Monday, November 3, 2008

Tot the Vote

A few days ago, Liv and I were watching TV and an Obama campaign ad was running on-screen. She turned to me and said, "I like Bawack Obama, mommy. I like his face." When even a toddler has an opinion about the political candidates, you know that the candidates have really done their job and done it well. In my opinion, toddlers and children are a disenfranchised group in our society and I for one am not going to remain silent about it any longer. Olivia has as much a right to vote as anyone, especially when you consider the fact that a lot of adults vote or don't vote for a particular candidate based on wrong information, physical appearance, or just political affiliation.

Personally, I try to plow through all the information out there - from canvassers, magazine articles, news shows, debates. But at the end of the day, its all so overwhelming. Who do you trust? Who's telling the truth? Who's manipulating truth? What really is the best plan for the trajectory of this country? I'll be the first to admit, I'm a political simpleton. I've always been more interested in historical political climates, rather than current ones. So take what I'm about to say for what it's worth in light of that.

I've been bursting with rage lately about one particular issue. Here it is: I can not tell you how many people I've talked to or read about who have said they would not vote for Barack Obama based on the following reasons:
1. His middle name is Hussein and therefore he must be a terrorist.
2. His father was a Muslim, and therefore he is a Muslim, so he must be a terrorist.
3. I got an email that said Barack Obama was a terrorist, so he must be a terrorist.

Honestly, when I hear these things come out of people's mouths it really does fill me with the incendiary rage of a million suns that my daughter, who is 3 years old, cannot cast her vote come election day. Because in her itty bitty toddler head, there has to exist more sense and reason than in the adult minds whose two brain cells gave birth to such irrational ideas.

To address the first issue: Guess what? My middle name is Alison. And Stanley Allison Baker shot Wayne Walters in the back of the head for $50. (He's also ugly and ate a disgustingly gluttonous last meal, but that's a whole other story). So in applying the theory that Obama is a terrorist loving Muslim because of his middle name, then I must be a gluttonous, ugly, murderer. Seriously, that whole way of thinking is THAT stupid and THAT fucked up.

Second issue: Let's just assume for a second that Barack Obama's father was a Muslim. And for fun, let's also assume that Barack Obama is, himself, a practicing Muslim. So. Fucking. What? There are millions of hard-working, good hearted, peace-loving people who practice this religion in this country and throughout the globe. To paint an entire religious group with one brush based on the acts of a small proportion of that group is the height of ignorance, in my humble opinion. To say that all Muslims are terrorists is like saying that all Christians are polygamists and pedophiles because a small CHRISTIAN group called the FLDS thinks that marrying 14 year olds to grown men is A-Okay.

3rd issue - I got an email about 40 times that told me that my deodorant was giving me cancer. At the time, I thought: I'd rather get cancer than smell like body odor. And it looks like I made the right choice, too, because I smell good and I don't have cancer yet. I also got an email that told me if I didn't pass on some shitty chain letter to 10 people that I was going to die within 7 days. I deleted it and guess what? I'm still alive. The Gap was supposed to send me a $20 gift certificate for forwarding an email, and I'm i(red) because I think I was decei(ved). The point here is: Just because somebody wrote an email saying "Please pass this On, It's of urgent national security" or some other bullshit intended to make you feel like a fucking super spy, it doesn't mean that it's true. People send lots of horrible things via email, like viruses and fluffy, dancing kitty cats telling you how much you are loved. And if people don't stop believing all that shit, I'm going to go all "Stanley Allison Baker" on their asses. Because I have to. Because Alison is my middle name, you all.

I don't have a political agenda here. I really don't. I don't have the answers to anything. I honestly don't give a rat's ass who you or anyone is voting for. I do respect all opinions, so long as they are based on truth and logic and if a person has a credible reason for holding them. I mean if someone said to me, "I won't vote for Obama because I don't believe he has the ability to fix our economy", I can totally get that.

I'm voting for Obama, personally, but it really pissed me off when I heard that Madonna put up some video at her concert comparing McCain to Adolf Hitler. To me, that was an abuse of her celebrity status. But someone concluding that McCain is just like Hitler because of seeing that would be the same as believing Obama is a terrorist because of a damn email. The smears go both ways in this campaign.

I think my daughter is smart and I really respect her instincts. Her opinion is obviously not the only reason I'm casting my vote in Obama's direction, but I have to admit it makes me feel happy to know that she likes his face. I say let's start the toddler suffrage movement! Tot the Vote in 2012!

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