I have an ugly confession to make.
As much as I spout the talk and tout the right to vote; there was one time that I chose NOT to vote for the presidency of the United States. Me, a woman, who knows full well about the suffrage movement, the sacrifices and the suffering that so many women gave so that we/I could have the right to vote. Yeah, I’m not too proud of myself for that move, but hear me out.
I just got so sick and tired of always having to choose between the lesser of two evils instead of the right man for the job. And who’s to say that the right man for the job wouldn’t be a woman? But I digress.
As Americans, we stand very proud of our country, our freedoms and our liberties. We don’t always stand very proud of our President.
Here is where I insert that am a registered Independent. I have spent equal years voting Republican as I did a Democrat. Each time I felt apologetic for some of my choices.
As I was growing up, my grandpa would always tell me that Democrats were for the little people and Republicans were for the wealthy. Never once in his life did he vote Republican. He was very proud of that.
Grandpa was a commercial fisherman in Depoe Bay, Oregon. A survivor of the great depression, he knew all too well what it was to be dirt poor. He raised my mom alone, without the benefit of a wife, during the toughest years this country has known. He was constantly hopping railroads to get jobs and becoming a jack of all trades to survive. I loved listening to his stories far more than he loved telling them.
Having lost a leg to diabetes, his last years were spent in a wheel chair. The boat was sold for income and the call of the sea was silenced. He remained the humble proud man I always knew; the staunch Democrat.
So you can imagine my surprise, when in 1987, on my yearly pilgrimage to Oregon to visit him, I saw framed on his wall a 14×16 framed picture of our very Republican President, Ronald Reagan. You could have pushed me over with a feather.
After some visiting, cooking and eating I got around to the subject and I softly asked the question. He quietly told me that he is and always will be a Democrat, and advised me that the man whose picture that hung from a rickety nail in the wall was that of his president.
Grandpa always believed in supporting his neighbor, his church folk, his family. I never knew it extended to supporting the opposing political party. But it did.
That was the day I learned what politics should be about. Standing and working together as countrymen is something I haven’t seen in our political system in years. Way too many years.
These days the political conventions feel more like modern day gladiator arenas. The pomp, the circumstance and the pageantry are all there to impress and pump up the crowd. It’s a bit sickening when you think about it.
And when the votes are cast and the decision is made, we, as a nation, stand with one leader. Wouldn’t it just make sense that we all get behind him and work as a team? I know, we all have differences, but it seems that far too many of those differences are geared towards bias ideals, corrupt lobbyists and corporate greed.
As adults, we are supposed to have learned how to speak our differences without hatred and manipulation. It’s called conversation and negotiation. Something I fear our present legislators know little about.
And so, we the people vote and continue to get taxed. And then taxed some more. Our resources are being depleted, our jobs are being outsourced, our national debt escalates, our federal government continually fails to uphold our laws, our banks aren’t lending and our leaders aren’t leading.
The situation feels hopeless and it leaves us feeling helpless. We are far from it my friends.
I learned a long time ago that silence gets you nothing; something about the squeaky wheel getting the grease.
As we watch the debates unfold and listen to both parties views, agendas and propaganda, when the time comes in November, let us step away from the hype and the sound bites.
Let us do the most American thing of all; vote.
mercyn - It is a shame more people today do not have your grandfather’s perspective on politics and country.
Tammy - Mercyn, agreed. It’s one thing to be a devout party liner, it’s quite another to not stand behind your country’s leader. Gramps was a smart old bird. Miss him still. Thanks for the read and the post, Mercyn. Great having you here!
David Rosenberg - Hey Tammy –
Just got turned on to your blog by SW and I’ve enjoyed every word. Will be watching the “debate” tonight, but I have read that the candidates have gotten the questions in advance, so maybe we’ll get some well-considered answers to some predictable questions.
I have learned that no president has the power to do much of anything, short of declaring “National Pooper Scooper Day.” Without a reasonable, rational congress – adjectives notable by their absence lately – very little of value will be done. And no president, not one, has the power to create more jobs. Any candidate who says they know how to do that and can, is a prevaricatin’ fool.
Anyway, as they say, vote early and often.
Kellie - Tammy
I too have voted Democrat and Republican in my life time. I started as a registered democrat in my younger years, then Independant now a registered Republican. I see the issue being MOST people vote the way they have been told to all their life. Not by their life experiences as a human being, so they can make better choices when going to the voting booth. Most people really have very little knowledge of how politics work and what their parties platform actually stands for. Funny, I see people who are against abortion and gay marriage vote democrat … why because that is how they have always been taught by family members. Not following their heart and own belief system … being a follower not a leader. Same with people who ONLY vote Republican but are more left leaning towards social issues. Neither way of thinking incorrect or only way. But I respect people who vote THEIR own belief system and not being pressured by outside sources. I also respect people (like yourself) that admit they may have voted wrong. I voted wrong in my first election (in my opinion) I was young and voted for President Carter. I look back now and see his time as Presidenct as a horror. But I admit to voting for him. Those people who voted for Obama in 2008 but know realize they would have chosen differently now after 4 years of his track record…I respect so much more. why because honesty in anyone especially when you can admit an error is a great quality.
maureen - Your grandfather must have been a fascinating guy – so many rich life experiences that most of us don’t – won’t – ever get. Good and bad, seems as tho the old days had more lessons to teach than nowadays. Thanks for another great post!
Joan Cooper - Bravo. Yes, we have to work with what we have albeit not perfect.
The system is the problem. I am for shutting Wash. DC down as it is a country to itself, and we are all Roman slaves. Rich or poor – you pay for incompetence, waste galore, power grabs etc etc etc.
I want the States to have more power and more money – not the central government. I want to be first in line marching into Wash DC victorias as a free people. A seasoned
Senator from New England gave an interview recently and he said the changes have to come from the grass roots – they will not come from Wash DC. I am ready.
With my bare hands, I will tear down the monument to Abe Lincoln – the man who destroyed a large part of this country on a trumped up ‘do good’ slogan (abolish slavery), to take American’s property and life away for more money for government. Oh yes, did I mention, they left those so called slaves in the field to starve. They did nothing for them after they destroyed their way of life. What is anyone doing about slavery in our time?
Socialism has never worked anywhere it was implemented. As long as government is so tied to money, it will not help the people. Look at the fiasco of the mortgage business. Government told the banks to help, but then made no laws to protect the customers and the banks did just as they pleased. It is a shell game.
So sad – humans have still not risen above greed. Money is all.
The vote is all we have, but it is pretty useless. The electoral vote should be eliminated and a popular vote put in place.
Tammy - Hi David, welcome! So glad you enjoyed the read. I hope you subscribed for my once a week rant. It would be wonderful having you in the neighborhood. You’re right, of course, the president is far more restricted than most people think as to what he can and cannot do. But the office can still get us in a bit of hot water with executive orders and such. I watched the debate last night as was a wee bit surprised at the docile attitude displayed by our president. I think the talking heads and fact checkers will have much to contribute today. I’ll tune in next time, no doubt about it. But the calculated untruths that are propagated are more than disconcerting. It really is such a mess, but it’s our mess. So yes, I agree … vote early and often! A big thank you to SW for sending you my way. Thanks for posting!
Tammy - Hi Kellie, I so agree with you. It might be a generational thing. I believe as time passes that our younger Americans are less inclined to vote their parents affiliation. We exchanged tweets last night during the debate, as did millions of others. It was, for me, a bit surprising. As you know from my tweets, I was less than thrilled with the moderator. Forums like this are imperative to the American people. I love our system of putting it all out there. I just wish they were both tethered to a lie detector machine while they presented their side of things. Wouldn’t that be something?! So happy to have you hear, and thanks ever so for the post!
Tammy - Thanks Maureen, gramps was a pretty awesome guy. I hope we never see the hardships he faced (heaven forbid), but if we do, I hope I can be as resourceful and strong as he was. Interesting debate last night to say the least! Thanks for sharing!
Tammy - Joan, I didn’t doubt that you would have something to say on this subject. So happy you dropped by. While we don’t always agree, we do agree to disagree. I happen to favor giving individual states more say and more money than at the federal level. But if there were no federal government, I believe we would be the lesser for it in many ways. Make no mistake, local government is just as corrupt. I also happen to agree with the idea that the electoral votes should be diminished in stature and importance and the popular vote count for more. There is so much lobbying and corrupt buying of votes going on that it is impossible to regulate and monitor. It’s a big mess … but it’s our mess. And I appreciate living in a country where two opposing sides standoff in front of the country with their views and proposed legislation’s. If only there was a way we could get them to always tell the truth. Good luck with that! Thanks for the post!
Linny - Amen sister!
Kellie - Hey Tammy,
Ya I heard both ways on moderator. I think we are all so used to the other way been done for years perhaps just need to get the feel down for new format. Although, I THINK Obama is wishing for the use of a Mulligan right now. see how clever I was using a golf term and Obama. I am one smart chick! 2 more debates and 1 VP debate. God I don’t think I can handle anymore train wrecks, but just like the real ones … hard to look away.
Tammy - Amen back to you, Linny!! Happy to have you here!
Eularee Smith - I have finally given up on the hope of achieving world peace in my lifetime when we can’t even produce a civil tongue in our elections. It seems that gas needs to be thrown on the fires, in order for votes to be pledged and money to be raised.
I, too, am a declared Independent but I have had many a friend question the rationale behind that. But what it means is I vote. It matters not to me if the candidate is Republican or Democrat or Mormon or Catholic, or red head or brunette. I vote. I don’t care who backed the bill, wrote the article or lobbied for its passage. I vote. Doesn’t mean that my vote is right or wrong. It is a declaration of my opinion. That is the freedom we were granted as citizens of this country. I may not agree with the laws, I may not like the man who is President, but this is the country that I pledge allegiance. Therefore, it is not only a right but a duty for knowledgeable citizens to vote their conscience, not necessarily their party. I wonder what would happen if we were all registered Independent. Would that reunite us?
Tammy - Hi Eularee, such a well stated post, thanks for sharing. It brings to mind how we, as children, would always start the school day saying the pledge of allegiance to our flag. Somewhere along the line that well established habit was dropped. We are the worse for it. You’re right; it is our country that we pledge our allegiance to, not our president. Emotions run so how and there is such a dug in mentality of “them” and “us”. Uniting America would most likely take a terrible catastrophe. We saw it when 9-11 hit. There were no republicans or democrats. We were ALL American’s. Flags hung in abundance on every house. Politics were not discussed, they held little meaning. As we know, the sentiment didn’t last long. I’m not sure what the answer is. But I will be voting this election, even though I’m not at entirely confident in either candidate. I’m thrilled you are here and thank you for your post!