Monday, September 01, 2008

Obama or McCain: Clarity

O'Stymie or McSame?
Partisan politics reminds me of brand loyalty. What car do you drive, beer do you drink, laundry detergent do you use, or political party do you belong? The problem with brand loyalty is that you form a belief in something that sooner or later will transcend rationale behavior and thought and get to a place where you either have to defend the indefensible, or justify something you do not believe. It becomes a religion, and you know how that goes. Unfortunately in this country, if you want to vote for a candidate that has even a remote possibility of winning, you have only two choices. This makes it impossible to find a candidate that may align with even 75% of your values and positions. With only two candidates, this further exacerbates things and creates a sort of metaphor of good vs. evil. At some point you have to want to leave it alone and walk away. Don't you get tired of carrying water, no matter the side? Still, for myself, I have found myself joining in the fun, and getting down on Obama, using parodies of his name such as O'Stymie, Ovomit, Obamessiah, etc. It's nothing personal, really. I am pretty sure Barack is a very intelligent guy, has a great sense of humor, and a lot of ambition. The problem is we disagree on 95% of the issues, at a minimum. With McCain, I haven't used some of the parodies, such as McSame, McLame, McOld, Popeye, or McCrazy. Even with McCain, I differ with his positions 35-40%. If I don't get on his case, then why? To be honest, and I am sure some people out there will admit this as well, I feel sorry for the guy. I come from a generation that respects military service. My dad flew 35 missions over Germany in a B-17. I get the feeling Barack isn't that type of guy. Anyway, McCain got the crap beat of him and worse for five and a half years by some of the most brutal folks out there. The inmates at Gitmo are in Beverly Hills by comparison. I think to be objective, at some point I need to put his service  in perspective. I give him all props for it, but it shouldn't be the defining or decisive factor. It reminds me of the republican primaries where Rudy was always falling back to 9/11. Shit, I lived in New York at the time, and I understand it in a way that people outside of New York do not, but, it was not enough for me to support Rudy. After awhile it becomes both a crutch and an over used expletive that loses its meaning. In the end, hopefully we vote for the person whose values, beliefs, and character we agree with and find most appealing on a rational level. That is the best you can hope for. Most people will retort that vision is most import. Vision is important, but without the tools I mentioned, vision is just another meaningless campaign slogan or pretty idea inside someone's head. May the man with the better tools win. 

Bristol Palin
A lot of people are making hay with the announcement of Bristol Palin's pregnancy. The pro-choice crowd is having a field day with this. I don't think Sarah Palin's position is holier than thou. She lives her life consistent with her values.At least that would it would appear like that so far. That's more than I can say for a lot of people and most politicians. Unless you put someone under lock and key 24 hours a day, you cannot control what they do, and unfortunately, kids don't always make the best choices. Ultimately, Bristol chose a path of responsibility. In O'Stymie's world, it is viewed as a punishment to have a baby, so I guess to be responsible is to be punished in his world view. Whatever the case, I'll give her a pass on this. 

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