Just bitchin'

There Be Monsters…

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I’m amazed to say I can identify with Donald Trump. I’ve long considered myself arrested at the emotional development of a twelve-year-old. And I hate to lose. And sometimes I’ll lash out like a child when provoked. And I have bad hair days (well, okay…Trump has a bad hair life, but I’m trying to make a point here).

I can identify with Hilary Clinton, too. I’ve struggled in male-dominated areas of endeavor and had to over-compensate with harsh repartee and an iron glare. And I hate making mistakes. And sometimes I try to cover them up because I think no one will notice, or maybe time will rob them of their import.

I can identify with Ted Cruz. Canada’s a pretty cool country; I’ve always enjoyed my jaunts over the border.

I can identify with Bernie Sanders. I sometimes feel if I don’t make my mark on the world real, real soon, I might not have another opportunity. You don’t want to check out with so much left unsaid or un-given that regret is the last thing you taste.

But as just, plain me…an unsung, American citizen of voting age, I can’t identify enough with any candidate running for President to feel good and hopeful about electing them into office.

There’s always mud-slinging and a battle of wits in every presidential election, but this time it’s different, because all I’m hearing is the volley of insults and accusations being lobbed across an insurmountable, ideological distance from one party to the other.

I’m scared.

I don’t want any of these people in charge of something I do love with all my heart: my country.

My immigrant parents raised me to cherish being born here. They were politically active in their own way and staunch supporters of whomever attained the office of President of the United States, because they said anyone who did so was worthy of respect, whether or not you agreed with the platform upon which they stood.

I’m the first to admit I’m politically challenged. But this is the first time I feel as though I’m watching a clown show…a sit-com…a farce…

There have been times in the past when I’ve voted against a candidate rather than for the one who received my ballot. This time that cop-out option doesn’t feel available.

There is no lesser evil this time around.

Like an ancient map of the known world, truncated and proscribed by a sea of horrors… there be monsters.

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They circle us and lick their chops and are slippery and hard to see. And they bite at each other with abandon. And we don’t know what will happen when we’re immersed in their treacherous waters.

And I’m scared.

Really, truly…

…like never before.

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Just bitchin'

Phone Politics

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It’s started.

And I’m already fed up with it.

The avalanche of political campaigning for upcoming elections is ramping up, reminding me of the retail industry’s increasingly early debut of Christmas advertising. By the time the vaunted day comes around, you’re sick of it. Excitement and anticipation have been stretched to a thin, attenuated ghost of what they might have been had the lead-in been shorter.

With Christmas, it’s usually the television ads that grate on me, but with politics you can take your choice of annoying methods intended to usher you into a candidate’s stable and force feed you their particular diet of rhetorical promises.

Your mailbox is crammed with literature. You have to wonder how much was spent to produce the reams of glossy, slick pamphlets. You have no desire to read the swelling tide of circulars. When you do, you don’t believe most of them. Or worse, they communicate nothing. They skirt the edges of making definitive statements; each line a masterpiece of crafted ambiguity.

Then there are the campaigners who loiter about in malls and parking lots. They accost you with bright, desperate smiles, hoping to persuade you that theirs is the only possible candidate-of-choice come Election Day. They want to waylay you…engage you in clumsy conversation…become your instant friend.

But worst of all are the phone calls.

The recorded messages in voices that aren’t used to public speaking. They push forward, determined to get through their script, conveying vicarious discomfort rather than cogent, informative facts.

Worse, the live caller…which is what birthed this rant of mine. Some volunteer doing the commendable job of supporting her choice for the 2016 presidential elections. But, oh…so naïve to think that it’s a good idea to phone a stranger’s home late Friday night to chirp about how women simply have to be in ‘Hilary’s camp’; that harboring ovaries in your abdomen must make you an instant supporter of a female candidate.

All she accomplished was to spur me on to do something I’ve thought about for a long time.

I started a phone log.

I will write down the names or issues pushed by every unwelcome, political intrusion into my home after hours. The one with the least strikes will probably get my vote come Election Day. Either that, or the one who slings the least mud.

I haven’t decided which.

But I’m not worried.

As with Christmas advertising that begins in September…I’ve got lots and lots of time to contemplate that, for me, voting has become an exercise in electing the least objectionable, rather than the most worthy.…

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