The 2010 election season has been filled with nastiness all around. Thanks to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010), untold amounts of anonymous money has bought more tv time than I remember in the past, much of it lies.
Many people believe that President Obama has not lived up to the promises he made 2 years ago. I would argue that he actually has fulfilled many of his promises and that he never promised us change overnight. He never promised that the economy would magically bounce back on January 21, 2009. Health care reform isn't exactly what I wanted it to be, but we're on the right track. DADT is still in place and I don't have an answer for that. Things are getting better. Want proof? Visit the website "What the F(*^ Has Obama Done So Far?" and I think you'll be impressed. Make sure to just keep pressing the big button in the middle of the page to move onto the next page.
Life in Illinois isn't great. Governors Blagojevich and Ryan were corrupt. The state is out of money. A lot of people say the blame for that lies solely with the Democrats. Guess what? In 2002, when Governor Blagojevich took office, we were out of money. The problem is that the government in Illinois, which until Blagojevich won in 2002 had been run by Republicans since 1973, had been kicking the financial problems down the road rather than making tough decisions.
My point is that no party is 100% innocent in any of the problems - federal, state or local - and no party is 100% guilty.
But no matter how disgusted you are with the candidates and the current office holders there is only one thing you can do to make a difference: VOTE.
Don't vote for who you think is going to win. Don't vote for the guy who ran the most or the loudest tv ads or sent you the most mailers. Don't vote for a party because you've always voted for the party, just like your parents and grandparents before you. Vote for the person who shares your values. Your real values. Underneath all the hype and the nastiness, some of these candidates share your values. Sift through the rhetoric and vote.
Decisions are made by those who show up and Tuesday is the one day you get to show up. So take 5 minutes out of your day and take part in the decision making process. Because if you don't, then I really don't want to hear your whining.
"Think government isn't about you? How many of you have student loans to pay? How many of you have credit card debt? How many want clean air and clean water and civil liberties? How many want jobs? How many want kids? How many want their kids to go to good schools and walk on safe streets? Decisions are made by those who show up. You've gotta rock the vote!"
- CJ Cregg, The West Wing, "You Gotta Rock the Vote," Season 4, Episode 3 (emphasis mine)