I am scared. Confused also, but mostly scared.
Mostly I am scared of the fact that people like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are succeeding in politics. I am scared that people actually think that they are what this country needs right now. It freakin' gives me the chills.
Why am I scared? Well, lets just talk about Bachmann. She is running for president, and she's actually doing pretty well. But she freaks me out. First of all, she doesn't understand one of the founding principles of our nation- the separation of church and state. That is obvious anytime you hear/read anything she says/does (although she's mysteriously quiet about her beliefs lately...) but ALSO, in the years before she was a politician, she helped start up a charter school with several other couples (btw, the fact that she started this charter school in response to "lack of discipline" ie "they don't use the paddles anymore" in schools AND because she felt her children and foster children were being "indoctrinated" by the public school system, well... do I even need to say it?). As a federally funded charter school they were required to sign an agreement stating that religion was not going to be a part of the curriculum or the running of the school. She is documented to have violated this several times, and her and another member were forced to resign their spots on the board or risk loosing the school's charter.
And this leads me to the thing that freaks me out the most in politics right now- the total and complete hypocrisy. The conservatives want to restore America, help the lower class, etc etc... unless you're a teacher. Then you're getting paid too much for someone who has summers off. Or they want to return to the exact letter of the constitution... except the part about separation of church and state. In the same breath the extoll the virtues of our founding fathers and the document they wrote, then say that all laws regarding the environment must be stopped because they are anti-Christian (because, didn't you know, by trying to preserve our planet for our children we are worshiping the environment... true Christians have complete and total domination over all things, and despite what the constitution says we must follow all Christian ideals...). There is even a growing faction (not that far removed from Bachmann...) who would like to return to old school biblical law... you know, like adulterers and gay people being stoned to death. And, I would assume, other races and religions, women, and children would again become subjugated, abused, and treated as chattel... I mean one could easily find passages in the bible to back up those practices. They did in the past. Is a coincidence that one of the books Bachmann lists as a must read, a book that she feels is important, is a biography of Robert E. Lee that paints the South as an orthodox Christian victim to the evil North, and that speaks of slavery as benign? That freaks me out. We have come so far in the 100+ years since the civil war, do we really want to begin to loose ground because of some extremist Christians?
In order to keep from loosing my mind I remind myself that everything is on a pendulum- favor swings both ways. I realize that 80% of the country doesn't care enough or know enough to find out the actual facts when it comes to politics... but I think that the fact that politicians make it so difficult for us by spinning and misstating and misleading is part of the problem. Starting with JUST the campaign process, can't we just reform the whole shebang? No commercials (because nothing useful is EVER portrayed in political commercials). No billboards, fliers, brochures, or anything with pictures. Each candidate gets to write a 2-3 page proposal explaining why he/she would be a good president/senator/congressman/etc and what they would do in office. We should continue to have debates, but questions must be answered directly. No speech writers, no campaign managers, no PR managers... Simple. To the point. And no one will want to throw things at their TV after seeing 18 months of campaign commercials.
You get that Washington?
Oh, and Megan- you're welcome.