Smalls attempts to talk politics…

I don’t know how long I’ve been trying to put together my thoughts regarding the upcoming presidential election, but each time I’ve tried has just left me all fired up with nothing to show for it.  Nearing my breaking point, I remembered a technique that got me through many an English class back in the day: steal someone else’s work.  Just kidding, Mom.  Maybe.  So when I came across an entry on Jason Mraz‘s blog not too long ago that not only echoed my thoughts, but delivered them far more poignantly than I figured I’d ever get to, I decided I was going to post a quick blog with a link to it and a little "Hey, check this out" and be done with it.  (side note: the guy puts out bitchin’ tunes AND writes exceptionally? I think I hate him. Okay probably not… but maybe) 

But then last weekend I started reading a book called America: Our Next Chapter by Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and, I have to say, it really struck a chord.  On page 18, I stumbled upon this tasty little nugget of wisdom: "For Americans to believe once again in our political system — and by believe in, I mean participate in it with their votes and their active involvement — they have to believe their elected leaders."  Shocking concept, no?  Now, I’ve written briefly on my political history, or lack thereof, once before, but perhaps I should expand a little.

A decade ago I was an 18-year-old high school kid whose closest thing to a political thought was either, "Cool, I can buy scratch tickets!" or maybe a joke about what the definition of is… um, was.  I justified my political apathy with standard slacker rhetoric; "I don’t want to throw off the system with my uneducated vote."  Flash forward five years, and my teenage ambivalence had long since given way to a feeling of complete disenchantment with the system as a whole after having watched a man who lost the public vote move into the White House a few years earlier.  I remember sitting in the student union building at school, watching CNN’s tickertape coverage of bombings in Iraq, silently thinking to myself, I thought Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan

Another five years later, and here I am: a 28-year-old in a wheelchair with a president I voted against whose administration we now know used 935 false statements to convince the American public to send their sons and daughters to bravely give their lives in a war that should never have been waged.  Let me see if I have this right: we hold impeachment hearings regarding the happenings in Old Billy Boy’s pants, but then 10 years later a president falsely leads us to war and we shrug it off, allowing him to simply mail-in what remains of a second term worse than I did my last quarter of college??  (Seriously, dude… I tried harder in springboard diving class.)  WTF??  Shouldn’t someone be doing something about this??

Like who, the media?  Fifty-some-odd channels of "political commentary" that has devolved into a brand of partisan hackery that is more concerned with the Kevin Bacon Factor of our presidential candidates than their stance on the environment, especially if someone’s dog walker’s cousin was caught with socialist reading material in high school?  Right.  All they’ve managed to accomplish lately is allowing words like dishonesty and accountability to be replaced with more spin-friendly terms like "mis-spoke", "misremember" and "truthiness."  Sorry Stephanopoulos & Co., but who wears how big of a flag symbol for how long is not exactly one of the issues my vote hinges upon.  Oh wait, did another poll come out??
 
Fact is, if we can’t rely on the media to keep our politicians honest, the responsibility falls squarely at our feet, my friends.  And yes, it may have taken 10 years to fully get my act together, but this time I’m not willing to sit idly by and let the pattern of mistrust that has infested the Oval Office continue any longer.  And that’s precisely why my vote this year will not be going to someone so willing to blatantly and repeatedly lie about her foreign-policy experiences to secure a nomination she doesn’t seem to even have a true mathematical chance of winning outright except for what would only be seen as the backrooming of superdelegate votes that will do nothing but disenfranchise enough of the party to lose her the general election anyway. 

No, I’ll be casting my vote for a candidate (gasp!) I can actually believe in.  A candidate whose biggest criticism seems to be that he lacks the type of lengthy, hypocrisy-laden voting resume that most politicians spend the majority of their campaigns selectively claiming based on which vote they are trying to win at that specific moment.  I want my next president to be the man with the vision, tenacity and passion that not only have the ability to re-inspire the disillusioned people like I once was to get back involved in the future of their country, but the potential to unite the public in such a way that will start making the kind of changes that could make me honestly utter the words, "I am PROUD to be an American" for the very first time in the 10 years I’ve been eligible to vote.  This November I’m voting for change.  I’m voting for hope.  I’m voting for Obama, and I hope you do too.

"This is our moment.  This is our chance.  There is a moment in the life of every generation where that spirit of hopefulness has to come through.  Where we cast aside the fear, and the doubt and the cynicism — the cynicism that so often passes for wisdom but is actually just being afraid to reach for something higher — were we shed that and, arm in arm, we decide we’re going to remake this country; block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, state by state… THIS is OUR moment.  THIS is OUR time.  And if you stand with me… if you will vote for me, we will not just win the nomination, we will win the general election and you and I together will transform this country, and we will transform the world."  — Barack Obama in Virginia on February 9, after sweeping contests in LA, NE, WA and VI

Comments

  1. You\’re right, the fact that he\’s all but locked up an arduous nominative battle that has seen a record turnout has zero to do with his charisma, political views or proven resiliency, it\’s just the color of his skin. I mean after all, if history has taught us anything, it\’s that it has always been a huge advantage to be a black man in this country, especially when running for office.  That\’s why there\’s a grand total of… oh yeah, one black man in the Senate.  

  2. Unknown says:

    You\’re right, it is a huge advantage being black. How would you like being denied a job out of school at a company with your A average over a black man with a B average because of Equal Opportunity? Blacks with lower grade point averages are also admitted to medical schools and have advantages that we white boys don\’t have, simply because of the color of our skin. They can have lower SAT scores and will be accepted to a good college over a white person because the law requires it. This, to me, is not equal opportunity but slanted opportunity. Obama is pushing the change card because he has no choice. Electing a black man for president is definitely change. People are buying it, but in the end, I do not think Obama has what it takes to become president inspite of his charisma, political views and resiliency. If he is elected, I think we will be in trouble because of his lack of experience.

  3. I know, I know, it\’s all about experience.  If only Obama had valuable experience like dodging sniper fire with Sinbad and the uncanny ability to step on the toes of foreign leaders around the globe, he would be much more prepared to lead this country.  But yeah… with a nosediving economy caused in no small part by an addiction to foreign oil and a war waged on false pretenses that\’s costing $5,000 a second, who needs change anyway?  I\’m switching my vote: Bush/Cheney \’08!!!  Let\’s see if we can get gas to 10 bucks a gallon, and that disapproval rating to a full 100%!  Go big or go home, baby! 

  4. And, nice try, but pointing at the imperfections you see in a policy put in place to do its very best to level a historically uneven playing field in effort to somehow invalidate his nomination simply doesn\’t work.  Obama hasn\’t gotten to where he is through "slanted opportunities," but with hard work, perseverance and… what\’s the word I\’m looking for?… oh yeah, votes.  (GASP!)

  5. Cory Tina says:

    I like your style and what seems to be passion…I love this entry ~ quite frankly I love them all.  It was good to see you!

  6. Unknown says:

    You\’re right again, blacks deserve advantages because of slavery that their ancestors endured before we they were born. Let\’s ressurect their "historically uneven" past and use that as an excuse to why blacks are entitled. Screw the A average white student who works hard to attend a good college when a black boy with a B or C average gets accepted over him because the law says so. Or that an underqualified black gets hired at a company because of Affirmative Action. Did I already say this? I guess that is insignificant to "certain" people. What was I thinking making that point? I\’m just a hard working white boy.
     
    What hard work are you refering to? What has Obama done to prove he would be a good candidate? He\’s black, he\’s relative nice looking and he can speak well. That\’s all I can see that makes him appealing. That\’s right, you mentioned he\’s charismatic, you like his political views and he is resiliant. Wow, lets get that guy for President!
     
    I guess an old fart like McCain is not cool enough for "certain" people in spite of this war hero\’s vast experience. Oops! I said "experience" again which is a trivial quality to "certain" people. Who needs experience when you are a cool black man? No wonder Obama is getting votes! (GASP!)
     
     

  7. You know, I really should have seen this one coming.  Typical argument, simply pointing at present exculpation for the slavery endured in centuries past but refusing to recognize that while our grandparents were completely free to chase The American Dream, there were still people in this country that couldn\’t even use any bathroom they pleased, not to mention decorated WWII veterans, war heroes themselves, whose only recognition they got when they came home was a forceful reminder to move to the back of the bus.  It\’s an undeniable fact that the opportunities given/not given to one generation trickle down to have a direct effect on those of the ones that follow.  That is the history I\’m referring to: the stuff from the last 75 years or so, not colonial times.  And while I can concede that affirmative action laws may be somewhat flawed in their execution, implying that they were designed to screw over the "hard-working white boys" is just plain ignorant.  What has Barack Obama done?  How about recognizing that this country is way too divided than it should be, and in desperate need of a change, because our politicians\’ votes are increasingly being cast with more concern given to ruffling party feathers than the interest of the American public.  He has repeatedly proven that he\’s willing to step across the aisle to get things accomplished, working with people based on their specific views rather than their party affiliation.  He recognizes that, in a world whose countries are rapidly becoming our cultural, technological and military equals, the future of this nation as a superpower will not be defined by simple Big Stick Diplomacy, but primarily on our ability/willingness to first engage in civil discourse with both allies as well as the opposition, only pursuing violence as a last resort.  Those who decry Obama\’s gift of communication as typical politician bullshit rhetoric have all too soon forgotten JFK\’s response to critics of his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a situation of which many parallels could be drawn to the present: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable."As for the "uncool old fart," I deeply respect John McCain, and applaud his service to this country along with everyone else in the US military; past, present and future.  Having said that, our leaders have a responsibility to those individuals not to send them to die in unjust wars, which McCain voted for and continues to support to this day (among many other Bush policies dragging this country down, like continued tax cuts for the rich).  His service record is undeniable, it\’s his voting record (and tendency to be a bit of a hothead at times) that concerns me.  But… Did I already say this?  I guess that is insignificant to "certain" people.  What was I thinking making this point?  I\’m just a white boy voting for a black man because it makes me feel all warm, fuzzy and "liberal" inside.But hey, everyone\’s allowed their opinions, Jeff.  And if you feel this passionately about things, by all means feel free to go here, here or here; where, instead of crudding up my comments section, you can have your own whole webpage to express your thoughts as you see fit.  If nothing else, there\’s a chance they\’ll be better received.  Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Heather says:

    I\’m from Pennsylvania and I really didn\’t appreciate Obama\’s remarks about people from my area (ie small towns) clinging to our guns and religion b/c of our bitterness about the economic status of the area.  It felt really condescending especially if you take it in the context of who he said it to–wealthy San Franciscans.  I "cling" to my religion b/c I actually believe in it.  Most people I know use their guns to hunt not justisfy why they can\’t afford to fill up their gas tank to get to work everyday.  If people are upset or frustrated about the state of our economy I don\’t think it helps to belittle them or their faith. 
     
    It really wasn\’t his finest moment or the best choice of words…but no one\’s perfect I guess.  I will vote for him if he is the Democratic candidate.  I\’m so desperate for change. 

  9. Unknown says:

    Hi Kenny
    Glad to see you back! have missed you… I always enjoy reading what you have to say and usually agree with you…I\’m voting for Obama too and hope he can bring some change but for sure he will be better than our current President …I still can\’t believe he was re-elected…
    As for the earlier post you are right if you can make a difference and prevent someone else from getting hurt or killed the lawsuit served a good purpose…
    Hope to be reading your book soon-but in the meantime look forward to reading what you post here!
     

  10. Unknown says:

    Yes,
    the prairie lawyer from Illinois! I\’m with you, Kenny. — Abe

  11. Legalmom2 says:

    Whew, I was so glad to see you back on here…. and then, all these heated comments.  I thought you should know that at the very least you have made me desire to take a second look and do my research on Obama.

  12. I don\’t know about everyone else, but I find this downright disturbing.  I think I\’ve just witnessed one of the all-time lows in the history of the Democratic process.  This is indefensible.  Put it this way, her words may have just given some psychotic redneck Manchurian Candidate-wannabe all the go-ahead he needed to attempt something stupid.

  13. Unknown says:

    I agree. Hilary went WAY too far. That had to be one of the most insane statements I\’ve ever heard in a campaign.  Basically, she\’s staying in the race in case her opponent is assasinated??? Who thinks like that? And, of course, her comments about her husband were jsut stupid, since the primary schedule has changed completely since he ran.

  14. Hey Kenny, I commented on this when you put it on my space, so I won\’t really elaborate too much.  I did click on your recent comment and a little smile went to my face when I saw the link was taking me to Countdown.  I watch Keith Olbermann each day.  On this particular day I think he went a little overboard on his comment.  Just my opinion.
     
    Don\’t get me wrong, she is definitely try to take the low road to the White House on many occasion, but on this particular issue I think it was not intended as it came out.  And that\’s coming from an Obama supporter from the very start.Take care my comrade,Billy

  15. My gosh Kenny I\’m smiling even more now.  I\’ve noticed that you\’ve gotten into serious political discussions on here and I still remember about a year and a half ago, or more, when I asked you to review an entry I had made, you weren\’t that well versed with the issue.  My how things have changed.  It appears to me like you\’re more informed in many ways than I am and I read a lot about this stuff.
    I\’ll be back by later to see what else has taken place.Keep up the good work.Billy Paul

  16. Hi Kenny! I just wanted to say that…HELLO…
     
    I used to read you very often, then I stopped blogging and I think I haven\’t been to you page in over a year! Today I was doing some work in the computer and you popped in my head for some reason, I googled you to find you… It is a pleassure to read you again! You are a breath of fresh air!
     
    V-

  17. "Or that an underqualified black gets hired at a company because of Affirmative Action"
     
    Actually, the point of affirmative action is that you make sure you consider QUALIFIED people of minority races for job opportunities…not underqualified.  I\’m guessing your "A" average didn\’t include an "A" in civics.

  18. Actually, the point of affirmative action is that you make sure you consider QUALIFIED people of minority races for job opportunities…not underqualified.  I\’m guessing your "A" average didn\’t include an "A" in civics.
     
    You are right, affirmative action does make sure you consider qualified people of minority races. In government, the standards are not as high as they are in the private sector, so a B or C minority candidate will get hired over an A average candidate because it is mandatory that a certain number of minorities do. That is also why government workers do not make as much money and many government agencies farm their work out to contractors.

  19. Actually, I work for a government agency and have been involved in the hiring process many times.  I\’ve always hired the most qualified person, regardless of race.  I do have to write a little blurb explaining why I didnt choose a minority or woman, but Ive never had my decision overturned.  And quite honestly, every person I have hired has been white…they were simply the most qualified out of the pool I had.  I was never mandated to hire a certain number of minorities and I was never pressured to do so.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but affirmative action is not a quota system.

  20.  

    Hey Kenny…
    I won\’t get into the political hoop-la other than we are all at different levels of discernment.
    I\’m still sifting through all the rhetoric to make my decision on my vote.
    You be well and may peace always be with you…Greg
     

  21. Egads, I hate political arguments. I\’m a Clinton lover from Arkansas so you can guess who I wanted to get the nomination. Oh well, I\’m just happy that Bush\’s presidency is almost over. It\’s always nice to see you blogging here. I had to create a new blog and delete my old one due to crazy people…you know how that is! ;)Kelly from Arkansas

  22. Angélica Katherine says:

    I knew it!!! i totally agree with u ! if i were american i\’d vote for Obama! 😉
    thanks God you\’re back!!! hugs and kisses from Perú.

  23. Well after the convention I\’m completely sold.  It\’s Obama or bust.  "It was never about me.  It is about you."  I love that!  Although it IS about him and I hope he walks the walk.  I\’m keepin\’ the faith.
     
    I hope happiness is filling your days.  Heather

  24. Hey Kenny!
    I used to read your blog way back when and I really enjoyed it…life kind of got crazy for me, a divorce can do that to a person I suppose but, I\’m back and I stumbled on your site…I\’m glad to see you are still here once in awhile! 🙂 Take care!
    Great post!
    Cynthia

  25. Wow, nothing like a good political post to get the fists flying!!  That\’s why all I\’m going to say is that it\’s nice to see some new posts from you Kenney.  I\’ve kept you on my blog list, but haven\’t checked back in a while.  I\’m glad I decided to look today.  Hope you are doing well…and I know I don\’t have to say this…but write about whatever the heck you want to.  This is your blog.  If it pisses people off they don\’t have to come back!  I\’ll be back (you just said that with the Terminator accent, didn\’t you?) ;o)

  26. Oops.  I spelled your name wrong.  Sorry…please forgive me! ;o)

  27. I voted for obama today….it felt good… I would of voted for Kenny S., but you weren\’t on the ballot?

  28. This is an early congratulations Kenny. I hope Obama really does make a difference in the next four years, not just for USA but for the world. I think Eli hit the nail on the head with her preference to vote too…

  29. Congratulations America! This is an historical event. Obama will change our country for the better. You are right Kenny, we finally have a president we can be proud of.

  30. God Help Us All……
     
    This is the begining of a very Dark age for America

  31. Amen, Charles, V and Eli.  If nothing else, Jefferson\’s declaration that "all men are created equal" rings much truer today than it did yesterday.  Turns out Hope isn\’t quite as audacious an idea as was once thought.  Also, I wouldn\’t mind hearing Palin and Giuliani\’s further thoughts on community organizing, considering the blow out.  Ha ha.

  32. Why is everyone saying he is Black?–Why is he not called white? he is bi-racial–Someone name me one thing he has done in the senate -The only change you are going to see is what\’s left in your pocket when he takes more from the rich to hand out to the poor-who with a little work ethic might have been the rich–laugh it up now Kenny-I will check back in a year and see how you feel-my guess is your hope will be dashed-I lived in NY when Giuliani was Mayor-If you want I can name the things he has done -I will wait for you to tell me what Obama has done–Good luck to us all

  33. Here\’s one thing: reaching across the aisle and working with Dick Lugar to create a law aimed at keeping loose nukes and other weaponry from falling into the hands of terrorists.  That\’s one thing, even though it doesn\’t matter anymore, because the nation has spoken, and continuing the tired line of attack of "what has he done" is just sour grapes. The question is no longer about what he has done, but what he will do after inheriting a nation in shambles thanks to the last administration.  Am I naïve enough to think he will magically fix it all?  Absolutely not but I, along with 63 million other people in this country, think he deserves a shot.  And you\’re right, he is biracial, but to imply that that somehow undermines the historical nature of his victory simply does not work. 

  34. Well said, again!.. Yes Amen!. Time will tell. Best wishes to Mr Obama. Hope all is well with you and the family too.

  35. dying2die says:

    hi
     
    Glad to see ur blog up…. its been ages..
     
    and i just wish for some peace in this world ….
     
    too much war… too much blood shed./.
     
    best regards

  36. Hey, Kenny!
     
    How are you?
     
    So, now that the elections are done and all the crazyness is over, I just wanted to say Congraulations for your new President. I really feel that the Americans rose up to the occasion.
     
    It\’s funny how an election in a country thousands of miles away from mine shook up my country, all of Europe, all of the world. So, yay, Mr. Barack Obama and yay, USA! 🙂
     
    Hope you are doing fine. Rock on!
     
    Cláudia.

  37. Thanks.
    دروس الفوتوشوب –

    الدوري الفرنسي –
    الدوري الألماني –

    الدوري الإيطالي – بوح و
    خواطر  – منتدى
    الصور  – أناشيد 
    – السكرابز والخامات –

    الدوري الإنجليزي –
    الدوري الإسباني –
    أجمل صور أطفال

  38. Well well, look at you, go months without writing and still draw a crowd when you pop out. Powerful man you are Kenny.Should we expect to see a new post once a year? hehe

  39. TexasGirlJen says:

    I had this thought….I know, odd for a blonde chick like me right? Anyway…..the thought was that some day I really, really, REALLY want to go to WA to visit you and Shethinksitsfunny and the hair guru…… how are you? I hope well…..In addition to my last blog….tonight I was completely slammed into by a drunk driver. She was about 22. Kids were with me. It was surreal. Everyone is OK. I was actually in a rent car. Fixed from a time from when a 16 year old rear – ended me a few months ago. Really? Are you f\’ing kidding me? He told me in the divorce, "you\’ll hate your life." Ugh. hmmmmm…..I miss chatting with you. I think of you often and hope you are well. How many Christmases does this make as friends now? We\’re already gettin\’ up there.so yeah, anyway….hugs and shit.j.

  40. Great entry. Thank you. AL

  41. Heh Kenny. Wishing you and your family a nice Christmas. Hopefully the new year offers results as Obama takes on the bad economic mess we are in. Thank you for your informative writings. Charles

  42. Hi Kenny! Merry Christmas! I enjoyed this post. I\’m looking forward to seeing what Pres. Obama can do, and yet, worried because of the mess that he\’s stepping into. I guess we all just do what we can and wait to see. I hope you\’re doing well, and that this coming new year will be a fantastic one for you. BIG HUGE HUGS, Steph

  43. Hi, Kenny!Hope everything\’s OK with you and that you had a wonderful Xmas.I just wanted to wish you an amazing 2009, filled with everything you and your loved ones want and deserve.Rock on. 🙂 *

  44. Glad you\’re back. We\’ve missed reading your blogs. Great song. 🙂 Gail

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