Sunday, September 7, 2008

Election blues

As many of you know, I'm struggling to get excited about the election this fall. This is one of those times when I need my dad. I have a feeling he'd tell me to just stop fretting and support the Democratic candidate if I have a question. My problem isn't that I wonder if I still support the Democratic party in principal (I can't ever see that changing.) My problem is that I'm just not passionately moved by any of the individual candidates.

About a hundred years ago I told my dad I was thinking about voting in the Republican Primary because I wanted to help a weaker candidate win so my Democrat candidate would have an easier time in the Fall, he said, "Oh, honey. You don't want to blemish your record." I didn't, and my candidate still won in the Fall, but I was worried the whole time.

This year, I'm unhappily in the position of casting my support against candidates I really don't like rather than for those I do. (And yes, I'm sorry to say this extends to the state races. Heavy sigh.) I like to love my candidates.

Nearly all of my "D" friends are excited about Barak Obama. But he's taken on that most popular boy in school feel for me. People seem to be flocking to him because everyone else is. I still want to know what he'd do. Specifically.

I like his position on women's issues a lot, and I like the way he and Michelle appear to relate. There's a great piece in Ladies Home Journal that has both of them talking about some of the issues I care about. MarieClaire carried a similar piece. Sure, they're PR pieces and not exactly hard hitting, but there's some depth there that had started me toward the excitement door.

I have to say that I was nearly over my heartbreak about Hillary not winning the nomination, and I was nearly ready to "do the right thing" by fully accepting him. But her speech was just tremendous, and it just made me remember why I like her so much. And she did it again when she released her delegates. Sure, she's made some mistakes through the years, but she's tried really hard to help those who need it the most along the way, and I give her points for that. I think she's learned lessons from her past failures, and I think that painfully won knowledge would help us now.

I'm afraid that Mr. Obama hasn't had time or opportunity to learn so much from failure. As one who's failed spectacularly, I respect the lessons you learn from boneheadedess.

I also point to Chelsea Clinton when anyone takes potshots at her mother. Just look at that young woman. By all rights, any kid who grew up with her parents in the White House with all that occurred there would be a drugged-out, trust-fund baby. She's poised. She's smart. She's compassionate. Even with all the pressure she was under at the time, Hillary Clinton played a huge role in helping her to be who she is right now, and I just refuse to lose sight of that.

I was glad to see Time magazine give Evangelicals credit for seeing the hypocrisy in the discussion over Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol. If she was Hillary's child, the pregnancy would be because of bad parenting. And, as John Stewart so succinctly pointed out, Sarah says Bristol "chose" to keep this baby. All well and good. But Sarah doesn't want to give anyone else the opportunity to make that same choice. And that's not good.

There's been a ton of stuff written about Ms. Palin lately, and some of my friends are worried she's going to re-energize the GOP. My hair stylist (yes, I know it's shocking that I have one.) is a Sarah Palin supporter solely on the choice issue. We talked a little about it while she covered up my gray. I respect people's beliefs, even if they differ from mine, and I think it's possible to have reasonable discussions. I'm not sure I moved her, but I think she was open to listening, at least.

My hair came out great -- so maybe I wasn't as eloquent as I thought....

Anyway, I'm hoping Time has it right and the evangelicals won't blindly follow. If you want more on Sarah Palin, check out this and this.

I'm not saying she's evil. But for those of you who hate Hillary for being ambitious and gutsy, um, you might want to learn more about little Miss Alaska.

OK. I'm off my soap box.

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