Make Up Your Mind Already

September 18, 2008

I think one of the most irritating things going on during this presidential campaign is the persistent comments of people who claim with stubborn indecisiveness that they cannot tell the difference between the candidates. These people are really quite mind blowing. When I hear someone say “I just don’t know who I’m going to vote for, I don’t think either will help me,” I can’t help but think that that person is either showing a type of misplaced politeness due to not wanting to offend anyone in this “polarized” political environment, or that person is completely ignorant of the issues at stake and their importance. I’m not using “ignorant” as a way of name calling, but rather for its dictionary meaning–these people are unknowledgeable and uneducated about the issues.

McCain and Obama are worlds apart on almost every single issue. McCain represents what the Republican Party is today and how they view issues concerning the economy, world policy and culture. Obama is the truest Democrat we’ve seen as a mainstream candidate in quite awhile and his views in the above mentioned categories differ quite drastically from McCain and the GOP. If you know anything at all about the candidate’s viewpoints on most major issues it shouldn’t be very difficult to determine which one most closely matches your own personal views.

I guess the group that disappoints me the most are the people that have been lifelong Democrats but who refuse to support Obama. I really see no reason other than racism or an acceptance of misleading falsities that have been directed towards Obama.

In past elections it’s been easy to see why people felt under whelmed with their choice at the polls. An independent or a liberal could easily have found trouble supporting Gore and Lieberman enthusiastically over Bush; Gore had yet to find his voice and display his political intelligence and Lieberman bogged down the ticket with conservative viewpoints by being a Democrat in name only, leaving many to feel like there wasn’t much difference between the two parties (plus many didn’t know quite how ill prepared George W. Bush would prove to be). So while I, as a senior in High School going through the first election in which I ever did any research and thought about the candidates, and many others felt that Gore was the better choice it was easy to see why others seemed to be indifferent. In 2004 it was on display how poorly Bush was doing, yet he won again. Most of us that supported Gore still opted for Kerry over giving Bush yet another term, but many of us felt discouraged that the most outspoken and truly progressive Democratic candidates were shoved aside–Dean, Kucinich, etc.–and we were left with Kerry, who failed to excite anyone enough to keep Bush out. Now, as a liberal, I believe a man like Nader still has the best ideas and would be willing to go for a type of progressive and positive change that mainstream candidates in America can never dream to actually attempt. I realize this type of candidate can’t win here and now. But for the first time, I feel like Democrats have a candidate with true Democratic roots who actually has a chance at the White House. So how can this group of lifelong Democrats who’ve supported Kennedy, Carter and Clinton not support Obama, a candidate that has the opportunity to accomplish what many of these predecessors could only hope to do? Whether or not he will be able to do this remains to be seen but how can any Democrat not be willing to let him try, especially when his opponent represents politics and interests that are at the polar opposite of the Democratic Party?

I could argue why I feel Obama’s politics are superior to McCain’s for pages but that’s really not the point of this article. The point is that there are major differences between the two candidates so it’s ignorant for anyone to say, “I just can’t tell the difference between the parties anymore.” This is the most important election in recent American history. If you still do not know which candidate you support, please do a little research and know where they both stand on the big issues. Form an opinion and vote, do not be oblivious and uncaring. Finally, feel free to politely share your opinion if someone asks you who you support. Even as a staunch Obama supporter, if someone tells me they support McCain I find it much less offensive than when someone tells me they simply do not care who wins.

Okay, now there are a few random things I want to rave about. First off, a band I enjoy quite a bit, Rise Against, just released a new single, “Re-Education (Through Labor),” from their forthcoming album, Appeal to Reason. I always enjoy their lyrics tremendously; I wouldn’t say they’re the best songwriters or the most deep, but for political hard rock they always manage to write words that perfectly contain just enough politics without being overwhelming and more than enough genuine emotion that mainly comes through in conjunction with the big sound they bring. Anyway, I just wanted to post the lyrics to this single here because they’ve been stuck in my head since I heard the song.

“To the sound of a heartbeat pounding away
To the rhythm of the awful rusted machines
We toss and turn but don’t sleep
Each breath we take makes us thieves
Like causes without rebels
Just talk but promise nothing else

We crawl on our knees for you
Under a sky no longer blue
We sweat all day long for you
But we sow seeds to see us through
‘Cause sometimes dreams just don’t come true
We wait to reap what we are due

To the rhythm of a time bomb ticking away
And the blare of the sirens combing the streets
Chased down like dogs we run from
Your grasp until the sun comes up

We crawl on our knees for you
Under a sky no longer blue
We sweat all day long for you
But we sow seeds to see us through
‘Cause sometimes dreams just don’t come true
Look now at what they’ve done to you

White needles buried in the red
The engine roars and then it gives
But never dies
‘Cause we don’t live
We just survive
On the scraps that you throw away

I won’t crawl on my knees for you
I won’t believe the lies that hide the truth
I won’t sweat one more drop for you
‘Cause we are the rust upon your gears
We are the insect in your ears
We crawl
We crawl
We crawl… all over you

We sow the seeds to see us through
Our days are precious and so few
We all reap what we are due
Under this sky no longer blue
We bring the dawn long over-due
We crawl
We crawl
We crawl… all over you”

Also, a new Comic Hardcover was just released, “Local” by Brian Wood with art by Ryan Kelly. It collects a 12 issue mini-series published by Oni Press and it’s about a mid twenty something woman who feels aimless and confused with what to do with her life. She gets the urge to hit the road and travel as she reflects on her life, all of her major relationships and what to do going forward. Each issue (which is a chapter in this one volume hardcover version) is set in a different city along the way of her travels, and Wood is notorious for doing heavy amounts or research prior to any writing on any title he does so each city is supposed to be meticulously correct and detailed. I can’t do a full book review of this yet because I haven’t read it yet–it’s near the top of my want-to-read list now. I’m a huge fan of Brian Wood’s, his work on “Demo,” “Northlanders,” and “DMZ” is terrific and Kelly’s art is gorgeous as well.

Last of all, that often promised comprehensive “Six Feet Under” Appreciation Article is now complete so you can click on “An Appreciation of Six Feet Under in the links box at the top of the page or go here:


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