I admit – the political goings-on over the past year had grown tiresome even to me. I’d decided that the upcoming election would bear no winners with the exception of the actual candidates. We – as in the American taxpayer – have nothing to celebrate in terms of the outcome. I swear, I think both parties are counting on folks to just throw up their hands and say, “Do what you’re going to do – you’re going to anyway.” Remember how, as a kid, you’d end up getting your way sometimes simply by exhausting your mom? She’d throw up her hands and give in, but you’d always hear her say, “OK – now get outta here and let me catch my breath.”
The DNC, as we all know, is wrapping up today – and not a moment too soon – and believe me, I say that because BOTH conventions are over with.
This week could not have been a more nightmarish week for the Obama Administration. It was day after day of bad news on top of more bad news. Here are a few of my ledes from this week:
- As the Democratic National Convention roars on, news broke that a record 46.7 million Americans — or roughly one in five adults — used food stamps during the month of June.
- It just wouldn’t be a holiday weekend if gas prices didn’t jump higher. This time, though, a new record’s been set. Gas prices, up by 9.4% in August, are higher than they’ve ever been in U.S. history, beating the record set in 2008.
- On Thursday, economists were expecting 150,000 new jobs to be added to the employment rolls. Admitting it wouldn’t really affect the unemployment rate, those economists were hopeful that at least the number wouldn’t be any lower. On Friday, we’re wondering what the economists are saying with the paltry 96,000 jobs that were added in August.
- The national debt hit the $16 trillion mark today. When Obama took office four years ago, it was $10 trillion and Congress continues to spend as though nothing is at stake. Unfortunately, each American’s share of the federal debt now rests at $37,437 – there’s definitely a lot at stake.
The worse part of all of this is knowing Obama has still managed to keep pace with Romney – the polls still show them at an even split. The only thing thing that makes sense to me is that everyone is voting for their candidate not because they necessarily support him but rather, they dislike the other candidate even more. Somehow, that just doesn’t sit right. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Our nation wasn’t built on the premise of choosing presidents based who we dislike less. And yet – there it is. Which leads me to…
There has been a shift, I’ve noticed, on all of the social networking sites. Folks threatening to “shut down” their Facebook pages and close their Twitter accounts. They say they’re tired of the political rhetoric. I get that – I got burned out too before this week got me fired up again. Here’s the thing, though – for the first time in our history, Americans are able to come together in an unprecedented and rather casual way. Even the last presidential race didn’t include as many Facebook and Twitter users. I don’t even think I had even considered any kind of social networking presence four years ago. At any rate, some of the nonsense is just that – nonsense. I’ve had a lot of “tags” of ridiculous photos and images that trash talked one candidate or another. I eventually had to change my settings so that I could control what was being posted to my wall (I’ll do my own trash talking, thank you very much). My point is it would be a shame that anyone would choose something like politics as the reason for bowing out. Every now and then, something comes along that absolutely goes against everything we believe – and then we actually take a minute to consider it and it’s in those moments change happens. It’s rare – but weeding through the nonsense becomes worth it when it does happen.