Pollyanna Politics

Tearing down politicians seems to be a favorite pastime in this country. I don’t remember things always being so vicious. At what point did we stop thinking of public servants as people and start using them as punching bags to absorb all of our pent up angst and rage?

I am definitely not planning on naming any of my future children or pets after George W. Bush but neither am I going to spend my life blaming all the world’s problems on him or finding ways to berate and mock him. It’s super cool right now to rip on Bush, to find a reason, any reason to be negative about him.

I think it all started with legitimate concerns about his policies and actions as president. Then it snowballed into something ugly, a disrespectful free-for-all of personal attacks. It makes me sad to see so many people so bitter and angry.

Now I’m all for debate, discussion, thoughtful criticism and even intelligent satire. We owe it to ourselves, our children and our leaders to keep them on their toes, to ask hard questions, debate policy and vote our consciences. But I think we’d be better off if we maintained a level of honor, civility and respect.

In the current election people seem to either passionately support one of the candidates or think they’re both a disappointment. I hear frequent talk about choosing “the lesser of two evils”, a ballooning pessimism and cynicism overtaking political discourse.

And I think, “What the chicken?!”

In this presidential race we have 2 men who I believe are good people, sincere in their desire to make positive change in this country. I don’t agree with either of them completely on how to accomplish that. Neither do I think I could do any better nor would I want to take on that kind of responsibility, especially in these tough economic times.

So I say, “Hooray for a free country where we get to choose between two impassioned, intelligent, honorable people to lead us.” (Yes I know there are other people running for president besides Obama and McCain but I’m referring to candidates who have a snowball’s chance of winning this election.) I would just encourage everyone to take a breath and practice some Pollyanna-style politics this November. Look at the good you think each candidate could accomplish and choose who you think could do the most good, not “lesser of two evils.”

In that spirit, I’d like you to leave comments today with positive things about either or all of the major presidential candidates and their running mates. Come on. I know you can do it.

*Any comments that Pollyanna wouldn’t approve will be deleted for this post. I want to keep it positive.*

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39 Responses to Pollyanna Politics

  1. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the post, Kathryn. Very well stated.

    I think we are very blessed to still have people of strong character and strong families who are willing to put themselves and their families through the incredible stress of campaigning, and for the person who wins, 4 or more years of an underpaid, underappreciated job.

    I’ve already voted, so I did make a choice about who I wanted as president (okay, so I kind of let my Canadian husband pick, because he cared so much more than I did and had paid SO much more attention to everything, while I was distracted with a 1 year old), but I will be proud to have either man leading our country.

  2. jennifer says:

    Definitely a very tough job that for some reason we all seem to think we could do better.

    So I am very grateful that there are people who want to do it. and do not mind being under our watchful, judgemental eyes 24/7.

  3. Jess says:

    I agree with you completely–thanks for this reminder! I don’t get the desire to villify candidates either, or the strange obsession people seem to have with Bush. I am quite philosophically opposed to one of the candidates, but I don’t believe the world will end if he gets elected and not the candidate more align with my views. One person, even the president, cannot make or break this country.

  4. I am sincerely moved by McCain’s Vietnam story and his dedication to American freedom. And Obama seems like a person that would be enjoyable to spend time with on a personal level, very likeable. In past elections I have felt that some candidates were evil, but I think both current candidates have some good things to bring to the table and I don’t have MAJOR (bring on the apocalypse) misgivings if either one is elected.

  5. Fawndear says:

    Um, I like Palin’s glasses, Bidens ties, Obama’s speech skills, and McCains dedication.
    How’s that!
    I don’t like negative politics which is why I won’t watch the news any more. I read transcripts.
    No matter who is elected – the country will go in the direction that the people dictate and not’s it’s leaders. So if we have a problem with America I think the problem lies squarely on all of our shoulders and not any one individual.
    Heaven bless whoever will be our new president!

  6. jk2boys says:

    Haha, Thank you for your comment Fawndear! That’s mostly how I’ve been feeling lately too!

  7. Sara says:

    I already voted while I was in the States, but agonized over my decision up until the last moment.

    I like McCain for his commitment to believing life inside the womb is sacred and worth saving always. I like him for his courage and tenacity in surviving what must have been horrific during Vietnam. I like him for his humility in admitting his biggest mistake was his failure with his first marriage. I like him for his courage to keep pressing on, even when the media makes fun of him day in and day out. I like him for his wisdom and his history of doing the right thing in Washington when he was an Independent and didn’t have to acquiesce to any party.

    I like Obama for his eloquence and energy. I like him for his determination to reach for the stars. I like him for his inspiration to other African Americans. While I wish his healthcare plan was more like John Edwards’, I like him for believing that every American should have access to quality healthcare without making them go bankrupt. (As an American living in Canada, I have come to a very deep appreciation of the national healthcare I have at my disposal here, and I wish all Americans had that.) I like him for his stance on taking care of our environment, even if I don’t think he has it perfectly thought out quite yet.

    In fact, in my idyllic imagination, I wish they would just shake hands and work together in the Oval Office. They could take turns being President, just like little kids who have to take turns with a favorite toy.

    Whatever ends up happening, my hope and prayer is that America will become good and healthy once again, and that she will one day be known again as a beacon and a light for other countries.

  8. Jana says:

    I like Sarah Palin’s hair.

    While I am very definite in my opinion and my vote, I think whoever gets elected will have a very tough four years. My biggest hope for the next President is that they will not leave God out of their decisions.

  9. Beth says:

    Hmm…let’s see…………………..ummm…….well?…….hmm…..

    Nope…got nuthin’.

    Ok, ok. I think perhaps it takes a great sense of humor to be ok with being parodied on SNL.

    That’s about all I can come up with. 🙂

  10. zdoodlebub says:

    Amen sister. I’m linking you!

  11. allysha says:

    Can I just repeat: “what the chicken!?!” That makes me feel better about everything, pretty much.

  12. Sarah says:

    Mmm-hmm. From now on I’m mentioning “Pollyanna” with every person who tries to draw me into an intense debate about the presidential candidates. Thanks!

  13. Jen says:

    I am still questioning who to vote for. I see positives and negatives in both candidates. What I am having a hard time with is trying to teach my kids to vote for someone because they are the better choice not because some friend said that is who they would pick. (I am guessing that has to be close to a run on sentence.)
    I did love watching Tina Fey/Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler/Hillary Clinton on SNL!

  14. AJ says:

    Thank you, I really appreciate this post. I have been getting way too caught up in the crazy political climate and it was affecting my mood on a daily basis. If my preferred candidate was down in the polls, well, let’s just say my family didn’t want to be around me. So I took a political news/blog vacation for a week (which I’m still on) and I must say, I am much, much happier!! The negativity was certainly taking its toll on me.

    As for good things about all the candidates, well… let’s see… I admire Obama for his passion and eloquence, Biden for his committment to his family after his wife died, Palin for her ability to keep sane under all this pressure and for her walk-the-walk stance on being pro-life, and McCain for his experience and most of all, his tremendous service to our country.

  15. LisAway says:

    I love all the candidates, but I love YOU even more! Excellent post, Kathryn. Living outside of of the US for some reason it’s even more sad for me to see the bickering and name calling.

  16. Keyona says:

    Politics are such a scary subject. I, however, feel that both candidates support many topics I agree on. Being military I have cast my absentee ballot already and I only looked at if from the standpoint of who will improve me and my families lives. As a human, as a woman, as an African American, and as a member of the US Air Force. All else doesn’t matter.

  17. Amy Lawson says:

    Obama is smokin’ hot…I’d love to touch his bum.

    And McCain seems like the type of guy who buys nice, thoughtful gifts for his grandkids.

    Love ’em both!

  18. Keyona says:

    Hello, hello you’ve been tagged over at my place!

  19. Sara says:

    I had to laugh while reading your post, I loved it!! I completely agree and I’ve been having similar discussions with my Mom and Mother-in-law. They”ve all been “let’s talk about the issues in a way that promotes understanding and clarification while also being in the mode where we are okay to “agree to disagree” It has truly been a learning experience. My mom and MIL who come from conservative republican backgrounds are really learning about both candidates and really re-thinking everything. My MIL even suggested it was too bad that Obama and Palin couldn’t be the ones running together…I thought, how great would that be!?!? A combination of the parties in the oval office. I wonder if that would be a great help or hinderance in our country or if that’s the direction we need to go? Maybe that would help keep the balance even more?

  20. Christina says:

    When Obama speaks I believe he is sincere. Same thing with McCain. I may not agree with where they stand on certain issues but I believe they have the country’s best interests in mind. Great post!

  21. AC says:

    I really, really appreciate your post. I think you’re exactly right. They’re both good men with their good traits and bad. I don’t even know who I’m voting for yet, and I’ve watched all the debates, read the magazine articles, etc.

    I guess we ought to keep in mind that one person can’t change the course of our entire nation. So no matter who wins, I think we’re in for better days ahead.

  22. Kork says:

    Amen Sister!

    I could not agree more that the mudslinging has gotten completely out of hand and it really horks me off. (how’s that for a word?)

    I am having a difficult time with the decision for President, as both candidates have several strengths and things with which I agree…

    Times like these make me wonder what really happened back in the day before instant media communication, or even before the Industrial Revolution and all things associated…how did people really choose their leaders? Food for thought…

    And I am going to steal…errr…borrow “What the chicken?” ;D

  23. Stephanie says:

    I do like them both. I think Obama is very personable. He seems really down to earth. I like the way that McCain wants to support the American Dream.

  24. Janssen says:

    I am sincerely grateful that anyone wants to run for president and has the nerve to put themselves out there. I’ve watched far too much 24 to ever even consider it (also, I have zero political experience, so there’s that).

    And I’m glad we get to choose. No one is forcing us to vote for one or the other.

  25. kimi says:

    I could not agree with you more. How in the world can we all complain, whine, gripe when NONE of us would want that job! I’m so grateful that there are men (and women) of character that are still willing to put themselves in positions of authority, to be our shepherds in such and amazing way.

    I may not agree with either of them 100% but I’m more than willing to be lead by one of them. 😉

    God Bless our free and amazing country!


  26. JD says:

    Both really are extra special in their own ways. This is going to be a great race. I am excited to see what Virginia will say.

  27. Jaclyn says:

    I feel the same way about Canadian elections…I hate negative ads. It would be really nice to have a political leader who won by telling us about what he will do for this country, instead of how much the other leader sucks. I’m completely at a loss to understand why they think vilifying all of our political leaders will inspire patriotism and confidence in the fate of our country.

  28. Lynette says:

    We have had presidential candidate signs for both sides stolen all over our area, which I haven’t seen happen in the past. However, unfortunately, the viciousness has been going on in the U.S. at least since the early elections – there’s a recent book out about the top 25 dirtiest campaigns, and many are before all of our times.

    I agree with many of the comments already made, and I would add that one thing I see in both candidates is a willingness to consider the situation and consult people who might know more than they do before making a decision. I think people have felt that was sorely lacking with the current administration, and it reflects on us across the rest of the world. Whether or not I agree with a decision, if I feel it has been made intelligently and thoughtfully, I can support and respect the person making it.

  29. Keri-Ann says:

    You aren’t going to name your next baby “W”???

    I just wanted to say VERY very well put. I can think of a few radio personalities I’d like to forward it to! 😀 Thanks for this great post! 🙂

  30. Initially (before VP picks were chosen and all of the super-negative campaigning began) I didn’t have a huge preference in regards to who won the election.

    I thought that both presidential candidates were men of honor. Although I had a slight preference, I was pretty much okay with whoever won. I really did (still do) believe that both Obama and McCain have a real desire to be of service to this country.

    My hope is that no matter who wins, the country will come together/get over all of the divisions of late and support our next President. With all that is going on in this world, the winner will definitely need ALL of our support.

  31. KYouell says:

    Between “What the chicken?!” and “Obama is smokin’ hot…I’d love to touch his bum,” I think I coughed up a lung trying to laugh with this cold.

    I think the best part about this election has been people like you, and Heather Sanders at Oh My Stinking Heck, who have reminded us all to play nice. Heather and I had a lovely email exchange about it. She and I are pretty much on opposite sides of things, but it is SOOO NICE to have a sane discussion with someone about these things. I think we forget that it’s okay to disagree and that you don’t have to change someone’s mind to think like you do.

    So thank YOU!

  32. Cheri says:

    Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you. I’m so tired of opening up my e-mail and seeing I’ve been forwarded another hate e-mail. It makes me feel so sad for our country. And, I wonder what God thinks. Anyway, you made me feel better about the whole thing.

  33. Though I have experienced a great deal of anxiety regarding politics lately, I concur. My nice thing: I get the impression that one of our candidates has pure motives in seeking the presidency. No need for glory or fame but simply a desire to do some good, make some things right, regardless of partisanship. My other nice thing: I think it was very classy of one candidate to insist that media crucifixion of another candidate’s family struggles was inappropriate and irrelevant. I also concur that it’s time to leave “w” alone. Not an easy job he has, and not an easy time to have that job, and not fair to put all the blame for all our problems on him…what with congress and all!

  34. Sketchy says:

    Can I just copy this verbatum and put it on my blog?

  35. Rachel H says:

    Love this post- and I agree! It’s hard not to get swept away with all the hub-bub of Political craziness! I have all too often been stressed OUT about it! The negativity is downright disgraceful.

    I love what I read Dave Ramsey say about thinking that the president or the government will save our economy: Let’s focus on our OWN(personal) economy- i.e. being frugal, paying down debts, not going into credit card debt, and then the ECONOMY will be saved itself. WE need to FIRST look inward to ourselves and take RESPONSIBLITY for where we are!

  36. Erin T. says:

    Hey Kathryn!
    Just checkin up on your blog and I loved this and had to comment – Yay!!! Thank you for writing this. After some hot political debates with my siblings lately I’ve been so grumpy, mostly about all the negativism, so I was so glad to read this and feel like I’m not alone in my criticism of everyone’s criticism. 🙂 It really did make me feel better. You rock and if you ever run for president, I’m so voting for you! But you’d have to be yourself on SNL because no one else could be as funny!

  37. Thanks for a balanced view in a not-so-balanced world these days! When I have conversations with family members who feel quite differently than I do about which candidate to choose, I always note how we have two very smart men as choices this round, which makes me feel like we’ll be okay either way. I do have a preference, but I also think we’ll be okay.
    Thank you!

  38. Beth says:

    Thank you. This is the first time in my memory that there is no chance I will be appalled at the result of the election.
    I just wish there were better choices for VICE president. Ugh. (Or that I was more sure it wouldn’t matter who was vice president, but I’m nervous that it will matter quite a lot, for the first time in my memory. That thought in itself scares me…)

  39. Leslie says:

    Who doesn’t love Pollyanna?! I love how she can get everyone to rally around a common cause. I love it that she’s a Christian, too. She’d be leading the march to end abortion in this country!! Yay, Pollyanna! I know who she’d vote for.

    Thanks for this great reminder to be like Pollyanna, DYM!!

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