Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Politics make my head hurt

It's that time in every four-year cycle where I don't even want to turn on the TV. All you hear is one politician or group bashing another, and I'm so sick of it, I could scream. I. Hate. Politics.

It is a little known fact that in my eclectic career, I have, actually, campaigned and been elected to public office. Yes, it was a small office. I spent four years as the clerk of a township in central Michigan. Why would arguably the most a-political person in the world become a politician? The answer is simple. Health insurance.

Now this was a long time ago, and there wasn't so much public outcry about "socialized medicine" or whatever you want to call it. The deal was, I had just finished grad school and hadn't landed a full-time job. So no benefits. My husband was still in grad school. No benefits. And we had two very young children. (3 and 4 when I took office.) The current clerk was retiring and my in-laws knew everyone in town. The clerk position was part time, but it DID come with family coverage on the township's health care plan.

So I ran. And I won. And I pretty much hated the political aspects of the job. Oh, I didn't mind the record-keeping, meeting with the public, even election oversight. I also wrote my first book in this time period, because I would be bored senseless at my desk some days. But the dirty-infighting politics? Hated every bloody minute of that part.

I was born with a hang up on fairness. I know life isn't fair, but I keep thinking it SHOULD be, at least those parts we, as human beings, can control. So I ALWAYS look at both sides of an argument, even if I don't want to. I also have an advanced degree in biology. Yes, that colors my perception of reality. No, I don't consider that a problem.

If you know me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll notice I don't often post about my beliefs. I'm on there to get to know people, not to piss off my brother or cousins, or readers. But this time comes around every 4 years, and I'd swear steam starts coming out my ears. So here it is. My personal philosophy. If you don't want to know, Have a great day and hop over to another site, right about now.  No worries--I won't hold it against you, I promise.

#1: Science is not liberal. Science is science. Accept this, work it into your belief system and move on. Global climate change is not a theory, it's a fact. Evolution happened. And being gay is not a choice. Furthermore, that's not my opinion, it's science. All of these issues need to be reflected in our policies, before we don't have a planet any more, and no one has the freedom to pursue happiness.

#2: The United States of America is a great country, with a rich history of innovation and strength. We're not perfect. In education,  standard of living, and yes, the health of our citizens, we're way down on the list internationally speaking. We need to fix this. We also need to stop being smug, self-satisfied jerks about it.

#3: I believe in freedom FROM religion as well as freedom of religion. That means no one else's religion gets to tell me or anyone else how to live their lives. "Because my god says so" is not a valid reason for laws or legislation regarding what I do with my body or who I marry. Period, no exceptions.

#4: We need to take care of each other, not look out for ourselves. The richest are getting richer. That's not "job-creation" that's exploitation, and the numbers are there to prove it. Math isn't liberal! So whether you're a janitor or a CEO, be kind and generous and thoughtful, to everyone. Yes, that means taking care of them when they're sick, regardless of wealth, sexual orientation, religion, weight or ethnic background. Be nice, even when it goes against your personal beliefs or isn't in your own financial best interests! Yes, this means I'm pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, and pro-nationalized healthcare. I don't consider this liberal, I consider it right.

The worlds in my books represent reality as I see it. There are gay people. There are straight people. There are people who don't fall neatly into either category. There are nice people and there are jerks and most of us fall somewhere in between. There are poor people. Some of them are hard workers who just can't catch a break. Others are lazy. Rich or poor we're all human. There are people of different races, creeds, or nationalities who fall in love with each other. That's not meant to be a political statement, it's just the way life goes. Accept and move on... There, in a nutshell, is my outlook on politics and life. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...



20 comments:

Gerri Bowen said...

Cindy, that just about sums it up for me, too. :)

Harlie Reader said...

I'm with you Cindy. I ignore it on Facebook. I'm conservative in some ways and liberal in others. I believe that if we take care of each other, everything else will fall into place.

:)

Marika

Anny Cook said...

Excellent post!

Amber Skyze said...

Excellent, Cindy!

Katalina said...

I agree with you Cindy!
As Americans we need to remember we are not at war with each other and start cooperating.

Ashlyn Chase said...

I couldn't have said it better. I live in NH and we're so inundated with politics and politicians every two years (damn those interim elections) that I want to scream, tear my hair out and run until I reach Maine or Vermont.

I'm sick to death of one party trying to sabotage the other at the expense of the people when their supposed to be working for the people!

I cannot believe some of the ignorance out there. I've received some of the most frustrating emails from a "friend" and have repeatedly told him to stop including me in his political bull.

Send me jokes, funny pictures, or anything to help me get through this ridiculous time. I say ridiculous, because that's what it is. Most politicians will say anything to get elected...even if they don't believe in it, knowing nothing will change anyway.

Hales said...

#3: I believe in freedom FROM religion as well as freedom of religion. That means no one else's religion gets to tell me or anyone else how to live their lives. "Because my god says so" is not a valid reason for laws or legislation regarding what I do with my body or who I marry. Period, no exceptions.


Love This..... If I had a quarter for every person who thought they needed to educate me on Christianity I'd be a rich woman. People assumed because my mother was into Indian Shamanism and later on Bhuddhist that I grew up a heathen. Then again she was gay too and searching for a religion that accepted her choice of who to love.

Wynter Daniels said...

Well said. I grew up in a highly political family. My father ran for our state senate (and lost) twice. Politics was in conversation daily. I will admit that I have a hard time with those who question science like evolution and global warming as theory and those who refuse to accept that gay isn't a choice. On my author FB page, I am also pretty quiet about politics, although on my personal page, I can't always remain silent when intolerance is espoused!

Jean Hart Stewart said...

Excellent post. The lies and character assassination of elections makes me ill...

JacquƩline Roth said...

"Science isn't liberal." That's a quote that should be repeated often and loudly. It drives me crazy is how politicians and political groups try to use science and math "creatively". That's not science and math if you don't include all the facts.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

There are an amazing number of us who are rational, civil, and humane. Unfortunately very few of us go into politics (or would succeed if we did.) Sigh.

Naima Simone said...

I swear if you run, Cindy, I'll vote for you!!

I'm with you--I can't stand commercial breaks these days because of the obvious lies, mudslinging, rhetoric and just plain viciousness that's broadcasted daily. It's sad and infuriating. I'm standing up on my bed, pumping my fist in agreement with you, Cindy!

Fran Lee said...

A woman after my own heart...you say it like it is, girl! I God were a politician,he/she/it would do a major face-palm and extinguish the lights in the Congress for the term. Make 'em work in the dark...learn what it's like to be blind. Take away the limos and the lobbyists and see if they can live on their tiny $250,000 a year salaries. Um...we won't go there...SNORT!

Anne Seebaldt said...

I liked your post. A lot. And agree with nearly all of it ...

Cara Marsi said...

Cindy, this is a great post. Well-said. I agree with all you've said. It makes me crazy when people don't believe in science, when they want to cut the Dept. of Education and not pay teachers a fair salary. And don't get me started on the obscene salaries of the CEO's. I'm a very political person, always have been. I don't post my politics on FB or Twitter. I try to keep quiet. My friends and relatives know my politics. But I'll never deny who I am or my beliefs. I've already started muting the negative political ads. I know who I'm voting for, and no negative ads will sway me. I've worked for political candidates before, making phone calls, knocking on doors, and I'll do it again this year. I believe in having the courage of my rhetoric.

Sherry said...

Amen Sister!!

Uhm I mean, Yup I agree!!

Cris Anson said...

Well said, Cindy! You should run for office again *grin*

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Not a chance in hell. :)

Tessie Bradford said...

Fantastic, insightful, right-on post, Cindy!!

Dalton Diaz said...

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