Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Evolution of Revolution

Everyday I sit and watch CNN, even if it's just a few minutes while I eat my breakfast. I think it's important to hear the world news, to be aware of things that are happening to others, or have an idea of how the world is changing. For the first time though I am seeing world news from the other side. Instead of being part of America as it is talked about on TV, I can now see it from the rest of the worlds point of view. It's the same story, but something is different. It's almost like when someone says to you, "it looks like your putting on a little weight," and you hate them for it, instantly. You know yourself, you know your weight, you know everything there is to know about your body, and they are rude, inappropriate, and stuck up for even mentioning such a thing to you. Then the day comes, a day like any other, but on this day when you mossy out of bed you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. It's a mirror you've seen a million times, and a body you've seen a billion times, but today you think "eh, it looks like I've put on a little weight." Sometimes when you have a problem the only one who can't see it is you.

This weekend I tried to sit down and watch as many political debates, and speeches as the internet would allow me to because I still have no idea who I want to vote for in next years presidential election. I have seen the big names; Clinton, Obama, Giuliani, etc, but none of them have really done anything to bolster my confidence in them that they would be a good leader for America. I'm taken by how much running for "president" has become like running for "class president." Remeber in high school or juior high when the over qualified, highly studious, detail oriented student, full of school spirit had to run against one of the popular kids? The only difference between then and now seems to be that in high school we knew it was a sham. Everyone knew that the popular kid was running on his or her name, face, charm, or popularity, and while some people thought it would be cool to elect them, others new the less popular student would do the better job. From school to school and year to year the outcomes change; sometimes cute wins and sometimes quality wins, but the school never seems to be too affected by the outcome much anyway. Well I don't know when it became a popularity contest for America, but that is the way I see it now.

Republicans and Democrats no longer look for the best candidate for President. Honest. They don't want the most qualified person. They want the person that stands the best chance of winning the election, or in high school terms, the most popular. They think the American people can't look past a famous name, a smooth talker, or a confident smile. Can you blame them? Since 1981 our cuntry has been run by a famous movie star, Ronald Reagan, then his Vice President, George Bush Sr., then he was defeated by "Slick Willy", a captivating speaker otherwise known as Bill Clinton, and when we couldn't vote for him anymore we voted for a name we already knew, George Bush again. Well now his time is up, and again a name we know leads the pack...Clinton. These people may or may not have been the best candidates, but they always seem to be the best choice for other reasons than their platform. Either they're famous, or they were the Vice President to a popular President, or they are a great speaker, or they are the son or wife of a President.

The government feels that the popular kid is the only one with the chance to win, so they are the only ones who get endorsed. These endorsements come in terms of more money, more tv ads, more air time during debates, more campaign stops, and all so they can look more like the more qualified candidate. But in high school when the captain of the cheer leading squad tells us she's going to get the class trip to go to Cancun, or get a cotton candy machine in the lunchroom, we know she's really only blowing smoke. Yet somehow we don't see it when the stage becomes larger and more important.

I'm not saying I can see through the smoke and mirrors, I may know less than you, I may not, but I was taken by one candidate when I watched all of those presidential candidate videos this weekend. He was a candidate that has little chance of winning. He has a name that few know, and ideas that even fewer know, but I think he's worth listening to. *Note: I want to say, like I have in this blog before, so far, I am not endorsing this person for president, but I am saying that it is a different way of thinking, of which I'm glad I heard. If you like it, great, but if not, I only hope it makes you dig deeper or think harder about your decision on this topic.* His name is Ron Paul. When I felt like all other candidates were only speaking to "sound good", his words sounded like they were coming from his heart. That is no basis for choosing a president, but I never want to chose one who doesn't.

My basic belief is that I feel a two party system isn't the best system for our society. I even believed this when I thought America was nearly a flawless country. A two party system leads to one view point being seen as right and the other as wrong. But any knowledgeable person knows things are not that simple, there is always a third way to look at things, a grey area, or room to compromise. So we only get one chance every four years to make our voices heard, the voices of reason, and compromise. I don't know if Ron Paul is a worthy candidate yet, but I like the idea of helping his campaign because the better he does may better the chance America has for getting more qualified candidates in the future.

He's trying to raise money for his campaign on the internet. This internet revolution might be the key for lesser known candidates to get noticed. If this gains enough momentum, maybe we'll see an independent follow in his footsteps in the future. No one likes choosing between the lesser of two evils, let alone doing it for the president. But maybe this year taking a chance on someone who stands against war is the best choice we can make. He might show American's that there are people out there, besides the "popular" elite, that are worthy of leadership. He might show us it's okay to see ourselves as we look in the mirror; we maybe putting on some (or a ton) of unflattering weight, but it's not too late to start a healthier diet.
Maybe, just maybe, things can change. I think they can.

Check it out.


Dave said...

Ron Paul is my choice too. He's the most principled man in Washington, smart, informed, and I'd feel good about voting for him. Unfortunately I can't say that about any of the other candidates at this point in time.

Alli said...

of the people who seem to really listen to the debates and consider ALL the candidates, instead of just the 'popular', media crazy candidates, Ron Paul seems to be a common choice. I haven't listen to much of the republican debates, but out of the democrats, Mike Gravel is the one i agree most with. Again, he doesn't get much air-time, and was actually one of the only ones who didn't arrive to the debates on a private jet, but his views are based on love. which is something i deeply believe in. He's very passionate, sometimes a little too heated, but i feel like he is the only honest politician. you should look him up if you haven't.

Alex Kimble said...

I like Ron Paul because of his libertarian ideals. His views on education are commendable. However there are several reasons why I would never vote for him:

-Despite being a doctor, he does not support universal healthcare. He feels that the current capitalistic/competition system is better than recognizing that basic health care is a human right.

-He is staunchly pro-life. He will not even support family planning centers that have abortion as an option. This includes places like Africa where the Bush Administration has shut down thousands of women's clinics in areas where there is one doctor for every 55,000 people.

-The NRA has given him an A rating. Enough said.

-He does not support stem cell research.

-He is against encouraging companies to hire a diverse workforce.

-He favors teacher led prayer in public school. As a teacher, this one personally disgusts me.

-He strongly favors privatizing social security.

-He has voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%.

-His immigration policy is atrocious. Among other things he is against citizenship for immigrants and wants a 700 mile fence put up.

-His environmental record is terrible. He does not want to replace coal and oil with alternatives, according to his voting record.

If you are going to vote for someone that sounds like they are speaking the truth but don't have a snowballs chance then vote Dennis Kucinich. He voted against the patriot act the FIRST time around.