Monday, June 27, 2011


The lack of civility astounds me. The loss of value for honor, integrity, and truth horrifies me. Our relentless pursuit of sensationalism and the shallowest possible understanding of important issues sadden me.

Not that long ago “flip flopper” was a political kiss of death. Now we no longer expect anyone to believe in anything. We expect politicians to kowtow to whichever group’s vote they’re trying to court.

What happened to the Straight Talk Express? What happened to the “service” part of “civil service?”

What happened to maturity?

I don’t like what we’re doing militarily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Yemen (etc.). But I also acknowledge that we have caused additional instability in regions that can little afford it and have some responsibility to shore up what we broke. And I think we need to do a heck of a lot more for our vets when they come home: from taking care of their health care needs to addressing the real issues with re-integration into a civilian life.

I chafe against certain taxes. But I’d willingly pay more of others, because I think it’s ridiculous that we can expect to engage in wars without “tightening our belts” at all. I believe in the importance of public education, public funding for primary research, infrastructure, and a social safety net. I don’t believe that any child should be hungry. Or any adult without access to affordable health care.

I detest certain litmus tests. I’m Christian but think it’s ridiculous that politicians must profess my faith to have any hope of being elected in many places. I’d rather politicians demonstrate honor, integrity, intelligence, and maturity. Their faith (or lack thereof) is their own business. Flag lapel pins? Please.

We have so many more important things to deal with.

People who intentionally distort the truth to inflame the public should be publicly reprimanded and probably fined until it hurts. Global climate change and evolution should not be significant political issues.

Many rural areas have no obstetricians to deliver babies because of malpractice insurance. And everywhere physicians over-treat (causing additional problems for patients) because of worries about lawsuits. And yet we spend all our time squawking about Planned Parenthood. We care so much more about whether or not a woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy than we care about the staggering numbers of children in the foster care system, or living in unacceptable homes, hungry and without the care and support they need in order to grow and thrive and become contributing members of society.

We’d rather draw lines in the sand about an individual’s right to own assault rifles than sit down together and have constructive conversations that address the balance between individual rights and the responsibilities of living within a society.

I’m anti-drug. I’m not wild about cigarettes or our over-fascination with alcohol, either. I don’t advocate a return to Prohibition. I’m for common sense. I’m for responsibility. I know addiction is a serious issue requiring more than the threat of prison to solve. But I’m weary of everything being so addictive (gambling, sex, pornography, junk food, television, chemicals, etc.) that the individual bears no responsibility for moderating his or her own behavior.

I’d like to vote for people who are willing to work hard and make the tough decisions - to be leaders rather than windsocks.

"We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up."
Aaron Sorkin can write!


Jessica said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, Sarahlynn!

Sarahlynn said...

Thank you!