February 20, 2008

And Now, the Real Games Begin

Every once in a while here at BEL I get into conversations that I probably shouldn’t even touch. Sometimes I get involved in things that are just too heated and just too personal, it's probably best I just leave them alone. Although this is a sounding board for my own personal thoughts…(Against my better judgment)…I still try to keep you, the reader, in mind when I choose what to write about. (Somewhat)

You may have noticed this over the past couple of days, as I explain to you my thoughts on a very powerful and emotional local situation. Oh don’t get me wrong…I think these Save Rosenblatt idiots should get what’s coming to them. However, I know also that I’m just one guy..and despite my ability to tell the truth and accurately predict the future most of the time…I realize also that this is America, and if you want to save a 65 year old stadium and kill the best thing your city has going for it (if even that’s not your intention)…have at it.

But this year..as I knew we would…I have to start talking about something so big and so important, that I could not escape it’s grasp…even if I wanted to.

Enter the 2008 election.

Now this is not what you think. I’m not some left-wing lunatic that is here to bash the hell out of the red-clad conservative base that blankets this state like a down comforter on a cold winters night. Nor am I a right-wing finger-pointer who is ready to throw down words at any tree-hugging, Birkenstock wearing liberal who crosses my path. No, I am the rarest of the rare breeds. I am a complete and total (actually registered) Independent voter.

Now hear me out.

Most people smirk at the malodorous stench that the word “Independent” brings. Thanks to complete idiots like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, the odds are greater of a Husker BCS birth next season than a centric-leaning, non-partisan candidate winning the president anytime soon. Hell, in this state alone, if you are a registered Independent, you aren’t even allowed to vote in primary elections. What the hell makes me unfit to vote?

Look, I actually love politics. I love reading about politics, I love discussing politics, and I love studying politics. Not because I necessary believe in the causes or concerns of politicians in this country…but because I love the sociology aspect of it. I love the passion it brings. Most of all, I love it when people lose their minds.

Unfortunately though (for everybody else), and much like sports and religion, politics in the 21 century have become so polarized and so far gone from the original concept that it has made complete chunks of our society go completely and absolutely batsh*t crazy. Blame Bush, blame Clinton...whoever. Fact is, we've never hated each other more than we do right now.

But lets take sports for example. Hell, this blog alone shows you how behavior and schools of thought can cause large groups of people to think illogically and irrationally . How the hell else would you explain 1.8 million people collectively giving a quarterback the Heisman trophy before even watching him play? (And realizing he had 8 whopping career games under his belt..4 of which he lost). Religion is even worse. One look in a history book shows you in about 3 seconds how many conflicts have been started by people with different agendas and different beliefs in God.

So how can a guy who specializes in writing about hatred and anger, be complaining about so much hatred and anger in the U.S. political system? Simple. I don’t really mind people taking positions on one thing or another when it comes to running the country, a state or a city. Capitalism works, because in theory..anybody who wants to become a public servant and serve in government can. It’s one of the more beautiful principles in the world and something that even our staunchest foes are jealous of.

But what I don’t understand is the gang-mentality that people take in not only feverishly defending their views to the death….but by taking a stance on an issue or candidate without having the slightest idea of what the hell they’re about. Listen to any am talk show not focusing on sports, and you’ll hear pretty much any end of the spectrum you can think of…either praising their guy (or girl)…or more importantly, bashing the other side for not being sharing their beliefs.

Now don’t get me wrong…I understand how the media works. I understand that it’s a business and their job is to get listeners/viewers in order to attract paid advertisers. It’s not that hard to figure out. But the lunatic fringe of each party is absolutely killing the political process in the way it was designed. I spoke of this a few years ago during the height of the anti-war movement….and funny how this goes…now that the war is on the back pages (or at least page 3)….the same sort of mentality exists even stronger.

Democrats blame Republicans for the economy.
Republicans blame Democrats for putting families in danger.
Democrats blame Republicans for tearing the country apart.
Republicans blame Democrats for tearing the country apart.
I have relatives who threaten to move to France if Obama wins.
I have relatives who actually CRIED they were so happy during an Obama rally. (Seriously)

There’s no real rhyme or reason to any of it. Often times, it’s a complete and total-knee jerk reaction, this devotion and infatuation of political figures. Case in point, I have friends who absolutely LOATHE John McCain. Call him every name in the book, call him an older clone of George Bush etc. Yet anybody who pays attention knows that John McCain is one of the most hated members internally of the GOP. In fact, he’s just about the most left-leaning GOP member there is running for national office.

What’s that? Same goes for Obama. Many will instantly point at the overwhelming lack of experience. But do they mention he served on the senate foreign relations committee? Did they mention he authored a bill that would attempt to eliminate the influence of lobbyists? (It’s pretty rare for a freshman senator to take a bill all the way through.)

So what’s my point? The point is, don’t let these fringe whack-jobs make up your mind for you before the ground even thaws out. There is so much of this frickn election left to go, you’re going to be sick of it by Memorial Day. (If you’re not sick of it already.) But rest assured it’s extremely important, and probably the single most watched and anticipated election of our generation.
Unfortunately also…even if you absolutely LOVE one of the candidates, you can probably rest assured that your guy (or girl) who gets elected is going to fuck up and fuck up bad somewhere near day 40 or 50 of their new term. You can also rest assured that the winner of the race is going to be a career Washington politician. Not a member of your community. Not an exact clone of your political views…but a living, breathing member of the establishment. Barack Obama doesn't own a hardware store in Toledo. Hillary Clinton doesn't do her own laundry. John McCain isn't the president of the PTA in Florence, Alabama.

So do me a favor…before election day, do what you want. Vote for whomever you want…campaign for whomever you want. It’s a free country, and you have that right. But before you piss and moan about how bad the Republicans have made it now; before you piss and moan about how bad the Democrats will screw it all up….do a little research on the candidates and go about discussing the issues like a reasonable citizen; not some clone of a syndicated talk show host who is spouting off just so you’ll buy a copy of his book and send money to become a premium member of his (or her) website. (And before you think I’m talking strictly about Hannity, Limbaugh and the others…get a load of Randi Rhodes on Air America. She is every bit the nut job those guys are, and maybe more.)

So what does this have to do with the Huskers and sports?
Nothing. But sometimes, there is more to discuss and worry about than who is going to be the Huskers 3rd string I-Back.
Oh, that and it’s flippin February. It’s either this or Husker baseball talk. Take your pick.


PS – If you don’t know where to start…try these two websites. Votesmart.org is a great place to look at candidates and their voting records (along with ratings with special interest groups). Also Politics1 has TONS of links to various websites devoted to the candidates and various causes.
VoteSmart.Org (Link)
Politics1.Com (Link)

And yes…this will hopefully be the last big election post of the year…(or at least until May)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always figured you were a Perot man. Fucking nut job.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine Tom Osborne will win NE as a write-in. Again.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous corn holed said...

Well put.

Here's another good site. IMO


1:04 PM  

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