Monday, October 27, 2008

My Once-Every-Four-Years Political Rant

I've decided that the presidential race is lingering on way past its usefulness, and it's time for it to be over.

I'm tired of reading baseless accusations from both camps, as if neither has a fact-checker on staff to make sure they are telling the actual truth. I'm sure they've both got plenty of spin doctors, though. I'm tired of having to take everything I read with a grain of salt.

I am done with personal attacks, especially when they sound petty. If I read one more article decrying Palin's $150,000 wardrobe, I might just scream. Seriously, what would we think of her if she was wearing the suit she bought three years ago at Sears?

I don't want to hear how this or that candidate is going to help or harm a certain demographic. It makes us think that politics should be completely self-serving, and we should base our vote on who was going to be best for me. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it should be based on who is going to be best for the country.

To be clear, I'm definitely a conservative and plan to vote for John McCain. Ryan and I are self-employed, our company pays for our health insurance, and we are firmly middle-class. Obama's health insurance plan probably will neither directly damage or improve us, and his tax cuts will probably help, since we're far below the $250,000 threshold of "wealthy." But how is it fair to tax the wealthy, because they had the ingenuity and perserverance and, yes, luck to get where they are? Most of us who work hard and would like to be considered wealthy someday aren't going to leap from making $50,000 to $5,000,000 a year with no stops in between. We'll hit a point where further growth will come with a tax increase, and is income growth really the behavior we want to limit with tax disincentives?

Growing up, my mom drilled into me that "fair" doesn't always mean "equal". Sure, I'd love to make as much as these richie riches who are being targeted for tax increases. And who wouldn't love to be handed a stack of cash for no reason? But it's not fair to spread money around that way, in the name of trying to be equal, and I say that even though the spreading will benefit me.

I'm also completely fed up with ideas that defy logic. For example, one of Obama's suggestions to fix the downward spiral in the stock market is to eliminate any penalties for pulling money out of retirement plans. Which is a fantastic idea, truly brilliant, if your goal is to make sure people lose as much money as possible and send stock prices down further. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? If there was no penalty, then scared seniors (and non-seniors who want to maintain their current lifestyle now that living on debt is not an option) will pull their money out, leaving them with no money in the future and causing stock prices to plummet because of the massive number of people selling. There must be another side to this story, because at least one person thinks this is a good idea, but it seems like a short-sighted quick fix that will leave the country worse than before. The right answer would be to encourage people to be BUYING stocks now, not selling them. Does Obama still have room on his advisory staff for someone with a little common sense?

And you know what else ticks me off currently? That John McCain voted for the bailout. My very favorite part of his platform was his declaration that any budget that hit his desk with a single item of pork would be vetoed. There is an air of entitlement in Congress (and among the constituents, I'd expect) and a feeling that there is free money available, and if they don't get their hands on it someone else will. When the first $700 billion bailout was rejected, the solution was to sweeten the deal and essentially make a $110 billion bribe to the congressmen who could be bought. It's disgusting, and the fact that McCain voted for it implies that pork is allowable if the rest of the budget is "too important" to die. He totally let me down on this one.

Any parent knows that the more you rescue your child from consequences, the less they learn and the more painful the lesson will be when they eventually have to learn it. This country needs some tough love, not more coddling. I still think McCain is more likely to tell it like it is, and Obama more likely to try to please as many of us as possible, through giving us money and trying not to let life hurt. But that makes Obama more electable, unfortunately. We're a bunch of children being asked if we want an ice cream cone or a vaccination - we know the shot will make us healthier in the long run, but the ice cream cone makes us feel good now. Sadly, though, the ice cream cone is all sweetness and no substance, and it looks like that's what this country is going to choose. Is it any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic?

So, my vote is to move the election up to tomorrow, let us vote and get the whole stupid thing over with. Chances are, once we have the stability of at least knowing who the next president is going to be, the markets will calm down. Remove one (big) piece of uncertainty and people will start feeling a little more confident. Here's my prediction: gym memberships are going to be on the rise, due to people needing to work off all that ice cream! After all, the government can't take away all consequences, no matter how hard they try.


Drake Steel said...

Hi Emily,

I have not replied to the email mom sent me because I'm reading and responding to this entry. So you have no body to blame but yourself.
I could not agree with you more that please end this election! In the end we get the government we ask for. No me particularly but me as an american. In my lifetime I've watched the USA choose some great presidents, who I love Reagan and GW Bush and some that I've hated Bush 1, LBJ and Carter. We've survived the bad ones though it left scars and the good ones survived and it was painful to not see them enjoy the appreciation they deserved.
The republicans did not get behind a good candidate like Rudy or Mitt and chose (in the words of Paris Hilton, which is sadly correct) the old guy, now we are paying the price for our leathergy. So this is going to be a learning experience for us. The democrats are going to teach us a whole new way of thinking about government. Or new to my generation. The New Deal of the 1930's was the last time we tried this awful adjenda.
A great book on that era is called the forgotten man.

rachel said...

Emily, I think you should publish this as a letter to the editor in the paper. I loved it. I am SO sick of the people in this country blaming everyone else for the financial crisis when it was the greed of the people spending WAY beyond their means that got us in this mess. (I just talked to someone whose brother just got out of the mortgage business and said that he felt good about only 5-10% of the loans he gave out because most people were buying houses they couldn't afford) I thought the bailout was a horrible idea. Way to show people not to follow through with their responsibilities. (Oh don't worry, if you screw up, we will fix it all for you). Not to mention, it is putting a bandaid on a burst appendix. And you are right - if Sarah Palin was wearing crappy clothes, people would have a field day with that too. So, that is my two cents. I could say more, but I will spare you.

Laura Harvey said...

Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article ( with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven't thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church's fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don't know yet. What's your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?