I’m starting to believe you simply can’t rely on one man for everything.
at least not politically anyway.
I don’t pretend to know anything about politics, but I like to spend a lot of time listening to people who do, and people that think they do. (Is there really a difference among them?) And as I listen to their passion rise, their voices tighten and accelerate, I prod them further. I talk them in circles. Agitation is the key to discovery.
I’m beginning to believe the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans still believe you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and in doing so achieve the American dream. Democrats believe anyone who has undergone hard times in the pursuit should at least deserve equal effort from the government on their behalf. But is the role of government to ensure the American dream or merely provide an environment for it?
What really IS the American dream?
Should we commit to four years of feel-good communistic ideals or rugged individualistic crusades?
More and more I’ve come to believe that the problems I wish to be addressed most are ones neither McCain nor Obama can personally solve. Speaking specifically on education with my dad, we discussed my grandmother’s experiences over her thirty year teaching career in the Pasadena school district. He talked about how revered her role used to be in the community, how everyone knew Mrs. Bravenec and would stop her in the supermarket to make sure their son or daughter was being good for her in class. By the end of her teaching career, she had such sad cases as this little girl in her fourth grade class that would come to school smelling like smoke because her mom would make her smoke every morning so she wouldn’t be hungry and she wouldn’t have to make her breakfast or lunch.
This is America today. Where have the values gone? Where is the personal accountability? I want an improved education system and an ideal world where parents are parents who love and support their children, but this is not a red or blue issue. What can the government do to make a mom stand up and be a mom?
We can’t exactly “hire” the Republicans to solve the problem- whitewash over everything with “God said so” and claim the right to an abortion and gay marriage are the undoing of the American family. I want the Democrats to step in and sort out church and state, once and for all. But at the same time, I don’t want them dolling out my potential earnings (if I ever find a job in this *snicker* Bush catastrophe of an economy) to people that utterly refuse to try that bootstrap technique. Throwing government money at the problem should not be our only solution to social problems and cycles of the economy.
How can I decide when I feel like I must throw out some values for the political attainment of others? How can I decide when I don’t know whether to be excited or dismayed over the coming election? I don’t think I am even disappointed in Obama or McCain, I am disappointed in the American people for looking to the government to solve all of the things they were too lazy or overwhelmed to solve themselves.
Ultimately, everyone is going to have to choose how to define that dream and actively pursue it for the next four years.
Because that’s all that really counts. Individuals every day trying to improve themselves, their world, and the lives of others.
Personal accountability is a bitch, America. Are you ready?