I think this election of
2008 might well determine the course of the United States for
several generations. The issues that face us as a country are
enormous. The divide that separates us as a people seems to grow
wider every year. I have followed the process of this election since
January and now, on September 5, 2008, I find myself anxiety-ridden
and exhausted. Truth, lies, innuendo, mud slinging, accusationsÖI
just want someoneóanyoneóto start talking about concrete solutions
to the critical issues that are confronting us: the economy, health
care, the Iraqi war, the debt we now face, medical research, the
care of an ageing population, the future of social security, global
warming, energy. But there has hardly been time for that in all the
posturing and when one mud slinging attack demands an answer and
then another mud slinging attack demands another answer, the real
issues get put by the wayside. This is something I find intolerable.
I have belonged to the same political party since I
first registered vote. I usually do not engage in political
discussions, however. I did not do so when I was a classroom
teacher; I have rarely done so as a novelist; I do not like to do so
now. In part this has to do with my upbringing. In part it has to do
with the fact that Iím one of those people who are not very quick on
their verbal feet.
But as things have developed over the course of the
last few weeks, Iíve realized that I cannot live with myself if I do
nothing during this particular election. In the past Iíve given
money to candidates and Iíve worn the occasional button for the
candidate of my choice, but that has been the extent of my
involvement in the political frays. This election, however, seems to
be demanding more of me. I cannot sit or stand idly by and then
wring my hands afterwards.
To put anything political on my website is, I admit,
pretty scary. My publisher and agent may likely phone me and demand
to know if Iíve lost my mind. ďYou could lose readers by the score,Ē
they might warn me. And while this is true, itís also true that I
stand to lose much more than readers. All of us do.
So here is what Iím going to do. Over the next few
weeks and up until the day after the election, Iíll be posting my
thoughts, and youíll be able to see what they are by clicking on a
list of topics, the first of which will be my thoughts on Veterans
of the Armed Forces.
Iíll create these little essays in three parts. The
first will give you some background information about me personally,
to show you how I arrived where I am today with my thought process.
The second will give you facts that I will have gleaned, usually
about how one person or another has voted or acted upon the topic
Iím writing about. The last part will be my conclusion. My pledge to
you is that I will never attack a candidate. My equal pledge to you
is that I will write nothing in the way of fact that I havenít
personal tracked down to assure its veracity.
I wish I were the kind of person who could make
passionate speeches about politics or make phone calls to strangers.
I am not. But this is something I can do. And Iím willing and
determined to do it.
- Elizabeth George
Whidbey Island, Washington
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