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Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity
Just because there is a beaten path, that doesn't mean you have to take it...
Vote for Sanity 
2nd-Nov-2010 01:04 pm
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Today is election day, and I am ashamed to admit that I messed up my absentee ballot request and am missing out on voting. Unfortunately the democrat-held house seat in South Dakota is actually considered a toss-up, and my vote might have mattered...

Though I am generally pleased with what Obama has accomplished so far, I am distressed about a new congress gaining power that is dead-set on "stopping Obama at all costs" (no matter what the issue), and not on finding ways to work together.

Polarizing paralysis and demonizing those who disagree with you is NOT going to help us improve this country and this world.

To try and understand the Tea Party movement a bit better, I spent some time listening to Glenn Beck this morning. The cognitive dissonance and fear-pandering coming from his direction left me literally nauseous. I think I will be having nightmares about "President Palin" once again...

Meanwhile, MoveOn.org is sending around a viral video "broadcast from the future" saying essentially that anyone who votes Republican in this election will be responsible for the future enslaving of the human race.

Fear mongering crap is raining down from both sides, and (seemingly to me, especially on the right) politicians are racing to embrace it.

I don't care which party you vote for today, just please pick the "sanest" of the candidates on your ballot. Anyone who has campaigned on a platform of fear and/or intentional obstructionism is part of the problem - vote against them.

But please, if you still have a chance, do get out and vote. If the polls are to be believed, there is a flood of fear-driven voters headed to the polls. Sane moderates need to have their voices heard too...

For some sanity inspiration, here is some of Jon Stewart's closing speech at the Rally to Restore Sanity this past weekend:
So what exactly was this? I can't control what people think this was, I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism, or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and we have nothing to fear. They are and we do.

But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies. But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country's 24-hour politico-pundit- perpetual-panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder.

The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bring them into focus, illuminating issues -- or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing. …

Not being able to distinguish between real racists and tea partiers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez, is an insult not only to those people, but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more. ...

That being said, I feel strangely, calmly good, because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a funhouse mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim and maybe taller, but the kind that gives you a giant forehead and maybe an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin. We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of disaster, torn by polarizing hate. …

The truth is, we work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don't is here, or on cable TV -- but Americans don't live here or on cable TV. ... We know that as a people if we're going to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. ...

And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land, it's just New Jersey, but we do it anyway.

One thing that gives me hope... Jon Stewart's "Sanity" rally drew a vastly larger crowd to the National Mall than Glenn Beck's "Honor" rally. Perhaps there really aren't as many wingnuts out there as it seems...

Anyway, go out and VOTE!
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