Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dave Chappelle Was Right...

I’m having a hard time with this presidential campaign. Not that it’s unexpected, but this is such an outrageously lopsided debate that it makes me want to tear my hair out. Luckily, I’ve been busy with one of the local campaigns, but I’ve decided to come back and address some things.

I’ve heard many times that Barack Obama doesn’t “deserve” to be president. Honestly, no one deserves to be president; people have to earn it. Hillary Clinton thought she deserved to be the Democratic nominee and look what happened to her. Just because you’ve been around for a while doesn’t mean you’re entitled to anything. All achievement must be constantly earned. But, I interpret this comment against Obama two ways.

One, Barack Obama is too young to be president, like there’s some sort of line that every person is in based on age (so, I guess McCain (JSM3) would be at the head of the line). But, like the policy of promotions based on time instead of skill, you won’t end up with the most qualified candidate, just the oldest one. McCain’s been in DC for 26 years and has contributed more to the problems than the solutions, especially in recent years. JSM3 is so entrenched in DC that he’s blinded by reality. Perhaps he should just retire? But this “too young” argument really loses legs considering that Obama can join the AARP in three years. Let’s not act like he’s a child. He’s actually in the prime of his life, with the energy and enthusiasm necessary for the hardest job on earth.

Two, Obama is black. Yea, I’ll say it. Rush Limbaugh was thisclose to dropping the N-word on Obama yesterday (“little black man-child” is pretty damn close). And, every time the Republicans say they don’t want to make this about race, they bring up race and make it about race. So, somehow a Harvard-educated man who is actually of mixed-race cannot be president? Welcome to the 21st century Republicans. I know you’ve spent the past 60 years oppressing minorities, but some manage to slip through and succeed. Weird.

Of course, Dave Chappelle had it right. In my favorite political skit of all time, Chappelle imagines what would have happened if Bush was Black (ok, not just black, but the worst of all African-American stereotypes). It’s hilarious. But, sadly, it’s true. Obama is getting grilled, while McCain gets a free pass (I know I’ve mentioned this media study, but it’s quite shocking). So, race is an issue, and it’s clouding the real issues in this election.

But, on the flip side of the idea that Obama doesn’t deserve the presidency is the idea that somehow John McCain does. So, I thought it would be prudent to look at what JSM3 has done with the other entitlements in his life.

1) John McCain goes to the Naval Academy. Thanks to his father and grandfather, both admirals (or, as the Navy calls them DADmirals), John Sidney the Third was able to circumvent the application process (which is currently in the top 1% of selectivity). So, of course, with an opportunity like that, there’s nothing left to do but squander it. Which McCain did with flying colors. As we all know by now, JSM3 had to call on his father numerous times just to keep him at the Academy. And, we’re all familiar with the number 894 (as in, McCain’s rank out of 899 graduates). Super.

2) John McCain becomes a pilot. Being a pilot is cool. Most people will admit that. However, at the Naval Academy, it’s also well known that in order to become a pilot, one has to work hard an prove that they have respect for the Navy’s time and money. Well, almost everybody. Even though he graduated at the bottom of his class, McCain managed to be selected as a Naval Aviator (I imagine it had something to do with his DADmiral). And again, it was a squandered opportunity. McCain wasn’t just a poor pilot. He sucked. In his time, he crashed five airplanes. I graduated with a kid who was in flight school and came up short on the runway. Guess what? He’s not in flight school any more. He didn’t crash the plane, but he made a serious mistake. So serious that the Navy determined he was no longer eligible to be a pilot. This leads me to the belief that not only did JSM3 believe he was entitled to a prestigious aviation billet, but that nothing should keep him from continuing, even after repeated fuck ups.

3) John McCain cheats on his first wife. Apparently, in McCain’s world, he’s also entitled to a beautiful, wealthy wife. Good thing he married a model. Too bad she was in a devastating car accident. Even though she stayed with him and kept the vigil for him while he was a POW, that apparently doesn’t count. None of that “for better or worse” crap for JSM3. He just wanted better. So, he went out and got himself better. Thirty-four days after officially divorcing his first wife, JSM3 picked up the newer, faster model. I’m not going to judge the age difference, but I am going to judge the 34 days courtship. You know that saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater?” Is that the judgment we need (new slogan: JSM3=Me first)?

4) John McCain goes to the Senate. Ha, ok well, he was elected. Going to work is another question entirely. And, I know I’ve talked about his horrific attendance record before, but it’s very troubling to me. Why would someone who so blatantly shirked his responsibilities be deserving of the Presidency?

I’m really just disgusted with the way this campaign is being handled, though it’s really no different than any other. Unfortunately, we can’t just throw in the towel. We have to redouble our efforts to expose the truth about JSM3: he’s a temperamental hot-head who believes that he’s entitled to anything he wants. He may deride Obama’s ambition, but what of his own? Whatever JSM3 wants, someone in his family has given him. Where has his work been? What has he earned?

So, I’ll leave you with this quote (though from a non-traditional source): According to one classmate, "being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck." It is unclear what being with McCain during his presidency would be like for the nation. Unfortunately, America has no direct experience from which to draw with a president who was a temperamental son of a distinguished military man and who in college was a temperamental fuck-up who liked to party. What could possibly be so dangerous about that?

Hm, I wonder??

Monday, August 4, 2008

Be The Tidal Wave

Most people would assume that because I'm in the military, the War in Iraq/Global War on Terror (actually, I just wanted an excuse to use the acronym GWOT...G-WOT!!) is the most important issue to me in this election. And, honestly, I have been trying to pin down exactly what is the most important issue to me.

The War(s)? Possibly.

Energy? Also a good choice.

The Economy? Definitely in dire straits and in need of attention.

Health Care? The Right to Choose? Prosecuting the Wackos who've held this country hostage for eight years?

So, I mulled this over (and over again), and I finally came up with my answer. The most important issue in this election is...the election itself!

Surprised? I was, too. But, when you think about it, it makes sense. Here we are, talking about who's going to change (or not change, as the case may be) things around here, but nothing is going to happen if we don't have a successful election (by "we" I mean Democrats...and by extension, America). If we don't get the issues out there and talk about them in a way that's meaningful to Americans. If we don't honestly talk about what went wrong, what's still going wrong, and what could go wrong in the future. As well as what we are doing, and can continue to do, right.

You know, it's only August and already this campaign has taken a ridiculous turn. I suppose it's not unexpected, but it's completely unnecessary. John McCain (who is the worst candidate on earth) refuses to tell the truth about anythign, especially himself. He refuses to talk about the issues, adn instead, takes a road so low it's practically a tunnel.

And no one is going to stop him. The people should be pissed!! I'm completely insulted by McCain's campaign. To stoop so low and shirk the issues is NOT worthy of the American people's time or money. It's why American politics are a joke around the world, and why, if McCain is elected, America will continue to loose standing across the world (hard to imagine, but completely possible).

And, it's why we can't do enough this year. It's not enough to sit here and chat about it. It's not enough to send money (unless that's really all you can do). We all need to put our blood, sweat and tears into this election, from the top of the ticket to the bottom. WE need to be the force behind the change. Like Obama said, "he's just a symbol." The change has to come from us. We must demand that change. The people must be the ones who are driving this democracy. It's been hijacked and it's time for us to take back control.

So, in the interest of the election, I've started volunteering for one of the local campaigns. We don't need another Republican to come in here and privatize the city government. We don't need another politician who's going to make a profit off of the suffering of others. On November 4th, I'm not going to be sitting at home (or in a bar) wishing I did more. I'm going to be celebrating, knowing I did all I could for this democracy.

A drop of water may be small on its own, but millions of drops combined can form a tidal wave. Obama is just the catalyst, we are the true force of change.