180º

So a while back I was blogging about the fact that I couldn’t take anymore about politics and news, it was simply just burning me out and all of the information, commentary and rhetoric was overflowing my brain with information that I couldn’t use anymore. Inside I had decided that I was going to be one of those typical Americans that went into the polls in November 2012 and stab blindly at the ballot box that contained the name that sounded the least menacing, or if I was familiar with the candidate, was the better looking of the choices.

Now that’s not the right thing to do.

Over the past 48 hours I have done a complete 180 degree turn when it comes to politics and the news and quite frankly, I now completely give a damn, I can’t know enough about what’s going on in the U.S. and in the world and I want to be a very informed and engaged citizens when it comes to make the important choices at the polls in November (even though it’s 11 months away).

Bored with hearing Billy Joel and Elton John on 70s on 7 and/or 80s on 8 on Sirius/XM last night, I tuned into POTUS (Not red, not blue, red, white and blue, Politics of the United States for the People of the United States) and caught the last hour of “Stand Up with Pete Dominick”. Pete’s an ok guy and show host, after all he is a native of Central New York. There are times when his show sounds like a poor-man’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” but I think his schtick works 90% of the time. For a station that isn’t suppose to lean in any particular direction, Pete will admit that he leans squarely to the left in his political beliefs but he lets those that disagree with him have their say and he asks the good questions, so for the most part, I enjoy listening to his show.

Last night he had Will Cain, a political commentator frequently seen on FoxNews and LZ Granderson, a writer for ESPN who happens to be black and gay (only brought up because this was a prevalent topic in the conversation) as his guests. Like all of Pete’s shows, the format is listener participation driven. Much of the conversation had to do with what being gay or black was like in the United States and how it contributed to political campaigns.

Will Cain, who leans solidly towards the right, is a very smart man. I wish I could grab a transcript of the show because he had brilliantly worded explanations and analogies for his arguments during the conversation. His Republican-centric point of view actually made sense to me. Which is saying a lot, because the campaigns leading up to the primaries and the caucuses has been rather crazy. There is no one currently running for President that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Ron Paul gets into the ball park with his Libertarian ways, but I can only buy into 80% of what he offers (when he gets into the racist stuff I become very uncomfortable). I have never been a big fan of President Obama; back in 2008 when given the choice between McCain and Obama I wanted to vote for Hillary. I still think she was a stronger choice for the Democrats and I think that the country wouldn’t be in the same spot we are in today if she was to hold the office of President (though I think we’d still be in the same ball park, just not way out in outfield somewhere). I said this back in 2008 and I stand by that today. Do I respect President Obama? Absolutely. Do I think he’s been a stellar president? No. I rate him around Jimmy Carter.

The problem is that the alternatives are weak. What bugs me most about the current Republican folks trying to win the primary is the hypocrisy. Mitt Romney, who will most likely get the nomination, wants the government out of our personal affairs (unless you’re gay). Rick Perry wants to guarantee the “pursuit of happiness” as decreed by the Declaration of Independence (unless you’re gay). Michelle Bachmann is such a mess it’s hard to tell where that woman stands, but I know she said something about gas being $1.79 a gallon within three months of her taking office and her husband has more chiffon coming out of his mouth than Charles Nelson Riley (no offense to Chuck intended) so I don’t know why she is so angry towards the gays.

I feel like the choices that have been handed to us, even this early in the game, are “none of the above”. And that’s why I have to get myself educated. Voting for the next president is not a clear, cut choice for me. None of them really tailor to my Libertarian beliefs; some of them want to spend so much money that quite frankly it makes me fearful for the solvency of future generations of Americans, others want to practically give soldiers the right to “shoot to kill” as they patrol the U.S.-Mexican border and yet others want to just get rid of those pesky gays to the best of their ability.

I grew up in a Republican family with steadfast beliefs on the individual responsibility each of us to contribute to our society and to not be a burden on it. This is where my core political beliefs are fueled – small government, fiscal responsibility, respect the rights of others and contribute to the greater good.

It’s not a difficult concept. And I’m going to do my part to make sure that I know everything I can do to make sure we are headed in the right direction.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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