05 September 2008

Dipping In My Big Toe

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
US Senate
Bob Barr (Libertarian Party Presidential ticket)
Barack Obama
John McCain
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.


Donna said...

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!! I've been having something mulling around in my head for days, trying to tell that very same thing to most people I know regarding the President's job vs the job of those within Congress. I typically get some eye-rolling patronizing as I'm effectively ignored and the other party moves on to their own opinions over facts.
I've been saying to those who think they may not vote because of the lack of choices to vote another party if for no other reason but to let it be known we're sick of a two party country!

Anonymous said...

First of all, good on you for doing a political post. It's good to hear your point of view. You've got to know that I'm about as far away from you politically as one could get without coming back the other way, but I really enjoyed reading this.

You're dead on, in theory, about the importance of Congress. But since Reagan the effective power of the presidency has been creeping up such that they do have a lot more control than they should over the day-to-day things that you mentioned.

I promised myself not to get into the myriad of problems that I have with Libertarians and will stand by it. Let me just say two things:

1) Bob Barr is no libertarian. Look into his past a bit.

2) Go ahead and vote for him though, because by all accounts that helps my guy in your state.

Anyway, great post good to hear some more voices.

Expat No. 3699 said...

Great post!

Avitable said...

I would love a three-party system, but I think that at this point, that third party only detracts from the party that might have done the most good.

Miss Britt said...

Yeah, what Adam said.

BUT - that doesn't mean your vote for a Libertarian is a wasted vote. It's your voice and you should use it how you see fit.

UNFORTUNATELY, the way to have your voice heard on a large scale is to join your voice with others.

Lots and lots of others.

But that's OK. It all started with one, small, quiet voice.

Willie G said...

I too am a Libertarian. However, this year I will vote Democrat. I believe their is too much at stake between the two major parties to cast my vote in hopes of making a statement. I believe the bigger statement this year needs to be: put an end to the crappy leadership and ill fated direction of the last 8 years.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I, too, am glad you posted a political post. I watched both conventions (something I have never done before), and I feel so mixed up about so many things. It is hard not to be cynical, and you want to believe that both candidates really are sincere when they talk about change. But as you said, who is actually in charge of making that change happen? Unless we do end up with a dictatorship, it is not the President. Sigh. I think I need to consult my psychic.

Molly's Mom said...

Heavy stuff for a Friday :), but thanks for sharing your views! The older I get, the more NPR I listen to, so the more I learn about politics. And I'm kicking and screaming about it, too.

Gypsy said...

At the end of the day, I'm just glad Bush will be out of there.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Donna - You're welcome!

A Free Man - Thanks, hon. I know Libertarianism is pretty far-afield for most people. My husband shakes his head at times, but you. To each his (or her) own! Yeah, and I know Bob Barr is fairly un-Libertarian (would have rather seen Ron Paul get nominated), but since he's no longer an active politician who could lose his position in the Republican party by being nominated as a Libertarian, whatever. It's sad that the party can't actually nominate a true Libertarian.

Employee No. 3699 - Thanks, hon!

Avitable - But I think the Libertarian party could do the most good! :) No really, I don't think any party can do any good because once you get to the level of federal politics, the majority of candidates are funded by such big companies and special-interest-groups that they're no longer there for the people, they're there for their donors. Anyway, that's how I feel.

Miss Britt - Very quiet. :)

Willie G - Libertarians unite!

NATUI - Sincerity is the big thing. I think they're both sincere - to get elected. But who knows what will happen once they are elected? Look at Bush, Sr. "Read my lips! No new taxes!" and he got elected. And then? He raised taxes. You just never know. You have to go on faith.

Molly's Mom - Sometimes, I wish I was 10 again and didn't care. :)

Gypsy - True.