Yea. Change. It's here. Whether you like it or not.
So, the election wasn't as close as many may have thought it would be, but everything else lived up to the billing. I have so many conflicting thoughts about everything that went down last night. So I'm going to try to get them all out in the most coherent way possible.
First, I am typically pretty quiet about my beliefs. I used to be a bit more vocal and passionate, but as time has gone on I've learned that I like to sit back and watch the dogs fight and take pointers from both sides. I'm always a dog ready to fight, but who would rather watch and quietly keep to myself. I feel very strongly about many of the propositions that California was voting on. I did not, however, feel it necessary to hold a sign on a street corner or sport a bumper sticker on my car. This is not how I influence, this is not the message I want to spread. The message I attempt to spread every day is equality, the strength of individuality, the power of contrast and personal opinion. I do not like to impart my beliefs on others because I don't want to influence them one way or the other. I like people to think for themselves and I like to think for myself, so if I ever inquire about one's beliefs, it is simply out of curiosity. I am MORE interested in why you believe what you do rather than what you believe.
But this election season had a different air to it. Something about it made the process seem somewhat fresh. Everyone had a stake in this election one way or another. Debates were raging across the internet and on the street. Harsh words were exchanged, frustration was at an all time high. I admittedly got caught up in the fracas more than a few times, which I am not proud of. I tried my hardest to maintain objectivity and respect, but when disrespect is thrown you can only dodge so much.
So I awoke on election day determined not to discuss anything, just to vote and quietly use my voice. As the day went on, the election results were polarizing. Barack Obama took the White House and almost everyone was extremely happy or extremely sad/angry.
My initial, very personal reaction was elation. After all, it is not often that a person or team (I'm looking at you, 49ers!) I follow and support actually gets to the promised land. I've been an Obama supporter since 2006, even calling the Obama vs. McCain election when Clinton was the front-runner for the Democrats. I soon after discovered Joe Biden, whom I also have a great affinity for. I studied both and liked what I saw. I got my own personal dream ticket when the two joined up. Even on the Republican side, McCain was my favorite of the potential nominees, though he noticeably became influenced by the party as the campaign went on. His concession speech was the McCain I remember respecting greatly. The McCain I would've loved to see more on the campaign trail. So, my dream ticket won tonight and instead of having my personal celebration and excitement for this, I immediately grew concerned for the disenchanted citizens of my country.
Call me crazy, but I care about the state of EVERYONE in my country. I'm not content with just half of us supporting our new president. I became very angered at the negativity and harsh words thrown around after Obama's win was secure.
I saw so many conflicting things yesterday. I don't know if I saw more positive or negative, but I saw a lot of both. I saw a country that, at least for a day, believed in the political process again. A country that cared deeply about this election and the future of our country. I saw many people who voted McCain voice support for Obama. I saw people preaching unity and togetherness. I saw hope.
Then I saw anger. I saw words of absolute hate. I saw people wanting to flee our great and beautiful country because of a simple act of democracy. I saw insults and unwarranted anger and overpassioned responses. I don't like this side of my country.
We aren't supposed to be quitters. We are a united country that always strives for a perfect union. It doesn't matter if such a lofty goal is attainable, the point is that we are supposed to unite behind our fellow men and women, our leaders, and ourselves. No matter if your vote went to the man, woman. or the proposition that won or lost, your vote was your voice. Democracy is a beautiful thing until someone loses, but thats the point. But we cannot look at anything as a loss, we need to look at this as a new chance for our country to mend itself and come together.
Because our views may be different, but our issues are all too similar. We all worry about the economy, about the war, about the safety and future of our children, about our freedoms, and about our lives. We all have different ideas on how to fix these problems, but at some point we need to just try one idea. And we all need to come together on this, despite our differences.
So yes, my "guy" won. Yes, I saw an amazing voter turnout, especially amongst my generation. Yes, I saw passion and belief and pride again. But I saw too many bad things as well... and I hope we move more toward the good.
Because the future of our country depends on the attitude, the ethics, the support, and the unity of our citizens.
I came across a very interesting article that compares Obama and McCain's tech policies. So if you can't find a reason to support either candidate based on social and economic issues, because let's face it... those issues mostly are streamlined due to party affiliation, then look at these differences.
Anyone who reads my blog HAS to be interested in technology and jobs and things like that, so this is an article geared towards that.
Leave any thoughts in the comment section as always.
There is a new political party that we haven't given an official title yet. It has millions of followers. It has Democratic, Republican, and Third Party values. It is indicative of many Americans, showing no stronger correlation with Men or Women, Blacks or Hispanics, Middle Class or Affluent. It simply exists in the people who hold their opinions with a certain regard and won't even regard anyone else's opinion. This party exists in the people who like to cut those down who don't think like them. This party exists in the people that are apathetic and think that as long as they look out for themselves they don't need to worry about anything else.
And what do we call this party? The Elitist Party? The Arrogant Party. The Generation Y Party? For argument's sake, let's call this the Elitist Party, because it plays on a general theme of this election.
The Elitist party is not strictly anything but a collection of subcategories. Liberal Elitists will say that conservatives always attack character and make false claims and never attack the issues. Conservative Elitists will say that Liberals make unrealistic promises, put too much in the government's hands, and that they are out of touch with the 'average' American. Third Party Elitists say the general American public is bipartisan and too extreme to one side instead of meeting in the middle where issues can actually be resolved.
So there is no right answer. There is no correct stereotype to make.
Because, you see, there is no party that can make a claim to sharing every detail of opinion for every member of that party. Because the truth is, there is no one person that shares your exact belief system. Granted, there are people who are close. Very close. Inches away even. But there is some fiber of belief that separates you from every other person in the world. Yet we are forced to all fit into a category. I've looked at dozens of political parties, finding many that match me one way or another. But in the end, when it comes down to the big decision in November, I have two choices. Democrat or Republican. Even though I don't completely agree with the ways of either party.
And the proof is in the polls. You have registered Republicans voting Democrat and vice versa, you have Third Party people like me voting one or the other. When it comes down to it we all have to pick one of two. Not necessarily the one we really want.
And then because of this party system, we take sides and argue and accuse. We talk condescendingly to our peers and write them off as ignorant if they don't completely agree with us. Well that's the problem. NO ONE completely agrees with anyone. There is always some conflict. But no one is ever willing to accept another point of view or find valid points in different arguments. We can't just blindly believe that everyone will think our opinion is correct, even if we feel so strongly that it is. We can't force other people to think the way we do. So why can't we debate and talk and discuss without animosity? Why can't we consider other thoughts and let those thoughts influence us?
I know that my beliefs change often. I see valid arguments all across the board. That is not to say that I don't have opinions of my own, but I'm not going to ever discredit someone's opinion, no matter how stupid or out of touch I think it is. I don't need to disclose what I believe in, because that isn't the point. The point is that I have a hard time finding someone who can talk about different opinions without feeling like they want to convince me to think their way.
So, essentially, this Elitist party is why we have parties. Because there is no way to have a true Democracy. Too many people don't like to think for themselves and like the ease of choosing something off a menu rather than making it themselves. So this is the alternative we are stuck with.
So all I ask is, don't attack others or be snobby about what you believe in. Acknowledge a valid point when it is made, agree when to disagree, and vote based on what you believe in. Don't let people talk you out of that unless you truly believe in what they are arguing. Don't give up your individuality.