Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fine, whatever, f*ck it

I hereby give up my insistence that this blog not deal with politics, because, hey fuck it. There's clearly no stopping it. The four of us are very politically engaged and aware, so why should we rob ourselves of discussing what's on our minds? Also, we haven't figured out some kind of blog identity that was divorced from politics, so why not just unleash the beast?

Chuck just posted a very thoughtful description of what went through his mind prior to entering the voting booth. I applaud him for doing that, even though I disagree with some of what he said. The writers of this blog don't need to hide our political leanings -- we only need to be able to articulate them clearly. I guess.

I have been very much against turning this space into something politically oriented, but tonight -- Super Duper Tuesday, as the media has described it -- makes it clear: Where's Luke? must rise to the occasion. We here are four intelligent, politically aware writers, and with the current political environment, we must respond. Because, otherwise, how would our dear readers know what to think?

I could sit here at my laptop and talk about the Giants and the Mets and how awesome drinking is (It's awesome!), but would that be the best I have to offer? No. (Yes.) And I don't want to prevent my equally brilliant co-writers the opportunity to write what matters to them. (Jameson whiskey.)

So -- and not like any of us needed the invitation -- let's open this blog to politics. After all, Chuck, LJT, and Side Bar have already begun the discussion with their intelligent, lucid, well-thought-out posts.

I am an Obama supporter. This is because I love his message of bringing the country together, that "We aren't liberal America and conservative America. We are the United States of America." This has resonated with me because for a long fucking time, I have felt that the idea of a Red-State America and a Blue-State America was a Rove/Bush concoction that the media ran with. That very idea is ABSOLUTE FUCKING HORSESHIT. Any time I've been down South, I have had a blast. All the people down there are -- believe it or not -- very much like me and people I know. I have never felt for one second while I was in "Red-State America" that I was unwelcome. Yes, we're different, but in my experiences, our differences are far outnumbered by our similarities. And whatever our differences might be, trying to drive a "wedge" between them strikes me as a political maneuver, rather than any attempt to actually make the country better.

What I love about Barack is the idea that everyone is welcome at the table. If you've ever found yourself in a situation where you've actually had to solve a problem, then you know that simply insisting you're right and ignoring the other side doesn't solve a fucking thing. But if you are willing to listen to the other person and give their side a degree of respect, then they will be much more willing to listen to you and, therefore, take the next step. You may not get all you want, but it's a step forward. And with the way the country has been run recently, simply taking a step forward is huge.

I fully believe that the only candidate on either side who can do this is Barack Obama. Every other candidate, from Hillary to McCain to Romney (Ron Paul excepted -- he's awesome) will simply continue the same game we've been watching. It's in their interest. They're classic politicians, despite what their campaigns are painting them as. If you look even a little bit closely, you can see that there is a clear difference between them and Barack. He has not changed his message at all. He is the actual messenger of "change." It doesn't take a genius to see that. Look back, and you will see that he has been preaching change far longer than Hillary or Romney, who only took up the "change" banner when it became politically viable.

That, ultimately, is why I choose Barack over Hillary. Their policies, as presented, are very similar. But once one of them is in office, who do you trust to do what he/she promised? If Hillary is elected, I don't believe for one second that she'll care at all about what she said. She will simply do what she thinks is best politically. All she cares about is winning. If things look tough, she will cave. She will start to claim such ludicrous things like her vote in the fall of 2002 wasn't actually a vote to go to war with Iraq, it was simply to give the inspectors more time or to enforce the sanctions or blah blah blah. If you were paying any sort of attention, you knew that that vote was a choice of going to war or not. Any further interpretation is dumb. That vote was for war, and she made it because it was her best political move at the time. That's it. That's all she cares about.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, said something different.

And Barack has continued to say something different -- something completely reasonable: That we are not simply Republicans and Democrats, we are not Red-Staters or Blue-Staters -- We are Americans. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to fool you.

So between someone like Barack and someone like Hillary, who do you believe?


ChuckJerry said...

"...for a long fucking time, I have felt that the idea of a Red-State America and a Blue-State America was a Rove/Bush concoction that the media ran with."

That's a really good point. That idea just crystallized for me upon reading that. I don't know that I'd give all the credit to the Roverians, but they've certainly exploited it and it's right up their alley of dividing and not uniting.

Joe Grossberg said...

"I have never felt for one second while I was in "Red-State America" that I was unwelcome."

No offense, but your skin color (and religion and sexuality) might have something to do with that.

When I was in Louisville for a year, I didn't feel "unwelcome" -- but certainly "uncomfortable" because I wasn't a Christian.

I sat in a "family" restaurant and watched a black family not get seated.

And any "out" homosexual was seriously brave.

And this was in a relatively big (pop, 1 million +) city, not some small town.

Yeah, the South is a very warm and accommodating place for knocking back a few beers and enjoying a BBQ.

But when you get down to actual politics, the stereotype is accurate, disturbingly often.

Open Bar said...

Yes, at certain times and in certain places in the South the stereotypes are true to the bone, but on the whole, a suburb in North Carolina is gonna be remarkably similar to a suburb in New Jersey.

And there are plenty of places in the Blue states where out homosexuals are quite brave as well.

The overall point was more that whatever differences there are should not be magnified in order to separate the country.