It's a rough political season, no doubt about it, and I'm sure tired of battling upward, so I decided, since I can't seem to keep my promise to restrict my political posts to my blog, at least I can post in ways I would wish all our politicians would handle themselves, right? I mean, I can be one bitchy bitch so I need to be nicer. :)
So today, I'm going to start with that favorite political phrase, "Family Values".
I don't believe Family Values has a place in Politics, let alone politicians trying to make "Family Values" a political issue by trying to legally define it. But I do believe that the phrase, "Personal Values" does have a place - a high place. Those are the values, as a voter and a resident of this country and this world, that I'm interested in when it comes to the men and women I might want representing me. For instance:
If a politician has done something wrong, do they have the character, the honesty, to step forward before there's even a hint of danger that their wrongdoing will be brought out into the light? Are they honest enough to fly against their own party, to tell them they're wrong, to vote against what they're told to vote?
Can they be honest enough during campaigns to actually say, "Yes, I hate cauliflower, even though I'm here in the cauliflower capitol of the world" or "Yes, I believe that at a certain point, abortion is wrong, but I will never support taking the rights of a woman to choose - away from her - even if it costs me your vote." Can they be honest enough to say, "Yes, we have the right to own a gun, to take pride in gun collections, but who needs automatic weapons or AK47's? Who needs clips that fire off 60 bullets in an instant or the kind of bullets that tear right through the vests of the men and women charged with protecting us? And rights or no rights, I will support full investigations into those who wish to purchase guns, even at gun shows, prior to permission to buy." Do they have value the kind of honesty that requires actually answering politically charged questions during interviews or debates? Will they have the honesty to divulge ALL campaign contributors?
Do they place their honor above their allegiance to an affiliated party? Do they have the required honor, following honesty, to take the necessary steps to correct their mistakes/behavior? Because of their sense of honor, will they say no to those who would fill their campaign coffers in exchange for 'favors'?
Can we trust them to listen to us, to actually represent our needs and wishes and, if those needs
are contrary to what's best and constitutional, do they have the above required honesty and
honor to tell us and explain why they voted as they did? And if a good law comes along that they
vote against due to all the amendments, will they be trustworthy, honest and honorable enough
to tell us/show us/educate us? Can we trust them to vote as promised and have no qualms in
revealing said vote?
There are more, but this is a good start. Maybe you can think of some Personal Values you're looking for in your representatives?
But you know, I also realized politics can't forget the Personal Values of we the voters. Politicians, even the honest ones, have a hard row to hoe and, in many cases, we're the reason. What kind of Personal Values do we owe our Government?
This is the big one and the one where we most often fail our government. We fail to learn all we can about the men and women we're looking at to represent us, be it at city, state or federal levels. We fail to educate ourselves on how our representatives really voted, let alone how many times they've even been present to vote. We're also lacking in our knowledge of the Constitution and our history, which in today's climate, can spell disaster. But it's so easy to find the Constitution (link taken directly from the White House site) and read it. When was the last time you did?
We're often blind to the weaknesses of our Party and as a result, we blindly follow their lead, even when it's against our best interest. No Party Platform is perfect, and we all struggle to find the party that, on the whole, meets what we expect from government, but sometimes, our Party goes astray. That's when we need some of the honesty and honor we require from our representatives - in ourselves - so we can take the blinders off.
We often forget that everything we need to know is not at our local or favorite news channel, but rather, at our government's own website, again, be it city, state or federal. Example: Federal government website, which is the alpha and omega, no matter where your search engine takes you first. This is where it all begins and will tell us all about our government, each branch, and has links to the House of Representatives where you can see all the votes, sessions, etc., and then the Senate and even the Supreme Court, plus many more. Heck, in the left hand column, you'll even find a link to State government!
4. Getting Involved:
We really tend to fail here and it's the keystone to our Personal Values in just about every aspect of our lives. Apathy is the enemy. Assumptions? Also the enemy - a big one. We often assume everyone feels as we do and will go out and vote/educate themselves/research, etc., but we're wrong. Never assume because we all know what that means.
And finally, one Value that fits both our government representatives and ourselves:
I could have used the word, Tolerance instead, but no one should just be 'tolerated' because we don't agree/understand them, but deign to allow them to exist. Acceptance and Equality are far more important than Tolerance. We 'tolerate' the loud neighbors next door every now and then when they have a party, or tolerate our husband's inability to remember to put the seat back down or pick up his socks, but we do never do something so negative - and downright dismissive - as to tolerate the color of one's skin, religion or sexual preferences. We should accept those things as we accept the sunrise because we should be seeing through the eyes of equality not tolerance. If we think we only have to tolerate those who are perceived as 'different', it's not far to a point where we start believing our color/religion/family/sexual preferences are the only right ones, and then, even the disagreeable word, "tolerance", flies out the window and only certain people become worthy of the benefits our country has to offer.
So yes, a kinder, gentler view of politics for me as I try to make sense of the present and future - not that I won't still call out politicians when they make statements like, "Any ad that quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood!" or "My statements on Planned Parenthood weren't meant to be factual." And the flip-floppers? Still prime targets for the truth, just a gentler, kinder truth. *g*