Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Are you kidding me?
The story behind this picture compliation is that, when we were eating lunch on Sunday and talking politics, Jillian kept making terrified faces. I wanted to take her picture to post in the event that Obama won, and so I asked everyone to make their "Obama won?!" face to post today if (and when) he won. The picture is funny, but of course the election of our new President-Elect is quite serious.
My take on it? Well, you may not be interested in hearing it, but this is my blog after all! My brother-in-law, Carlton, wrote a very passionate response detailing his opinions that my brother posted on his blog already (read it here), and that does basically sum up what I think. But here are some of the ideas that are more present in my mind now that it is all over.
Did I think McCain was going to win as we came down to the wire? No, in my heart, I did not. Obama has a rock star following, and McCain is an old man who does not cause the ladies to swoon with his looks or charisma. He is not a talented public speaker, and he couldn't get the crowds behind him. Let's face it- youth, excitement, and good looks do draw a crowd- look at what Sarah Palin did for McCain's campaign for those first few weeks. Obama just had the "magic"... as I've heard the talking head on CNN say, the people "drank the Obama Kool-aid". I couldn't believe the ladies screaming, crying, and flipping around last night during Obama's speech. It reminded me of the videos of people watching Elvis or the Beatles.
Did I love John McCain or agree with all of his ideas? No, actually I'm a Libertarian. I want smaller government, less taxes, and more freedom. I do not want the government to take my money and mismanage it. I do not want the government in my business.
So, why didn't I vote for Bob Barr- who actually did represent more of my values? Well, because I hoped (yes, hope and change, folks, hope and change...) that McCain had more of a shot than Barr. I wanted to give McCain at least a chance. I do agree with far, far more McCain ideas than Obama ideas, so I gave McCain my vote in the hopes it would help swing things his way.
Do I like Sarah Palin? Yes.
Do I think she was made (or made herself- you can never be sure with the media) to look not-so-smart during this whole process? Yes.
Do I hope she comes out of this without the GOP making her the whipping boy and the scapegoat and the woman who brought the whole thing crashing down? Yes, because I don't think she deserves that.
Do I hate Barack Obama? No. I think he looks like a nice enough guy. I think he's very eloquent. I bet he's a good dad to his girls. He and his wife seem to really love each other.
Do I fear his plan (or more importantly, those who have backed him and propped him up and led him down the Yellow Brick Road) for our nation? Yes, I do.
Am I really upset? Um, no, not really, because I have learned in the course of my not-so-long life that there are some things and some people you just can't change, and this election is one of those things. I cast my vote and did my part, but I did not win. Now, I will have to ride the ride for the next four years until I can vote again.
Am I worried? I am worried. Even though there's nothing I can do about it, I do fear what will happen to our country because I do think there are two groups in this country... the producers who work and drive the nation and the second-handers who sit back and suck off the producers. I am a producer. I get up and go to work every day, even when I do not want to and I'd rather stay home. I work my tail off to make money. I went back to college and got my master's degree to make money. I have side businesses and tutor kids at night and make stuff to sell to make money. Why? Because I want to fufill both my needs and my wants. Because I want to live comfortably. Because I want to retire well. Because I want to have more children. Because I want to give my children opportunities to go places and see things and experience things, and because I want to see their faces (and yes, take a million pictures) when they do. Because I sleep better at night with a little rainy day fund. Because I want to help my husband provide for this family, and I want him and I to have the time and the money to go out and enjoy ourselves and do things together. Because I want to invest that money and make it work for me so, one day, I won't have to work for that money. Because I WANT it. NOT because I want to support people who do not go to work everyday.
I do not mind helping people who need help. I sponsor needy kids every Christmas and buy them loads of toys and clothes, and I enjoy doing it. I mail my Operation Christmas Child box off so Rev. Graham can pass it out to a child in a foreign country and brighten their day, and it makes me feel good to think about them getting it. I give to the United Way and the Red Cross and the Boys and Girls Club and the Etowah Valley Humane Society. I drop my change in the boots the firemen hold out when I'm crossing the bridge downtown, and I'm happy to do it. I take toilet paper and paper towels to the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, canned goods to the Helping Hand Food Bank, and bags of dog food to the Bartow County Animal Shelter, and I do not mind it one bit. But, I do it with MY POST-TAX MONEY on MY TIME because I WANT TO DO IT... I do not want the goverment to take my money and pass it out to people as they choose. Frankly, I do not trust the goverment to make that decision. I think my balance sheet looks a lot better than the government's right now, so I trust my judgement a little bit more. I want to make that decision myself and give to those that I feel deserve the help. And you know what? I should have the right to make that choice because I put my own time, sweat, and labor in to make that money.
I will end my little tirade with one anecdote from my days as a fourth grade teacher. I had a student who I will call Tyrese. This was not Tyrese's first time in fourth grade, so he was a big, tall boy- a very talented basketball player- but totally apathetic about school. We met with his mom- she was apathetic, too. Almost half the year went by with him doing almost nothing and no difference being made from any angle we tried. So, I thought I would try to inspire Tyrese and get him to try in my Math class, because he did have some potential and could do a nice job when he tried. Here's how our conversation went, and it scares me to death for the future of my children.
Me: Tyrese, why don't you do your work? You have the potential to be something great if you would only try to do your work. (Continue with the inspirational speech for a few minutes.)
Tyrese: I don't want to work.
(This went back and forth for awhile.)
Me, trying another angle: Well, Tyrese, if you don't learn how to do this math, how will you make it as an adult? How will you pay your rent? How will you manage your money and pay your bills if you can't add or subtract? How will you get a job and be successful if you can't do fourth grade work?
Tyrese: I'm not gonna work. I'm gonna lay on my grandmamma's couch and watch cable.
Me: Tyrese, how do you think you're going to be able to lay on your grandmamma's couch forever? She's not going to live forever to support you. Then what will you do?
Tyrese: I'll lay on my momma's couch and watch cable.
Me: Well, your momma doesn't want to work and support you while you lay on the couch and watch cable.
Tyrese: (scoffs) My momma don't work. She lays on the couch and watches cable all day.
Me: How do you have food and stuff then?
Tyrese: From the government. That's what I'm gonna do- get my check, lay on my couch, and watch cable.
Shudder. This was a child talking. This is his plan for his future. He is modeling what he sees, and it is working for those around him, so why not? Tyrese always wore big name brand shoes that cost more than mine. And, you and I will pay for it. Literally.
If you have not read Atlas Shrugged, I do suggest that you do that. It will give you a very new and frightening perspective.
And that's all I have to say about that!