Tags: elections/voting


No Political Solution

I'm a generally apolitical (if not anti-political) person, and certainly keep that my policy online, but i'm making an exception here.

My latest attempt to capture my thoughts on the election is below for those who want to read it, but the most important point is this:

If you're reading this — whoever you are, however you voted, whatever your feelings about the election — i care about you, and you have my love, good will, and sincere consideration of your views.

Last week, i found myself commenting on a lot of folks’ posts about the election. I sought to comfort those who were distraught, but also to raise my concerns to everyone about the real problems with this election. From my perspective, these have nothing to do with its result, and inevitably affect all of us in the long term. Because i found myself hitting a few main themes over and over, i decided to write up a piece to capture and share my thoughts about the election and people's reactions to it. As i fleshed out the ideas, the piece started getting very in depth, and started taking more time to complete. As i spoke with people in the interim, i found so many who seemed to have already decided how they felt about things, and seemed reticent to let go of those feelings. I consequently decided to abandon my piece, as i figured it would just end up an overwrought ineffective obscurity that's unlikely to be of much aid to anyone. I suppose i will continue to try to share my thoughts with folks as appropriate via “regular" channels.

On Sunday, i had an opportunity to try to convey a portion of my thoughts at a group function. I again declined, thinking better of it. However, in the process of considering it, i found myself starting to boil down my thoughts to more basic points.

As i continue to survey the inescapable noise surrounding the build-up and aftermath of this election, i still find myself restless to speak my peace and hopefully add something constructive. In lieu of resurrecting my full-up piece to address this, i thought i'd try to share a more developed version of those boiled-down points. I welcome any who wish to delve deeper to invite follow-on discussion.

Rather than try to convince anyone of anything or attempt to directly address folks’ overwhelming feelings, i'm simply going to state Collapse )

I believe that i am willing to take the first steps to work to unite us as a people and to prevent the alternative.

... so i believe i’m just looking to see who’s with me.


Political Pączki

It's Fat Tuesday, and what better way to digest my lard-laden strawberry delight than with a quick public 2¢ on a few political issues -- one local, one national.

In Local News...

I heard today through friends' blogs and aaio's post that after nearly a decade of growth and success in downtown A², Leopold Bros. brewpub is skipping town and resetting up shop in Colorado.

Is the ailing local economy to blame? Is there some massive business drive to move to a particular region? Nope. It is, in fact, the opposite. According to a comment on the AAIO blog by owner Todd Leopold (which i'll take the liberty of assuming has been validated), the skyrocketing rents for their downtown location has made doing business there unbearable.

"It's just supply and demand", some might say, but i say that -- as usual -- Ann Arbor needs to start thinking harder. Your carefully-cultivated and well-marketed reputation for progressivism may only last you so long, people. You may want to start making some better decisions about what you really wish to be, and who and what you'd like to support as the backbone of your community.

...and in case no one's mentioned it, i'll remind you again: altruism and living in a better world just might cost you a few bucks.

In National News...

For those of you voting in a primary today -- one that actually might count, even -- i'd like to offer some friendly food for thought.

I hold a very realistic cynical view of national elections and major parties. Bush's exceptionally poignant terms in office notwithstanding, i generally feel that, given our corporate major political parties and laughable somewhat-compromised national election system, the real execution of the Presidential race marks neither a democratic process nor a terribly influential outcome.

What i believe is that the real votes that change the shape of our nation are cast every day. They're cast when we go grocery shopping or select vendors for our businesses. They're cast when we talk to our friends, or interact with our fellow human beings. They're cast in the ideas we carry forward, the philosophies we embody, and the assertions that drive our daily decisions. I believe that what is far more important than who wins any election is what message and thoughts we bring to the world.

Given this philosophy, i almost don't care at all how the election goes or who wins the Presidency, but i care very much about what message and which concepts for consideration will be slathered all over our media for six months, discussed and reprocessed on our blogs and at our dinner tables, and brought to mind countless times for us to soak in and think about.

For this reason, i'd like you to consider voting for Barack Obama. I don't know or care about his electability. I know a little about his platform, but have not studied it in depth, nor do i need to. My consideration here is based solely on one assertion: Whether it be real or fake, lasting or transient, pragmatic or fantasy, purposeful or accidental, Obama's campaign has become associated with a concept of national unity. The campaign -- either by design or merely by those who've gravitated to it -- appears to be snowballing ideas about breaking down political boundaries between people, being more progressive about citizen-driven government, and focusing more on the United States as a nation with a unified and responsible populace.

I remind you: whether or not Obama can win and/or execute any of his platform is irrelevant in my philosophy. The power of his campaign is in what it can represent in the minds of people, and the long-term effect, win or lose, of the message that it sends to all of our elected officials, regardless of who they be, about what we feel is important.

Regardless of your political persuasions -- even if you plan to vote 3rd-Party (as i usally do) or Republican in November -- please consider the benefit that a mere idea and symbol can have on the nation in the interim.

...and with those tasty little glazed and calorie-laden pastries of thought, i welcome your comments, and wish you a happy Fat Tuesday and a good rest-of-'08.