We had some good friends over for dinner last night. We all used to live together in the same neighborhood, and it was a great place, but as families grew, we've all found larger homes in other places. Unfortunately we all yearn for the simpler, more neighborly time of just a few years ago.
We got together because one of our number is currently enlisted in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. He's been stationed overseas, away from his family for 9 months, and he's currently on a 30 day pass to see his family. And we wanted to see him too!
He is one of the most honorable and loyal men I know. If you want to meet a man who gets what 'Family' means, this is your man.
Most of the group lean towards to conservative side of the political aisle, especially my Military friend. He is one of those who is convinced that Mr. Obama is leading us down a dangerous path and will destroy the US in 2 years. Generally I try to avoid politics when I'm around people with differing views. Not that I'm ashamed of my views, or a coward, but politics, like religion invokes some pretty strong and deep feelings, and it's not something that you can have a calm and rational discussion though, unless both parties approach the matter with completely open minds.
In addition to that, this man is putting his life on the line for what he believes in. I may not agree, but I really respect that, because I sure as heck am not doing that.
Somehow it was introduced to the conversation that I voted for Obama. Gotta love friends with devious senses of humor.
"Why" was the big thing that was asked.
I kept my answer as simple and non-confrontational as possible, stating simply, that I just couldn't bring myself to vote for McCain (Which he actually agreed with), and that in a Republican State like Utah, my vote didn't matter much anyway - But Dammit if I didn't try!!
Many have called Mr Obama a socialist, which he may well be, but in an election where we only really had two choices, I saw those choices as this...
1 - Mr. Obama with Socialist type policies which would seek to take from the few and give to the many.
2 - Mr. McCain with Fascist type policies which would seek to take from the many and give to the few.
Neither is really a good way of doing things, but I went with the first. That, and I think Mr. Obama was pretty open with what his plans where, whereas Mr. McCains entire platform seemed to be based on "I'm not that guy."
This is a difficult post to write, because it has a beginning and an end, but I'm not really sure how to link them, because the end kind of started before the beginning, but it provides a good conclusion to the beginning. Perhaps I shall just use this paragraph as an interlude to the end.
I've been reading excerpts from a book called War is a Racket on the blog of a good friend and reader of this blog. It deals with something that I have suspected for several years now, but presents it with far more clarity and authority that I could ever hope to muster.
Rather than do the work an injustice by trying to describe it or paraphrase it, I would simple recommend that you read it.
You can read a little about the author here.
And the excepts from the book are here.
At the time of the election, I recall saying that I thought there was a far better way to honor our military men and women than sending them overseas to be killed and maimed in the deserts of the Middle East. I believe that now more than ever.