Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, October 02, 2006

politics policies politicians

When I began Rainy Day Thoughts, my intention was for it to be a blog about ideas, photography and art more than my daily life. It has never had just one main topic as do some of the ones I enjoy reading. I can't say where it would fit in any category and wanted it to be as diverse as my own interests.

For the month of October and until the November elections in the United States, it will be one-dimensional-- politics, policies, politicians. I am doing this because I believe this is a critical time in my country with an important election coming up. Every couple of days, I will write about another issue impacting life today-- all of these issues naturally as I see them. I won't repeat that statement each time, but I am aware that good people see these things differently.

In the process, I will probably seem to be regularly bashing the Bush administration because they are the ones who have put into place the current solutions (I use the term loosely). In 2000, I feared what Bush would do as president. His policies have proven to be far worse than even I imagined and I imagined a lot. For the next month, I want to discuss how I believe he's done as president and where his policies have brought our country but also issues that we face as people in a changing time.

I haven't written a lot about politics in comparison to how often I talk about it to friends and family. I have realized a lot of people don't want to read about it; plus some readers come from other countries. I know politics can be depressing to think about-- heck it upsets me and after 2004, there wasn't anything we could do to change any of it-- until now.

With an election coming up, the American people can once again change course. I am not sure I have a lot of hope, given how easily humans are manipulated, but that's my defeatist thinking. I see politics as about more than elections. It is the way we resolve major issues even within our families. We talk about what is wrong, suggest answers, listen to what others think, and then come together in consensus-- hopefully-- to put in place solutions.

We have not had a dictatorship in the United States (even though one party right now comes close) which means one man or one party has not had all the say. The American people voted for the party currently in power. The dominant party then gerrymandered districts to increase their odds of staying in power (which both parties have done to varying degrees), passed out pork liberally (ditto), used the power of the White House to influence events (in greater amounts today than before but it's not new either), and who knows what else to stay in power (that's what is scary). Unless elections are no longer conducted fairly-- something nobody should take for granted in any era-- the American people can redirect that power.

So for the next month and how many ever days until the election, I will write only about education, environment, terrorism, Social Security, health care, waning power of the middle class, poverty, taxes, media, border issues, the war, torture, courts, money in politics, whatever else comes up, and the Bush administration's solutions or the damage they have done in each-- not a fun thing on that list.

I will try not to have this all be negative. It does no good to bash something or someone unless you can think of alternatives. When it happens I don't have any but still believe the way we are going is a train wreck waiting to happen, I am hoping the readers who stick with it will have suggestions.

Because I know a lot of people don't like reading about these kinds of subjects, I am warning such that they may not want to check back here for a long while-- at least until the middle of November, and maybe not even then because if the American people have voted to continue with Republicans having a lock on power, something that won't surprise me but will disappoint me, I will not be in a good mood!

The other part of my writing for the next month is an invitation to readers, who do not have their own blogs and do have strong opinions, whether on topics I cover or don't, to email me (my email is in my profile) their suggested blogs, and I will consider posting them under the reader's name. If you have a blog, feel free to put your link here if you wrote extensively on a political topic.

On my blog I will post none from someone who can only say Bush is better because of who the other guys are. You need to have a reason you believe in the man, not just what you think the other guys would've could've should've done. Nor do I want to put things here that are only a rant about how bad Bush is. When you don't like what he does, have reasons, not just hate that causes the mind to go numb.

I will be writing my personal opinion regarding Bush as president, because it would be unfair to pretend I don't have one; but he's not why this country is doing what it is. There is a political agenda that has been behind his presidency. Without support for that agenda, he'd have no power-- or I should say it'd be limited to those signing statements which the courts and legislature could put a stop to if they aren't in his pocket.

As is true in all relationships, we need to look beyond the words to the deeds. Pretty speeches are as meaningless as pretty people when there are no actions behind the words. It likewise doesn't matter if a president stumbles over his words. It's what is he doing that matters.

One last thing. Politics can be heated. If someone (no one ever has on my blog to date) writes rude, or nasty comments, they will find theirs deleted. If they disagree with me but have solid opinions, I am fine with that. I understand good people don't see these issues the same way.

Ingineer and I have been friends and we disagree heatedly sometimes, but we have always respected each other and have kept it to issues, not personal denunciations. I have debated politics with those where that is not so. Name calling or threats in comments will be gone as soon as I see it, which might be a shame if the person has otherwise interesting ideas. Thoughtful dissent I will enjoy reading-- even if I am convinced I am right. :) I hope there will be discussion of both agreement and dissent as that's how people grow in understanding.

I love this nation. I grew up feeling it was the mightiest one in the world and that wasn't because of riches or military power but for things I think are, at the least, equally important-- like opportunity, strong ideals, and compassion. We had leaders like Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy, and yes, even Richard Nixon who, where I might have disagreed with his political positions, put the good of his country ahead of his personal ambitions twice. I don't see people like those out there today. Maybe they are. I hope so. I want to be proud of our nation.

Finally for every political blog I write, I will post one of my own photos of this country, the beauty, the people, what we have built, sometimes even the humor of who we are.

The first photograph was not chosen because the problems currently seem like a bottomless hole but rather because the Grand Canyon is one of the most inspirational places I know. When you look into its depths, think about the many forces that created it, you can get the feeling you are looking into time itself. It puts your problems into perspective. If we are going to part of the solution of keeping this country as great as I grew up thinking it was, we need to keep in mind that sense of awe.


Ingineer66 said...

Oh you know I will present a dissenting opinion to your own if for no other reason than just to be the dissenting voice.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Remember that movie Grand Canyon, Rain? I know that this is a departure for you to take on politics, issues, etc., but I applaud you because you have the guts to do it--and I know you'll do the research to back up your opinions. I personally feel so powerless as an American right now, but I do enjoy all the fruits of being an American. Like you, I love my country, but I have terrible fears of following the path of the Roman Empire under the current administration. And yet, I don't see any other strong candidates on the horizon. I just don't think Hillary can come up against the religious right. I, for one, will be reading here regularly.

Winston said...

Great idea, combining photos of what's right with America with your commentary on out current political scene. Looking forward to all of it...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You go girl!
Seriously, I think this is a wonderful thing to do...I am disturbed by what is happening in our country and wish there were REAL solutions.
I will be interested in what you and others have to say.
I too love my country and so wish I saw someone on the horizon who inspires, so that I will be able to have some hope for our future.

Sandy said...

Good for you Rain! We've talked about politics privately and I know alot of your views. I, naturally have my own opinions, but because I am not a citizen of the U.S. I will more than likely keep them to myself. As most people know, your government always has an impact on various areas of concern to our country so I will look forward to reading these articles up till and beyond election day in November.

Dick said...

I think your opinions are well thought out and while I may not always agree in full with them, they are well worth reading. I know we agree on more than we disagree on. Even disagreement can be educational and always should be done civily.

John B. said...

I think this is my first visit here; I'm here via Winston, who commented on my blog that you were doing this. I'm glad I've stopped by.

My blog hasn't gone all-politics-all-the-time (that sort of writing is too draining for me), but I have been posting more on politics/policy issues of late without being deliberate about it. As for why, as you say, it's crucial that people of good will independent of party loyalty speak up about what has happened to, just yesterday I heard and posted a poem that, as They say, says it all. If you or your readers are interested, here is the link.

Rain said...

welcome John B and your poem is well worth reading. Thanks for posting the link :) and hope you comment here often with your insights whether you agree or disagree with what I say.

I very much appreciate the encouragement from you all because writing this series was not something I felt happy about doing. I am a libra, for pete's sake, and we like to be peaceful and not make waves. It goes with the territory but I also feel a tremendous concern from what's going on with our country and strongly want to do what I can to get people to think. All of you who have commented here do the same thing and I appreciate that very much.