Each election, I take my time and decide on my candidates very carefully.
I watch the Republican debates and I take notes. I watch the Democratic debates and, again, I take notes. THEN I decide for whom I want to vote, regardless of the party he or she belongs to. I don’t blindly vote for either party’s prime candidate without first doing my homework….and after I do my homework, it somehow always ends up to be the Democratic candidate for whom I vote. I do not plan to vote for the Democratic ticket automatically.
That said, while I have fundamental differences in my political views from those of Carly Firoina, I felt she handled herself well during the Republican debates. She stuck to her view of the facts and did not rise to the battering offered by her opponent, Donald Trump. There were just things that came out of her mouth that made me stop in my tracks, scratch my head and say, “Whaaaa????”
For the many who are unfamiliar with her record, it is not a strong one. The primary mark on her resume is negative, having run Hewlett-Packard into the ground as CEO. “Call her the anti-Steve Jobs,” wrote Infoworld, who put her on a list of tech’s all-time top 25 fiascoes. During her tenure, the company’s stock lost nearly 50% of its value, thousands of employees lost their jobs to layoffs, and Ms. Fiorina was forced to resign (read: “fired”) by HP’s board. In USA Today, CBS Moneywatch, and Portfolio.com, she was ranked among the “worst CEOs in America.” On the day her departure was announced, HP’s stock went up—and she received a $21 million severance package.
What I saw during the Republican debates was exactly what I see in certain aspects of my personal life. I had to sort through the name calling and misplaced “facts” as I watched the republican debates. I listed to negative comments directed by front runner, Donald Trump, toward women’s appearance, just as I listed to certain members of my family cut one another down based on appearance. Last night, as Trump watched Carly Fiorina on TV, he said, “Look at that face! “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” ….as if that should matter. And really…..Someone who looks like THIS criticized his female opponent?
Give me a break!
Trump has called Lindsey Graham an “idiot,” labeled Jeb Bush an “unhappy person” who is “out of touch,” and has even mocked Rick Perry’s glasses. Recently, after a fundraiser for Scott Walker criticized Trump, the candidate labeled the event “very dumb” and “not smart.” Just another example of how money simply can’t buy class. This person thinks he can lead an entire nation? I beg to differ. his emotional maturity is at such a low level that he is nothing short of an embarrassment.
In certain aspects of my personal life, I must continually contend with statements such as the ones made in the above, angry-looking meme with the quote from R. Lee Ermey….whoever that is…….These are strong claims, ones that, if directed toward someone who is partisan-loyal and does not know how to conduct unbiased research, might be convincing….but how do these claims hold up?
For illustrations sake, let’s start with the claims about the economy. Under our current President, the economy has actually grown a considerable amount. It started off rocky for President Obama in 2009. In fact, that year the economy actually contracted 2.8%, just as he originally predicted that it would. Since then, however, the US economy has grown substantially under our current President: 2.5% in 2010, 1.6% in 2011, 2.3% in 2012, 2.2% in 2013, and 2.4% in 2014. These figures are very good compared to growth in other developed countries around the world in the last five years. For 2015 and 2016, the CBO projects that the economy will grow at roughly 3%. If this prediction comes into fruition, then seven out of the eight years of Obama’s presidency will have been accompanied with solid economic growth. But does anyone on the right give him credit for this. No.
So the bottom line is this….What I witnessed last night was a group of Democratic candidates who treated one another respectfully. I saw one major candidate step in an boldly defend his leading opponent, offering support and encouragement about a non-issue that keeps being dragged into the equation to muddy the views of those of us who are trying to stick to the issues. I read the fact checking after each debate.
Both sides made errors, but as I examined the facts, I realized that many of the Republican candidates (in the midst of taking jabs at one another) told blatant lies. Trump espoused his views on vaccinations, for instance, with ZERO scientific substantiation and with absolutely no authority as a physician to back up what he said. As I examined the gaffs from the Democrats, however, I found that most of them were based on the candidates making earlier statements somewhere down the road, the getting new information that could inform their opinions, intelligently adjusting those opinions, and finally arriving at new ones….Hence the right wing cries of “flip flopping”. I think the intelligent person DOES change opinions as new evidence is gleaned. I saw some exaggerations by both sides, because, well, this is politics, folks, and that’s what politicians do.
At the end of the day, I am a liberal, and that is a label that I proudly hold. I have seen it misrepresented and maligned by the right, but I will carry it to my grave with pride and respect. It is inclusive of everyone….even of the Republicans.
The label “liberal” is against oppression, racism, unnecessary gun violence, the right for a woman to determine medical decisions about her own body, wage equality, race equality, gender equality and equal opportunities for ALL. My political views are views that embrace, not views that divide and shun.
And yeah…lie about me and I’ll speak out against you,….because that is just….and it is right. However, at the end of the day, I’m just tired of it…..the greed, the attitudes of entitlement, the name calling, the mean-spirited shunning and shaming, the attitude that one’s religion is the ONLY religious choice in this great country of ours that was founded on keeping religion separate from politics and government…. and that embraces ALL religions. I’m fed up with that, and for the rest of my life, I will fight for what I believe is right for me…for my life…and for the lives of my children and grandchildren.