Politics today – sorry.

As the nation stands on the verge of being unable to pay our bills and losing our good credit rating, there have been thousands of posts on politics and the grandstanding, the “acting like toddlers screaming mine,” the “what-if” scenarios, and who is to blame. Count me in. Sort of.

I don’t see a way out of this mess in the next twenty-four hours, all of which tells me we have worse problems down the road. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, one thing should be clear. We have a crisis of leadership.

As I’ve watched this chaos unfold, no-one looks strong or reasonable or intelligent enough that I want them as our nation’s next president. The problem is particularly acute on the Republican side. John Boehner can’t coordinate his own party. Former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has made a few public statements, but not anything people can rally around. Michelle Bachmann is too busy primping for photo opps to be spending any serious time getting anything congressional done.

Not that the democrats are faring much better in terms of demonstrating leadership – perhaps because they are keeping more tight lipped. Other than the president, I can’t think of a one who has spoken out. Perhaps they remember the old adage–better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

I wonder what this means for the next round of presidential elections. In a crisis that should have allowed someone or several someones to stand up and look presidential, or authoritative, or trustworthy, Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell seem to be the only ones who tried. I don’t know what their level of presidential interest is, but they are hardly household names. I admire that there are a few politicians left in congress who are willing to do their jobs, but is it enough?

I can’t help but wonder, are there any viable presidential candidates out there on either side? Is the door now open to a third party? Will we even remember this crisis in 2016?

What are your thoughts?

Advertisements

Why I’m not voting on Tuesday

Yes folks, you heard it here first. On Tuesday, November 6th, I will not be voting in the presidential election. Wow, do you have a loud gasp. The candidates do not want to hear this.  As a white, suburban woman raising children in a swing state, I realize I am a highly coveted voter. The non-stop TV, radio and mail ads remind me how important my vote is. Frequent phone calls from the two major parties beseech me to vote on Tuesday. The truth of the matter is, I will not be going to vote on Tuesday, but my uterus will.

My uterus is a bossy little thing, but I’ve got a lot of respect it. After all, my uterus carried my two healthy children to term.  Our relationship has not always been easy, plagued by painful cramps and a cancer scare. We’re good now.  Except when it comes to politics.

It’s not that my uterus entirely disagrees with my desire to vote for the third-party candidate most closely aligned with my views, but my uterus is scared. My uterus fears that the uterus of the girl who once lived inside its protective walls will not enjoy the same privileges my uterus does in terms of fertility and health care. My uterus remembers how women of previous generations fought for access to control our fertility and for the right to vote.  My uterus shudders at the thought that some gray-haired men think a pregnancy from rape is either impossible or a gift from God.  My uterus wants to know how many children of rape those men have personally adopted. Come to think of it, so do I.

Come Tuesday, my uterus will take charge of my body and march us to the polling place. I’ll show my voter ID, and receive the voting instructions. A worker will lead me to the designated voting booth. But, do us both a favor, don’t look behind the curtain. My uterus will vote for the candidate who respects women.

Explaining Politics to Kids

My daughter is eight and my son is four and both are interested in the idea of electing a president.  I remember elections being, exciting when I was little, but also a little scary and very, very confusing.  Even a lot of adults struggle with the Electoral College, PACs and more. And this is why I am a huge fan of Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty for President.  {sorry there is no picture – my new computer is cranky about keyboard shortcuts}

Bad Kitty books have a hybrid comic book/chapter book vibe and are perfect for the 7-12 set, but even my son likes them.  In this brilliant addition to the Bad Kitty’s adventures, our anti-heroine decides to run for president of the neighborhood cat council.  Over the course of the book, the cats have a caucus, kiss babies, debate, run advertising, gather endorsements and cast ballots.  Although feline issues differ from ours, the cats divide themselves into two political parties, one representing the right side of the street and one for the left side and engage in a political battle royale that illustrates how the national government in D.C. is supposed to work.  Better yet, the Bruel also teaches kids how politics actually functions.

So go ahead, read, laugh and be enlightened.