Posted by: Genny Colby | November 3, 2010

And the winner is….

I was born and raised in Wisconsin.  My parents were active in the political movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  My mom to this day still refers to herself as a “hippie’, due to political ideology rather than lifestyle or fashion choices (though her clothing choices of the 70’s are still questionable to me…)

It is joked that Madison, Wisconsin’s liberal hotspot, is 25 square miles surrounded by reality.  And at times it is true.  But, as liberals,  we pride ourselves on our forward thinking, open-mindedness (mostly) and desire for debate on the issues.   But Madison does not always reflect the rest of the state. Let’s not talk about Tommy Thompson okay?

Growing up as the child of two hippies and in the political arena of Madison, I will admit to being more liberal in my way of thinking, my approach to government, and the issues that are important to me.  But the one thing I will always give my mother credit for is teaching me to listen to both sides of the debate,and to get information from multiple sources.  She took me to vote from an early age, talked to me about what was going on and made me aware of what was going on.  That being the case, I may lean towards Democratic party (and if I had to pick one over the other, I would go this way) but really, I try to look at each candidate and decide which one is more inline with what is important to me. Maybe one day party affiliation will not be an issue, but that is another discussion.

I am not, nor have I ever been,  a fan of George W Bush.  He gives me the creeps on so many levels, but I think our elected leaders should be able to speak in clear, concise, and complete sentences, with and without a prepared speech.  If you are going to be our face to the world, you need to have a stage presence, you need to be a solid public speaker.  The President has a very large, very involved, very delicate job, but the President should also be able to select strong, well-educated, open-minded people to assist him.  I personally believe that Mr George W Bush was not able to accomplish any of these things.

In 2008, I, along with the rest of  our country, was ready for a change, ready for someone else to take the helm and try to guide our country into more stable times.   I was excited when President Obama was elected, not only because he was not Sarah Palin, but also because I believed (and still do) that he does want to make changes that are best for the United States of America.  Has he made missteps in these past two years?  Of course.  But politics is a game, plain and simple.   To think otherwise is just plain naive.  Neither side is willing to give without getting something in return, so any change is going to take time, patience, and compromise.  No one is going to get everything they want, in exactly the form they want it.  This makes the job of the President extremely tricky because he ultimately should be neutral, listening to both sides of the argument and working with each side to find the common ground on which to build.

It is disheartening to see our elected officials acting like 5th graders on the playground, yet year after year that is what happens.  Political ads aim to attack the other candidates/the other party.  Instead of this game of distraction, how about you, the candidate, tell me what you believe in, what you think our country/state/county needs, what you hope to be able to achieve if elected.  Don’t promise me anything, I know you won’t be able to deliver, but tell me what you want to accomplish and if elected,  actually work to achieve those goals.    Tell that once elected it won’t be about party lines, it will be about creating legislation that benefit the people that elected you. I wish I could believe that the playground antics would end after the elections were complete, but they carry on into all aspects of our government.

As the 2010 elections come to a close  I will admit I am saddened by the state of our political arena.  In my opinion, we lost a great voice of the people with the defeat of Russ Feingold.  I have not always agreed with him, but he has always stood his ground, making decisions that he thought was the best for the people, not only of WI, but of the country as a whole.  He was the lone opponent of the Patriot Act, not because he did not believe in the idea behind the bill, but because it went too far.  He worked across party lines, he listened to the people, and he was not afraid to say what he thought.  But he was always articulate, well-informed, and respectful.

I am saddened that we are seeing more and more candidates that do not represent all people.  Candidates are openly expressing their opposition to equal rights for all citizens,  expressing their willingness to dictate the choices a woman has for birth control and unwanted pregnancies,  and openly bringing religion into the debates.

At the end of the day, the candidate with the most votes wins (usually).  After the elections are over, it is time to set party lines aside, time to set hurt feelings aside, time to set personal agendas aside.  Now, more than ever, we need to work together.  Fix our problems and make our country stronger, become more financially stable, and allow all citizens the same rights and opportunities regardless of race, religion, gender, socio-economic status, age, sexuality, or political affiliation.

I have no idea how we do this, but I do know as long as our elected officials vote not for what is best for the people, what is best for our country but what is best for their continued political careers or those in their party…no one wins.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: