Election season is hard upon us... My emailbox is flooded daily with propoganda from Obama's people and McCain's people. Mostly, I just delete them without reading them.
It's not that I don't care. I do.
I have voted in every single election I was eligible to vote in since I turned 18 and gained my majority.
I am registered as a Democrat, but I don't vote the party line. I confess to voting for Ronald Reagan the first time around. I try to vote for whoever I feel will do the best job - regardless of their political affiliation. Much of the time, I feel satisfied with my vote.
Back in 2004, I voted for John Kerry. Not because I wanted to. It was actually a vote against George Bush rather than FOR Kerry. If I'd felt comfortable with it, I wouldn't have voted at all that year.
I must also confess that this year? Not feelin' the magic.
I was nominally for Hillary, but honestly, she's just a bit too militant for me - a toned-down, softer version of Bella Abzug. Obama-fever is sweeping the nation but I haven't caught that one. He seems like an okay kind of guy, but somewhat young, somewhat inexperienced and a whole lot idealistic. He wants to help the entire world but you know, we just can't afford it right now. I don't know much about Joseph Biden, though several people I know were quite pleased with his selection as Obama's running mate.
I did not watch any of the Democratic Convention last week.
If McCain had won the nomination back in 2000, I would have voted for him and felt pretty good about it.
But I can't really say the same here four years later. My mother swears he's got early Alzheimers' and won't last through the first four years. I don't know about that, but the guy is in his 70s and has had cancer a couple of times. He's in the clear, healthwise for now - but how long will that last?
Which makes his choice of running mate all the more critical. Enter Sarah Palin:
On the surface, I like what I see very much. She's a mom. She's been a mayor and a governor. She's been married to the same guy forever. She made the decision to carry and deliver a Downs Syndrome baby and raise him with all the love a mother can give. She's a frontier woman all the way.
As a mother, she's dealing with almost all the same issues that normal mothers deal with. She has a son heading off to Iraq. She has a daughter who's pregant out of wedlock. Her most recent child has Downs.
So last night, I decided to watch her speech on the Republican Convention coverage. And now, I am so very PC.
Ms. Palin is a very engaging speaker. She said all the right things in all the right places. She piqued my interest enough to talk about her to other people and see what they thought. Enough to look her up on the internet and read a few things about her.
It's not all sunshine and roses. I'm not talking about her own unwed pregnancy (which she remedied a month in). Stuff like that happens. It should NOT be the stuff of news. But hiring lobbyists, and trying to get a former brother-in-law fired, and encouraging the opening up of drilling in the Alaskan wilderness have all given me pause in my new-hero worship. All of these things need to be investigated a bit more closely before I can decide about her.
Mostly, what Sarah Palin's appearance on the scene has done is make me interested again. I didn't particularly care about this race. Now, I want to know more about McCain and how a combination of McCain and Palin might work. And I want to know more about Obama and Biden and how they might work together.
You can be sure that when I walk into that voting booth in November, I will know more about all of the candidates - and more importantly, I will care.
People who walk into a voting booth to cast their vote for whoever is popular or whoever is in their party (no matter who it is) and with no knowledge of their history are playing Russian roulette with our future. It's a dangerous game.