This is not a political blog. Ever. I also try to avoid other polarizing topics like religion, social class, and college football. Today I will break ALL of these rules.
I am called to write this post based on a quiz I took yesterday at the behest of my most liberal friend. He keeps me in touch with the far left. And youth. After all, he is the age of my nephews and went to Berkeley where he majored in Human Studies. Even liberals whisper about how far to the left he is.
Anyway, I answered very broad questions about my stance on various party issues. Then I could choose how important this issue was to me on a scale that ranges from not at all important to really, really important.
You were given a couple of answers. If those didn’t really represent your feelings in enough detail, you were then given a few more options that added some more qualifiers. For example, if the question was “Do you like to listen to Rush Limbaugh?” and yes or no didn’t cover it, these options would add in things like “Yes, as long as I have in ear plugs and can’t hear anything he has to say.” Or “No, because I am too busy searching for naked pictures of Ann Coulter.” Okay maybe not just like that but you get the picture.
Based on my answers, I was then matched by a percentage to each of the candidates so I could see who best represented my beliefs. So I read my results and literally had steam coming out of my ears when I did.
You probably don’t know much about my politics. That’s on purpose. My mother taught me never to talk about politics in polite conversation. Because of this, I feel that I should explain myself a little more before I tell you where I came down in the “How much do you love your candidate?”, political-quiz-goes-Redbook exercise.
I am a registered Republican. But if you ask me, I will tell you that I am an Independent. In California, however, you have to pick a party or you don’t get to vote in the primary. So my mother told me to pick the very best one and democrat was not it.
So Republican won. Not that they really won anything since I don’t give money and I don’t vote the straight ticket. It really means that I get all their junk mail and a Christmas card from my Representative.
For years, I have felt frustrated by our two-party political system. But after the Perot fiasco of the 1992 presidential election, I recognize that when there are more than two parties, you just end up helping one of the big two by separating the other group’s votes.
So when I read that a lot of my opinions about political issues aligned me with Mitt Romney, I was a little surprised but not steamed. After all, you can take the girl out of the red state …
When I found out that I aligned with Jill Stein, I had to ask who that was (Green party). I guess that’s because I believe in global warming. I think that making sure the epic film Waterworld doesn’t become a prophetic glimpse of our future is important.
Apparently, I am also a little libertarian, because Gary Johnson came up as one of my top four candidates. Of course, I just had to Google who the libertarian candidate was, so I guess old Gary can’t really celebrate my vote yet. Plus, I wouldn’t know what a libertarian was if it wasn’t for Penn Jillette’s book, which I only read after I saw him on Celebrity Apprentice. But none of these things made me mad.
What made me feel like stringing together a list of swear words that would make Yosemite Sam proud, was that I was considered a liberal on science. Because I said that I believe in evolution.
At what point did Republicans officially embrace a philosophy against evolution? What’s next? Will I be considered a liberal if I argue against the edict that the world is flat? And since when is evolution a political issue? I feel this argument plays out much better in a church basement or a poetry slam than on Capitol Hill.
If this is representative of the mindset of a republican party member, then count me out. I don’t want to be lumped in with this lot. I guess that makes me a reluctant liberal. I blame my liberal arts education. They insisted on teaching me science and math in spite of the fact I was a Theatre Major.
The truth is that I don’t feel like either party really represents me. Especially since we are a middle class family. Both parties have their plans for our W2 income and I don’t think any of it is in our best interest.
So I have all three debates recorded on the DVR. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I figured out that it doesn’t matter who I vote for in the presidential race because Obama is getting my vote no matter what I do in the polling booth. I live in a blue state. In fact, I live in the blue state, so blue that we haven’t seen even one presidential ad. You wouldn’t know it was a presidential election year unless you get stuck in LA traffic on a day Obama is here collecting checks from the Hollywood elite.
I do have a stack of mail about the California propositions filed on my desk. I have the sample ballot in that stack of paper as well. I also have every intention of reading all of it maybe. Years like this make me long for the days when husbands told their wives how to vote. Cue women suffragists rolling in graves now.
Since I became a stay-at-home mom, I have gradually become less and less aware of the world outside my little bubble. A person well informed of current world events would think that not knowing what’s going on would affect his or her everyday life. It does, just not the way he or she would expect.
When really nasty stuff happens in the Middle East, I am blissfully unaware. When gas prices climb to staggering heights, I don’t know about it. I can blame the broken vase in the bathroom on the kids and not the 5.2 Earthquake I just rode on my couch.
Because I am wildly uninformed, I am worthless in a political debate. If anyone traps me in a political conversation, I usually listen with my eyes glazed over and make vague comments like, “What would the founding fathers have to say about that?” Or sometimes just a brilliant and almost always appropriate “Totally.”
My mom was really upset the other day about the news she heard on FOX. Actually, I should amend that to say that my mom is always really upset about the news she heard on FOX. But on this particular day, she told me about whatever she was worked up about and then asked me “And then do you wanna know what he said?”
My answer was no. I don’t wanna know. That’s why I don’t watch or read or surf. I don’t even DVR the Daily Show. Ignorance is bliss.
So if the two-party system doesn’t work for me, the completely uninformed and woefully underrepresented middle-class mom, then I am forced to create my own party. I have the perfect one. I even have my animal mascot.
Announcing: The Ostrich party. We are a fledgling group, unwilling to meet in public and apt to run, at speeds from 30 to 60 miles per hour, from any kind of political conversation. And when we can’t run, we hide our head. Our political strategy goes like this:
Q: Hey, Terri…Should the U.S. raise the debt ceiling?
A: Foomp. (The sound of my head as it goes in the sand.)
Q: Hey Terri… Do you think we should have bailed out the banks in 2009?
Q: Hey Terri…Who should we bomb first: Libya or Iran?
Q: Hey Terri…wasn’t it awesome how USC lost yesterday and Notre Dame spanked a top ten school?
It’s nice down here. No pressure. No decisions. No endless streams of rhetoric that leave me feeling duped and depressed. No one is trying to tell me that we can replace our oil dependency with clean coal technology, oblivious of the fact that it’s an oxymoron. It’s quiet, dark, and peaceful.
Down here in the sand the U.S. economy is booming, China doesn’t own us, and USC still has a chance at the national title. Best of all, it isn’t considered radical to believe that over time, things change for the better to adapt to the world around them.