I turned on CNN a minute ago for just a moment. Got irritated and turned it off. I am an ultra-conservative republican, so it never takes long for me to get irritated when the “news” is on. I say I am ultra-conservative, but as ultra-conservatives go, I probably am not. I believe in God, am anti-abortion, think all US citizens should support the president, blah, blah, blah, yet I like a good vodka drink, enjoy some of the better cuss words and have a little ink permanently placed under my skin, so I guess I can’t be THAT conservative. I avoid politics when I can, but sometime you just can’t avoid them. I am VERY ignorant on a lot of political things because in my opinion, ignorance really is bliss sometimes.
I do not pretend to understand the war, but I support our troops. I have made it a point my entire life to always say thank you whenever I see anyone in the military regardless of if the US is involved in a military action or not. When I have done this, sometimes they just look at me like I am stupid. Sometimes they look as if they actually appreciate knowing that I have recognized their sacrifice. I think that anyone that would put themselves last and put people who they don’t even know high enough on their list to die for them are true heroes. I read books like The Sandbox* and am intrigued by the utter dedication to the cause that these soldiers have. And I am disgusted with myself that I can go a full 24 hours without even thinking about the fact that someone died for my freedom that day. I’m too busy worrying about being out of Fresca.
There are men and women that serve and come home to children they have never met, parents who have passed away and broken marriage vows. Then we get two jackasses running for president that want to point out that the other has flipped on his stance on Afghanistan or never showed up to vote on the sub-committee that they chair. I hate election years. Campaigns are dirty and malicious and some snot-nosed kid whose daddy got him a job somewhere is controlling the switches and deciding what we actually get to see on TV. The media is like a high school slut, who when given an opportunity to actually do the right thing, usually still ends up in bed with whomever is most popular at the time.
I mean maybe I am a bad person because I would rather watch Project Runway than C-SPAN, but at what point do you start to feel like you don’t make a difference? I do have some consolation that I still feel like I can make changes in my local community. I still feel like I can make a difference in my little pond of Eufaula. But is that any consolation? I just want to understand. I want to feel like supporting our government isn’t in vain. I just want one political giant to stand up and admit when they screw up and stop looking for scapegoats. This is way too depressing and I apologize, really I do. I don’t know why I am on this terrible topic. Perhaps I am just hoping someone can say, “Hey, I understand what is going on.” Or maybe they will say, “You know it isn’t as bad as you think.”
All I know is that I don’t watch the news because I can’t handle hearing about people who put babies in garbage cans and parents who kill their kids and thugs who beat up on old people. I love my kids – and they can be real jerks! But regardless of how irritating they can be, if I press my nose in the crook of their neck, it tickles them and they smash my face with their face trying to get away, and they giggle and smell sweet and feel soft and tell me I’m the best mom in the whole world. They say “Do it again!” And my mother gets on my nerves, but she thinks of things – the most obscure things – that she thinks would make me happy, and she does them, and they do. And as much as I hate that I have to go to my grandmother’s house at least once a week because she has messed up her e-mail again, or can’t find her glasses or needs me to open a damn jar, I do it and I am glad to do it and I am lucky that I still have her around to pester me. Yet there are people that do not appreciate any of this. There are people that don’t appreciate their family and their health and their freedom, and they sure as hell don’t care that some baby in Iowa will never know her father because he got his head blown off in Iraq today. And that sucks. It sucks on so many levels that I can’t begin to talk about it.
* Doonesbury.com’s The Sandbox: Dispatches from Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book is a collection of blogs from active military serving in combat. I was not expecting the insightfulness and eloquence of the soldiers who wrote these blogs. It is more about odd things that happen or finding beauty in war and things like that than it is a political satire. I highly recommend it.