I know that it’s over, but the recent presidential election really hit hot buttons with everyone, myself included. But here’s the hot button that I’m hearing resonate with many – we weren’t happy with the choices we were given. The more research that we do about the candidates, the more disappointed that we are. We’re putting the time in to learn about the candidates and we are learning just how much they suck. Many of us are sick of the hard party line, because we’re touched by issues that cross party lines every day. Personally, I would love an Independent candidate with Ross Perot money (but without the Ross Perot crazy). I dare someone, ANYONE to walk squarely and proudly right up the middle. Cross both party lines. Be totally bi-partisan. Marry the good parts of both parties (yes, both parties have good parts) and ditch the crap on both sides (and yes, there is crap on both sides).
I don’t know about you, but I want a Democratic candidate who is compassionate and caring. Who believes in education, equal rights for everyone, good healthcare for everyone, and who wants to help lift up the downtrodden. I also want a Democratic candidate who can do it without crushing the middle class financially. I want a Democratic candidate who is respectful of the hard-earned tax money he or she is taking from us to get the job done. I do not want a Democratic president who says he understands the poor and the middle class, but then rents a $35,000 – $50,000 per week cottage (Blue Heron Farm) on Martha’s Vineyard. (Do you have any idea how many people we could feed with $35,000, Mr. President?) Go on vacation, Mr. President, you absolutely deserve it. I appreciate that you paid for a portion of that trip yourself, but really, don’t tell me that you get me. You may have, once upon a time, but not anymore. I won’t get started on the First Lady’s trip to Spain, if you won’t tell me that you get me, please. I so desperately want to lean to the left, but you Sir, are making it so incredibly hard for me. If you were my child and you behaved this badly, I’d put you in a time out. And it would be totally appropriate. In fact, if I put a child in a time out for this type of blatantly bad behavior, no one would even think to question me, but you are the POTUS so people find ways to justify your bad behavior.
I want a Republican candidate who talks about family values and isn’t on his third marriage (to his former mistress) and who can talk about family values without dissing his or her homosexual child, sibling, niece, or nephew. (Oh, Newt, you make me want to vomit.) Family values are about loving one another, right? Put your money where your mouth is. SHOW us family values in action, don’t preach to the rest of us about what WE’RE doing wrong when you should really be looking in the mirror. I want a Republican candidate who is good with money and who does good things with our money, instead of using ours to bail out the uber-wealthy who messed up entire industries. Or, go ahead, use our money to bail out entire industries, but attach some sensible strings, pretty please. And impose real consequences on those industries if our money is not used wisely. Right now, you all deserve to be put in time outs.
And here’s my personal big one, I would love ANY candidate who could stand up and say, “Roe vs. Wade is a tricky topic. It pushes everybody’s buttons one way or another. I am not a Supreme Court Justice and it’s not my place to deal with an existing Supreme Court Decision. There are more pressing matters at hand right now. Let’s get busy with the economy, terrorism, the environment, education, and immigration.” Like everyone else out there, I have extremely strong feelings regarding the whole pro-life vs. pro-choice issue, but here’s the thing, it is NOT the most important thing on America’s plate right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, so let’s fry ‘em. For even bringing Roe vs. Wade up during a time of financial crisis, every single one of us deserves to be thrown in a time out. Oh crap, I just wasted an entire paragraph on it, throw me in a time out! (Preferably a long one. By myself.)
I would very seriously consider any candidate who stops towing the hard party line. Guess what? If you’re a Republican candidate and you lean towards the middle a little, do you really think the ultra-conservative are going to give their vote to an even-more-liberal-than-you Democratic? If you really are a more bi-partisan type of person, OWN it. I’ll respect you more for it. Don’t be an idiot. Are you an ultra conservative, party-line-because-I-think-it-will-win-me-an-election idiot? You get a time out. Likewise, if you’re a Democrat who plays things a little more conservatively, do you really think the uber-Liberal amongst us are going to give their vote away to a super conservative Republican who they think is worse than you? Idiot. You get a time out. Maybe if candidates start leaning toward the middle we might actually get somewhere good, but I also don’t want candidates who lean toward the middle just to get my vote. I want candidates who realize there is more to be accomplished in the middle than at either extreme. Let’s take Mr. Mitt Romney as a prime example. He was a Republican governor of the largely Democratic Commonwealth of Massachusetts. How did that happen? First, his predecessor and opponent was a complete idiot (and she’s been in a political time out ever since – don’t miss ya’ Jane Swift!), and secondly, when he was campaigning in Massachusetts for governor, he took an “I won’t change any laws currently on the books” approach to pro-choice laws. Pro-life or not, he promised to leave things alone, and in that arena, he did. He was busy with other stuff. Do I love Mitt? NO (in fact, I can’t stand the guy). Had he stuck to his 2002 approach for the 2012 election, it might just have worked for him. And he probably would have kept that promise, too, because we have bigger fish to fry. Oh, and Mitt is probably in a political time out for the rest of his life, too.
Why am I pushing the middle so hard? Ummm, I don’t know, it’s called compromise. Any happily married person should be well acquainted with it. Life is not black and white, and shades of gray are not found along the extremes. This election is over, thank goodness, but we’ve got two more years (at best) to start drumming up and/or supporting better candidates for the next Presidential election. And let’s remember that our Senators and Congressmen will be campaigning in less time than that. To my elected representatives everywhere: I triple dog dare you to actually represent ME.