Politics Is Ugly

Politicians don’t need any help making their profession look ugly. They do a good enough job of that all on their own. Yet with the election in the US just a day away, everyone seems to be doing their part to show just how ugly politics really is. It really brings out the absolute worst in everyone.

We have a lot of family and friends in the US and as such a lot of them are on my Facebook feed. I’m starting to question how some of them made it on my friends list to start with. Not because of the candidate they support, but because of the way they go about supporting them.

Ginger at Ramble Ramble summed it up a while ago in a really great blog post here.

It happens every 4 years. People hurl insults at the candidates and those “stupid” enough to support them. They are quick to point out the weaknesses of the other candidate. They’re not willing to concede one inch to the other side. I’m guilty of it too, to an extent. I don’t understand how anyone could even consider voting for Romney/Ryan. I feel like this because I find his views and opinions to be extremely old fashioned and purely religious-based. I believe firmly in a separation of Church and State. You can’t, and shouldn’t, run a multi-religional, multicultural country on one religion’s foundations alone. If you want to be anti-gay marriage or pro-life because your bible says so, then that is really up to you, but to enforce biblical beliefs through state laws is wrong. Typically, republicans would like the rich to get richer, and the poor to suffer. Well, that’s not true, they want the poor to do more to make themselves UN-poor, which anyone who has ever been poor knows, is not just that simple.

The disgusting thing about people who don’t like Obama is that they seem to not like him because of the colour of his skin, his name, the religion they accuse him of being (Muslim, though I’m pretty sure he’s a Christian). I have seen people on Facebook say he “Hates America” and isn’t even American himself. Four years he’s been insulted by people insisting he show his papers to prove his citizenship. Four years he’s been bullied by idiots like Donald Trump who want to take the attention off Obama’s accomplishments and put them on something petty and childish, like the long-buried discussion over Obama’s nationality. Someone please get Trump a dead horse, he seems to like beating them!

When anti-Obama people talk about him, they talk about how his name sounds like a terrorist, they say he’s a Muslim, they call him Anti-American. They don’t talk about how he saved the auto industry. Which ironically, a lot of my republican in-laws have worked in or at least live in the city most affected by it. They don’t talk about his revolutionary health care reform that makes it more affordable than ever, for more people. They don’t talk about him bringing home the troops from Iraq. They don’t talk about the jobs created.

It seems people expected Obama to come in in 4 years, clean up the mess that it took 8 (+) years to create.

It’s hard to know who and what to believe. Every time there’s a debate, everyone thinks their guy won. Every time there’s a poll, it is either heavily biased to one side or shows a “dead lock”. What happens come Wednesday morning is anyone’s guess.

For many reasons, I’m glad we no longer live in the US. There are times I miss it with all my being. There are times, like election time, that I’m thankful we’re not there. Elections are divisive, and can turn friends into enemies. Ironic that something as liberating as the right to vote, the privilege to vote, is so divisive, yet something as tragic as a terrorist attack brings the country together. What is wrong with this picture?

Linking up for #IBOT at the NEW Essentially Jess.

What If…?

What if you were told you couldn’t marry your partner because they were the same race?

What if you were told you couldn’t marry your partner because they were the same religion?

What if you were told you couldn’t marry your partner because they were the same age?

What if you were told you couldn’t marry your partner because they had the same colour hair as you?

Ridiculous, right?

What if you were told you couldn’t marry your partner because they are same sex?

Just as ridiculous!

Love comes in all shapes, sizes, religions, races and yes, sexes. What does it honest-to-God matter who you love? Tell me how it affects you, if two men, or two women, love each other and want to get married and have a family? I’m sick of the bullshit excuses like, “Because it is wrong” or “Because the Bible says so.” I’m even more sick of the terrible, asinine, offensive analogies to bestiality.

Two men loving each other affects you as much as two muslims, two blondes, two Christians, or two 28 year olds.

I thought, in 2012, we’d have long put the days behind us of anyone being treated like a second class citizen for any reason. I hope by the time my son is grown up he will be free to choose who he loves and how he commits to that person, without judgement, hate, ridicule or prejudice.

Queensland Votes

On Saturday the State of QLD was forced to vote. Those of us who could vote, that is. My husband and a dear friend are among the non-citizen, non-voting population. I will come back to this.

Once upon a time, I was passionate about politics. I lived in the good ol’ US of A for 11 years where I was part of the non-citizen, non-voting population. In the US, where voting is an option, it made me blind angry that so many people would NOT exercise their right to vote. That so many people, who had to live under rules passed by the person elected, would be so crass as to not care who was elected, and furthermore would not even know what the different people stood for or even what political affiliation they had. I wondered how these people could walk around, ignorant to the fact there were people elected who actually got to say what they could and could not do with their lives, and they didn’t care.

Now, I get it. I get it, because since moving back to Australia at the end of 2007, where we arrived just in time to see K Rudd’s “landslide” (seriously, that should be a QLD drinking game this week) win over John Howard, I have become disillusioned.

I’m disillusioned with many things about the state of Australian politics. I think it is in the toilet. And I think things need to change.

How can we ask our children not to be bullies, when all they have to do is turn on the news to see our elected officials acting like the biggest bullies in the country, while sitting in parliament! The name calling, the talking over one another, the disrespect. It is not only disrespectful to each other, it is disrespectful to those of us who vote. To those of us they are supposed to represent and fight for. All they want to fight for is the top job, and undoubtedly the post-PM perks that come with said job. It is a waste of time, money and resources of an epic proportion. They slag each other, slander each other, it is honestly some of the most abhorrent behaviour I have seen. We would not tolerate it from friends, we would not tolerate it from teachers, we would certainly not tolerate it from our children, yet we tolerate it from our politicians!

And don’t even get me started on the wasted money by government officials.

I also have to wonder why voting is limited to citizens only. Perhaps there is some legitimate reason for this. But as far as I am concerned if you are a permanent resident, are entitled to government benefits, work and pay taxes in this country, you should sure as heck get the right to vote for the people who make the rules you have to live by. It made me so irate that in the US, I cared more about the political system than half the Americans I knew, yet I couldn’t legally voice my opinion via ballot.

No one party will ever satisfy the needs of every Australian. And unfortunately, at this point in time, I don’t feel like ANY party can satisfy the needs of ANY Australian. I feel like politicians are so disconnected they don’t even KNOW the needs of Australians. Why does it have to be about family OR small business? Why can’t both win? Why can there not be a party who will stand up and say, “I want the best for every person living in this country.”

I love this country, I love living in this country. Regardless of who runs my state, or who runs my country, that will not change. I voted today, and I didn’t throw my vote to the Greens, or to Mickey Mouse. I voted with my gut. I was out-voted. By a lot. Some would say a landslide (take a shot!).