Friday, August 29, 2008

Apolitical ramblings

For the most part I consider myself pretty much apolitical. I don’t follow it in the papers or on TV. I don’t discuss it with friends or family. And I don’t vote. In fact, I think I have only ever voted once, about 16 years ago, when my ex-mother-in-law nagged me into doing it. I had no idea who the candidates were, or what the issues were. I basically just ticked off a random box, not even looking at the names on the ballot. I have not voted since. I get a lot of grief about that from many people, my dad in particular. But I refuse to vote just for the sake of voting. I refuse to randomly tick off a name when I don’t know exactly who or what I’m voting for. I have no time (or interest) in reading the papers or watching debates on TV to find out who is lying the least. That’s how I see pretty much all politicians. I am not going to vote for “the lesser evil”. I want there to be an honest choice that I can trust. So far, I haven’t seen anything that makes me want to start listening or following in their political pageant. I have even less interest in American politics, although it seems to be everywhere I look.

Having said that, I have to say that even I watched a good part of Obama’s speech last night. I hadn’t meant to. I was just flipping through the channels seeing what was on. I watched him. I felt genuine hope. He certainly looked and sounded sincere. He said all the things I would want a world leader to say. Seeing the size of the crowd in the stadium, all of them riveted to his words, was truly awe inspiring. Every now and then they would zoom in on someone staring up at him with tears in their eyes and rapture on their faces. They were looking at him like a savior. This one man. This politician.

I found that to be very powerful, and also sad. That is the way that people used to look when hearing the word of God. It is sad that the preachers, the teachers, the religious speakers of our time have fallen so far from grace and God’s will that we have to find other sources of hope. New saviors. The new scripture is political reform.

I have to admit, though, that watching Obama last night there were times when I actually got goosebumps. I felt that this was a Turning Point, somehow. That this will change history. Oh, I hope so. I truly hope so. I hope he can keep his promises. I hope that the people who insist on living in the past don’t feel so threatened by this man that they turn things violent and plunge the world into even darker times (I am Canadian, and the president is not MY president, but I’d be naïve to think that what happens in the United States doesn’t have an effect on the rest of the world). Chris Rock had a bit on having a black president. He said it would never happen. Because they wouldn’t LET it happen. That if a black president ever gets elected, he will be assassinated, because there is no way the United States would have a black president. He phrases it in a way that allows you to laugh, but really….is it so far fetched? I hope not. Because the thought of another Good Ole Boy running this half of the planet for another 8 years is pretty damn frightening.

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