So, Barack Obama called me last night and urged me to do early voting. And I hung up on the likely next President of the United States. Well, I hung up on his robocall. I have no intention of early voting. I also have no intention of forgetting to vote. I just like the celebration that surrounds actually voting at my precinct. I like to get my little "I voted" sticker and wear it with pride all day.
We plan to take the kids with us to the polls. We took them on a freezing evening last winter to the Iowa Caucuses and kinda want to see the entire election through with them. Violet was the youngest caucus-goer at our precinct last year. And Milo might have been the most entertaining... He kept the Obama caucus-ers in stitches as he played with his Transformers in the aisle of the district auditorium. It was packed, by the way. When the entire group was in the auditorium it was standing room only.
I have to admit that I am becoming more and more politically vocal. Maybe it's that I'm hitting middle age and becoming cantankerous. Maybe it is that I'm just fed up with the direction in which the US has been moving. In any case, I am not at all amused by the statements made by some (NOT all) right-wingers that I'm not a real American. I most certainly am! I work hard, have achievements, and don't ask for hand-outs anywhere. I pay my taxes and participate in my government. I haven't broken laws except underage drinking, but really, I can name few who haven't broken that law. I don't litter and do recycle and treat my neighbors respectfully (even the US government can't make all of those claims).
I am frustrated that so many choose to say negative things about so-called "entitlements." Ok, there are some people who abuse welfare and scam the government through Medicare/Medicaid. I understand that. But the same money funds things like roads, libraries, Federal student loans, Federal work study, free/reduced lunch programs, before and after school care, the VA hospitals, subsidized housing and so many other things. Yes, our federal and state taxes do these things. I drive on Federal Interstates and repaid in full and on time Scott's Federal student loan. And for this, I'm gonna have to lump myself in with everyone else who gets money from our government. Which is pretty much everyone. I benefit from having secure borders and national parks. I use the infrastructure of this nation daily, therefore I do not feel bad about paying for it. I don't even mind paying MORE for it than the less fortunate.
I guess my leftist viewpoint is showing through, huh? I don't consider some Socialism to be a bad thing -- I always hear coaches saying that the team is only as good as it's weakest player. I believe that our country is only as good as it's weakest citizen. I can honestly say that if someone walking on the street in front of me stumbled, I would stop an offer them a hand back up. Isn't that what I'm doing my paying my taxes?
I think about how precariously so many of us are perched on the wire. One chronic illness, one devastating accident, one unfortunate death could knock us off the wire. Government programs are a safety net. I, for one, am glad that they are there.
And, hey, Barack? Please don't call and interrupt my supper again. I don't care if you ARE the next POTUS -- it's downright rude to call during a meal. I'll be voting. I'll be voting for you, so get to work! Stop lolly gagging!