I haven’t gotten political yet.  Meaning, I’ve barely talked, researched, done much except keep one eye on political news (and not watching much TV news or debates at all)

I’m about to.  I mean no offense to anyone with differing views, and respect all opinions that are made with SOUND judgement, and not just blind reactions to smear campaigns.  One reason I DON’T get involved in political discussions is that most of the time, I don’t know enough to back up my side.  But I know enough for me, personally, to be comfortable and I’m content with that for the most part.

More under the cut!

I never was much of one for politics.  I always felt – and still do – that NO politician is trustworthy, it’s a dirty business.  But after GWB got us in this war, I started to care.  I cared for the last election, I stopped voting independent for third parties, in case my vote took away a valuable one from GWB’s competition, and I was angry and disappointed when he won again.

Since then, I mostly pulled back into my shell of hiding when it comes to politics.  Enter this race – even in the primary (I didn’t vote as I’m not registered with a party) I had my thoughts, but they weren’t necessarily based on research and a deep knowledge of the issues and candidates.  How have I chosen who I support?  Gut instinct.  Hearing friends’ positions.  Listening to those who know more than I do about it, and have similar values, and seeing what they think.

Am I just going along with the crowd because it’s the “in” thing?  HELL NO.

I am my own person, not a sheep.

Just because I have most of my information filtered through friends, doesn’t mean I’m not making my own choice.  Let’s face it – any of the info out there, especially in the smear campaigns, you can’t trust blindly.  For either side. 

I would not vote for McCain/Palin for the sole reason that I’m female and it’s a female on the ticket.  (I don’t vote blindly based on gender, race, political party, or any other arbitrary designation.)  What I hear about her I don’t like.  I wasn’t even going to vote for Hillary if I had been able to vote in the primary, because, well. That one runs much more to a gut instinct, and I just REALLY do not trust her.  (If she made it on the ticket, no idea what I would decide.)  I have read a few things which lead me to have a newer respect for her – that to play ball with the boys, she’s had to get dirty.  But something about her still does NOT sit right with me, and I think she’s too extreme to have won against McCain in the election – so I’m glad she’s out of the picture for now.

So am I behind Obama just because my friends are?  Yes and no.  I’m not supporting him just because they are, but because they hold the same values as I do.  Values regarding women’s rights, gay rights, the war, the environment.  When it comes to these issues, anyone with the same position as mine is strongly in support of Obama.  And I do feel that McCain will just continue GWB’s bullshit.

It’s not the most educated opinion.  But there’s logic and reasoning.  I still keep one eye open on news and I haven’t heard anything to make me want to change my mind.  What’s the other option? 

My family tends to run republican.  When it comes to my grandmother, she truly is making blind decision, acting out of fear, and in response to the smear campaigns.  I avoid discussing politics with her, and usually say how I hate all politicians, or joke tongue-in-cheek that we should have a queen like England. 

Last night, she started ranting and I just listened.  I had not known about the issue of Obama’s birth certificate.  She also pulled the “where did he get the money from” story – I had read a horrible smear email which basically connected him to terrorists a week or so ago.  You know what?  That is the point where my mind was made up for sure.  McCain (or his team) may not be personally responsible for this email.  But he represents the epitome of this way of thinking.  Narrow minded, bigoted, hateful, spiteful, fear-based, give up all our freedoms in the name of defense.  If those are the people supporting him, I’m taking the opposite stance, period.

Was Obama born outside the US?  Doing minor research, maybe there’s a little more to the story.  But as I told my grandma – if it’s true, you wouldn’t be hearing people ranting about it on the radio, claiming they have proof.  THEY WOULD PROVIDE THE PROOF!  With the number of people supporting or paid by McCain, if proof is out there, it will be found.  Do you really think Obama would think he could hide something like this???

Maybe it’s possible.  Anything is – and I already said I don’t trust any politician very much.  If he’s not, it will come to light and he will pay the price.  But I really think that he’s smart enough to know you can’t cover that up when playing for the White House.  And that if it were true, we’d know by now.  Regardless, I’m not going to trust a self-proclaimed expert on the radio, or my grandmother who believes him even though she can’t remember his name. 

As for his sources for money – unlike my grandmother, I believe that yes, there are Americans willing to donate that much money.  I don’t doubt he got some of it unscrupulously – he’s a politician.  I do not think that makes him a terrorist. 

I don’t want to lie to my grandmother.  When she said “You aren’t voting for him are you???” I avoided conflict, I said “I’m not telling you WHO I’m voting for!”  She didn’t get the hint, and went on about how she’s afraid my cousin will be voting for him.  Sometimes, it’s not worth the drama in family politics so aside from neutral defensive comments about how she shouldn’t believe the smear remarks, I stay quiet.

I don’t think Obama is a saviour or saint by any means.  But from all that I do know, he’s a HELL of a lot better than the alternative, and so far, my choice is pretty clear.