Thursday, October 23, 2008

12 Days to Election!

I haven't made a post in a while. I've been very busy at home and at work. I don't want to make a meaningless post just to make the date stay recent. I'm still leaning heavily towards Nader.

I was thinking about how I had been contacted by the Nader '08 campaign to take on a leadership position for his campaign here in Florida. I never returned that call. Oh how I regret that now, not that I would have been able to do anything about it; but I could have at least returned the call to say how honored I was to have been contacted.

First impressions are lasting.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

About Ralph Nader

I can write about him, right? I mean he stands side-by-side with the Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. But I couldn't help noticing how he drastically outpaces both Ms. McKinney and Bob Barr in fundraising ... and upon closer inspection of his website, not to mention the latest Newsweek article on his presence in Florida, well ... it's pretty hard to just overlook him. I mean, heh, this is Ralph Nader we're talking about.

My earliest memory of Ralph Nader dates back to the early days of Carty Finkbeiner, Mayor of Toledo. Let's just say Mr. Nader wasn't exactly a fan. Okay, the truth is whenever Nader was in town it was guaranteed to be a great day in the news industry because when Nader and Finkbeiner got together sparks would fly tantamount to the Fourth of July. But then Carty has that effect on just about anyone he deals with. The biggest point of contention as I recall was the now-defunct Jeep plant. Something about eminent domain, I think. I can't find it exactly, and my mom would know better than me.

But I digress.

Take a look at Nader's website, Pretty impressive not to mention easy to navigate compared to Also, I wouldn't put a big ol' picture of Roseanne Barr on the front page either. I'm not even sure I would bury a benign text comment about how she supports me either. Not in a bid for the ultimate expression of American patriotism: the Presidency of the most powerful country in the free world. And I like Roseanne! But I wouldn't use her as the celebrity vehicle to promote me for President. That's just dumb. (I've made sure not to point people to that website for that reason.)

After reading the latest Newsweek article on Mr. Nader, I can honestly say I'm rethinking my vote. The point for me is not to vote for who's most likely to win - the point for me is to vote for who is most likely to effect change. Mr. Nader seems to have chosen a very strong running mate in Matt Gonzalez, too. Matt Gonzalez was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2003. This was significant because he ran as a Green Party member at the time.

So I urge you dear reader to give Ralph Nader a closer look, as I am doing. He has a proven track record. He has more ballot access than Ms. McKinney, and I don't mean to knock McKinney's run for the Presidency. But I still believe my vote counts, and Ralph Nader feels the same way I do about all the issues that are important to me. I want there to be effective change - I don't want to just be sweet-talked about it, like I feel Obama is doing. And although I don't dislike McCain, he's been making some stupid mistakes. And don't get me started on Sarah Palin. I just don't know about her. Part of me likes her, part of me is really scared of what she would do to women's rights if she got anywhere near a leadership position in the White House. I think I would rather be sweet-talked about change, quite frankly.

Moreover, I think Ms. McKinney and Ms. Clemente stand a better chance of having their voices piped through Washington if Nader became President.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Common Enemy

I really have to work at suppressing the urge to make political slurs. I am conscious of the smarmy remark as it bubbles up within me: the kind of remark that would make those who share my political ideologies laugh out loud and nod their heads approvingly. I began to notice my tendency to do that after listening to my co-workers making comments (we all work at a television news station - uh, kind of can't escape the political coverage there). It's completely understandable. It's school spirit, good old-fashioned competition.

Except these days it is all too evident how damaging it can be to fly the flag of our political ideals. It really only serves to alienate us from each other, and so I decided to try a different tack: I've decided to listen to those whose views I fundamentally disagree with to see if I could learn something from them.

Let me tell you, that is not easy.

It really does have the effect of making one want to lash out or turn away and clap your hands over your ears. So I decided to listen: I'm listening to Obama supporters, McCain supporters, and anyone else who cares to share their views with me, whether I agree with them or not. It really takes some skill to be able to do that - not to sound arrogant, but I'm here to tell you if I can do it, anyone can do it. In fact, I believe more of us should do it.

From talking to people I already see the positives that BOTH sides have to offer: democrats are good at some things, republicans are good at others. Neither side is good at EVERYTHING! Both sides, ultimately, need the strengths of the other. What if all the countries who are trying to put astronauts into space worked together instead of racing each other to be the 'first' to accomplish something? Imagine if you had the strength of the Russians working with the strengths of the Chinese and Americans to explore the final frontier? I bet those 3 countries working together could come up with some amazing things! Better lifestyles all around!

But of course, that means setting aside some pride and stubbornness. And frankly, I see both Obama supporters and McCain supporters being able to do that. Because if there's one thing both sides agree on, it's the strength of the citizens of this country. Even in the midst of our current economic situation, everybody knows this country is going to bounce back eventually, somehow, some way. It might be sooner, it might be later, but it's going to happen.

Perhaps in the voting booth there should be a place where voters are encouraged to write one positive thing about both candidates whose views they 'oppose'. Find one positive thing, something you like about the candidates you didn't vote for. Nobody is completely evil - Randy Pausch said that (The Last Lecture). Everybody has something good to offer, even if it takes a while to reveal itself.

Another thought I had was maybe if enough people voted for a third party, it would get the Democrats' and Republicans' attention in a way that would force them to look at each other as compatriots rather than as enemies. In other words, the third parties would become their 'common enemy', the one thing that brings 2 bickering parties together, usually. I'm not naive, I know the next President will be either Obama or McCain; but my pressing question is what will the next President do to get both parties to work together? Do they even know what to do? What happened to that spirit that unified the House and Senate members singing "God Bless America" together right after 9/11? The 9/11 terrorists are not sufficient anymore; that's why I think a good, strong third party, preferably the Green Party, but I'll take just about any one of the bigger ones, to get Democrats and Republicans to build off each others' strengths, rather than dividing our fine country.

Bad News These Days

Wall Street is setting the kinds of records today it would rather not set. Obama and McCain are at each other's throats. People are out of work also in record numbers. All day long I sit and listen to this, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about moving to Canada. Running away, no matter how nice it sounds, never works, and running away is precisely what is wrong with our economy right now. People like me who ran away from our civic duties, taking all our freedoms, rights and privileges for granted for too long. Forgive me for sounding like a broken record but it's the truth. So far I've spent my adulthood mostly in blissful ignorance of the houses of cards being built out of our economy, content to let someone else make the decisions for me, content to not have to deal with the boring details that take me away from my very own pursuit of happiness. Because after all, I'm worth it ... right? It's all about me - isn't it???

Well I'm not running away this time. No matter how much it hurts I plan on staying put, weathering this storm and the storms ahead (this Wall Street crash is not going away any time soon). I have a lot to learn; I hate to admit it, but I really don't know that much about the finer workings of our government. And when you multiply that by how many other 30-something adults like me out there? Not to mention the 40-somethings, 50-somethings ...

... and THAT'S what is wrong with our economy today. Among other things.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What is this website about? The Presidential Election 2008, specifically the third party candidates who have been blacked-, whited-, yellowed-, and just generally edged out, and especially The Green Party whom I've thrown my support behind 100%. I'm even registered with the Green Party in the state of Florida.

Normally this is where I would air my views, opinions, stories about my day, etc., but now I'm turning it into what I hope becomes a springboard for discussion and research into the candidates and issues that we'll be voting on come November 4th. My main message is this: there are more than 2 choices for President in nearly all 50 states of this fine country. You don't hear about anything other than Democrats and Republicans on your news because the Democrats and Republicans have reaped so much power and persuasion in recent years, in Washington, the media, corporate interests (yes, they're both guilty of it) that they have reached a level where they can dictate who goes to the debates, who gets the advertising time and dollars and ultimately who gets the votes. Corruption is running amok in our government, and the immediate solution is to get everyone to vote for a third party - ANY third party - although I personally prefer the Green Party and I am registered with the Green Party in the battleground state of Florida.

So to read a couple posts I've made, go here. And click here to find a whole bunch of websites I've come across through my research that I'd like to share with everybody, most notably at the top of the list a documentary I think every red-blooded American, every American who has to pay taxes should see: it's called, Split: A Divided America, and it's an unbiased view of bipartisan politics in present-day America in light of this particular Election year.