shot of sass, served on (n)ice

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Results, by Pen

To recap, I’m a registered Independent who has now officially voted three different ways for President in an election: Republican, Democrat, and Throw-Away (hey, I was 18). In this race, I began as an on-the-fencer and evolved from a brief Obama voter into a full-fledged NObama/McCain supporter. I never expected for a moment that the Repubs would win, although I will admit to a few brief, wayward fantasies. The fact of the matter is that although I certainly didn’t agree with all of his proposed policies, and I was a little skeptical of his reaching-across-the-aisle wishy-washiness, I truly respected John McCain as a candidate and as a truly great American by the end of the race. I’d cast my vote for him all over again. As such, it doesn’t really matter, and though I felt completely glum about it yesterday, I woke up today feeling slightly less miffed and am ready to recap my thoughts on…

The Election:

  1. Nearly everyone and everything I voted for lost. With the exception of those offices where there was only one candidate, or those offices where there were three winners, my ballot was pretty much a dud. It doesn’t make me feel real good.
  2. And if I lived in California, I would never have voted to ban gay marriage, and well, that wouldn’t have been effective, either. Downright depressing.
  3. However, I was very proud this time to have fully done my research on every office I voted for, rather than a few shameful willy-nilly votes on ballots past. I only left one position blank, because I really couldn’t find any information on either person… It was for the local Soil/Water Conservation Department Supervisor, to which I was kind of like, why is this on the ballot? anyway.
  4. My state, intriguingly, held out gray as the longest, until (I think) it was finally declared blue. Called that one, even though we apparently haven’t voted blue since Carter. To which I say, Exactly.
  5. So, Obama. My original, brief, and theoretical vote for him stemmed from my prediction of national mood. It would have been ugly if he didn’t win. Really ugly.
  6. Instead, the general national mood is now intensely positive, empowered, optimistic, etc. And I really do think that’s a good thing. America needs a big dose of that at this moment in time, truly.
  7. However, put quite simply: I can’t say I fully get it. I can wrap my head around certain aspects of this victory, obviously, such as the historic and symbolic significance of the first black President, as well as the power of a party to rally and after the last two disappointing elections, push their decision through and even make it a landslide. Really, I get that; I voted Kerry in the last election to no avail, I was right there with you.
  8. But my mind cannot block out the Dark Side. The shadows. In my attempt to make the most responsible, fully informed decision in this Presidential race, there was quite a bit about the Obama campaign that bothered me. Disturbed me, even.
  9. And above all in this election, it really bothered me that the mainstream media (MSM) failed to apply equal scrutiny to the Democratic campaign, and specifically Obama as a candidate. No candidate should be painted by the MSM as a saint. For heaven’s sake, white, black, purple with green polka dots, we are talking about politicians here. I still feel like so much was brushed under the rug, which leaves me feeling even more skeptical, distrustful, and disappointed in the MSM, who as much as possible should serve as our watchdog over pushing their own agenda. If the MSM had at the very least brought some of the darker accusations surrounding Obama to the headlines and investigated those claims, proving them to be true or false, one way or the other, I would have felt much more comfortable with the course and outcome of this election. At least we would all be informed of more than the cost of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.
  10. Finally, and I say this less as a disappointed, this-time Republican voter than an individual who was born inherently skeptical of Rock Stars, who (usually to my detriment, socially speaking) refuses on principle to rally around the charismatic-types: I’m nervous. I know I might feel differently if our new President’s agenda fully matched my own ideals, but as it stands, I don’t believe in political magic wands. Charisma, to me, is a surface attribute only, not fully reflective of a person’s character and abilities. I need more, to be sold. I’m not close-minded, I can be persuaded. But I need more.

Well, we’re here now. So: Impress me. Go ahead, I’m ready to see what you’ve got.

To end on a more positive note, I am looking forward to having a President who inspires people, even children!—remember when kids would say they wanted to be President when they grew up? We could see that again. Also, a President whom other nations respect, who will maybe not make the US look foolish. And a President who can string together a proper sentence. It will be nice not to cringe when the man speaks, preemptively mortified on his behalf.

Who knows, maybe at the end of 4 or 8 years, our nation really will be all the better. I know a lot of you truly think so, and I do sincerely hope you’re right.

6 tips left at the bar:

Jeff said...

i'm curious about which elements of the Obama campaign disturbed you, particularly because you claim that they were not covered by the mainstream media.

we all hear a lot about the liberal media, and i definitely think there is a slant, but william ayers is a household name now. how did that happen if the issue was not given much media attention? frankly, i think palin's wardrobe costs were not covered nearly enough compared to ayers, rev. wright, and ACORN. and why, in 2008, is socialism even part of the dialogue? yet, ask your average american to tell you something about the keating 5, or palin's ties to the alaskan independence party, or john mccain's gambling addiction and you are likely to be met with blank stares.

penelope said...

Are Ayers, Rev. Wright, and ACORN recognized in households across America now as mere mudslinging by the McCain camp, or were they treated as significant issues worthy of full media investigation?

As an unaffiliated voter, I want to hear it all to make the most informed decision possible. If the Keating 5, the Alaskan Independence Party and John McCain's gambling addiction are important, I don't think they should be brushed under the rug, either.

I do feel like the conservative voice was both stifled and/or dismissed a bit this election. There should always be a dialog, it's what makes our system great. The media bias to me was blatant, and in general that makes me nervous, when people don't question it. My issue with the media is fairly separate from my final vote. I'm more distrustful walking away from this election not because I didn't agree with their agenda, but because they clearly HAD an agenda.

Megan said...

I agree with you, Pen.

While I didn't vote for Obama, I am very happy for those that did, because they themselves are so happy. And what they are displaying is a good 'I'm proud and optimistic' happy, not a 'ha ha, I'm right.' That's so uplifting to see from a group that deservedly felt down and out from the past eight years.

As far as MSM, there is a definite slant, and not just from MSNBC and FOX. Very true, they did discuss some of Obama's questionable associations, etc. But to me, it came off as 'Here's what the Repubs are yelling about now' instead of true investigative journalism... which Palin's wardrobe is decidedly not.

Charisma is a wonderful thing in the hands of someone who has the ability to do good things, absolutely. It certainly enables a person to open once closed eyes and rally support and that is such a powerful tool. Unfortunately, that tool can be wielded whether the promises made are or are not in the best interest of the country and whether the person does or does not have the ability to keep them. It is my sincerest hope that Barack Obama's ideas are ultimately proven good for the country and that he has the ability to bring them to fruition. I think all of us that voted for McCain hope that we were wrong (as long as there is no finger wagging, ok?).

Jeff said...

i saw a great panel discussion during the republican convention about the role of the media in a digital age. many of the panelists bemoaned the death of objectivity, and tucker carlson actually said something pretty insightful. he said that even if a journalist or news organization has a strong bias, they should at least make an effort to appear objective. nobody really does that anymore, and the result is that you can't take information at face value. truth is more elusive than ever.

as for whether the mainstream media fully investigated, say, the ayers issue...i don't think they did. but these are the same people that failed to properly investigate anything leading up to the iraq war. there may be a liberal bias in the media, but honestly i think the real problem is a lack of integrity on the whole. right wing media is just as guilty of that, if not more so.

penelope said...

An agenda that is unquestioningly eaten up by so many, is what I meant to add. I realize the media agenda is nothing new, it just seemed particularly evident this election, and it really shouldn't be for anything, ESPECIALLY an election.

Thank you, Megs, for helping me feel not crazy.

penelope said...

Good points, Jeff. Lack of integrity is a huge issue, and I agree that both sides are just as guilty. And that truth is more elusive than ever... I blame the Matrix, mostly. Hee.

Thanks for making this an open discussion, even though we voted differently. ;)