Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To Barry, from Kiely. We need to talk.

I had most of this post written up several months ago, but "circumstances" lead me to hold off... Part of it's because I have this thing I do, pretending everything's ok when it's really the farthest thing from it... Even here, where I could say whatever I want to... I don't. And I think that should be understandable. What is in plain sight isn't always the truth, nor is it always real. It's what someone wants you to see. As is this. So I thought maybe this time, we could add a little more honesty. (Not that everything on this blog is a lie. A bit more optimistic or extreme than I really feel, perhaps, but never an outright lie.)

So let's start with this - I get emails from Obama's campaign people for some reason or another (probably to do with healthcare. Which, by the way, we should really get back to fixing... Like I've said, I don't actually really like the final bills all that much, it's a start, and we need to do better. Though I think the tanning thing is hilarious... & could be pretty effective). I usually delete them almost immediately after opening (I refuse to donate to political campaigns, regardless of who it is or how I feel about them. So DSCC, you can stop asking, because you're not getting a dime out of me!) but one was interesting. The sender was looking for stories from first time voters (from the presidential election), and what lead up to the vote - ideas, thoughts, impressions, etc. While at the bus stop after work, I decided I'd give it a shot. Why did I vote the way I did? What was it that made me want to vote for him? And how have I, and my political views, changed since?
I'm still writing out that story, so I guess I'll save it for another time. (Maybe when I ever get around to that stupid Palin/drilling note...) But, as for how I feel right now -

Now... Well, I think a lot of the people I talk to on a regular basis know how I feel about what's been going on for the past few years... As you may know, I was not originally going to vote for Obama. In fact, I was really considering McCain (pre-Caribou Barbie) and of course my personal favorite, Ralph Nader. I've been skeptical about this whole thing since the beginning, but that's the way I am about almost everything, so... It didn't seem like that big of a deal this time. I could buy into hope. I wanted things to change. And they have, on some levels. And in a weird way, despite the fact that things aren't all that much better, and on top of years of depression & such, I think he really has renewed my hope for our future... It was the push I needed to actually start caring about things again. (And the day of the election was the same, in another way... So weird, but that night, everything started to make sense again. Weird bonding experiences with my 2 best friends at the time... Even if one of them was a Palin fan, lol...) On the outside, I keep saying that it's only been so long, there's still time to see what happens. And yea, there definitely is. The funny thing about life is that anything can happen, if you just wait and see. It's not over until it's over, and I'm content with waiting to see how it goes. I mentioned before, the important things are a work in progress, so I can deal with that. But... in a way, time doesn't last forever... We don't have forever to wait for things to get done. I'm not the type to demand that things happen immediately (with the exception of technology... I am a very impatient person, thanks to certain people in my life, but I'm working on it.) but I get frustrated when it takes a long time. Like ending these stupid, pointless wars... and closing Gitmo... and reforming the immigration process, and everything that goes with that... and reducing our dependence on oil... and ditching DOMA and DADT and letting gay people get married and adopt kids... and fixing the issues of NCLB (I think the idea behind it is on the right track, but the execution is all wrong...)... fixing healthcare and health insurance, Medicare, working to end poverty and hunger and illiteracy and hatred and fear... helping people work with each other instead of against each other... protecting the environment. These are the things I do really care about. I know what I think is the right thing to do, and I know for the most part what I can do to help. And I'll be honest, the unemployment/economic situation didn't really hit me until I had to actually obtain a job (well, an internship, for senior seminar. Senior sem does that to people though-- the rest of the world doesn't exist until that thesis is handed in...) I have A LOT of things going on in my mind, ADD included, so I try to focus on things that are really relevant before everything else... Most things I won't form an opinion about until I've learned more about it. And that opinion is edited often -- half the time I change my mind entirely. I have mixed feelings about anything and everything, all the time. I like to plan things out before I can fully commit. (And I absolutely HATE being late, or when others are really late, because it totally throws off everything... Unless I have things to distract me. Then I don't care.) The first thought shouldn't be about the process but the destination. What's the point of what we're trying to do? What are we trying to achieve? And then we can figure out what needs to be done. The process is long and complicated, and I don't have the time nor attention span to sit there and plan it out... So that's why I chose to stick with specific goals for now, based on whatever research I find time to do, & I'll iron out the details as I go.

Speaking of which... Mr. President - The remainder of the post that I neglected to share with the world regards you, why I voted for you, and how I feel about the job you're doing now-- the differences between Candidate Obama, President Obama, and the guy I would've voted for had I not decided you would also be a good choice. (I didn't vote in the primary...) I guess this is your 2 year review (lol... like you care about what I have to say... not that I'm saying you don't care about people, just that I'm pretty sure few people care what I have to say, and you have far more important things to think about... ^^" Ok, I'll shut up now and get to the point of this...) I do have to say, first and foremost, I do still really like your overall personality-- not as the President, but as any other person. Policy-wise... Good efforts, but I seriously think you may have lost track of the goal here (assuming you believed in and planned on executing the goals you laid out during your campaign... Yea, I know, I had to campaign for things too. Politicians lie and say what they have to in order to get elected... But still, we're assuming here...) Trust me, I know how wonderful power feels sometimes, and how it changes you... It's all part of the job. Zimbardo proved it can and will happen to anyone, no matter how altruistic and selfless they may be. But this is just getting a little too repetitive, don't you think? Renewing the Patriot Act? Gitmo's still open? These little side deals with politicians are sketchy. I know that it's how the game is played, and everyone does it, but that doesn't mean it's not sketchy... I was hoping you'd be better than that. Yes, most of the immediate problems we're facing have to do with Bush 1 & Bush 2, and presidents past, but if you're going to claim responsibility NOW, I need more than words. I need action. On some things, I can see that you're doing the best you can. On some things. And yes, I can see just what total nitwits the GOP members are being. It's reprehensible. And as much as I disagree with the majority of what they say and do (though sometimes they really are right about some things, and sometimes I agree with them more than with other political groups on specific issues), I'd like to think that they're doing what they think is right. But I wonder now, are you still? I joined a facebook group that keeps track of your accomplishments, because I didn't want to lose sight of the good amidst all of the bad. I've been trying to stay positive, despite all of the things that keep adding up... (Another thing I do too often is stick up for people who are picked on, even when I can agree that to some extent they deserve it. I do it for the younger girls at work, I did it for Bush, and Clinton, McCain, hell even Palin on occasion-- though she really does it to herself...) The you I see now isn't the same as the guy I voted for, and I think you know that all too well... People change, and change can be good, but I don't think that what's been happening lately, what you've been saying lately, is a good change. I keep up with Politifact and Factcheck so that I know what promises are being kept, what's not, what things mean... 1 page of 19 promises broken (some of which I doubt people actually care about... and one or 2 REALLY BIG ones that can still be kept [hint hint.]), 13 pages of promises in the works (I'm not going to count them), and 8 pages of promises kept or a compromise made. Honestly, not bad, but it could be better. And maybe I freak out over little things sometimes (like some things in Arizona, and the sheer stupidity of some people online...), and try to ignore what I don't want to think about anymore because it's too depressing (like the oil spill. Or the wars. I've been watching Food Network for the past 2 weeks instead.) We all do it... I shouldn't, and I try not to, but I do. It's too much. So for that, I'm sorry you have to go through this every day. I once thought that someday I wanted to be President. I know now it's the last thing I'd want to do for a living. (Yes, I'm totally saying I'm much more likely to be a Lithuanian hit-person before I run for President. And that's a big deal, because I'm a pacifist who can't even kill bugs [with less than 7 legs].) You're a brave man for wanting that job, and for that I thank and applaud you... But we need you to do it well. I need you to do it well. When you wake up tomorrow morning, I want you to ask yourself if you're doing the right thing. It's what I ask myself every day, every time I have to make a tough decision (and every time I post something here...). A few months ago, I had to tell someone that I couldn't be friends with them anymore... for a second time. It sounds like it should be easy, but it was and still is the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time. To try to reason it out, why it had to be done, why it was the right thing to do... Why it would be better for the both of us in the long run, no matter what it takes to get there. And every day, I have to tell myself that, and remind myself why I did it. I know that people say things they don't always mean, and I know that we all make promises we can't keep or we forget about. So please... I voted for you for a reason. You ran for a reason. You won for a reason. Please don't forget why.

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