Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I Vote for Letting Your Light Shine!

Hello Aspierations Friends,



Today was Election Day in the United States.  Did you vote? 

Although I address a wide range of topics in my blog writings, I generally don't write much about politics.  Now my husband, John at Life and Times of John Krejcha... he writes about politics fairly frequently and for the last few months or so, he's done a weekly blog with his thoughts about the current state of our government.

I don't always agree with his views.  He doesn't always agree with mine.  One thing we both agree on is that it is important to not just moan and complain but to try and be part of a positive change and that starts at home.  That starts with you!  Let your light shine!

The first step on a day like today is getting out to vote.

On most topics, I welcome a healthy debate but politics is one of those tricky subjects like religion that I am cautious discussing because with certain people, their passion for the subject can bring out an "I'm right and if you disagree with me, you're wrong" black or white, holier than thou kind of attitude.  Ugh, don't you hate that???

I try and stay away from discussions with those kinds of people because to me it's annoying, it's polarizing and it really isn't very accepting and you usually won't get very far anyway.  I'm open-minded and willing to listen to a lot of different viewpoints but if you shove your views down my throat, my gag reflex will trigger and it won't be pretty.

Whether you consider yourself a Republican, Libertarian, Democrat, Independent, conservative, liberal or moderate, there is something empowering about letting your voice be heard.  Having grown up relatively conservative in a largely democratic state (California) and having lived there the first 39 years of my life, it sometimes seemed to me like in the big picture, my vote wasn't going to make much of a difference.  That being said, I voted anyway because I'd rather vote the way I want and have that candidate or initiative lose than to be apathetic and not vote at all.



I suppose overall my leanings are fiscally conservative and socially moderate.  That often doesn't translate into any particular candidate or party.  I have voted for Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats & Independents.  I have never been a partisan, vote down party line kind of person.  It feels good to have a choice with each candidate and each issue.  Try polling voters like me and you'll get a lot of mixed results.

I've never felt like I identified with any party in particular so in California, I registered "Independent" even though I didn't consider myself part of the Independent Party.  In retrospect, my views on voting and identifying with candidates tied in with most of my life growing up as an undiagnosed Aspie... not particularly feeling like my puzzle piece fit... not knowing why... but living my life and marching to the beat of my own drum anyway!



In the summer of 2007, our family moved to Washington.  Washington is a state where there are no polling places.  All ballots are mailed in.  I have to say that although it's convenient, I miss having the option of going to the polling places and physically casting my ballot.  I wonder if people who mail their ballots feel less pressure on voting a particular way than if they physically go out to a polling place.  What do you think?

Originally my blog today was going to be to tell you about the awesome trick-or-treating experience I had with Justin and Ryan on Sunday night.

We did have an amazing time and I'll share more of that with you in my next blog.  I've got some funny anecdotes to share and we could always use some humor around here!

In the meantime, if you'd like to read a blog that summarizes the Krejcha family Halloween weekend very well, John posted a great one last night with lots of pictures and detail about our weekend escapades.



Happy Halloween Weekend 2010http://johnkrejcha.blogspot.com/2010/11/happy-halloween-weekend-2010.html

Since John has a passion for politics and has had the news on almost all day and all evening (OVERLOAD, OVERLOAD, OVERLOAD), I figured that I might as well say something about today's elections.

I really do hope for positive change and although I'm not sure what is going to happen with our state and country after tonight's results, I'm happy to see that many people got out there and exercised their right to vote.  Some of my candidate choices won and some lost.  I commend those who put out a genuine effort and especially those who ran campaigns without negative ads.

I can't believe how many automated phone calls we got in the last week slamming this person or that one.  Even more annoying was that fact that they kept calling our Count Your Beans business line and none of them wanted to buy any dolls or bears!  How rude!



Because we live near the Oregon border, we have seen and heard both Oregon and Washington ads and some of them were brutal.  Give me a candidate that can talk to me as a real person in a positive and professional way and tells me what he or she is planning to do to impact a change and I'll listen to what is said.  Spend your campaign dollars trashing the other candidate and you will lose my trust and respect very quickly.

I ran for school office in both junior high and high school.  That might seem kind of amazing considering my personality and social style but as young as I can remember, I wanted to have a chance for my voice to be heard.  I believed I could be diplomatic and listen well.  I suppose I might have had a better chance running as Secretary or Treasurer but no, I wanted to run for President.  I never really did with the popularity contest sort of thing and as a result, I never won but I gave it a shot multiple times and I'm glad I did.   :-)

Is there a special cause you advocate for more than others?  Is politics your passion or do you prefer pursuing other special interests like arts or sports? (GO GIANTS - WOO HOO - WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!)




Of course advocating awareness and acceptance for autism and Asperger's is very near and dear to my heart. I started Aspierations to not only reach people related in some way to autism but to encourage and empower everyone whether they have special needs or not or whether they are related to someone with different abilities that they can make a difference, they can let their lights shine.




When I vote at the polls or mail in my ballot as the case may be, I think of my children's future.  I think of my family's future.  I also consider our present.  Sometimes it seems like the initiatives on the ballot or the candidates running are not going to speak quickly enough to the needs I want addressed, but that doesn't mean I can't step up and make my voice heard in one way or another.

Blogging is a great opportunity for my voice to be heard.  Today, I vote to Let My Light Shine!




How about you?
Did your light shine today?

Let me know in the comments section!  I'd really enjoy hearing from you!
Karen

6 comments:

  1. As an Australian, I'm still not sure what this particular vote means for you - do you get a new President?

    Over here, it's compulsory to vote and you get fined if you don't. Normally I'm a good voter and I vote for what I believe in.

    On our last election though, I didn't think that anyone was any good so I left my ballot paper blank. Sadly my vote for nobody didn't work out and even though we ended up with a hung parliament, they eventually put someone in charge.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Gavin,
    I hadn't realized that it was compulsory to vote in Australia or one gets fined. Very interesting. Does popular vote win?

    It sound like you can still choose a "none of the above" or write-in candidate if you don't support a particular party. There are many times when it seems like the choices of candidates are a pick of the lesser of two evils rather than who can do the better job out of two people with potential.

    This was a mid-term election so there is no change in President although the state of the economy in the USA certainly lead many voters to wanting to send our current President a message. The Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and picked up a number of governorships. The Democrats maintained a narrow margin in the Senate.

    Whether or not our parties will be able to work together in a proactive way that will help create growth in our economy remains to be seen.

    In the state John and I live in there was some change in leadership but not much. Our district is fairly moderate. Some of the candidates we supported won, some didn't. Our state has been hit pretty hard in cutbacks for special needs funding but fortunately we live in a school district that is progressive and supportive of programs for children with autism.

    Thanks for stopping by, Gavin!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey K,

    Great Job on your Blog Yesterday. You really represent the color Purple so well.

    You are a mix of Red and Blue!

    Johnny Cat

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much, J! :-) Just don't call me Grape Ape, okay?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Karen,
    As much as I like the idea of mail in votes, I kind of like going out to the polls. Certainly a lot more exciting to be there and a part of it all with other people at the official polling place and the official machines. I feel a bit of the American spirit there - being with other people who came there for the same reason - united to vote and let their voice and choice be heard as good Americans. When I got to be voting age, my mom told me that it is important I vote and having this right is a privilege. I am not always sure I vote for the right person, but I still vote and choose the best I can. So I like going to the polling place in person. Plus you get a sticker that says "I voted!" and makes me feel like a good American. I put it on the dashboard in my car. I voted early and inspite of the fact that the sticker sat on my dashboard for a few days, plainly visible to others, I still got campaign ads stuck to the windshied of my car. I don't know how they missed seeing that sticker! LOL! Go figure! There sure is no escaping those relentless ads!

    June

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi June,
    I miss getting those "I voted" stickers too. I remember taking Justin to the polls and Ryan once too and they also got stickers. They both thought it was pretty cool too. :-)

    I think you were likely to get campaign ads even if your whole car had been stickered!

    I'm sure glad those ads are now over! They were even showing up in our blogs. John kept having candidates he opposed show up in advertisements on his. It was a bit amusing at first although I doubt he'd agree. :-)

    Have a great weekend!
    Karen

    ReplyDelete