Move Along, Just Another Vague Post Here

Could two men have been more polarizing?

Thanks to everyone who voted. To those who didn’t: really?

One time on facebook I posted a biased article about a politician who said a very dumb thing about the very serious subject of rape, and the writer presented the article such that the this politician’s philosophy represented his entire political party. We all say things we regret, and we all latch onto the mistakes of those we want to lose to feel a sense of winning, advantage. We stand on any defeat — at any cost — to gain even minimal height. Definitely, rape is serious, but I wonder just how seriously we should have taken one (or several) politician(s) with a relatively fringey opinion.

I should have been more thoughtful about posting that article.

It must be so, so hard to be the President of the United States. I was president of the Free Club with some of my college roommates, and it was hard. All we had to do was get things for free. We could go to grocery stores and try all the free samples, get rebates, win prizes. I didn’t know how much responsibility I had.

I was nervous for both men. I was ready to support both men. Throughout this election season, I thought secretly, if one wins, couldn’t he appoint the other to be an advisor or something? A member of the Cabinet? Wasn’t one’s healthcare plan modeled after the other? Wasn’t that earlier healthcare plan one of greatest achievements of the one candidate? Couldn’t one use his business expertise to advise the other about fixing the economy? If one wins, couldn’t one consult the other in foreign policy or legislation deadlocks? What would our divided Congress do if these two men actually worked together?

What if?

What the if?

That’s not how politics works.

But that’s how we can work.

If our nation continues to divide, I won’t have a choice but to run for president of my square block in Orem, Utah. I’d construct a soundproof highway barrier that would reduce freeway noise and would still let my citizens see the sunset. I’d also reduce rent.

If we can’t at least seek to understand other points of view and acknowledge when others try to understand ours, then our nation will continue its downward spiral into a pit of poop.

If we sidestep accountability and responsibility in our own lives, families will crumble, and entire communities will landslide into the pit of poop.

If we pray for our country but are unkind to one another: pit of poop.

Are these two men standing on opposite ends of this pit?

Or are a better state and happier times a happy medium of something less poopy?

States of America, we are supposed to be United.

Let us make that true.

We Voted!

He’s wearing purple. I’m wearing red. We aim to confuse.

We didn’t wait longer than 10 minutes in line. We arrived at Orem Elementary School just before 5:30 this evening.

While we stood in line, we talked pretty loudly about some of the headlines we’d seen throughout the day.

We approached the table and our names were the only two Rs on the last page in the R section of the registered voter binder.

The poll worker gave me an electronic card. The machine I used is very different and so much more . . . modern than the machine I used when I voted in NYC. What was this fancy touchscreen? Why didn’t I have to walk into a booth and close a curtain and use all my brute strength to vote?

I spent maybe at least 5 minutes voting/playing with the fancy machine. I watched the ballot print through a little plastic window. I removed my electronic card in time for a poll worker to check a number on the machine I used. Apparently I was the 47th person today to use that machine.

Reilly waited for me just outside the gym/auditorium/second cafeteria where voted.

We ate. We came home. We took a picture.

We feel pretty good.

On Voting

My very first federal election is coming up. After changing my name and residence for voter registration, I looked up my ballot. There are a lot of names I don’t know. The only political commercials that air on television don’t even apply to my congressional district, and presidential commercials don’t even air around here because not enough Obama voters live here, so I guess Romney’s using the money he saved from Utah to campaign like crazy in other states where Obama has a competing influence. Which I know is Mitt’s biggest concern. I just wonder where he gets and how he keeps his tan.

Anyway, here’s what my ballot looks like. I’m about halfway done researching the list, which sort of helps, but it’s mostly overwhelming. I recognize some of the names from billboards. My votes may just boil down to whether I like the spelling of names or if I can write poems from the anagrams of names or if my favorite letter of the alphabet that day is A. It is no coincidence that the initials of my new married name are the same as Mitt Romney. So, I could vote that way. Also, I like the Yes or No questions for the judges. Nothing about voting in Utah, America is confusing in the least little way.

Out with the Inside

A comment I left on another blog:

“This is probably as best as we can expect from the current system, which wasn’t purged the instant Obama became president. I look at people’s achievements and tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Obama appointed highly capable people; people accepted. People got called out; people stepped down. Obama openly takes the blame. I respect that.

“I still believe Obama. It’s been just over two weeks since he took the Oath of Office. Two weeks is not a lot of time, but he’s gotten some big things done. The hope is renewed, but the healing is just going to take a lot longer. Weeding out ALL the corruption isn’t entirely realistic, and what can happen is not going to happen right away.

“I like what Obama said about double-standards. That’s why he said he screwed up. Rule of Law is Rule of Law, for common citizens and government alike. It’s gonna take time. He’s on it.”

I don’t know everything that’s happening. I’ve simplified the situation, making some pretty big assumptions. Maybe Obama underestimated how complex Insider Washington is. Those very insiders developed the double standard he mentioned. Don’t hire them, you say? They’re still going to be there. Replace them, you say? Well, looks like they’re working on that.

He already said he wasn’t perfect. And he already said there’s a long road ahead. And early on, he acknowledges and wants to fix his screwups.

If only more of us realized the same things about ourselves.

Winter’s Dawning

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I’m sorry if this photo looks like something Thomas Kinkade would do. It’s noisy here, but the scene was amazing and clear and took my breath away in person. This is what the park looked like this morning at 5:45, with the lamps peeking through the trees and the shine bouncing off the snow. I thought about writing up the obvious metaphors about today’s inauguration, but I won’t. I will say that I might be getting a bit more accustomed to the winter. That, ladies and gentlemen, is an historic moment. Times are a-changing.

Well, America, You Got It Done.

I’m still quite subdued about the whole thing. My Democratic friends jumped up and down and cried, rejoicing. My Republican friends were gracious or bitterly disappointed or angry. Which I can understand. I think if Senator McCain had won, I would have had to listen to a lot of whining from the left. I mean, it happened so fast. We found out SO early. All of a sudden CNN was flashing that Obama would be the next president, and I was instant messaging Karissa, and I said whoa and she said WOW and I said whoa and she said YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! and I just couldn’t believe it. Then I got teary-eyed as Senator McCain’s eyes welled up and suddenly I couldn’t stay awake, even after taking a little nap. I guess the whole thing took a bigger emotional toll on me than I was aware. I’m grateful for the change. I have bigger and very hopeful thoughts I can’t quite articulate, but I’ll say this much now: I like the idea of someone who can inspire and conciliate leading our country. I like the idea of Michelle Obama being our First Lady. I especially like the idea of a new puppy in the White House.