Friday, October 10, 2008

Civil Discourse


Warning: political commentary to follow.  I know some of you may not agree with me, so feel free to stop reading now.  

 I will probably regret this, but I just feel as though I need to speak out about something.  And after all, this is my blog, right?  So here goes:

It is with increasing dismay that I am following the presidential election this year.  I am frankly appalled at the bitterness and rancor that this contest has spawned.  We are being asked to join in a culture and class war that will divide us for years to come, just when we need to be united to face our common enemies and solve our pressing problems. 

 It is the politics of fear and resentment, and it is appalling.

 I will be honest with you here -- I did not vote for George Bush, and I do not intend to vote for John McCain.  I think Senator McCain is an amazing war hero, and I honor his long record of public service.  I just don't agree with his stands on certain issues, and he is not my choice to lead the country in the direction I think it ought to go. 

 As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, I'm sure she has been a very effective advocate for her state of Alaska, but I'm afraid I do not agree with some of her cultural views, and I think she is weak in foreign policy matters.  And in a world that is getting smaller and more interconnected every day, foreign policy will play an extremely important role in the years to come.

Each of us has a very important choice to make this November, and I am hoping against all hope that this choice will be made not out of fear or resentment of the other candidate, but out of our hopes and aspirations and dreams for our country.  We must not give way to those who would seek to divide us for political gain.  Rather, we must remember the ties that bind us all.

  And a little of the civility that our mothers taught us wouldn't hurt, either.



53 comments:

  1. Good morning, Mary of Little Red House....
    I, too, am worried about the state our country is in right now..
    You but have to go to my blog and look at my sidebar to know who I support for President and Vice President. I love Sarah...
    Sen. McCain, while I am not overly fond of his personality, is the person I feel should lead this country. I voted for Pres. Bush and I will vote for Sen. McCain...to NOT would be giving my vote to Sen. Obama and that is a mighty scary thought for me.
    I pray, too, that everyone will give this voting a lot of thought, search their hearts, look closly at both canidates and then.....
    do the very best thing they can do...that is all that can be asked of anyone. Their very best !!
    I respect your choice of who you want to lead our nation and all others that chose this direction. I hope my choice will be respected as well. Freedom of choice is one of the things our great country is founded on.
    Hope your Friday is a good one...
    I am leaving today for my cruise...and very excited!
    love, bj

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  2. I applaud you for the courage to post this, as you can see most here in blogland have the opposite view. I too am disheartened by the hypocritical rancor, lets get on with the real issues facing this country and the world! I can't wait for this election to be over and the new President to start his job, it won't be easy, we'll have to be patient, but I have HOPE!!!

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  3. Mary, kudos to you for saying how you feel.

    I have never been a citizen to vote strictly party.

    One of my dearest friends is a strong Obama supporter, and she feels quite passionate about her choice.

    Unfortunately, I don't feel passionate about any of our choices. I wish I did because I would like to feel good about my vote. I am praying that we all make a wise decision, and that our new president will be able to make a positive difference for our country.

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  4. Thank you for your courage in addressing this issue in your blog. I have struggled with this same issue and whether I should write about it in my blog. I find the rhetoric spewed in the last few days appalling. Campaigns should be centered around issues, not smears. When the smears revolve around inciting hatred and race baiting, the campaign has sunk to a new low. And its dangerous. If a campaign can't win on the issues, then it should lose. Period.

    Thanks, Mary.

    (I've been having trouble posting this, so if there is a duplication, please forgive me.)

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  5. I'm glad you decided to write this post! I'm so tired of the nastiness of these campaigns! We need the country to heal and come together, not to be divided in half. Unfortunately, no matter who wins, I don't think there is going to be very much healing any time soon.

    I wish that sometime, a strong person would run who would refuse to sink the nasty level of the campaigns.

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  6. I was starting to think I was the only "other party" supporter here, I believe we are the majority in this country so we should start standing up for our candidate, my candidates are Barack Obama and Joe Biden! The hatefilled words coming from Sarah Palin this week make my stomach turn, these people who think she is the best thing to come along since sliced bread don't know her story! I hope the Democrats have the balls to tell the country about her and her views. If you think Dick Cheney is dangerous then you should be afraid of Sarah Palin, she IS Dick Cheney!! I don't have a blog but I enjoy reading the blogs, so forgive me for signing anonymous and also thank you Mary for posting this for us, there aren't many places in blogland for us to talk about our choices.

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  7. Mary, I loved that disclaimer. I'll have to copy your idea for the next time I post on politics, which, like you, I am hesitant to do.

    Though we don't agree on this one, I firmly respect your right to say what's on your heart and to vote as you believe best.

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  8. Hi,
    this was my first visit on your beautiful blog, but not my last - everything so wonderful...I like your Gobelin pillows very much.

    If it is ok, I will put your site on my blogreading list and come again

    Gabriele form Bavaria

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  9. What happened to "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I am personally disappointed in both candidates and their inability to address the issues because they are so busy rebutting the other guy. I don't plan to vote for Sarah ... but I might vote for Tina Fey.

    Mostly I want to vote for your picture. Did you take it? It's breathtaking.

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  10. Good afternoon! :)
    I think it so wonderful and brave of you to share your political views-Bravo to you my friend!
    I also am not happy with the nature of the beast we call "political campaigning" It is very important that we all have dialog and really talk with each other as you are doing on your site. Thank you for that. First off let me just say I do not support the Obama/Biden ticket. I will explain why in as few words as possible, I can not give all the reasons on this short note. Obama has not been completely honest with our nation and I feel we cannot trust him. He has received large contributions from unsavory groups. He has two people from the top of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as advisors to his campaign and has received a very large amount of money from Fannie and Freddie. He wants to "sit down" with the leaders of countries that would wipe us off of the face of the earth if they could without pre-conditions I might add? The "smear campaigns" -lets take the time to really research the truth before making any hard choices, the truth can be ugly but must be told if we are to honestly live our lives. If the liberal media weren't campaigning so hard for Obama more truth would be told! I would encourage you to watch the FOX channel and then research on your own for the truth-you will be SHOCKED at what has really been going on in Obama's past both recent and distant! And shame on those folks with ACORN who have been having people register to vote multiple times which is illegal!!! Thankfully the FBI is now involved and I hope and Pray that somehow all of ACORNs so called "votes" and "registered voters" will be disqualified! Obabma was ACORNS attorney at one time and they have mutual interest and agendas. Please become honestly informed of the facts before you make a choice! I can't say that enough. I think that McCain is a honorable man and is the most trust worthy person to lead our country. Sarah Palin-How much more American can you get? I admire a woman who could rise up through the ranks to make change happen-she has accomplished a lot-she is exactly what we need in government today!!! And she has more experience then Obama-do you know that? As for Bush please take note we have had a house and senate in Washington that are majority of Democrats who kept Bush, McCain, and others from passing regulations that would have kept this down fall in the mortgage market from happening (they did try but were shot down). They kept a lot of good things from being passed. ACORN, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Obama have their hands dirty and are some of the main reasons for the market melt down. Obama is sending up smoke screens to hide his dirty past with assistance from the left winged media. I fear for our country if he is elected! Obama is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    Sincerely,

    On my knees in prayer for our country
    P.S. I adore your blog site! I do not wish to offend you and I am sorry if this has in any way. I am just trying to spread the truth. God Bless You and God Bless America!!!!

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  11. oh my goodness, I would advise anonymous to watch something else besides Fox for her information. I for one like the honesty of Keith Olbermann, he has brought out some unsavory background on Ms Palin, please give his show a look. I have read Baracks bio, he is trustworthy and decent, I believe he will restore the hopes and dreams of ALL Americans, thank you Mary!

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  12. Amen! Good post. What really worries me is that this country does not have universal health care. It is shocking that no one is openly fighting for this! (I had to say that). Love your blog, your beautiful house.
    God Save America!

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  13. Dear anonymous,
    Please do not rely on Fox News (or Keith Olberman, for that matter) to find the truth. I would encourage you to look at many different news venues, and then go to a site like Factcheck.org to try to sort things out.

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  14. Good for you, having the courage to post how you feel about this! I consider myself to be an independent, and am taking this decision very seriously and prayerfully. I enjoyed your post today (and also loved your recent thrifting finds!).

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  15. Hi, I could not agree with you more,and by the way I love your blog!!!! hopefully one day I will start my own

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  16. Hi Mary,
    Very well said and I could not agree more.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Tam

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  17. I agree that everyone should have the right to voice their own opinions. Especially on our own blogs. I voiced mine last month and was called a racist, a satanist and many other ugly things. I had to delete many of the vicious things that were said by people who disagreed with my choice. It was extremely ugly...and I hope you don't experience the same. Freedom of choice is one of the wonderful things about this great country. I will be very disappointed in the people who believe like I do...if they abuse you like the liberals abused me.

    I couldn't disagree more with your choice but I respect you for voicing it. The way things look...you'll get your wish. I'll be very interested to see how the supporters of Obama feel four years from now when we've become a Socialist country. I am so very afraid of what we are heading for. God bless us all!

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  18. I read your blog today and my first thought was EXACTLY what Country girl said in the first comment! Ditto!

    Lynne

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  19. Mary,

    You are a very brave woman! I think the first thing the new Pres should do is make a law that states that when campaigning for political office you MAY NOT ( yes, I am shouting) mention anything about anyone else...just your platform and background. Wouldn't a civilized election be wonderful?? HJave a great Holiday weekend.

    Janet

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  20. Another Amen from this corner Mary.
    I just don't see how ANYONE could allow the party that has brought us to such a state of international
    disrespect and national insolvency to allow more of the same with whatever candidate the Republicans have offered. What we need is a fresh voice and attempt to find a new and improved direction for this country. The Bush era was a bad thing when it started and will go down in history as the most nationally destructive presidency ever. That is fact, not an opinion. Thanks for being brave and speaking your mind.

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  21. Dear Sue and Mary,
    Just an update to my reply. I do watch other channels on TV besides Fox. And I do my due diligence researching facts via my computer and the internet as well as other means of research. I used to be in the mortgage business and am a well educated woman. I have experience in the very market that is now suffering. Boy am I glad I no longer make a living doing mortgages! I speak as a active member of society, mother, grandmother and friend. My whole point of my reply was to point out how important it is that we don't just listen to commercials and TV adds-research research research! Get busy really looking into the facts for yourself! As women of the world we need to band together in a united sisterhood and make our country a safer kinder place to live! And isn't it so wonderful we live in a free country that we can share our diverse ideas? Although I am a republican if by chance I did not feel that the person representing my party was the best person for the job then they wouldn't get my vote-it is that simple. That is how strong of a person I am. I choose to do exactly what I believe is right. We should not be casting a vote for someone because they seem to be the popular one, or more handsome, because of race, or because they are a man or a woman etc...- you get the idea. Lets vote for someone who has the best qualifications for the job, which includes good integrity and a good record. And as long as you feel good about your choices then that is all that really matters! I love to see women no matter what their beliefs are standing strong! And I can agree to disagree with someone and still love the heck out of them! My love and prayers go out to you all my sisters! Now lets get out there and VOTE!!!
    Thank you Mary for your post! Although bet you were somewhat surprised the can of worms it turned out to be-huh? It will be very interesting what the topics of discussion are in a few months from now.

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  22. It makes me feel sad when I read here and on other blogs that some of you are scared of an Obama presidency. Did you see the rally today where a woman told McCain she thinks Obama is an Arab? McCain took the mic from her and said NO, NO he is not an Arab, he is a decent family man, a citizen of this country and we must be respectful, He also said today, do not be afraid of an Obama presidency, there is nothing to fear! I must say I was very impressed and proud of him for standing up to the crowd! I am so sick of hearing the hatred coming from Palin at those rallys, she is getting the crowds all riled up, it is so dangerous and I hope it stops!! The republicans are very good at these fear-mongering campaigns, I wish we could have the candidates talk about the issues and no more hateful talk! So anyway, I just hope you all can come to grips with this unwarrented fear, there is nothing to fear but fear itself!

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  23. Dee

    THANK you for this post!!!!

    (And not to be sarcastic or flippant, but I truly wonder...why would ANYBODY in their right mind, even WANT to be president...what a mess someone is going to inherit.)

    Again, Thanks for this post.

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  24. Your comments spoke for many of us, and you did it very well. Thank you.

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  25. Speaking from Australia, where we've been following it with interest, I agree with your viewpoint. I've never liked Bush and must admit that the thought of a woman like Palin having the chance to run the country is scary.

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  26. I regret the negative tone of the election, too. However, I also feel that if the media had done its job and reported on some issues that really DO matter, John McCain wouldn't have to. I don't believe that Obama is responsible for something Bill Ayers did 40 years ago. No. I believe that Obama is responsible for the extensive contact he had with Bill Ayers during the outset of his political career.
    I also believe Obama's ties to ACORN (some of it via Project Vote) speaks volumes. ACORN can protest all it wants to about how it's really just a "community organizing" program, but there have been too many ACORN employees who have pleaded GUILTY in the past to voter fraud for it not to be a direct reflection on that organization. These issues and many, many more are of concern to me and for good reason.

    Yeah, I think the campaign has turned negative and I don't like it either. But if John McCain won't speak out about these issues that matter to at least some of us, who will? Not Obama. Not ACORN. And most certainly not the mainstream media.

    Having said all that - I would also say that I respect your right to your views and I don't mean to sound angry in this comment. I'm concerned about our country. I'm concerned that in our quest for "hope" and "change", we are losing sight of important matters that need to be addressed.

    Kari

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  27. Mary....never regret your opinion. Sue.

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  28. Hear, hear....couldn't have said it better; thanks for "taking the risk" to post your view. I agree that the best person to lead us in a new direction will be Obama.

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  29. I agree that this has become a mudslinging mess. I am actually quite disappointed in both candidates. I think it speaks volumes that rather than give a really great reason why they are the best man for the job, all they can come up with is why the other guy is the worst. I wish there wasanother choice!

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  30. I do not care for either McCain or Obama. This year I was unsure who to vote for until I heard Bob Barr on Glenn Beck's show. I think that's was the first time that I ever watched that show. I don't want more of the same old, same old. Bob was in Congress and has more experience than Obama. He, also, has a true plan to get this country moving again unlike either of the main candidates. Karen

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  31. Amen. I wish candidates would give us straight talk instead of ads full of spin and half truth. That goes for both parties.

    That said, Sarah Palin frightens me like nothing else I've EVER seen in my adult life. The thought of her sitting a heartbeat away from the presidency was enough for me to RUN from McCain. And before her arrival on the scene, I had been pretty much undecided.

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  32. Hi Mary,

    I love your blog, and was very surprised and excited to hear what you had to say regarding the election. I couldn't agree with you more, esp. about the lack of civility that appears to be rampant these days. The divisiveness we've seen in this country over the last several years is so disheartening. That's not to say I think everyone should agree on everything - never would I wish for that, it would be a worse fate than where we are now. But as you say, it's the civility in expressing those clashing viewpoints that seems to be lacking. And regardless of who we support, I think the majority of people probably agree with you on that. It's just sometimes hard to put it into action in the heat of the moment. Thanks for reminding us.

    I also want to tell you, I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I LOVE your pictures, but this one is, I think, my most favorite one of all. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  33. I SO agree with everyone's right to express their opinion. Thus said, my opinion is that I would prefer the McCain/Palin ticket. The media has done an astounding job of promoting Obama- just as I knew they would and trying to discredit Sarah Palin- Shame on them! I look at all the media pundits- George Stephonopolous (who I actually like), Tom Brokaw, the late Tim Russert (who I also liked), and a plethora of others - Actually are their ANY Republicans represented? So, although I may like these people (heck, I even like Bill Clinton from my home state), voted for him for Gov., although I NEVER voted for him for Pres. (I have met him--yes, very charming!) so although I may like the personality of these people, why would I trust their slant on the news- I DON'T!! I grew up the daughter of a newspaper printer, member of a trade union, A staunch Democrat --Rebublican was a dirty word in our house!!! I worked in the McGovern campaign (did I REALLY do that?) Yes, I was in my college, liberal phase. I voted for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket too. I must say that was my last Democrat vote. Why did I change? Well, I read a letter written by by my 3-greats grandfather who left Arkansas for Texas in l883 where he wrote of the dogged determination those who immigrated must possess to succeed, of the independent spirit which speaks of American immigrants in general. In my studies of American History, I realized that the benevolent government of which I grew up hearing about, did not exist.There is no such thing as benevolent government- for it is always corrupt in its desire to preserve itself.The people who originally immigrated to our lands, did so for freedom from government--we can NEVER forget that! I do not want government to promote a certain religion, I also do not want it to be hostile to it. I am not really a Republican, but I WILL not vote for MORE, bigger govt. and I WILL not support candidates who do not protect the most vulnerable among us who have no voice, the unborn. And call it little of me if you will but I CANNOT, WILL NOT vote for anyone with Hussein as a middle name. As for Palin; shame on the press- shame on Joy Behar & Whoopie on the View-(that show is nothing but free Dem. advertising and THAT offends me)and shame on Oprah for shamelessly promoting her candidate and refusing to interview Palin until after the election - What ultimate hyprocrisy--what is she afraid of?
    Oh well, I have finished venting for now. I truly do not wish to offend anyone. We all have a right to our opinion, and my opinions have changed through the year. But I wish everyone well, it is the American way to be able to express our dissenting opinions.

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  34. thats a shame Vicki would not vote for a candidate because of his name, I have never heard anything like it! His Mother named him, how is that his fault?

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  35. I think we are all worried about the state of affairs of our country at this moment. And, I personally cannot go down the road for the next four years with the Democratic candidate for President after reading volumes about him and by him. I urge everyone to read his books carefully and gain a little insight into what has made the man plain and simple.

    Just my opinion.

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  36. Well, Sue, it's certainly not just because of his middle name that I would not vote for him--there is a plethora of reasons, although a name given represents who you are and where you come from. Although his father was not physically present that much in his life, as was the case for my own father, believe me I know that even an absent father has a tremendous influence on how you identify yourself and align yourself. He has a Muslim name--there is no question regarding that, and I would always question whether his loyalties were divided. It is my personal belief that we should not risk having a president who does not consider himself completely American and I find his wife much more radical and irritating than Sarah Palin. I do give him credit for running a effective campaign and handling himself in a polite way. He has a great speaking voice and presence, but little experience--he is a junior senator. I don't just love McCain, but it's my opinion that he is the most qualified and has actually put his life on the line for his country. If nothing else, he deserves it. I wish everyone well and the right to their opinion and that's the end of what I want to say on this issue. God bless everyone and go vote, whatever your persuasion!

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  37. I agree with you 100% and it's so refreshing to see another blogger that shares my views. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about mentioning politics on my blog but I feel like the whole blogging community has different views than I do. I'm so happy to see that I am not alone out here!!!! Go Obama! This country really needs change!!!

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  38. I believe that Helen Keller could see where the hatred is coming from. Hatred stems from frustration and fear of the unfamiliar. It's a story as old as time. We can be better as a people, but we have to call it for what it is. I chose not to add to it.

    Thank you for having the courage of your convictions, Mary. After 232 years, so far, we still have that right. Voting rights came much later for some people.

    Each to the dictates of his or her own conscience.

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  39. I am so happy to find a pro Obama blog post! I am with you. I had respect for John McCain, but no longer since he has allowed his campaign and his running mate to spew forth such vile words. I am not for Sarah Palin and have no respect for her, I feel sad for her baby, she should be bonding with him and giving him a head start in his life and her youngest daughter appears to be a mini Sarah, waving to the crowds, she should be with little friends playing games and being a little girl and what about school? Ms. Palin speaks of college education, but what about her eldest daughter and her son, I know he is in the military, but so young, he should be in college.
    I hope that Barack Obama wins because even though there are still questions I see him as a better president that John McCain and Sarah Palin, and I think Joe Biden is a very honorable man and will make a great VP and if he had to become President a great president, he seems to have a heart and soul.
    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts on your blog!
    Martha

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  40. Hi Mary ~ I see that you put your heart and view out there like I did. Like you, I pray that our Country can pull together and be united, but be civil together at the same time. Afterall, we are all Americans ~ no matter our views.

    hugs,
    Becky

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  41. Great job on this post. You are NOT alone in your thinking! I am right there with you.

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  42. Kudos to you for going here. I wish that just once in my lifetime during a political campaign BOTH nominees could take the high road and run a respectable and respectful campaign! I'm so tired of this political rebutting that it makes me just want to throw up. I'm with commenter Beverly -- I'm not fond of either of my choices. I don't think either of these men (and their running mates) have what our country needs right now. All I can do is make a well-informed choice and pray that the person elected to office will be honest and honorable in speaking (and doing) for the American people.

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  43. AMEN Sis!!! I just read that in Canada they campaign for THIRTY SEVEN days and then they vote!!!! Is this really true??? It is a miracle if it is true. I am for campaign length and cost reform. I will never EVER again follow any campaign for on to two years. Just sick of it. Can we not THINK faster!!!! I have already sent in my absentee ballot and now I am going to go prop up and read!!! I just LOVE being retired. I have no house or car and no bills. I am blooming where I am planted!YAAAAA! Cheers!

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  44. Mary,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post.

    I have a few pictures of Obama on my Blog, but I refuse to leave room for discussion. There is nothing to discuss. I am in support of Obama and I am voting for him. :)

    xoxoxoxox
    Donna

    PS. Your pictures are breathtaking!

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  45. I wish we had different options than the two who are running for president. However, I will probably vote for the one who taxes LESS -- and doesn't think the government should take care of all our needs.

    Less Government for me please.

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  46. I am still undecided. There are things I like about both candidates and things I don't like about both. I am so happy about having a woman and an African American in this race... our country has come so far in the realm of seeing people for people and not as a color or a gender. I try to step back and look at things from a distance. See what our country will be like under different leadership. I see possibilities and problems with both candidates...

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  47. Mary, I just found your lovely blog (we have much in common), and I feel obliged to second your opinions in this post--all of them.

    I think civility began disappearing from politics the first time--years ago--I noticed candidates started wanting to "fight" for me. Now they ALL want to "fight" for me, if you'll notice. What about someone who just wants to WORK for me? Is it necessary to be combative to get my vote? I don't think so. Sincerity and dedication go a lot farther for me.

    And my candidate isn't running, so I'm choosing the most hopeful and inspirational alternative. We need intelligence and reason in the White House after the sorry last eight years. I think America has seen its finest days, and we need someone to call on our better angels if we ever want to be admired by the world again.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!