their own whims at heart. So who do I personally support? To be honest, no one.
I'll be voting for McCain for president, but not because I support him- I simply disagree with him on issues that concern me less than Obama.
For example, I want someone to go after the medical providers that gouge their prices so the price of health care rises. I do not WANT a government solution that caps the doctors, because there will never be a decent procedure done in this country again.
However, when it comes to local elections, I'll be voting for John Lynch for governor. I agree more with him on issues than his Republican counterpart.
The point is, I vote issues, and I harbor a firm hope that one day most of us will.
I am an American, and I am proud to be so. My pride is only overshadowed by those who are more than happy to be Apathetican.
What are you?