Monday, November 03, 2008

If I Went Back To Tell Myself This Day Would Come, I Probably Wouldn't Believe Me.

It's a political rant, kids, I held it in as long as I could. Skip as needed.

I think today would be a good day to explain why I've had the Obama '08 banner up in the corner of my blog for the past few months, being we're into the last 24 hours of campaigning in this election most people can't wait to see end. I'm one of those zen hippies that doesn't believe anyone has the right to tell another person what to do, except, you know, in the case of things like, "Look out, that's not edible!" and then it's more of a common sense thing than shoving opinions down unsuspecting throats, and yet here I am, writing this post eight years in the making.

Once upon a time I went to a protest. I'd made an armband out of duct tape, which was connected to then head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge telling people to duct tape plastic sheeting over their windows to protect them from things like oxygen and nuclear fallout. That was one way we sure showed those guys plotting to send a bunch of kids to war. On that little piece of sidewalk outside of the recruiting station I heard stories that were way more interesting than anything I'll ever have to tell--just the mere fact that I left the house to mill around with people I'd never met before and never saw again is my big shocker. I knew the area, though, and I didn't want to turn down the chance to inhale the fumes of Fordham Road one more time. I've never been back.

In the weeks that followed I was all gung-ho thinking I could make a difference and put an end to war forever and all would be sunshine and unicorns. I had a few more posts on my old blog than you'll find there now, one was a few hours old when some random stranger spouted off a long diatribe that I was a pathetic excuse for a human and might be happier living in Iraq as I obviously didn't love my country and disrespected all the military stood for with my trying to keep them from being sent into what I called a poorly-planned mission of pure spite. Or something. It's been a while and I deleted my post to get rid of the comment. I think I was also encouraged to somehow abort myself. Those days sure were surreal. Makes the odd comment about how unfunny my comic strip is seem like friendly banter.

During this pesky election season someone bemoaned looking back and complaining about things. So I'm not going to tell anyone who to vote for based on the string of screw-ups that led to inept responses to hurricanes, terrorism, endless war, flagrant disregard for the Constitution and Geneva Conventions, deregulation to the point of a housing crisis, the collapse of banks, the rise in, I won't mention that it all happened on their watch. I won't say they were given the world, and they pissed it away. I'm a good sport, I'll look ahead. I finally have something to look forward to, so I've recently heard.

All the years I've been aware of politics, there's been a faction that feels the need to instill fear to keep people voting for them instead of assuring humanity they aren't quite so dainty and pathetic and might even be able to live with one another an entire lifetime without so much as a cross word. The words change a little but the sentiment is always the same; things will get worse if they don't stay in power, we'll be nuked, the terrorists will win, taxes will soar, we'll all become gay socialist commies looking for handouts, and anyone who thinks we would do okay without them and their fear must hate America, because they seriously believe only they are America. But that's just politics, right? Walk away from the news and the world gets better, right?

In the past eight years, I've looked the possibility of losing my home straight in the eyes more than once, I've had a job outsourced with no warning, I've watched most of the money that comes in go right out to oil bills, I've gotten too sick to be a big cog in the economic machine and yet I'm not sick enough for the government to give me one of those handouts. I am not a slacker and I respect the hell out people who work as many jobs as they need to. I'm proud of the military and I love my country. I've been told I just don't understand what the Republican party of the past eight years is trying to accomplish, and I have been told to shut up and go away when I protested the invasion of Iraq, but I still love my country because I know there's more to it than fear. For the first time in way too long I believe things may finally be about to change for the better, and I believe with the last sparks of optimism in my heart that Barack Obama can do it. So what if he talks nice? So what if he has skinny legs? So what if the world loves him? So what if he isn't half as scary as some people are making him out to be? And so the hell what if he has a funny name? I'd choose the future he's offering over fear any day, and I'm hoping more than anything that what I've seen is true and I'm in the majority this time around.

I feel much better with that off my chest. See you Wednesday.

If you made it this far, I ♥ you and here is a video to give you happy dance feelings.


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