Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Polly Ticks

Isn't there some joke about a parrot swallowing a clock that ends with the punch line "Polly ticks"? It's a kids joke, but I thought of it all day long for some reason.

This post will be my current view on US politics. So if that isn't your bag, please come back tomorrow. (Read: Mom, you're not going to like this.)

During the season (uh...year) leading up to a presidential election, I usually find myself completely immersed in political podcasts. My favorite is Rachel Maddow (pronounced mad-oh). She is funny, intelligent and opinionated. I listen to her via her podcast. She's an out lesbian and it's always a pleasure to hear her rant, report and babble. Another favorite is Keith Olberman who has a show on MSNBC called Countdown. Both are available via iTunes. He's also a great listen. Very intelligent guy. Not a lesbian, but apparently he likes women.

Last cycle, I listened to many more, but since knitting podcasts have come into being, I feel I must give them some time.

Here are a few of the people in the news and my views (and some experiences) on them:

Hillary Clinton: When she gave her big speech last Saturday, Fred and I watched it. Afterwards, I turned to him and said, "I'm so glad to be able to like her again." I just hated her during the primaries. She was vicious. Part of it was that she was attacking my guy Obama, but part of it was the tone of her campaign. I've always liked her and I voted for her (twice, I think) for Senator in New York. Fred always preferred her - still does. I hope she does what she needs to do to get Obama elected.

John McCain: The more he is in the news, the more of a duffus he proves himself to be. I heard someone talking about him today and saying that he represents the past. It's true. He would be a dangerous man to have in the White House. He just doesn't seem rational. I heard a prediction that he's going to show his true colors one of these days and explode on someone. I hope he does. Again, my opinion: dangerous.

Cindy McCain: Two words - Stepford. Wife.

Barak Obama: I like him a lot. Does he have the experience? He doesn't have the experience of a lot of people who were running, but he's very smart and he would put a new face on the US. He's diplomatic and presents well.

Dennis Kucinich: When I heard that he introduced 35 articles of impeachment against the current president yesterday, I wanted to fly out and hug him. He's a smart guy with the best intentions in the world. I voted for him in the primary. The US needs more people like him who are principled and willing to take a stand.

One thing my mother and I agree on is voting. (Possibly the one thing we agree on in politics.) A few weeks ago, something came up in our weekly telephone conversation and the claws came out. Last Sunday she was calmer and we both agreed that in the end it doesn't matter who you vote for, you should vote. I credit her for instilling that in me. Of course she'd rather eat glass than vote Democratic, but you can't win 'em all.

A friend of mine (you know who you are) says she doesn't expect to vote in the next US election. Says she doesn't keep up with politics enough to know what's going on. I understand the sentiment. A lot of people I know "don't really care that much" about what's going on in US politics. (Did I tell you about the guy I talked to a few years ago who said, "Who's Dick Cheney?" Seriously.) However, the person who holds the office of President of the United States has so much influence on what goes on in the world. And US citizens have the opportunity to have a say in who holds that office. It's an opportunity many non-American people I know would love to have, and it's a right that people gave their lives to protect. It's important. It's very important.

A thousand years ago, when was at the end of my graduate education in Art Therapy, a favorite professor, Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko, had our class in a huddle and said, "It's not important that your Democratic or Republican. It's important that you're political. My wish for you is that you all be political."

They were words that led me down a completely new road in my life in New York. And in a lot of ways, they led me to where I am today. Sure I knit and I live in Amsterdam. But I keep up with what's going on and I vote. It's the least I can do.

Make sure you are registered to vote. And if you live outside the US, you can register through Democrats Abroad.

P.S. Today would be Sally's 59th birthday. I miss Sally. Sally voted every chance she got.

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