I really try not to write many "controversial" posts here. We all know the world is a crazy place right now, and I like an escape as much as the next person. It's true, I think, that most of us read blogs to be cheered up and to see the pretty things in life. I've worked hard on my blog for over five years, and I certainly don't want to chase away my readers. But I also write this blog as a form of journaling, and sometimes, I just have to write about what I feel.
I'll start by saying that I've never seen our country change so quickly as I have in the last eight to twelve years, and not for the better, I might add. The first big change was a large, organized, and successful terrorist attack on American soil. I told my husband then that things would never be the same after that, and they haven't been. Up until then, those of us who lived in this country as civilians, never having served in the military in foreign countries or in a war, had gone along blissfully oblivious to the way people far across the world really felt about us. I don't believe that everyone outside of the United States hates us, but there are certainly plenty who do, it would seem.
So, we have those groups to contend with, and those people seriously want us dead, or at the very least, under their thumb as converts to their ideology. I'm very tolerant of other religions, but other religions are not always tolerant of us. And it's not just us in the U.S., but many citizens of the western world who are targets. It will take a lot of awareness, by all of us, and fortitude to stand up to these kind of attacks. The individual who shot and killed 49 people and wounded at least 54 others in an Orlando nightclub meant business; the individual who drove a large truck down the sidewalk of Nice, France, ultimately killing 84 people, with a total of 303 people sent to the hospital, meant business. We are hearing and reading that the men who committed both of these atrocities were already mentally disturbed. Do you think maybe these terror groups are happy to recruit people who have a history of violence and mental instability, because those kind of people are already angry and fairly easy to turn into a human weapon? In saying that, I fully realize there are different kinds of mental issues, and many of those mental conditions do not have characteristics of violence.
The two above-mentioned examples of attacks are just the most recent. We've also had the Ft. Hood shooter -- remember him? An incident of "workplace violence." Right. There were the Boston Marathon bombers, as well as the terrible slayings in Paris and Brussels. As I write this, I've just seen online where an elderly priest was killed at his church in Normandy and ISIS is taking credit for this, as well.
All of this is very scary to me, folks, and as if terrorist threats aren't bad enough, we're now so divided here on the home front. It is my humble opinion that the time for political correctness is past. I was never a fan of it to begin with. A political pundit once said that "Political correctness is a polite form of tyranny." I'm not a student of political correctness, and neither do I call groups of people rude and nasty names based on the color of their skin or their sexual persuasion. I can think for myself, and I think it's best to treat others the way I would like to be treated. So, perhaps you can imagine that I'm fed up with the media (and by the media I mean news channels, newspapers, magazines, television shows, talk shows, etc.) insinuating that if you're white, you're a racist, especially if you're wearing a police uniform. This big pot of stewing anger, hatred, and divisiveness has been stirred to the boiling point by those at the very top of our government for almost eight years now.
While that may seem like a digression on my part, my point is, that more than ever, our nation needs to stand together. Here in the U.S., our employment rates are at an all-time low, our young people can't find decent jobs, our health care is a mess, and violence (of all kinds) is at a high here, and around the world. Now we come to the November presidential election. Both of the main-party candidates are expressing their opinions in often contentious ways, as seems to be the case with politics. On the whole, many of us may not find either of them especially lovable.
When we visited Disney World earlier in the summer, we saw the show in the Hall of Presidents twice. It was a good presentation of our history as a nation, and we enjoyed that. It was also air-conditioned, and we enjoyed that as well. ;)
I was telling my parents about it, and something came up about George Washington. I commented rather dryly that he was my favorite president and said that it's been mostly downhill after him. But it has occurred to me that we see him through the eyes of history and through everything that's been written about him, since we didn't have the option of knowing him as a living person. In my opinion, he was a great president, in that he put the good of our new nation before his own personal wishes. I don't see a lot of that these days. However, what if I had a chance to meet him and found out I didn't really care for him as a person. Maybe he didn't converse well with others, or had bad breath, or was aloof and haughty. Maybe he had bad fashion sense, treated his family in a cavalier manner, or wasn't a dog lover? The list could go on and on.
I can just about guarantee there are plenty of things to dislike (on a personal level) about both our current candidates. But these are our choices, and each of us needs to stand up and make our choice, even if we feel we're choosing the lesser of two evils. Don't we do that in our everyday lives anyway? Sometimes, we don't have a choice that really appeals to us; would I rather pay the medical bills or the car repairs, or maybe the property taxes -- fun choices for sure. Of course, to do nothing is also a form of choosing. But is now really the time to do nothing?
My husband and I had a favorite show that just went off the air this summer after running for six seasons. The last season of the show became a battle between "good and evil," if you will, and something was said that really stuck with me. The main character of the show had very high-minded ideals, and as is so often the case in this world, the enemy was no respecter of those ideals. In order to defeat this enemy, the character would have to go against some of his ideals and morals. He didn't want to do this, so he decided to walk away from the battle instead. The heroine of the show confronted him with a hard truth; "Now is not the time to be precious -- you don't get to sit this one out. Your friends are dying out there, and they need your help." It was just a television show, but then again, look at any news station or the Internet and tell yourselves people aren't dying, at home and abroad.
If you're still reading at this point, bless you for sticking with this. My purpose is not to tell you who to vote for, or even to endorse a particular candidate. I do hope, though, that you'll get out and vote. If we were all to stop voting, who knows -- the option to vote might be taken away from us altogether, along with a lot of other privileges we hold dear.
Thank you for your visit -- I really appreciate your interest. Have a great week my friends!