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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thinking...

I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking about differences and common ground; thinking about Pink Granite and my friends in the Blogosphere; thinking about why I’m still registered as a lower case “i” independent voter; thinking about growing up in a time when there were good guys and bad guys on both sides of the aisle; thinking about money; thinking about power and of people working together for a common goal, for the common good.

: : I am so very grateful for all of you who read this blog. I’m particularly appreciative of folks who leave comments. You make this whole thing yeastier and that is a good thing!

: : I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: through this blog, I have been delighted to find so many intelligent, warm, funny and well intentioned people from all around the world. You give me hope. You help me keep my sanity and my sense of humor.

: : I know I’ve been on a tear lately about politics and “The Big Republican Machine” relentlessly belching out its lies. Thanks for bearing with me if this particular election is not one you will be voting in. Many of you share my concern, as well as my hopes, but reading through the nitty-gritty details can’t be all that scintillating, unless it’s your ox being gored. Of course, when it comes to the U.S.A. the entire planet has a dog in this fight - to mix animal metaphors!

: : Growing up in Rhode Island (beginning a half century ago!) the politicians fell under a bell curve. There were good guys and bad guys and they were distributed between Democrats and Republicans. During my era, we had Senator John Pastore (D), Senator John Chafee (R) and Senator Claiborne Pell (D). We also seemed to alternate pretty regularly between Republicans and Democrats when it came to Governor. I mention this because as a kid it seemed to me that, generally speaking, the good guys got elected and reelected and you voted for the individual and his stand on the issues - not the D or the R after their name. I found the idea of “voting the ticket” a bit odd. That’s a big part of why I still haven’t relinquished my “unenrolled”/independent voting status.

: : It’s also why I’m working hard to parse folks who are registered Republicans or who vote for Republicans, from “The Big Republican Machine” as it exists today. The ruthless, win-at-any-cost BRM is an ugly thing which has evolved from eight years of Bush-Cheney-Rove, et al. I know that some of the voters who have been Republicans are dismayed, disheartened and disillusioned with the vicious, misguided, valueless, wrong-headed policies and Constitutional transgressions of the last eight years. Some of these Republicans are looking to the Obama-Biden campaign and seeing something good, thoughtful, responsible, egalitarian and honorable. That is resonating with them. They are not The BRM!

: : Which leads me to the need to get folks registered to vote. And, of equal importance, to get registered voters to the polls on November 4, 2008.
Here are some important links:
RockTheVote’s voter registration
Vote For Change voter registration
MoveOn.org’s voter registration Drive

: : Which in turn leads me to money. A few days ago I posted about sex and money. Money is a very private matter. Money is a very troubling topic these days as financial markets around the world are roiling. But it doesn’t cancel the need for us to contribute both time and money to the political process. Watch this video which Kate sent to me. It clearly spells out the scope of the challenge facing us in the next few weeks. And we mustn’t lose sight of the importance of electing a substantial Democratic majority to both the House and the Senate. As I mentioned in the comments, imagine how much more President Obama and Vice President Biden will be able to accomplish with a significant majority of Democrats in Congress!
Here are some links:
Barack Obama & Joe Biden
The Democratic Party
Democracy Bonds

: : Lastly, (You thought this post would never end didn’t you!) let me share a few images our friend Bruce sent us. These photos are from the “Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally” held on September 13, 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska. Over 1400 people came together last Saturday to say “NO” to McCain-Palin. I’ve also posted a video from the rally. If you think you’re alone, you’re not!





8 comments:

Lailaa said...

I find it admirable that you are so passionate about life - be it general/personal/politics etc. I love reading your blog! Hugs, xx

Jeff Barnard said...

What a great post, Lee!

And don't let up on the vetting process of Sarah Palin. Tomorrow marks only three weeks since anybody even knew she existed. The vetting process for Obama has been so much longer, and didn't turn up ANYTHING even resembling the kind of trouble Sarah Palin's baggage has carried onto the national stage in three short weeks.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Lailaa -
Thank you!
I'm glad my feelings communicate here as passionate - and not something unpleasant! There's a relentless streak in my family. I try to harness it for good!
;o)
- Lee

Hi Jeff -
Thank you!
As my readers from the UK would say, I was gobsmacked that Sarah Palin has only been on the national radar for three weeks! It feels soooo much longer - pain always does.
I also appreciate your perspective on the results of the lengthy and intense vetting process for Barack Obama. You're absolutely right, there's no comparison!
;o)
- Lee

George Geder said...

Lee,

Thank you for your post -WE NEEDED IT!

Personally, I've been in a state of emotional and intellectual paralysis for a couple of weeks now. Difficult to get a handle on it. Now I know why! It's this insanity we're surrounded with. It's scary! (The Keith Olbermann on MSNBC show keeps me crazy as well).

Keep up the fine work on your blog.

Peace,
"Guided by the Ancestors"

dancingmorganmouse said...

I'm wondering about the voter registration thing. Do you, in America, register as a "type" of voter? Like a democrat or republican or somesuch? In Australia we just register to pop our names on the electoral roll, it's not considered any business of the Government who we intend to vote for, just that we are voters.
Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Pink Granite said...

Hi George -
Thank you!
There's way too much insanity being flushed out onto us by The Big Republican Machine!

I find that watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann and then Rachel Maddow can sometimes make my blood boil. On the other hand, knowing that there is a staff of professional people keeping track of this stuff and countering it with the bright light of day and an armload of facts is very reassuring! Without them it would be nothing but Fox-Noise!

Hang in there and we'll all keep working together - Yes We Can!
;o)
- Lee


Hi DMM -
Every state is a little different, but, generally speaking, when you go to register to vote you have the option of declaring your affiliation. Here in Massachusetts that means if you don't choose Democrat or Republican or the other smaller parties, you may choose "unenrolled". Unenrolled is basically the same as small "i" independent. (There have been parties known as the Independent Party, hence the distinction.)

As far as what you mentioned about "...it's not considered any business of the Government who we intend to vote for, just that we are voters." The only time your party affiliation is relevant is when you vote in a primary. Then you choose one of the party ballots. As "unenrolled/independent" I can take whatever ballot I want. If I were registered with any of the parties I would have to take their ballot.

But in the general election, such as the National Presidential Election this November 4th, everyone gets the same ballot (by Congressional district by state) with all the candidates on it. You can vote for a Democrat in one position, a Republican in another or the Green Party or the Working Families Party etc. - all on the same ballot. And all ballots are secret.

It may still be possible in some states to "vote the ticket". By that I mean you pull one lever or fill in one box on a paper ballot and choose all the Democrats or all of any other party's candidates standing for offices in that election.

Thank you for asking!
Hope this clears it up a bit!
I'm just glad you didn't ask me about something else we have called The Electoral College - shudder!
;o)
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

Lee, thanks, clear as ... mud ;) All very complicated, we don't have most of the leading up stuff, just one election. I suspect the US system is more democratic / participatory, but it would fair wear me out.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Sorry! Perhaps you asked me for the time and I told you how to build a clock!

The process is designed to be participatory.
But when the stakes are this high, it is absolutely exhausting!
;o)
- Lee