Undecided Voters

October 19, 2012

While link surfing this morning I came across some thought-provoking comments in response to this quote: “Arps told The Daily he doesn’t know yet who he’ll vote for. He said he’s ‘not too hip to elections and stuff.‘”*Undecided Voter Poster

One of the commenters mused: “What fascinates me now is the issue of late season undecided voters: what is going on in their minds? Surely there’s no dearth of information for them to consider and process. Is undecided a generous euphemism for flippantly indifferent?”

I would actually like to answer that because I can relate to the undecided voter. It’s not that we can’t decide which promises we prefer. It’s that we just don’t believe in anyone’s promises anymore. A lot of the “decided” voters I know are single-issue voters. Nothing is more important to certain people than saving unborn babies, marrying whomever they choose, protecting the environment, or perhaps balancing the budget. Republicans are known to be champions of certain issues, and Dems others. But what if you feel very strongly that we need to balance the budget and save the planet?

Two-party politics are not serving the people’s best interests anymore. The polarization has become too extreme. Too few can compromise. That is one reason I am writing… I want to find the middle ground and put it on “paper”. Is that even possible? Can the people once again find the solution to the problems created by government? Can we do it this time without a revolutionary war?

*I know you are supposed to write [sic] if quoting a misspelling, but what do you do when quoting bad grammar like missing end quotes? Yes, I actually think about these things.

Another Narcissist

October 13, 2012

It’s been said that social media and blogs are terribly narcissistic. I tend to agree. I don’t want to be that way, but putting thoughts out into the ether is a temptation I can’t seem to resist. This time I am trying anonymous on for size. I am not going to put links on the Facebook, or pretend I am imparting wisdom to far off strangers. At least I am going to try. But I do tend to get pedantic and preachy so I am sure I will slip-up sometimes; it’s such a habit.

I am also going to try and keep in mind that no one is reading this. And probably never will! That’s okay. I am just tired of having all these thoughts spin around in my brain… around and around. I want to write them down. Give them shape and clarity. Yes, my ideas would most likely end hunger, war, and poverty, but the world is just not ready yet.

History

October 13, 2012

Sometimes I wonder if I would be a different person if I had learned history as a child. At least a little more open-minded, aware, sensitive… something. I still can’t get over the fact that I managed to graduate #1 in a class of 300 and I have no understanding of history.

book cover: Who Was Albert Einstein?I just learned today that Einstein helped raise funds and gather support for the creation of the state of Israel. He was even asked to be their second president! I read this by reading my eldest boy’s* library book, “Who Was Albert Einstein?” by Jeff Brallier. (The whole Who Was? series seems quite good and I highly recommend them for 1st-3rd graders.)

Anyway, the fact that I am constantly shocked by the things I don’t know gives me another reason to appreciate custom schooling. (I think I am going to call it “custom-schooling” for awhile. Because homeschooling is not inherently superior to any other education if it is done in the same assembly-line, one-size-fits-all way as government schooling.)

I recall that I did not care one bit about history while I was in school. Although the binders full of notes copied from Mr. Hayhurst’s overheads are still packed away in my basement, that is all I did with this information. I transferred it straight from the teacher to my notebooks and safely tucked it away for posterity. None of it escaped from the page into my brain. If only I could have learned history through literature.

Last month, I shared some new knowledge with my husband and he replied, “Sometimes I am amazed at the things you don’t know.” I wasn’t offended. It’s true… for a smart person, I am often terribly ignorant.

All I know is that if I ever catch little Prince Charles reading Les Miserables while I am trying to discuss economic systems, I hope my response will not be to scold him and move on. Imagine if someone had take an interest in 14 year old me and talked to me about the French Revolution because I was reading Les Mis.

So I am making up for lost time by reading children’s biographies, and talking to #1 about his Magic Treehouse books. I am sad for what I have missed, but glad that little Poseidon is getting a 29 year head start.

*Bloggers often give their loved ones cool nicknames like Zeus, Munchkin#2, or Hellraiser to protect their anonymity and innocence. Sometimes I find them cute; sometimes I find them slightly patronizing. I will probably give my own spawn pseudonyms at some point as well, but I am not ready to commit to that yet. It’s a big decision. Maybe I will name them after the Royal family… yeah. I like that. Subtle, but memorable. Let me think on that one for a bit.

Politics

October 12, 2012

Image

It’s October of an election year! Politics are in the air. Sometimes I wonder if every generation feels like the country is actually on the brink of destruction. My parents lived through the Cold War, their parents lived through the Korean War and WWII but did any of them actually think the country would self-destruct?

It’s one thing to be afraid of a known enemy. We seem to come together in times of actual war. But to unite the political divide at this point in time seems impossible and hopeless.

I will admit that I can’t stand our president. I am not a Republican, but I hate that he swooped in with his message of “hope and change” and then proceeded to polarize white against black, rich against poor, businessman against consumer. I have always been rather partial to McCain. I like the maverick. I like the idea of libertarianism. I am a veteran, so a POW will always have my respect. But back in ’08, I realized John’s ship had sailed and he didn’t stand a chance. So I figured, “Hey, at least we will either have the first woman president or the first black president and that’s all good.”

But it’s not “all good”. Not good at all.

I am not going to leave it at that though. Well, today I might, but not forever. I want to actually talk about why this administration has hurt the country. And if anyone ever does stumble across this blog, I welcome thoughtful debate. I am tired of conversations between the left and the right consisting of stereotypical accusations.

Anyway, I just attempted to do what I promised myself I wouldn’t do… waste time trying to find examples of the above statement in order to defend my position before anyone ever even reads my position or cares. Which leads to a bunny trail of web-surfing and a plethora of unfinished posts. I think I have more partial posts in my drafts folder then actual posts on all my old blogs!

Anyway… next time I see a vile comment, I will post it then. I am sure it won’t be long.

For now schoolwork and messy fingers need my attention!

A Fresh Start

October 12, 2012

Fresh Start Exit SignI will admit… I like to start things. I sometimes finish things. But it’s the starting that gets me all fired up. This is blog #3. Maybe #4. I was doing pretty good with the last one. I had at least 20 posts a month for 3 or 5 months or so. It went downhill when I invited my sister to join. Not that I don’t still like my sister… I do. But somehow I had to write with intent. I had to keep to our goals. I wanted to slip some political discourse into the mix but was always afraid of writing stuff that didn’t represent the vision.

Anyway… I want to ramble less. I want to spend less time explaining the thoughts and experiences of the past that brought me to what I want to say in the present. I want to write as if the past is known and understood, because let’s face it… this blog is for me. And if anyone else ever reads it… they can just ask. Why write for a huge audience that is only in my head?

So for now, I am declaring that my audience is me. I am writing this blog to myself. Sometimes I have ideas that just run around in my head for weeks that won’t give up real estate in my brain until I write them down. Here is where I will do it. The blog will be open to the world because I love intelligent conversation and can’t seem to find it in my everyday life. I will engage anyone, anywhere who has something meaningful they would like to discuss. That would be fun for me. But since I can only dump so much on my dear husband at any one time, I will dump the rest here.

Kirk out.

Update: I imported my posts from previous blogs for posterity. That’s why even though this blog officially started today, there are several months of older posts.