Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Mimisms ~ I Voted For This?

And a proud American I was.

I know some of this is out of the President's control. I know this is not all his fault. I would not take back my vote based on what I knew at the time and the motivating factors I believed to be true that justified my choice - the need for a changing of the guard. I voted on the premise of HOPE and optimism and pride in a country that could stand united for one day and elect a man of color to the highest office in the land. I am still proud of that. I still have my little sticker stuck in the corner of a scrapbook page marked HOPE.

I have never voted a party line. I have always voted my conscience and beliefs.

BUT - and it's a big but - I voted on the premise of transitional change. I wanted a shaking up of the status quo; and while I know that does not happen overnight nor am I privy to what goes into his decision-making, I did not expect the wind to swing first in the other direction so brutally.

I did not expect to be discouraged in the first quarter of the game.

Obama's apparent lack of stick-to-it-ive-ness does not diminish the pride I felt that day...nor my pride in the human beings that make up this wonderful nation nor do I believe that we have seen even a sliver of that which is good and decent in our land s
shine forth as I know we can.
I just want him to show up.

Americans roll with whatever they are dealt. They wave the flag and march in parades and write and blog and converse; volunteer, hold each other up, defend with honor and live with compassion for others. They defend their ideals. They show up with supplies when their neighbors house burns down, they look out for the elderly across town. They show up. At least that is the vast majority of the people I know. That is your average everyday American.
But we have been dealt enough.

How long are those same people expected to sit by and say nothing when their children are being sent to fight and die in an ineffective war? We have no reserves left stateside to defend or handle what might need defending. How long when they've lost all hope for a comfortable future they've so carefully tucked away in the name of family and have to start again at the age of 65...or 75...or even 80....with nothing they worked for at hand to comfort them. When good people who've worked for forty years in a bottling plant can't afford to have an operation they need to stay alive and enjoy their grandchildren? When you are thirty-five years old working as hard as you can with a college degree and can't afford to buy winter coats for all four of your children? When somebody's mother is handed a flag in the name of jihad victory....

What is happening to my country? What did my vote stand for?
Why is the dream shifting into something I don't recognize as hope?

And yet I am a patriot. I love my country.
I have respect for those who serve and defend in the name of freedom.
I have respect for the Office of the Presidency, for the man on a personal level, for his ideals and for his courage. I just want to hear and see the hope I longed for - and voted for - come to fruition. Can you answer my questions? Having said that, if you bring Obama bashing of a vile nature to this page or arguments shrouded in racism I will delete them. But if you answer those questions with respectful discourse and banter, tell.

Politics as usual in Washington has become politics as usual in Washington. Again.
We are STILL in Iraq.
We are sending another nightmare to Afghanistan.
Nobody can find a job.
We have spent enough money on this useless war to feed and clothe half the children in Darfur.
Trillion dollar debt? Trillion?
Did I mention we are still in Iraq?

I don't care what the financial wizards say about the state of the economy or the rise and fall of inflation - the price of everything has increased
Except peace.

And that should be the highest priority of all.


bobbie said...

You are far from being alone in these feelings, Mimi. As ineffective as it seems, I still write letters to our President. I think I've given up on Congressmen - at least those "representing" me.
I am quite sure, no matter how noble intentions may be, no one can become President and not be hit with a sucker punch almost immediately. But I really hoped that this one would be able to face up to it.

Speedcat Hollydale said...

I was wondering when someone would post something like this.

First off, I think the clash of the titans is to blame. By that, I mean the way our two party system works. People are on both sides of a river yelling at the top of their lungs which party is better for the country. Maybe we as a people might wake up and see that neither party is concerned with our well being, or what we have to say. It is all smoke and mirrors.

From what I have read and witnessed, people were excited about Obama's speeches, and the agenda he claimed to pursue. I had a different view, of BOTH candidates. You can "say" anything, and the presidential race was simply a massive volley of trigger phrases that excited different sectors of the population.

I quit writing about politics for the most part, because media is just to strong. People believe what they see and hear from the daily bombardment of biased and BOUGHT reporting. Again, it is built to divide and conquer. One group on the left, and one on the right. I also believe that it is not safe anymore ... everything we type and do is recorded instantly now - even on twitter, facebook, etc etc.

Here is what I see from both parties, a constant increase of control, of power, and government movement into the private sector. I am in complete shock that people do not look at what is actually being passed in bills over the last decade. The true goal, the real intent, is for one central global system. If you step back and look at everything for a second, and see that it is not really about saving the planet, saving people, nor "fixing" the economy, it is about setting the stage for the final crash, when freedoms disappear forever.

I could go on forever, but will not, as I realize this will not be a popular comment. Let me just conclude with this statement.

Turn off your TV's, quit reading news from mainstream media, and investigate yourself. Read the bills proposed ( if they let you ) and examine the new laws put in place over the last decade. Investigate the voting past of political figures, and who pays them. You will find an underground web of deception, and then finally, "truth".

Akelamalu said...

Hear Hear.

Sue said...

Mimi, you expressed so succinctly EVERYTHING that I feel.

I'm a sociologist whose primary expertise was (once upon a time) in the analysis of the state as a social structure, and what my researches lead me to conclude is that our entire governmental structure beginning with and most especially including the constitution are abidingly conservative -- in the sense that they were designed from the very beginning to prevent any real change in the prevailing distribution of wealth and power. This does not mean that change cannot come, but the whole weight of government, every law, every rule, every organizational structure has been designed for more than 200 years to prevent, obstruct and retard major change that would shift power.

I still hope for change, I still vote for change. I still believe that change is possible. I still think that there might be better and faster ways to get change to occur, but I know its an uphill battle for any one, much less for a young man, without a great deal of experience, without a lifetime of political connections, and a young man with honor, decency and principles. ... See More

The only president in my lifetime (L.B.J.) who managed to overcome that huge inertia did so because 1) he had more legislative experience than any president before or since and 2) he was willing to play very dirty, to threaten, to extort, to blackmail, and to do all kinds of fairly despicable things that had we known them at the time would have turned our stomachs.

Linda said...

Your post is very well said as is Speedcat's comment. I honestly think that the two-party system is going to be the death of this country as people take up sides across the aisle and don't vote for what is good for everyone but what is good for their party. Holding the party line is more important then holding down the national debt, holding sons and daughters home, and holding our heads up with what used to be national pride. Shame on everyone in Congress these days but even more so - shame on those people who vote for someone simply because they have either an "R" or a "D" after their name.

After our senior Senator here in Connecticut announced last week that he wouldn't seek reelection a comment was made in the local paper that he was the poster child for term limits. Another comment made a very good point - we have always had term limits for our Senators and Congressman that are simply if you don't like the job the guy is doing vote him out of office. Pretty simple, isn't it?

We the people need to do something about the deplorable mess that Washington has become as I'm afraid there is no one in Washington who is going to do it.

Charles Gramlich said...

It must be horrifically hard to be president.

The Gal Herself said...

I wonder why we were ever in Iraq but not Yemen. Weren't the terrorists who attacked the Kohl (sp?) from Yemen? I'm not suggesting we need a THIRD war (thanks for offering, Sen. Lieberman), I'm just wondering.

I am most concerned about health care. I don't know why the President didn't just announce what he felt was right and then use his popularity to ram it through ... months ago. As it is, I don't actually know what my President thinks this bill should look like, or how he truly feels about the one he will eventually sign. I realize that the Clintons got in trouble by working on health care reform behind closed doors and not including Congress, and I'm happy to see that Obama can learn from the past. BUT why must we got from the President not including Congress at all to acquiescing to Reid & Pelosi completely? Isn't there something toward the middle?

I keep reading how the Prez and Rahm and Valerie Jarrett and Axlerod are acting Chicago-style, like Daley politicians. Say what you will about our King Richard II, but we all know where he stands on everything. And often it seems I don't know where exactly President Obama stands on much of anything.

It disturbs me that I am not in lock step with my President. I WANT to be so badly!

All this said, I still believe he can turn it around. And I hope desperately that he will.

The Gal Herself said...

PS Sue, as one who lived through the 1960s and has read about it extensively as well, I'm afraid you left out an important -- albeit awful -- advantage that LBJ had: The Kennedy Assassination. He was able to use the spectre of JFK must the way GWB was able to use 9/11. I only hope that it won't take something that catastrophic and heartbreaking to end the malaise we're in now.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Well said, Mimi. You express the feelings of many. Was Obama elected just for the colour of his skin, and not because of talent?

Patti said...

I feel like I don't want to vote for anyone on either side of the aisle ever again. I cannot trust these politicos. It's all about them and staying in power and their own fiefdoms.

As for B.O., he doesn't seem to care about the little guys, namely all of us Americans. That was apparent when he waited 72 hours before pulling himself away from the tennis court or the beach or wherever to address the nation on the underwear bomber terror incident.

I agree with Speedcat that there are those in power who seem to want one global government. I am afraid for what lies ahead, and especially for my children's future.

Mojo said...

Just about every elected official in my lifetime got his or her job less because of who they were than who they weren't. This time? I thought it was different. Perhaps I was wrong, but I don't think so.

The GOP lost the White House. That was practically a given considering what they did to it over the last two terms they had it. So lacking that firm base on which to stand, they've pulled out all of the dirty tricks in the bag to obstruct and weaken any kind of legislation that would actually support the President's platform. Specifically, the healthcare debacle has become a three ring circus being run by the clowns. But even before either version of the bill went to the floor, the gestapo were out with the long knives at town hall meetings across the country.

The President can't pass legislation. And there's so much graft and corruption in Congress -- on both sides of the aisle -- that everybody's got to make compromises just to stay in the game. Never mind the campaign contributors, the folks in those seats know that if they vote for a bill that includes something that's a hot-button issue for the other party, they'll have it used against them when it's time to run again. And if it's a big enough hot-button issue then -- even if it isn't now it'll take a lot of spackle to fill the hole.

Eric's right about one thing. We don't know what's in most legislation. We know the bullet points of what it's supposed to do, but it's the carefully hidden "amendments" -- that often have nothing to do with the purpose of the original bill -- that are the source of most of the problem. This is what's threatening to shipwreck the healthcare bill. So many modifications have been made in order to secure votes that the finished version will look nothing like what was intended.

I still believe we can pull this off. That real substantive change is possible. But if the change is marginal I will still be glad I voted for "That One". Because as bad as people think things are now, I shudder to think what would have happened had things gone the other way. You think we're in too deep in the current wars now? We'd have been looking at Armageddon if we'd had a third Bush term.

No, I'm staying in for the long haul. Because I still believe. I have to believe.

Jamie said...

The $150 billion in bonuses for Wall Street announced today doesn't improve ones outlook.

What is basically a police function has been turned into an unending war that is bleeding both human beings and the US treasury. Enough!

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks to all who weighed in here and on Facebook. GREAT discussion!

Mimi Lenox said...

Bobbie - I commend you. I need to write more letters. Real ones.

Mimi Lenox said...

Speedy - Well stated and much to ponder.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - I'm glad I got that out of my system and that you approve!

Sue - My grandfather would say he is paddling upstream..... I loved your thoughtful commentary.

Mimi Lenox said...

Linda - ". Holding the party line is more important then holding down the national debt, holding sons and daughters home, and holding our heads up with what used to be national pride."


Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - I so agree. He cannot be expected to fix the world in 365 days...but....I am not a happy camper.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal -"It disturbs me that I am not in lock step with my President. I WANT to be so badly!"

My feelings too.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jean-Luc - I don't think there WAS political talent. That is, unfortunately, his failing.
And his blessing.

Mimi Lenox said...

Patti - Lots of folks are afraid for their immediate futures as well. Thinking about my children and their children muddling through the leftover mess is a frightening thought indeed.
We HAVE to get this right.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - Nobody could have predicted the barrage of financial ruin that befell right after the election...hmm...or could they?
What a colossal distraction and derailment.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jamie - $150 billion bonuses on Wall Street. I can't even type that without nausea.

Mimi Lenox said...

FACEBOOK checks in:

Jan Zbiciak Brummett commented on your note "Monday Mimisms ~ I Voted For This?":

"Obama is actually accomplishing a lot...a whole lot. Truth is, it is simply the fact that he came into a huge mess...and the all of this mess cannot all be turned around in 12 short months, or even four short years. Obama is not perfect, I'll agree...but he is out there every day doing a good job and I continue to give him my support. Even with the shortcomings, the mistakes and in consideration of our American impatience, he is much better than the alternative, soooooo much better."

Mimi Lenox said...

Jan Zbiciak Brummett commented on your note "Monday Mimisms ~ I Voted For This?":

"believes the real world of DC (and politiking) is colliding with our deepest idealisms, our W fatigue, war mongering..."

Mimi Lenox said...

From Gary Edward Rith,
Peace and health care and education and jobs....

Mimi Lenox said...

From John Harris,

What a great post! As for me, Ihow I wish my country feel that way about me too!

Mimi Lenox said...

From Mimi Peizer Michalski,

"Sue, you're right, to really get things done in Washington, we needed an LBJ. That is a commentary on how venial and horrible the Washington culture always has been (and is probably much worse now). While Obama is not getting done all the things I'd like to see get done, he is making some changes that are for the better. I only hope he has his ... See Morewhole term to do them and not just this year. If the Dems lose the House and Senate this fall Obama will be even less able to do anything he has promised."

Mimi Lenox said...

From Michael Serafin-St.John -

The conservative structure (of checks and balances) in the U.S. Constitution was consciously and deliberately adopted to prevent usurptation of power and wild and precipitous swings of law and government. It added the power of voting numbers but did not include women or slaves and in many cases non-property owners. Call this elitist conservatism ... See Moreand you'd be correct, but you'd also be talking pre-Civil War early industrialist and not what we have become today. Things DO change in our system. Relatively peacefully. But, by design, not overnight. Wisdom requires time and consideration.

Amity said...


am no American but I know how you wish your country and your leaders to be...anyone does, anyway!

but you're brave, really brave and hope lots of your fellow Americans will read this post of yours!

thumbs up Mimi!

Bond said...

And once again your title of brilliant writer is shown to the world

katherine. said...

look at you using sport phrases and all.

I'm gonna just say that I think a lot of voters can related to much of what you are saying

Travis said...

And yet, I remain positive and hopeful. I continue to try to be the best person I can be. I help wherever, whenever, and whomever I can.

I have bad days, but I have more good days.

I believe it was President Eisenhower who said that governments weren't going to bring peace. Rather it was going to be people.

So I choose the light, and the smile, and the dance. I say I can make a difference. Then I try to go out and be that difference.

It's what is in me to do. Your post is important, as is the letter to the President that it should become. But in your moment of discouragement, find again your determination. Do what is in you to do, and we'll be ok.

If we let discouragement and cynicism win the day, then we all lose.

Mimi Lenox said...

Amity - Last I checked we still had freedom of speech.
Thanks for visiting.

Mimi Lenox said...

Vinny - You are kind. Sometimes I've just gotta say it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherinee - I can sport! I can sport! (What is sport?)

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - I can attest to all that optimism in you. Your comments keep me grounded and leaning toward the positive when my world goes a bit dark now and then.

I think it's OK to experience periods of discouragement when it's true. Not to stay there, but to contemplate ways to help, avenues for change,my part in the grand scheme of things.

We all have a part in this puzzle. You're right. It IS the people who will ultimately have to channel this great change.

My hope still burns as well.

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