Snake Shoe of the Student Council President

He tapped me on the shoulder after class and pointed at his left loafer with a small smile. “It’s a snake,” the student council president at my Okinawan high school stated, the snake’s tongue slithering happily towards the concrete floor. Although I expected a joke or a chuckle to follow, the student council president ascended the stairs alongside me.

“Can I take a picture of it later?” I asked him, and the English teacher next to me asked him in Japanese. His smile widened, and he replied that it was OK.

Five minutes, I was taking this picture with my cell phone. Even his shoe snake smiled at me.

In my head, I thought, “You’d never see this kind of creativity and loafers on Western shoes.” Of course, there are spikes, but they’re a bit overdone. I’d take these shoes any day.

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It’s Not All About Democrats and Republicans

It seems 2011 has been the party-hater year. When people start talking about politics, the first thing that comes up is ‘party’. “Oh, Obama is a Democrat.” And the second thing that comes up is ‘division’. “Oh, Obama is a Democrat. I‘m a Republican, so let’s not vote in a Democrat.” But when it comes down to deciding crucial plans that deeply affect the American people, Democrats and Republicans can’t ban together to make the best choice for their constituents. In the end, the division between Democrats and Republicans only makes the poor and middle classes of the U.S. suffer.

What I absolutely hate about party division is how making informed decisions takes a backseat to a party’s ego. For example, many people voted for McCain because they were Republican, not because of merit. Some people voted for Obama because they were Democrats, not because of experience. It’s almost useless to have a democratic political system if the people can’t see past the political party lines and find concrete reasons why a candidate should be granted the honor of being the president of the United States.

In the 2012 presidential elections, Americans shouldn’t be looking at the candidate’s party. The people should be looking at the candidate’s political track record, their platforms, their plans for executing their platforms, their intelligent diplomacy, their ability to be cool under pressure, and their ability to lead without an ulterior motive. None of the things that I’ve noted are about the candidate’s religion, sexual orientation, skin color, gender, former occupations, personal assets, or physical appearance. These things are not important compared to being the representative for the top First-World country. A candidate needs to prove to the American people that they can concretely change America for the better by mending the broken economy through creating jobs, increasing the middle class population, and ceasing useless spending on tarp and “world policing”.

My husband, a Democratic voter, and I, an Independent, are considering voting for a Republican candidate if that candidate has all of the noteworthy qualities that a president should possess in meeting the needs of the people. We’re not here to pick sides or play the blame-game. What my husband, myself, and the American people need to do is strip each candidate’s campaign down to their essence and ask, “Can you meet the needs of the people in a realistic and timely manner?” No frilly rhetoric. No beat-around-the-bush speeches. No more talk. The American people need action–and the American people need to be the action by being intelligent about politics, not political parties.