It has been an exciting political season and it hasn't even started yet. I just have a couple of thoughts on the process and the people involved.
1. Party trumps person. This election season has sparked a lot of
interest in people who in the past haven't paid too much attention to politics. This is a good thing. As I turned out to caucus last night I was impressed by the number of first time caucus goers that were there. I heard a few people last night stating that if their favorite candidate didn't win the party nomination they didn't think they could vote. That is the wrong attitude. If you are put off b/c your candidate didn't get your party's nomination consider the alternative. Would you rather have someone who is somewhat aligned with your views or someone whose values run totally contrary to your own? I still would have voted for Ford in 1976 even though Reagan didn't get the nomination that time around. A vote for Ford would have been better than not participating at all. I care who gets my party's nomination, but the seemingly big differences between the same party candidates are minuscule when compared to the differences between Democrats and Republicans. By not participating you only give the other party an advantage. So much of politics is choosing the lesser of two evils. A rule to those new to the political game is PARTY TRUMPS PERSON.
2. Hillary over Obama. Not that anyone can decipher what any candidate stands for in a campaign of 15 second radio spots or 30 second TV ads, but I must admit the support that has been drummed up for Obama is disturbing to me. If this were a personality contest I am sure Obama would win. I know I would rather go bowling or be stuck in a car for 6 hours with Obama than Clinton, but at least we know what we would be getting from Hillary. While both Hillary's and Obama's voting record have moved left in the year leading up to the election, Obama's has moved a lot further. He was rated as the most Liberal Senator by National Review for 2007. He has very little experience. He is clearly a smart man, but much of his past has been called into question. I am not saying that his past should preclude him, but it should be on the table for discussion. Should I be perceived as prejudiced b/c I am curious about the claim that his church is afro-centric? That is what has happened to many who have questioned Obama's beliefs. When running for public office it is all on the table. No one gets a pass. I feel like Obama to this point has gotten a free pass. At least Hillary (and her husband) are the ultimate pragmatists. If a Democrat is elected that is the most we can hope for. I don't think we know the same for Obama. But then again, Ted Kennedy and Oprah support him. That goes a long way in my book.
3. Everyone calm down. Regardless of who is elected, the President doesn't determine the fate of our country. Contrary to the opinion of many if Bush were to stay in office another 10 years the country wouldn't be goose stepping while singing hymns in big pools of oil. The US would still be here, the economy would have experienced ups and downs, and illegal immigrants would still be crossing the borders. The President is a president and doesn't have complete control. He still has checks and balances to keep him in line. He is not a god.
4. Independents. I know many people who say they aren't registered with any party as though I should be impressed with that. Like these people are their own person and not going to be brainwashed by any politician. Pick a side people. There are more than two parties. You don't have to choose Republican or Democrat. You can align yourself with Libertarians, the Green Party, the Communists, the Socialist-Worker Party, or the Constitution Party. You could even join the Marijuana Party. Find a group you agree with and go. In CO and many other states an Independent can't participate in the nomination process and can't participate in the party organization. There is no benefit to being an independent. Just because you belong to a political party doesn't mean you have to vote the party line, but it does provide you with a voice in the process.