(But I'm thinking of starting a brand name. :)
I participate in more than a few news sites. In fact, my cousin owns one of my favorites (No, I'm not telling which one.)
I stay as publicly active on TA as possible.
I vote in EVERY government election.
We have come a long way.
We are quite possibly living in one of the most significant times in modern history.
As a whole, we are marking progress on an extraordinary measure.
Life is about to change, folks.
From the ground up, we are forcing ourselves to evolve at a much faster rate than any other animal in the history of our planet.
We are cramming ourselves into cities where the exposure to globalization is changing us biologically and mental/emotionally. Humans are learning new skills and losing others to cope with the sensory overload of mass media, exposure to different beliefs and cultures, hell we are seeing rare tropical diseases pop up in housewives that have never left their neighborhoods. The sudden exposure to other genetics and other habits are changing the playing field. We are no longer about working for the same company until we retire. We are faster paced and more versatile. The internet is changing us. We are polarizing, and this is evident in our politics. The 'Loud Minority' gets the most attention, and unfortunately for most of America, our citizens still believe that if they see it on the magical moving picture box, it must be true. Because our consumers have so many choices, they are simply picking the opinions that reinforce their own and ignoring those that don't. This has totally, utterly changed news programming, and probably not for the better. As our public opinion polarizes, so do our leaders.
I don't want to see ANY extremist in power.
That didn't work out so well for the Muslim nations, now did it?
Things are changing fast, and if we don't learn how to navigate this new world we are creating, we are all going to get swept away with the tide.
I time will come when you can access every post, every status update, every blog for any candidate that applies for work in a private company. Our online lives will soon merge totally with our offline lives to the point that even where we work or socialize will be pretty much polarized.
If this happens, we will be in big trouble.
Tolerance is a social skill. It is LEARNED. If people quit putting themselves into positions to be challenged...to be exposed to different view points, we will lose the ability to respond with patience, tolerance and respect. We will eventually lose the social skills to cope with differences. That will polarizes us even more. We need to know how to hear and respond instead of hear and react.
Oh yeah. And I'm sick of being called a bleeding heart liberal, thank you very much. My opinions on social issues are not actually "liberal."
I seem to remember more than a few conservatives once upholding the values of "Limited government interference. What a person does in their own home is their own business, as long as they aren't harming anyone else."
If the republican party could fairly apply that belief system, I'd hang out with them.
But they don't.
That rule seems to only apply if you are a rich white man. What a person does in their own home is their own business as long as they are beating their wife instead of fucking another man.
That rule seems to only apply if you've got a body that can't get pregnant, and therefore can't be legislated.
That rule seems to only apply if you prefer whiskey to weed and prescription drugs to mushrooms.
I've seen Prop 19 and Prop 8 conclusively prove that California is no longer the progressive state it once was.
Without that title, I think it is nothing more than a money pit hell hole with ass backwards government policy and police enforcement. (Fuck yeah, I'm looking at you, Oakland.)
I think that our welfare system is broken.
I think that our education system is broken.
I think that our prison system is broken.
I think our FDA is broken.
I think that our immigration system is broken.
I think that we as Americans are heading for some real trouble, and that trouble will spell out for the rest of the world.
Look, folks. We are not the world leader in ANYTHING anymore. We aren't the richest. We aren't the biggest. We don't take care of our people the best. It's time to take a look at other countries that top ours, and see where we went wrong. We can't fix the problem if we don't first identify it.
But to do so would be unpatriotic. Hell, to even say "Wait a minute. We aren't #1" is even considered unpatriotic. When did that happen? How did that happen? Since when are we not allowed to call a spade a spade, and take a good critical look at history to see how we can improve?
True, we've made some ground lately:
-Our 9/11 responders have FINALLY won the medical care they deserve. Too bad it took us a humiliatingly long time to get it to them.
-Our general population is on the road to having what pretty much every single non-third world country on the globe already has. Health Care. (Now don't get me wrong. I barely trust our government with a too-hot corn dog, but at least we look less like idiots to the rest of the world.)
-DADT was retracted. Again, it looks like we are catching up with other leading nations. But seriously? Aren't you tired of feeling like the fat kid in gym class? Why are we always so far behind? Aren't we sick of having to be drug kicking and screaming into the modern age?
Already, the polarization in politics has led to some sickening problems. Anyone else notice that even when the PUBLIC and the MILITARY COMMANDERS said that integration was the best course of action, a bunch of politicians that have never even been in the military still drug their feet? Oh, and the few that WERE in the military still held out, even after flip-flopping on the issue before taking a stance on whatever would fit their career designs? That's treason in my mind. The people that are getting shot at get to make the rules concerning who is allowed to be shot at, in my opinion.
Or how about health care? It took us how many YEARS to get the rightfully deserved care to our 9/11 first responders because people that already HAD healthcare said no. (That's right you pieces of shit. I will have a list with every NO vote on it, and I will remember your names for future elections.) Again, with healthcare in general, how come the rich people or the people that are already covered under amazing government plans are telling us how it's going to be? That's a little too "Then let them eat cake" for what I can accept as an American.
But you know what?
I'm not a liberal.
I'm not a liberal, because that word is tied to ideas on welfare and government assistance that I don't agree with. That word is tied to gun control, and I believe it is an invasion of the rights given by our Constitution.
I am not a liberal. I think San Francisco county should be ASHAMED of taking toys out of Happy Meals because it's an infringement on us as consumers and on the McDonald's company.
I think many, many 'bleeding heart liberals' are ignorant on foreign policy, economics and the realities of war.
But as the conservatives move more to the right and the liberals move more to the left, I'm faced with a very real fear that my vote will not be counted unless I throw in with one of the major players. Republican or Democrat.
If I vote any other way in California, it will be a waste, right?
I'm no longer voting for candidates.
I'm simply voting against other ones.
That's a horrible thing to admit. That is a horrible thing to say...but it is true.
I feel the way I do because I'm left without a choice.
Are there any other options?