Excuse me while I put our country’s two biggest babies in a time-out, shepherd the pipsqueaky pundits out of the room and close the door … It’s nearly impossible to think straight these days, am I right? I’m not a big fan of today’s Reality TV. Too much yelling and name-calling. I really can’t see the humor in it … Unless, of course, I’m the one making fun of them (ha ha).
No, seriously, what I really want to do — beginning with this post — is exercise my right to educate myself about the leading candidates for the Presidential Election. I realize it’s more than two years away. And maybe, I should start by thinking about my own state’s general election in November? Also, I must admit that I’ve been guilty of complaining about presidential campaigns that begin too soon. What about finishing that basement project? No, it’s too nice outside … I should be weeding my gardens.
But, enough with the overthinking and procrastination! Sheesh … There’s the immigration issue, the economy/jobs issue, the healthcare issue, the foreign policy issue, etc., etc.. Notice I didn’t cite “the education issue”? Sadly, it’s way down the list on a Gallup poll about biggest problems facing the country. (Dissatisfaction with our politicians/our government system won the top spot, by the way.) Education, however, did beat out immigration and “focus overseas.” Still, one of my most interesting “finds” while I was Googling the Internet is our country’s lack of a basic right to education. According to The Atlantic, the U.S. is 17th out of 40 countries; every country that outperforms the U.S. in educational standards has a constitutional or statutory commitment to this right. Basically, the argument for a constitutional amendment asserts: The constitutional guarantee develops a national culture of education, a baseline for rights, and allows—if necessary—for legal protection of that standard. This is an issue I could support; I’ve always felt it’s unfair/undemocratic — and ultimately damaging to the entire country — when poorer areas are saddled with inferior school systems.
Yet again, I digress from my mission … Except, it does relate to my responsibility to educate myself about the top contenders for President and what’s important to them. Why? What difference does it make? Considering all the talk about the influence of big money on the political scene and how it can cancel out the wants and needs of the common man/woman, it does seem rather Pollyannaish/Jimmy Stewartish of me to believe that my vote might make a difference. Whatever. Maybe it does have something to do with not wanting to clean out my basement or gardens. Although, there’s more immediate gratification where those two are concerned. The bottom line? I seriously can’t stand to hear myself complain about “the problems” anymore.
I’m exercising my right to be part of the solution. Join me?
OK, I’ll go first in stating my bias … I prefer to call myself an Independent vs. a Democrat or Republican. There have been times when I have not voted for either candidate because … That’s my right too; I see it falling into the “free speech” category. To basically say, “Really, America? We can’t do any better than these two?” I hope to see a viable 3rd party before I die. Not exactly sure what it will be called: Independent? Centrist? Moderate? Door #3? All I know is that it’s strange — ironic, actually — that in America, after 238 years of “growth,” we can choose from among 200 models of cars, are offered a cornucopia of healthy and unhealthy foods and at least 10 different cell phones (not to mention their various plans), but we can only pick between two people for the most important job in the country! Even our best friend, England, has three major parties, and in the whole of the United Kingdom there are many more parties — including “minor” and “really minor.” (Seriously, click here.)
I was raised in a Democratic family, but I have sometimes voted Republican; I try to base my choice on the issues rather than the strict party line. But, I confess that I haven’t engaged in thorough research before elections. In the coming weeks/months, I’m going to do just that with the Democratic, Republican and Independent prospects, based on the following links that I found today — Thursday, July 24, 2014:
- The Brutalist Guide to 2016’s Democratic Contenders (Not Named Hillary Clinton);
- Fox News Poll: Christie, Bush and Paul Are Top GOP Picks; and
- Declared Independent Candidates.
PLEASE COMMENT: Who do you hope our next President will be, and why? But, let’s resolve to do what the President, Congress and some pundits seem to have difficulty doing — Let’s agree to disagree and “work together” anyway. Thank you 😉
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