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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Political Blunders

When I first came to the United States after living overseas for 20 years, I remember the two golden rules my husband told me. It was sort of joke between us whenever we traveled to a new country.

1. Don't get angry at the drivers here.
2. Don't ever discuss politics.

The first one was sort of easy to understand. German drivers are fast, have a huge rule book, and some unwritten courtesies. I find most americans to be good drivers, except that "I am going to stay on the left lane" thing, really does frustrate me. He was afraid that I would get my head shot off if I got someone angry.

The second rule I had a harder time swallowing. Germans, at least the ones I know discuss politics, economics all the time. I mean they really get into heated debates, but everyone walks away happy and tired. It is part of our life, how can you not discuss it. I always found it to be fun and entertaining.

Of course, I broke that rule, and I am sorry and frustrated at the same time. Politics is nothing that I would ever want a career in, but I do believe everyone has the freedom to state their opinion and not be attacked, either verbally, abusively or in any other way. Whoever you vote for is your right, and a wonderful right at that. It is what this country is all about. However, I also believe that we, as americans, and yes I am an american citizen, have an obligation to inform ourselves about political issues. I remember my sister once saying to me, there is no reason you are not voting, except that you are too lazy to take the time to learn about the issues. She was right. I wanted to watch tv, and sew, and when the voting booths opened, I had no idea what I was doing there. That was wrong. Believe me, it never happened again.

The healthcare system in the US is an issue that is personally very important to me. Not just because I have had my own share of negative experiences, but because I think I am paying way too much money for the little service I receive. I am not a selfish person, and if someone knocks at my door asking me to vote for a tax that would help bring more money to our schools, I would do it. My neighborhood is important to me. I dont like money being wasted, and I dont have much to share, but some things are just important to my future. Education, healthcare, infrastructure......all these things frustrate me in our country, and yes I think I can make a difference. My one little voice will engage, and is not afraid to do so.

However, I cannot fight against lions, or lies. There are lots of people out there, that don't communicate too well, forget their manners, and show their ignorance. I know what it is like to live under a democratic socialistic healthcare system. I appreciate the great medical care I was given, and the little it cost me. Although it was not a vacation, I won't ever complain. I am still learning about our government and our system here, and I will always have alot to learn. I hope everyone else takes the time out of their hectic schedules to look up the facts (http://factcheck.org), think about what is good for us as a nation, and our children. It is important. Even if we don't agree with Congress and the "Plan", we should write our Congressmen about we would like to see change. My father used to tell me to always "Keep your eye on the donut and not on the hole".

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”
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