Warning...I'm about to get political. If you don't want to read on...click that little "X" in the upper right hand corner of your monitor.
There is no question that I find myself torn in the middle of the two party system we have. I think they call that being an independent I will, however, admit that more often than not, I find myself leaning a hair towards the left, but there are also issues that cause me to veer right. Stealing a line from GFR, Here I am, stuck in the middle, again.
Being stuck in the middle, I often find myself listening to both sides of the fence and this year is no different. What's different lately is the amount shame that I feel as an American. When making a choice for an official, we rely on these candidates and media outlets to supply us with the information we need to make an informed decision about who we feel will best serve us and our community, state, or country.
Lately, and perhaps it's only because I have just started paying more attention in the last couple of years, I have noticed that choosing a candidate has not become about picking the guy that best suits our needs. Instead, it has become about choosing the best showman.
The notion of laying out the opposing parties successes and failures, then informing us of how they plan to be different, has been thrown out the window.
Now, the best political course has been to win at all costs - especially lying. One quote that makes my stomach churn is "I misspoke". What the hell does that mean?! I misspoke?
That term has become the get out jail free card that politicians use at will and seem to have a never ending supply of.
What is this teaching our children and young adults? Winning is everything. It doesn't matter how get there; just win. It's OK to lie...just say you misspoke.
When I was a little boy, I remember a time when I rode my bike further than I was allowed. I did not know it at the time, but my Dad had seen me on his way home from work. When I got home a short while later, my Dad asked me, "Where have been?" Knowing that I was in the wrong, and afraid of the retribution, I decided to lie and say that I was somewhere other than where I actually was.
As a result of this lie, I deservingly got my butt kicked.
The lesson that politics teaches us is that it was OK to lie. Where I went wrong was when I didn't say, "Sorry Dad. Please stop kicking my butt. I simply misspoke".
Well that's bull!
I didn't misspeak and neither did these lying politicians! I LIED! I got my butt kicked for it and you know what? I learned the right lesson!! Lying is wrong. Period! The other lesson I learned that is that the punishment is far less severe if you tell the truth. I sure hope this election can still teach this in the end.
I'm OK if a politician doesn't have an answer for everything but I am not OK when they know the facts and choose to lie about them for the sake of winning. That's not winning the right way. That is winning by deception.
I encourage every single person that reads this post to comment and get mad. Listen to these political ads, convention speeches, and news outlets. Take the time to be critical of what they are saying and do some research into their claims. When you find out that they blatantly lied to you, get mad and do something about it! Call them, email them, write them, fax them, carrier pigeon them, etc...Just get a hold of them and call them a liar. Tell them they are wrong and how mad and insulted you are that they just lied to you.
Most importantly, and sadly, when it comes time to vote. You have two choices. You can choose to not vote at all in protest of the mockery this process has become or you can make a choice for the guy you feel lied to you the least.
That is the dismal reality that we have as voters.