Discussion: Politics from the Eyes of an Average American


Below is a short column/blog I wrote and shared with an editor/friend at a local newspaper. Friends and family members know I’m not into politics at all. I’ll even goes as far to say I hate talking or hearing about them, much less thinking about the subject. But he made me feel validated enough to be willing to share it with the public. This post is up and open for discussion, I just ask that we keep it civil and intelligent. This post isn’t about parties or who to vote for, but the view of an every day young American on the state of things today. I invite anyone who cares to share their thoughts to do so. Just remember to be respectful.

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“One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job,” Perry said. “That is not a recovery — that is an economic disaster.” -TX Governor Rick Perry

The link above covers a speech TX Gov. Rick Perry gave in South Carolina recently. Though woven into a romanticized voice of the home bred, conservative, deeply rooted American, I’ve got to admit there’s a distinct plan of action behind his speech that appeals to me.

Set aside the fact that you can probably envision Perry preaching with a cowboy hat on the steps of your local southern baptist church. This guy has a record of job creation in Texas. It makes me dare to wonder if he can help open similar doors for the rest of America?

I’ll be straight with you guys. I don’t like talking about politics. I think the majority of it is a sketchy business where you have to shift through lies, rhetoric and ulterior motives in order to try and piece together what’s really going on. But I want to believe that someone’s got the guts and the honest drive to make things better for the sake of this country. Like so many others, I want nothing more than to be able to pay my debt, afford the cost of living and not have to struggle from paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life because of increasing debt, heightened taxes and steadily rising unemployment.

To put it simply, I want to see real recovery.

Perry mentions cutting the ever extending arm of Washington over State Rights and businesses. I realize that the government doesn’t actually have the funds or stability to carry on supporting us as individuals whether through medicare, social security, and/or unemployment. Our government is not a wellspring of wealth, and our debt only continues to increase, which in turn decreases the value of our dollar.

And I’m okay with letting the government shedding some of its assumed responsibilities. Truth is, I would rather take a chance and work, save and carve out my own way of living than be indebted, and enslaved, by the government through loans, taxes, etc.

I say this not because I’m regurgitating the voices of my own conservative upbringing. I’ve always been an independent thinker. The reason I say these things is because at 23 I already find myself overwhelmingly in debt just for the sake of a Bachelors degree; a simple piece of paper that was supposed to open doors for me in the working world, but in reality has only left me so deep in the hole that it’s hard to fathom ever getting out.

I don’t blame my University. By the time I graduated, I was instilled with the skills and experience of a successful journalist, and probably would be if the doors were open. But the reality is that for the most part, they aren’t. Right now, I work at a part-time job (on top of my own endeavors) that is barely worth the gas there and back while facing the reality of an economy that teeters with the precarious state of our stock market. I no longer hope for the possibility of jobs opening up. By now I’ve chosen to pave my own way by creating a product of my own and taking the daring chance of starting a business in a bad economy.

I understand not everyone is that lucky, nor are they capable of doing the same thing. But I’m not rich either. I’ve spent years scrimping and saving, and I’m about to turn around and take a chance on something that may or may not work. Yes, it’s risky. Yes, it’s scary. But I’d rather do that than depend on my government to distribute wealth that in the end makes everyone evenly poor.

Perhaps I have it all wrong. After all, I’m not politically savvy. There are plenty of folks out there who will disagree with me and say I don’t have the credibility or knowledge to write this in the first place. But this isn’t me standing on a soap box telling you who to vote for. At this point I have no clue who I might want to vote for. I’m just saying I read an article, heard a speech, and it made me want to believe that there’s a chance for us to still redeem the kind of life our parents knew.

So I’ll be keeping my eye on this Texan and others that plan to run in the election, if only because I’m hoping that America can still be a place of opportunity. Through I’m old enough to know that my generation has a harder road in front of us than the generation before, I’m young enough to believe we can still see it change. For the better.

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2 thoughts on “Discussion: Politics from the Eyes of an Average American

  1. Hi Elli,

    No one wants to talk politics anymore, if they ever did, presumably because politics are a cesspool and it’s damn near impossible to decipher what is true. As an average American I would have to say I agree with you wholeheatedly, I am sick of all this talk and would like a little action.

    When I heard today that Cali’s unemployment rate was 12.1% I was nothing short of horrified.

    I lost my job in 2008 and took the leap you have described. It has been the most life affirming and corageous thing I have ever done. In fact, it changed my view of the world and my part in it in a very positive way. I am sorry that the impetus for it was pending disaster but the one thing I firmly believed is that I could count only on myself in a world gone mad. I was right! 🙂 Things remain rocky but at the same time good.

    Kudos to you for having the courage to take matters into your own hands. “The road less travelled by”… is the path to self-enrichment. Wishing you much success.

    • Hey Coco!

      Unemployment, especially in California, really is horrific. I wish there was a quick fix for things like this. Some clear, simple answer that would open doors in an instant and bring us back to a place where people can find jobs and not be so afraid as to whether they can put food on the table and pay their bills, or have to choose between the two. But even though things like unemployment can’t be fixed overnight, I think we can make a change if we step up and try.

      Glasses raised to you for your own courage! I agree, decisions and chances that force you to take a leap of faith and believe in yourself will really change your outlook on life, and on yourself. It’s a hard road, but one worth trying.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. 🙂 May your road be blessed, and may it carry you to great places.

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