OK. I'm about to do something I never thought I would do on this blog. Are you ready? Dear God, what am I getting into?
Let's talk politics.
Oh, lawd, smack me down now. Please.
Let me just say up front that I am so over the presidential election. Almost two years of listening to empty rhetoric and mud slinging from both sides almost, almost makes me crave a dictatorship. Almost. And to be honest with all of you, I'm a Libertarian*. I don't want a large government taking Ty-man's paycheck (because this stay-at-home mom gig pays squat), but I also don't want a government that creates a nanny state, telling me what to do and not do in my private life. The American government has become such a bloated bureaucracy over the last 232 years (thanks to all political parties - you freaky Whigs included) that spends too much money and mandates almost every aspect of our private lives including what kind of toilets we can use in our homes and whether we're allowed to eat trans-fat or not. I'm so tired and over so many empty promises and career politicians who live off the system that I've decided to actually vote Libertarian this year (Yes, Adam, I've changed my mind AGAIN! Woman's prerogative!). I realize that it's a vote that will be wasted, but maybe not. Maybe if we all made a decision to vote against the incumbents, vote against the career Washington butt-lickers (yeah, I said butt-lickers), vote against a two-party system, then maybe we could establish change in this country.
That being said, allow me to give you this. The Presidential Oath of Office. This is what the President of our country promises to do on Inauguration day. This is what we, the citizens of this country, charge him/her to perform during their years in office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
So, basically, our President acts as the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, telling them where in the world to go to defend our interests. He/She nominates (nominates, people, not signs, seals, and delivers - that's the job of our Congress) judges to serve in federal courts (including the US Supreme Court). He/She signs off on or vetoes legislation, and the budget, passed by both houses of the US Congress, and he/she preserves, protects, and defends the Constitution. That. Is. It. The President doesn't legislate. The President doesn't judge. The President doesn't write our tax code, doesn't mandate gasoline prices, doesn't decide the price of a gallon of milk, doesn't decide how much money to print, doesn't set real estate prices, and doesn't tell companies how many employees to hire or fire. What doesn't come under the umbrella of the President's job is taken care of by our federal legislature (the US Congress) or by our individual state legislatures, and by our judicial branch. That's it.
It always amazes me that such a crazy ruckus is created when it's time to elect a president every four years, and yet nothing is made of local congressional or state legislature elections. And that surprises me because those are the people who decide the path our country will take for the next two years. Every two years we have a chance to elect a completely new House of Representatives and a fresh third of our Senate. That right there is the power house. Those people are the decision makers. If you want lower taxes? Vote out those danged Democrats! If you want more social programs? Get rid of the pesky Republicans!** And if you want a deadlock for two years? A deadlock that Bill Clinton had to deal with in the form of Newt Gingrich? A deadlock that Bush is currently dealing with? Elect a president of one party and a Congress of another because that is a solid guarantee to get absolutely but-nothing done for our country.
What I'm trying to say is I'm glad I see so many people interested in this election. No matter how you vote, it's most definitely an historic election and I hope we have a record turn-out on November 4th. Once the dust settles, we will either have our first African-American president residing in the White House or we'll have our first female Vice-President living at the US Naval Observatory. But what we need to remember is that even more important than the office of President is our federal and state legislators. Those are the candidates we need to focus on. Those are the candidates who need to be scrutinized. Those are the candidates who need to be closely considered when we visit the polls in two months. Because those are the people who ultimately end up with the real power.
Please. Visit the following sites. Educate yourselves and vote for the people you think will better your lives as Americans and will better our country in general. And thanks for letting me vent.
US House of Representatives
Bob Barr (Libertarian Party Presidential ticket)
Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party Presidential ticket)
Cynthia McKinney (Green Party Presidential ticket)
Ralph Nader (Independent Presidential candidate)
Jeff Boss (Independent Presidential candidate)
Congress.org (Information on who's running for US Congress, state legislatures, and state offices - and their individual platforms. You'll have to dig a little, but you can find everything you need here.)
* Want to read a Libertarian publication? Get into our heads a little? Check out Reason magazine or ReasonTV! Drew Carey reads and watches and so should you! OK, don't do it because of Drew Carey. Do it because you're curious. 'Kay? Thanks.
** I know that's simplifying it quite a bit but I don't want to go on and on forever. I want you to drink your coffee before it gets cold and be a bit productive today. You don't want to read this crap all morning. Trust me. You'll fall asleep.