I subscribe to the same theory about politics as some do religion, and it goes something like this:
Religion is like a penis.
It's fine to have one.
It's fine to be proud of it.
But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around.
And please don't try to shove it down my children's throats.
This time of year we all get sick of the politics, sick of the partisan fighting, sick of the attack ads, sick of the canned pandering, even sick of people being sick of politics. It is just one of those things; it's why you don't talk about it in polite society. And I completely understand those who hate the political process. But it is quite easy to avoid it. You don't have to watch the debate. You can change the channel if commercials come on. You can change the subject if someone starts a conversation about it. Most of us know how we feel without the constant bombardment. And I respect all that. But there is one thing you must do and that is be part of the process one way or another. That means you should get out and vote - or even don't vote - and do so for a reason. A lot of folks with say "you have to vote!" but I disagree. If your reason not to vote is grounded in logic (ie, I hate these candidates) and not ignorance, I am with you. We all wish the election cycle would shorten and the rhetoric would improve. We all would like the candidates to not start at the extremes and work towards the middle. In the end, we all get the candidates we deserve. This is part of the process. And a messy process it is. I vote in every election I can - primaries, school board, dog catcher, whatever. But to each their own.
OK, that rambling rant is now over - for now. What I am gonna do here is pull out my presidential themed cards. First is not only my favorite page of political cards, but one of my favorite pages in my entire collection:
This is from the 1956 Topps Presidents set. Since these cards are well loved, I picked them up for a song a long time ago. These cards are fantastic. Those beards are fantastic. Why don't more candidates wear awesome hipster style facial hair? I would totally vote for the first one who has a handlebar mustache and a sweet set of mutton chops. My hat is now in the political ring.
We now jump ahead five decades to some more recent offerings:
Much like most people seemed to warm up to Jimmy Carter years after he left office, I have grown fond of George Bush senior in recent years. He was a pretty interesting dude, I just don't think he ever should have been president (and the less said about his kid, the better). The ones on the bottom there are from the last presidential cycle.
Here is more of a mishmash of political cards:
These also have more of a sports theme. Those cards of the presidents throwing out the first pitch are from the 1994 Baseball set from the Ken Burns Baseball documentary. I have this whole set in piecemeal form, it was just broken up and I have been too lazy to put it back together again (cue Humpty Dumpty reference). On this page you also will see more than a few JFK cards. This will at least begin to tell you where my political leanings go.
In 2007 and 2008, Topps was obsessed with these political cards, I assembled a little frankenpage of them here:
You have presidents and signers of both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution on this page. You also have Bill Clinton yet again throwing out the first pitch in a Cleveland Indians jacket. Is that the only team he threw out the first pitch for? Here is a good piece of trivia, William Howard Taft was the first president to throw out the first pitch at a major league game. And John Hancock is on here twice, because he should be. Most people know about his huge signature, and those people usually even know why. But if you don't know how badass John Hancock was overall, go look him up, don't worry, I'll wait.
OK, so I have kept things pretty straight and narrow, but here, I am gonna get back up on my soapbox and shove it down your throats a little:
I am unabashedly and unapologetically liberal. Socially, economically, and morally, all of my leanings go very left. I got up and out of the house this morning at 8:30 to vote and I voted for Barack Obama. Has he been perfect? No. Does he deserve four more years? Yes. He has stuck by his guns and stayed true to most of his promises. I would like to see him finish the job. I lived in Massachusetts for 12 years. I saw Mitt Romney at the embryonic stage of his political career when he ran against Ted Kennedy. Back then he ran as a pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-health care candidate. He did the same when he ran for governor years later (and won). Now, on the national stage, he has switched (or as the GOP loves to say, flip flopped) to reflect the more radical edges of his party. No one really knows who Mitt Romney is. Well, except for all that pro-business corporate pirating he does...on that, he has never wavered. The republicans have nominated the very kind of candidate they used to eviscerate. For this reason alone, I could never vote for them or him. Back in the 1960's, the democrats were highjacked by the very liberal factions of the anti-war hippie types. Now, the GOP has been taken over by the far right tea party lunatics and I believe until they get their house in order and refocus on what has been their very conservative yet very populist platform (see: Ronald Reagan), they will be doomed to lose as the democrats were in the 1960's (I mean, they lost to Richard Nixon twice). Anyway, that is my two cents about this election. I promise not to have any more political content until next November.