*******WARNING: POLITICAL RANT BELOW! TUNE OUT NOW IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED BY DIFFERING OPINIONS*******
I try to keep my politics to myself. I really, really do. I have such a diverse bunch of friends and acquaintances who I love and respect, even if we don't always share the same views, so I try to avoid hot-button topics that are bound to create friction.
After last night's Vice Presidential debate, however, I can't contain it. I am about to explode. I am losing my mind. All because of four little words.
I'm not going to name names, but if you watched the debate you probably know to which candidate I'm referring. The bottom line in my book is this: If you are in a position where, within the next 100 days you may become one of the most powerful leaders in the free world, you better be careful in your use and/or pronunciation of those four words!
I'm not asking anyone to go the route of Los Angeles television news anchors and overexaggerate an accent when stating the name of a Central American immigrant whose business opening is featured on the 5:30 broadcast. I'm not saying our elected officials have to be fluent in every obscure dialect found in remote Himalayan tribal hinterlands.
I am asking that, when two countries are at the center of our current political situation, our democratically elected leaders (that means they represent you and me to the rest of the world folks!) at least make an effort to come close to the correct names of those places.
When I hear someone say "EYE-RAN" and "EYE-RACK" I get a mental image of that person, behind closed doors, referring to the residents of "EYE-RAN" and "EYE-RACK" as towel-headed camel jockeys while perusing a NASCAR catalog and watching WWF (or WWE or RAW or whatever acronym that fake-professional wrestling crap goes by this week). Ask your Iraqi and Iranian friends (you DO have at least one of those, I hope) if they agree. I think you'll find they do. It screams, "I'm 'n Amarikkkin, by golly, and thar ain't nuthin you ken say 'bout it!"
These two countries have been on our collective radar since the 1980s...that's almost 30 years, folks! We should have a pretty good idea as a nation of literate, educated people, how to say "EAR-ON" and "EAR-OCK". It's not that hard! **Both candidates were guilty of this one, people.**
These people want to represent me to the rest of the world. I don't want the rest of the world to perceive me as an ignorant redneck!
I also cringe when I hear someone say they "tolerate" those who are different from them.
What does that mean to you?
I "tolerate" the fact that ants mercilessly invade my kitchen every spring and fall as the weather changes because that's just a part of life where we live. I "tolerate" the ants, although I bring out the big guns and spray like hell to get rid of them as quickly as possible. I "tolerate" the inconvenience as I clean furiously and make sure there is absolutely nothing out for these nasty buggers to eat or drink, so they don't linger any longer than necessary before going away.
I don't want a leader who "tolerates" those who are different. It's clear to me that the candidate in question truly does mean "tolerate", as in "put up with temporarily while trying everything possible to eliminate/exterminate/eradicte the offending subject." I want a leader who accepts those who are different. As in, "allow to live in peace, with equal rights, and without trying to change or lay a guilt trip on."
Finally, the ultimate deal breaker for me...
Say it with me folks...
It's friggin' nuclear, NOT "NEW-KYUH-LUR"
You can't say that word correctly, but you want to be inches away from the button that controls our nations new-klee-er arsenal?
Oh, no no NO!!!
**Edit: I just reread this and realized it comes across like I paid no attention to the actual issues discussed in last night's debate. I did pay attention. In my opinion, both candidates answered along party lines and said nothing unexpected or eye-opening. It was a pretty predictable debate overall, as far as I'm concerned.