Thomas Fletcher (fletch31526) wrote,
Thomas Fletcher

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WNL-XXXII: Prologue

Watching television with less than two months until the presidential election has taught me one thing -- there are a lot of people out there who think they have all of the answers. I wish I was so fortunate. So many of the talking heads seem to see life exclusively in black and white. For a lot of folks, there seem to be these clear-cut lines that can be drawn and all of their positions fall on one side or the other as a nice, neat package. Yet, in my world, there are many shades of gray. I don't have all of the answers. I'm not even sure of some of the opinions. But I know that I tend to visit both the left and the right in my thinking... and in the middle of election insanity, I wonder if I'm alone.

I have no problem with war. I think it's a necessary evil from time to time, but I also think the one we're in may have outlived its usefulness. I support Roe v. Wade, but I doubt that I would want a partner of mine to have an abortion. I think gay people should be able to be married by the state, but that there is no room for complaint if a church doesn't want any part of it. I think lotteries are a tax on stupid people, but I support them anyway. Stupid people should be taxed -- they require more resources than the rest of us. As a student, no one ever prayed in a classroom except me before a test and I don't think it made be better or worse for the experience. With that said, I have zero problems with student-led prayer before big events like football games and graduations. I'm not sure how people can be against most prayer... the ones I always hear ask for good things. I'm a fan of good things.

I usually find myself opposed to the death penalty. The chance of killing one innocent man isn't worth killing a dozen guilty ones in my book. Besides, it's cheaper, easier and (if you ask me) more severe of a punishment to lock someone up for life than it is to kill them. If the death penalty was a deterrent, we wouldn't still be sentencing people to it. The exceptions to this thinking include anyone who kills children, old people or cops. I almost always think those people should die. I'm not a fan of gun control. Criminals will always have guns whether they're banned or not -- that's why they're criminals. However, I don't think the idea of law-abiding citizens carrying guns necessarily thwarts much crime. Those bad guys, they're not big thinkers. If you ask me, cars are much more dangerous than guns and we'll let damn near anyone drive a car. I know I've been to many, many more accidents than I have been to shootings.

The list of my political views -- as they skip from left to right to center -- goes on... While I'm at it, I do believe in opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I think there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing astroturf in baseball and the designated hitter. (My apologies to Crash Davis.) I look around and I want to meet some of my own people. The far right has theirs... The far left has theirs... Where are the middle ground people? Where are those that see both sides of an issue? Is there a party for us? Is there a candidate for us?

I look at who we've got on the presidential ticket and I don't see anyone I can relate to. I find myself leaning towards Obama because he supports collective bargaining for firefighters while McCain has said he will oppose it regardless. But I really feel like neither of them represent me. McCain is ultra-rich and hasn't had a real job is at least 20 years. The latter applies to Joe Biden, as well. He's been a senator since 1973 -- talk about a gravy train. (With that said, I  don't usually believe in the idea of term limits outside of the presidency.) Obama is no middle-class man, himself. The closest person to being an average, every day joe is Sarah Palin -- but she loses whatever credit that may give her with me by dodging the media. Not only does she not answer reporters' questions (which cheapens her political views)... her and her staff have been known to use personal e-mail addresses to avoid Freedom of Information laws in Alaska. As a former newspaper man, I don't think I can ever support someone who operates like that.

My sort of candidate is probably a shoe salesman in Sheboygan. I'm ready for him or her to step up and run for president. I'm ready for someone who isn't part of the problem. I want someone who has ideas from the left and from the right. I want someone bigger than party platforms. I'd like to see someone who drives a five-year-old truck and has a modest house and a modest income step up and offer ideas for the country. I want someone that doesn't worry about polls or focus groups. I'd like to see someone say what he thinks because it's what he thinks -- not because he's trying to be a "reformer." I'd like to see someone defend an unpopular view instead of saying what the people want to hear. I want substance over style. I want something that I'm never going to get.

Tags: p-word, public, wnl

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