Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yes, We Better.


So, this morning, surfing the tubes, I learned that Dunkin Donuts drinkers support Hillary Clinton, and Starbucks drinkers support Barack Obama. Isn’t the free press great?

This, to me, goes so far beyond whether the media is “liberal” or “conservative”: it’s an example of why the news media is pretty much completely irrelevant. I mean, yeah, I know this isn’t something that turned up on the front page, but, come ON! This is the sort of half hearted post I’d do on my blog after I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. Even if there are folks who fall squarely into one of these two categories, even if they’re playing for snark, isn’t such a premise pretty ill-concieved?

What about all the repentant Nader voters, sitting at Bauhaus in Seattle, who would sooner toss a chair through Starbucks’ window than drink one of their coffees? For that matter, what about my career-military, uber-religious cousin, who won’t ingest any beverage NOT in a cup with a little green mermaid on it? Doesn’t this just regurgitate the tired meme that Democrats are lazy welfare queens - until, of course, we have some extra cash in our pockets, at which point we become Frappacinno-huffing Hollywood starlets, with no sympathy for the common man?

I’m not particularly a political guy, and in so far as I am at all, I’m not terribly vocal about my politics. But the average two-time Bush voter makes me have to be political, and like the proverbial snake asleep on a rock, poked with a stick by a bunch of redneck campers, it pisses me Right. The Hell. Off.

I’m not adverse to a careful, thoughtful approach toward “welfare reform” (particularly as it relates to, y’know, large corporations that expect the feds to bail them out when the de-regulation they’ve fought so hard for doesn’t work out for them) and I (like - say it with me now - EVERY OTHER PERSON living on the planet today) believe in the ideal of “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” (especially as it relates to C students becoming Presidents of the United States, based solely upon their connections). Yeah, just call me a “fiscal conservative”. I’m a hard core social (but not political) libertarian who laughs, hard, when a political party that wins elections based on stirring up a bunch of religious zealots mentions “Republican” in the same breath as “libertarianism”. I firmly hold that my wife of 11 years and I have the right to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to conceive, gestate, and be responsible-for any more children, thankyouverymuch. I’m against “special rights” (to marry, to raise children, to worship as they like without being chastised mercilessly by the media for it) for straight, white Christians who rail obsessively about perceived special rights every chance they get. While I’d like to believe that America could simply write off any and all oppressive regimes; countries that don’t hold our ideals in how they treat their workers and citizens, I know that the world is too small and it’s resources too few for us to hide behind the Rodenberrian ideal of the “Prime Directive”. I feel if the country INSISTS on some racist, hard-line approach to illegal aliens, we should give the death penalty to anyone guilty of employing them, thusly eliminating the “demand” rather than the “supply”. I’m not a gun owner, but I mostly think a responsible person should be able to make that decision for themselves (regardless of how I feel about the paranoid maniac whose vote at the ballot box is based solely upon “My guns! My guns! EVERYBODY’S TRYING TO TAKE AWAY MY GUNS!”) As a person who doesn’t need a lot of clutter in his life, I nevertheless think people should be able to decide for themselves how much is “enough”, insofar as it doesn’t cause excessive harm to our planet - and I find it the absolute pinacle of irony that a bunch of “Book of Revelation” groupies with a collective boner for the end-of-the-world scoff at the very idea that mankind could be responsible for causing just such an event.
And, oh yeah - I’m open to ANY workable solution which would allow me to search for work without being bootstrapped to the promise of a health insurance plan that can be modified at my employer’s whim.

In our two party system (and, yes, it is) I voted twice for Bill Clinton (enthusiastically) once for Gore (begrudgingly – this was the defective, no “oomph” year 2000 model, after all) and once for Kerry (pinching my nose at the ballot box). I was entirely smitten this year with John Edwards, after I saw him give a nothing-to-lose interview, where he said he completely fought against Kerry’s non-handling of the Swift Boat liars. But alas, his honesty was no match for the collective rockstar personalities of Hillary and Barack.

While I’m consistently annoyed with Clinton for her Kerry-like need to appear “moderate” to a bunch of people who will never, ever vote for her. I will nevertheless vote for her if she somehow winds up on the ballot, regardless of how she gets there. I won’t be HAPPY, but there are bigger things at stake. Nothing is more important than preventing Bush’s third term in the man of John McCain. That joke just isn’t funny anymore.

Which brings me to Obama. The Senator from Illinois had my initial, enthusiastic support – right up until he allowed some ignorant gospel singer at one of his events to drone on about being “cured” of his gayness. I won’t give this claptrap any more words than it deserves, other than to say I was sorely, deeply disappointed and offended.

Since then, Obama’s gone a long way toward regaining my trust, and in effect, my support. Particularly between the two remaining candidates; he being, as they say, the “lesser of two evils”. I was in no way obsessive in my support, but I was proud of "my candidate".

But now, the “Reverend Wright” controversy – as it’s displayed all over the news stations, with all the high-res graphics of a Superbowl commercial for Cool Ranch Doritos – has changed all that. I have sipped of the cool-aid, I have taken the oath – I have a deep, profound amount of man-love for Barack Obama, and I will follow this brilliant, strong, even visionary man into the next era of this country.

Every day in the last eight years, my head has been rife with thoughts every bit as negative, and even - yeah, I admit - hateful as the garbage that pours from the likes of Rush and Ann. Some may even think my words above are a reflection of that, but trust me, what goes through my sinister little noggin is much, much worse, which is why I generally keep my trap shut. But with his speech yesterday, Obama didn’t just move forward, he hurdled – gracefully – above the fray, in a way that other democrats seem inexplicably incapable of doing. He could have thrown his pastor over the rails like some political liability; he didn’t. He could have (rightfully, and, of course, in vein) pointed to the fire and brimstone preachers who are actually part of the other candidates campaign (nope). He could have ignored the mess for the sort of diversionary, and ultimately racist, attack that it was (nada).

Instead – he delivered a speech that HE wrote (he, him, himself. Barrack Obama) telling NO ONE to “get over it”, but challenging EVERYONE to “move above it”. He spoke with honesty and candor about the fears of the very people who are confused enough to try and derail his campaign. And in effect, he raised an even bigger challenge to his most ardent supporters – a challenge to view our enemies with respect, as fellow human beings.

Whether or not they drink Starbucks.

Will it be hard? ...

… Does John Hagee hate Catholics? (HA ha!)

But watching the next leader of the free world in action – yeah, I got the "hope".

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

afuckinmen!! but hey, I love dunkin' donuts and I want Obama...who made up that stupid poll? is it secretly saying people who have more money to waste on a piece of shit cup of burnt coffee from starbucks want a new face....that makes no sense. I think since dunkin donuts is mainly known in the east, and most of hillary's support is in the east, then they make the stupid correlation that dunkin drinkers like her. total BS!

you should get political more often...makes for a good entry.

-youknowwho

It's not pretty underneath... said...

Vive Obama! Damn the man. Yes, we must be drinking from the same tap today, and I say rant on, my friend; rant on! Fragile egos be damned - I read you all the time!

Anonymous said...

what's up with the recent poll today that said Hilary had a "significant lead" over Obama in delegates? who exactly are they polling?

Anonymous said...

I have zero faith in either party.

peter

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Excellent rant. I can't rant with structure. How do you do that? I'm hoping that if Obama wins, he forgives Canada for the betrayal over the NAFTA thing. Someone leaked that info, probably from the Prime Minister's office. No hard feelings Barak?