missroserose: (Default)
*looks at It Has Been 50 Days Since My Last Anxiety Episode sign*

*flips the counter back to 0*

*sighs*
missroserose: (Default)
I've tried my best to keep my political posts to a minimum, this election. This is not because I don't like politics, or think they shouldn't be discussed in polite company; I find sociology and demographics and economics and all the other fields that contribute to political choice-making fascinating. Even more, I feel strongly that the point of a democracy (and deliberative government in general) is to encourage discussion and exchange of views between people who may not agree. It's slow, and inefficient, and often anxiety-making; it requires an ability to listen in good faith, and to find common ground. But, at its best, it helps us broaden our viewpoints and make decisions that are best for everyone. I've made a very real effort, therefore, to befriend people on all parts of the political spectrum.

And so I feel like I've gotten a front-row seat to our country's increasing polarization over the past decade. And that's made discussing politics increasingly uncomfortable.

There's no one single cause that I've seen a convincing argument for. Income inequality absolutely contributes, as does the stark divide in rural vs. urban culture and economic opportunity. Self-constructed Internet echo chambers may have had an effect, as well as the culture of bullying that Internet anonymity has given rise to. A news media that depends on conflict and horse-race reporting to generate clicks. But the one very real effect is a complete breakdown of communication between people with different views. An obstructionist Congress that refuses to work with the other branches of government. A Supreme Court evenly split along ideological lines. And, on a smaller scale, a stream of people in my social media feeds - many of whom I like and respect - demanding that people who voted for an opposing candidate, or who have different ideas about this or that issue, unfriend them right now. No more communication.

And the damned thing is, I can understand that. We're all human. None of us like uncertainty. None of us want to admit we might be wrong, that our friends might be wrong. A lot of us aren't even comfortable discussing our thinking anymore - it's too likely someone will take advantage of even that small vulnerability to land a sucker punch. It's so much easier to hide in our bunker with the people who pass our tests of ideological purity, who will reinforce our view of the world, and who won't challenge us for fear of being ousted from our circle.

But the cost is...this. A government so dysfunctional it can't even fulfill its basic, Constitutionally-mandated responsibilities. Social media feeds full of 'gotcha' memes and biased information. And now, a whole section of the populace that feels so left behind, so ignored, that they've (very likely) elected a supremely unqualified person for the highest office in the land, solely for the satisfaction of throwing a brick through the window.

It's times like this that being a big-picture sort of person gets really depressing. Because, ultimately, there's not much I can do about any of these trends. I can't make people listen to each other. I can't stop Internet trolling, or demand that the media quit publishing clickbait headlines, or stop my friends from posting questionable memes. I can't fight what feels like the inevitable tendency of humanity to lose sight of common goals in favor of petty squabbles.

So what can I do? What can any of us do?

Listen. Cultivate empathy to the people you might normally dismiss. Empathy is not the same thing as sympathy; it doesn't mean you agree. It simply means you're willing to consider what they have to say, and their possible reasons for saying it.

Find common ground. For all that we love to find reasons to argue, we're all human, and that means we all have far more in common than we don't. No matter your differences in background, culture, or demographic, I guarantee you have something in common with the next person.

Bring people together. It might be small ways - a yoga class, a church service. It might be bigger - writing a novel, running a protest. But find some way to help people reconnect with others. Help them remember that we're bigger than this.

Set healthy boundaries. Say no to interactions, discussions, and relationships that only drain you. This might seem counterintuitive, but people with the strongest sense of boundaries are able to be the most openhearted with others, because they've saved their energy for the difficult work of listening in good faith.

Maintain your integrity. Practice what you preach.

These are my resolutions for the next four years. What are yours?
missroserose: (Default)
Having spent what feels like the past year deluged with political articles, opinions, and memes on social media, I'm looking forward quite a bit to the upcoming Election Day when it will all be over. (I've already voted; if your area has early voting I highly recommend doing the same. I went in on the very first day it was available, and the line was more than an hour long. It's almost like this has been a particularly nutty election that's made a lot of people very passionate.) Needless to say, this next week feels like it's going to be a record in how long it subjectively feels.

If you want something to take your mind off of our election, therefore, I highly recommend reading this summary of the scandal that's rocking the Korean government right now.

Spoiler alert: this one's a doozy.

I'd vaguely heard that something was up with the Korean presidency, but I hadn't clicked through to details until this post showed up in my feed. And...wow. There's the obligatory shadowy cabal pulling the strings, indulging in all kinds of graft and corporate 'protection' schemes to line their pockets. But that's not even scratching the surface. There's séances. And unencrypted tablet computers. And seriously dysfunctional BFFs. And secret cult ties. And K-Pop music video directors. And rumors of human sacrifice. And...the list goes on. As the author puts it, "Having survived a particularly tumultuous modern democratic history, Korean people may be the world's most cynical consumers of politics. But this. Even the most cynical Koreans were not ready for this." It's the sort of thing that if you saw in a film, your disbelief suspenders would snap in the first five minutes. (Speaking of which, if Park Chan-Wook doesn't make a movie out of this in the next five years, I'm going to be genuinely disappointed.)

Just...wow.

Suddenly our election doesn't seem quite so insane.

Yes.

Jan. 26th, 2013 12:25 am
missroserose: (Life = Creation)
"Kindness" covers all my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy the othe world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.

--Roger Ebert, Life Itself
missroserose: (Not Amused)
Dear Arizona (and everywhere else) political candidates:

I don't care which party you're affiliated with or what position you're running for, but for the love of all that is holy, when you're writing your candidate statements, please don't:
  • Refer to vague bogeymen such as "special interest groups".  What does that even mean?  Be specific.
  • Trash your predecessor, especially over things that weren't their fault.  That's just bad form.
  • PUT PHRASES OR ENTIRE SENTENCES in all caps.  Every fourteen-year-old Internet user knows not to do that if you want to be taken seriously.
  • Make the entire thing a string of cliches.  We've all heard the slogans; this is your chance to stand out.
Instead, try these:
  • Tell us about your qualifications for the job, be they education-based or experience-based.
  • Talk about verifiable, concrete accomplishments - preferably ones you personally contributed to, not just your party.
  • Tell us why you're interested in running for office.
  • Give us some of your goals for your district/state, both short and long term.
Yes, I realize this is only going to appeal to the minority of voters who actually try to make informed, nonpartisan decisions, but do you really think the people who respond to fearmongering and sloganeering are going to bother to read your statements anyway?  Every vote helps, and that includes smart peoples', too.
missroserose: (Not Amused)
Dear Arizona (and everywhere else) political candidates:

I don't care which party you're affiliated with or what position you're running for, but for the love of all that is holy, when you're writing your candidate statements, please don't:
  • Refer to vague bogeymen such as "special interest groups".  What does that even mean?  Be specific.
  • Trash your predecessor, especially over things that weren't their fault.  That's just bad form.
  • PUT PHRASES OR ENTIRE SENTENCES in all caps.  Every fourteen-year-old Internet user knows not to do that if you want to be taken seriously.
  • Make the entire thing a string of cliches.  We've all heard the slogans; this is your chance to stand out.
Instead, try these:
  • Tell us about your qualifications for the job, be they education-based or experience-based.
  • Talk about verifiable, concrete accomplishments - preferably ones you personally contributed to, not just your party.
  • Tell us why you're interested in running for office.
  • Give us some of your goals for your district/state, both short and long term.
Yes, I realize this is only going to appeal to the minority of voters who actually try to make informed, nonpartisan decisions, but do you really think the people who respond to fearmongering and sloganeering are going to bother to read your statements anyway?  Every vote helps, and that includes smart peoples', too.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This morning, my grandmother sent my mother one of the many iterations of the "Hiroshima vs. Detroit - 67 years later" email that's been going around, showing pictures of a glittering Japanese city set against some of the poorest and most run-down sections of Detroit and claiming that this was where the welfare state and Democratic politics in general had gotten us. The blatant confirmation bias, the complete disregard for the differences in culture and situation, and the demonstrable falsity of the email aside, my mother sent her back a couple of pictures of the Detroit skyline along with this response:

Mom, your message entitled "67 Years Later" is so one sided it was difficult for me to read. It showed a glistening, modern Hiroshima and photos of impoverished inner city Detroit. Please look at the photos of Detroit up above - doesn't look so bad, does it?

Anyone can make a situation look terrible by telling only one side of the story. Hiroshima was rebuilt by one of the biggest US bail outs in history. Guilt money for what we did to them in WWII. The Japanese did not rebuild it all by themselves! This message is absolutely ludicrous to suggest otherwise - and according to my daughter's web research the photos aren't even of Hiroshima, they are of Yokohama - a wealthy port city near Tokyo 420 miles EAST of Hiroshima!

While I do agree that an economic system that does not reward production will end in an economy that stagnates, I also believe that it is right and just to help each other - individually and collectively as a government.

The gap between the wealthy and the impoverished in this country is absolutely shameful. And it isn't just because the poor don't want to work or are always looking for a handout. Some very good people find themselves in a cycle of poverty because of things they can't help - like Hurricane Katrina or the 2009 Economic Crash that caused them to lose their jobs. That happened to me and I was fortunate that I had you and Rowland to take care of me when my job ended in 2009 due to no fault of my own. Some good people are still looking diligently for work two years after the crash and can't find it, while the rich keep on taking risks that shake the economy, e.g. JP Morgan's recent $2 billion fiasco.

Instead of sending around one-sided messages that wrongly blame the democrats for all our woes and smugly attempt to make the Republicans look like the only one's who are doing anything good for the country, I suggest you send out this link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/it-aint-over-the-business-secret_n_1607385.html

It is about nine women who make a difference - and who have been quietly making a difference for 30 years. It is not political parties that change the world - it is people with caring hearts. Please Mom, be fair and don't forward one sided messages that only add to the anger and frustration in the world. Send out messages of hope that harm no one and help everyone. I am fine with you promoting a Republican agenda - but do it fairly, OK? Love, Faith
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This morning, my grandmother sent my mother one of the many iterations of the "Hiroshima vs. Detroit - 67 years later" email that's been going around, showing pictures of a glittering Japanese city set against some of the poorest and most run-down sections of Detroit and claiming that this was where the welfare state and Democratic politics in general had gotten us. The blatant confirmation bias, the complete disregard for the differences in culture and situation, and the demonstrable falsity of the email aside, my mother sent her back a couple of pictures of the Detroit skyline along with this response:

Mom, your message entitled "67 Years Later" is so one sided it was difficult for me to read. It showed a glistening, modern Hiroshima and photos of impoverished inner city Detroit. Please look at the photos of Detroit up above - doesn't look so bad, does it?

Anyone can make a situation look terrible by telling only one side of the story. Hiroshima was rebuilt by one of the biggest US bail outs in history. Guilt money for what we did to them in WWII. The Japanese did not rebuild it all by themselves! This message is absolutely ludicrous to suggest otherwise - and according to my daughter's web research the photos aren't even of Hiroshima, they are of Yokohama - a wealthy port city near Tokyo 420 miles EAST of Hiroshima!

While I do agree that an economic system that does not reward production will end in an economy that stagnates, I also believe that it is right and just to help each other - individually and collectively as a government.

The gap between the wealthy and the impoverished in this country is absolutely shameful. And it isn't just because the poor don't want to work or are always looking for a handout. Some very good people find themselves in a cycle of poverty because of things they can't help - like Hurricane Katrina or the 2009 Economic Crash that caused them to lose their jobs. That happened to me and I was fortunate that I had you and Rowland to take care of me when my job ended in 2009 due to no fault of my own. Some good people are still looking diligently for work two years after the crash and can't find it, while the rich keep on taking risks that shake the economy, e.g. JP Morgan's recent $2 billion fiasco.

Instead of sending around one-sided messages that wrongly blame the democrats for all our woes and smugly attempt to make the Republicans look like the only one's who are doing anything good for the country, I suggest you send out this link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/it-aint-over-the-business-secret_n_1607385.html

It is about nine women who make a difference - and who have been quietly making a difference for 30 years. It is not political parties that change the world - it is people with caring hearts. Please Mom, be fair and don't forward one sided messages that only add to the anger and frustration in the world. Send out messages of hope that harm no one and help everyone. I am fine with you promoting a Republican agenda - but do it fairly, OK? Love, Faith
missroserose: (Not Amused)
For those of you who've not been following along at home, the Virginia state legislature recently passed a bill requiring all women seeking abortions to submit to an ultrasound. The mandatory requiring of a medically unnecessary (and expensive!) procedure in order to obtain a perfectly legal service was bad enough, but the implications were even worse. To quote Dahlia Lithwick, one Slate's writer on the courts and the law:

Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. [...] [T]he law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under the federal definition.

As several other bloggers have pointed out, what happens when a rape victim goes to obtain an abortion? The government rapes them again? How the hell does that fit in to the "keep the government out of our lives" mentality so many Americans cherish?

And just to put the sexist cherry on this misogynistic sundae:

What’s more, a provision of the law that has received almost no media attention would ensure that a certification by the doctor that the patient either did or didn’t “avail herself of the opportunity” to view the ultrasound or listen to the fetal heartbeat will go into the woman’s medical record. [...] I guess they were all out of scarlet letters in Richmond.

Fortunately, the widespread (and deserved) outcry that resulted from this bill seems to have gotten the attention of its sponsors and supporters. Many of them, including Governor Bob McDonnell, have retracted said support in the wake of the onrush of vitriol from the blogosphere (and, hopefully, outside of it as well). But this particular bit caught my eye:

Officials who met with McDonnell say that the bill's supporters didn't understand how invasive the transvaginal ultrasound truly is, and now that they know, they're changing their tune.

Now, I'm not naive about how sausage is made. My godmother is a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society; just from her stories alone, I have at least an idea of how much time your average legislator spends worrying about favors given and favors owed and their constituents' support and raising money for their re-election campaign versus how much time they spend actually thinking about the ramifications of the bills they pass. And even cutting human nature out of the equation, there's the sheer practicality question to consider - bills often run in the hundreds of pages, and there just aren't enough hours in the day for them to read, let alone consider, everything they're voting on. So it gets reduced to a few buzzwords by their aides and they decide how to vote based on who else is voting for it, what they think it'll do for their popularity at home, who they can curry favor with, etc. etc.

Then there's the fact that, not to put too fine a point on it, most legislators are men. They just plain don't have the background to connect the dots when it comes to procedures involving female biology. Speculum? Pap smear? Nothing more than vaguely-uncomfortable concepts, if they mean anything at all other than silly words. So it really is perfectly possible that they never connected the phrase "transvaginal ultrasound" with "forcible penetration". (Or, if you want to be less charitable, it's possible some of them did connect the dots but figured penetration couldn't be so bad - if she opened her legs once why should she have a problem doing it again? But for the sake of my faith in humanity, I'm hoping these were in the minority.)

All that said...I'm still utterly disappointed in these lawmakers. I understand the realities of their situation, and I understand how human nature works. But when it's ostensibly your job to make laws that uphold the American ideals of life and liberty (not to mention basic human dignity), it seems that there's something fundamentally wrong when you (however unintentionally) vote for bills that go completely against everything you were elected to uphold. The real frustration for me is that I can't think of any way to fix the problem. I know there's always the classic of "clear the assholes out in the next election", but this particular flaw fits so neatly into the various blind spots of human nature, something similar will likely happen even with a completely different crop of assholes.

The more I watch government in action, the more I begin to think my mother's philosophy is right: "Our system of government isn't inefficient because something's wrong with it. It's supposed to be inefficient, because that protects the people it governs." Amen.
missroserose: (Not Amused)
For those of you who've not been following along at home, the Virginia state legislature recently passed a bill requiring all women seeking abortions to submit to an ultrasound. The mandatory requiring of a medically unnecessary (and expensive!) procedure in order to obtain a perfectly legal service was bad enough, but the implications were even worse. To quote Dahlia Lithwick, one Slate's writer on the courts and the law:

Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. [...] [T]he law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under the federal definition.

As several other bloggers have pointed out, what happens when a rape victim goes to obtain an abortion? The government rapes them again? How the hell does that fit in to the "keep the government out of our lives" mentality so many Americans cherish?

And just to put the sexist cherry on this misogynistic sundae:

What’s more, a provision of the law that has received almost no media attention would ensure that a certification by the doctor that the patient either did or didn’t “avail herself of the opportunity” to view the ultrasound or listen to the fetal heartbeat will go into the woman’s medical record. [...] I guess they were all out of scarlet letters in Richmond.

Fortunately, the widespread (and deserved) outcry that resulted from this bill seems to have gotten the attention of its sponsors and supporters. Many of them, including Governor Bob McDonnell, have retracted said support in the wake of the onrush of vitriol from the blogosphere (and, hopefully, outside of it as well). But this particular bit caught my eye:

Officials who met with McDonnell say that the bill's supporters didn't understand how invasive the transvaginal ultrasound truly is, and now that they know, they're changing their tune.

Now, I'm not naive about how sausage is made. My godmother is a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society; just from her stories alone, I have at least an idea of how much time your average legislator spends worrying about favors given and favors owed and their constituents' support and raising money for their re-election campaign versus how much time they spend actually thinking about the ramifications of the bills they pass. And even cutting human nature out of the equation, there's the sheer practicality question to consider - bills often run in the hundreds of pages, and there just aren't enough hours in the day for them to read, let alone consider, everything they're voting on. So it gets reduced to a few buzzwords by their aides and they decide how to vote based on who else is voting for it, what they think it'll do for their popularity at home, who they can curry favor with, etc. etc.

Then there's the fact that, not to put too fine a point on it, most legislators are men. They just plain don't have the background to connect the dots when it comes to procedures involving female biology. Speculum? Pap smear? Nothing more than vaguely-uncomfortable concepts, if they mean anything at all other than silly words. So it really is perfectly possible that they never connected the phrase "transvaginal ultrasound" with "forcible penetration". (Or, if you want to be less charitable, it's possible some of them did connect the dots but figured penetration couldn't be so bad - if she opened her legs once why should she have a problem doing it again? But for the sake of my faith in humanity, I'm hoping these were in the minority.)

All that said...I'm still utterly disappointed in these lawmakers. I understand the realities of their situation, and I understand how human nature works. But when it's ostensibly your job to make laws that uphold the American ideals of life and liberty (not to mention basic human dignity), it seems that there's something fundamentally wrong when you (however unintentionally) vote for bills that go completely against everything you were elected to uphold. The real frustration for me is that I can't think of any way to fix the problem. I know there's always the classic of "clear the assholes out in the next election", but this particular flaw fits so neatly into the various blind spots of human nature, something similar will likely happen even with a completely different crop of assholes.

The more I watch government in action, the more I begin to think my mother's philosophy is right: "Our system of government isn't inefficient because something's wrong with it. It's supposed to be inefficient, because that protects the people it governs." Amen.
missroserose: (Inspire)
Listen to this man. He speaks the truth.

And merely by our listening, it will be another small victory for truthfulness, authenticity, and integrity.

Or at least, I hope so. Because God knows how desperately we need it.
missroserose: (Inspire)
Listen to this man. He speaks the truth.

And merely by our listening, it will be another small victory for truthfulness, authenticity, and integrity.

Or at least, I hope so. Because God knows how desperately we need it.
missroserose: (Inspire)
--Seriously? Aborted-fetus placards outside the stadium entrance? That's really what you're going with? Could you possibly be any more tacky?

--The event itself was uplifting and wonderful, and remarkably well-ordered for something involving that many people that was obviously thrown together in the space of a day or three. We didn't make it early enough to get a seat in the hall, but they put the overflow in the stadium and live-fed the event to the Jumbotron there. And while I was disappointed not to see the President's speech in person, there was something undeniably special about watching it in real-time with a crowd of thousands.

--There was also something undeniably interesting about seeing all these faces whom I normally only see in photos on Slate.com actually moving around and talking. Attorney General Eric Holder sounded almost exactly as I would have imagine. Jan Brewer, on the other hand, not so much...and honestly, I felt like her speech had a smarmy tinge to it. But I realize that could just be my personal biases talking.

--Which doesn't stop me from indulging in a certain amount of schadenfreude when comparing the fairly tame applause she got with the wild cheers Janet Napolitano elicited (along with calls of "We miss you, Janet!), just afterward.

--The line (I can't recall who said it - Hernandez maybe?) about how "Saturday we all became Tucsonans, we all became Arizonans" stuck with me. Possibly because I'd had that exact thought - somehow this was the first time I'd actually seriously thought of myself as being an Arizonan, rather than just a displaced Alaskan.

--Daniel Hernandez's speech was touching in its earnestness. I guess these days, getting the seat next to the President and getting to talk on national TV is the equivalent of being gifted the key to the city.

--Obama's speech was excellent, more or less as expected. And while I'm cynical enough not to believe it will have a lasting effect (adversarialism just seems too engrained into human nature), I appreciate both the truth of it and his sincerity in saying it. I just wish more people engaged in the endless shit-stirring that is our government would stop and listen.

I took some pictures of the crowd, so I may put those up later. But for now I wanted to get down the impressions while they were fresh. Many thanks to Niki for driving us from SV to Tucson and back - gas saved aside, the company made the trip a lot shorter than it would otherwise have been.
missroserose: (Inspire)
--Seriously? Aborted-fetus placards outside the stadium entrance? That's really what you're going with? Could you possibly be any more tacky?

--The event itself was uplifting and wonderful, and remarkably well-ordered for something involving that many people that was obviously thrown together in the space of a day or three. We didn't make it early enough to get a seat in the hall, but they put the overflow in the stadium and live-fed the event to the Jumbotron there. And while I was disappointed not to see the President's speech in person, there was something undeniably special about watching it in real-time with a crowd of thousands.

--There was also something undeniably interesting about seeing all these faces whom I normally only see in photos on Slate.com actually moving around and talking. Attorney General Eric Holder sounded almost exactly as I would have imagine. Jan Brewer, on the other hand, not so much...and honestly, I felt like her speech had a smarmy tinge to it. But I realize that could just be my personal biases talking.

--Which doesn't stop me from indulging in a certain amount of schadenfreude when comparing the fairly tame applause she got with the wild cheers Janet Napolitano elicited (along with calls of "We miss you, Janet!), just afterward.

--The line (I can't recall who said it - Hernandez maybe?) about how "Saturday we all became Tucsonans, we all became Arizonans" stuck with me. Possibly because I'd had that exact thought - somehow this was the first time I'd actually seriously thought of myself as being an Arizonan, rather than just a displaced Alaskan.

--Daniel Hernandez's speech was touching in its earnestness. I guess these days, getting the seat next to the President and getting to talk on national TV is the equivalent of being gifted the key to the city.

--Obama's speech was excellent, more or less as expected. And while I'm cynical enough not to believe it will have a lasting effect (adversarialism just seems too engrained into human nature), I appreciate both the truth of it and his sincerity in saying it. I just wish more people engaged in the endless shit-stirring that is our government would stop and listen.

I took some pictures of the crowd, so I may put those up later. But for now I wanted to get down the impressions while they were fresh. Many thanks to Niki for driving us from SV to Tucson and back - gas saved aside, the company made the trip a lot shorter than it would otherwise have been.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Sometimes life is so very unfair.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Sometimes life is so very unfair.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This was written in response to this article, on Obama's disappointing unwillingness to take a stand on some of the thornier moral issues that have come up during his term.

On the whole I've been pretty pleased with Obama's performance - it's true, his term so far hasn't lived up to many of his promises, but given how the structure of our government is set up to intentionally delay changes by bogging them down in a sinking morass of bureaucracy, I wasn't expecting the miracles that some apparently were. Frankly, just having someone in office who *doesn't* make me wince whenever I hear them talking is a big plus in my book, and the fact that he's gotten as much done as he has in the current political climate is impressive.

That said...this article pinpoints one of my consistent disappointments with him. If anything, he's been *too* conciliatory, and *too* careful. One of the things I found most impressive about him in his campaign was his willingness to take a stand on some tough issues - and not in a belligerent way, but by finding the common ground on both sides and promoting it. Unfortunately, that talent seems to have disappeared into the morass as well. As someone mentions below, taking a stand at this point would serve his interests; he's not making any inroads with the nutjob segment, but there's a distinct group of moderates and independents who would respect him for doing so, and perhaps even be swayed by his talent for "we're all fundamentally trying for the same ideals, even if we get there differently" rhetoric. I'm still crossing my fingers that he'll find his moral compass again before the term's over.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
This was written in response to this article, on Obama's disappointing unwillingness to take a stand on some of the thornier moral issues that have come up during his term.

On the whole I've been pretty pleased with Obama's performance - it's true, his term so far hasn't lived up to many of his promises, but given how the structure of our government is set up to intentionally delay changes by bogging them down in a sinking morass of bureaucracy, I wasn't expecting the miracles that some apparently were. Frankly, just having someone in office who *doesn't* make me wince whenever I hear them talking is a big plus in my book, and the fact that he's gotten as much done as he has in the current political climate is impressive.

That said...this article pinpoints one of my consistent disappointments with him. If anything, he's been *too* conciliatory, and *too* careful. One of the things I found most impressive about him in his campaign was his willingness to take a stand on some tough issues - and not in a belligerent way, but by finding the common ground on both sides and promoting it. Unfortunately, that talent seems to have disappeared into the morass as well. As someone mentions below, taking a stand at this point would serve his interests; he's not making any inroads with the nutjob segment, but there's a distinct group of moderates and independents who would respect him for doing so, and perhaps even be swayed by his talent for "we're all fundamentally trying for the same ideals, even if we get there differently" rhetoric. I'm still crossing my fingers that he'll find his moral compass again before the term's over.

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