Breaking Point: For Posterity
I have never been able to identify with the Republican Party. I struggled with the Democratic party, identifying more with them - but still not feeling quite right about it. Even as a young teenager I had distrust for our politicians and our media. Some struck me as empty people, others seemed like outright liars to me. I never understood the whole concept of labeling people as either conservative or liberal. I have varying views on different topics - where do I fit in?
By 1997 when I was 18 years old, I realized that the labels were another way to manipulate and control the populace, a way of saying "Who do you hang with?" So the 2000 election came and I felt the need for change. It was the first time I got to vote! Al Gore seemed like a nice guy but I cast my vote for Nader feeling that he was honest and a man who could get things done. To my horror I watched our whole democratic process fall down around us as Gore won the popular vote but Bush still took the election. I had never felt so trapped in my life. Wasn’t this the country of choice and freedom? Where was the peoples’ voice? Why was no one doing anything? How could the Democrats sit back and let this happen?
I was living on Long Island, NY, when 9/11 happened, and like every other American I was glued to my TV. I was so shocked, angry and saddened. A few days went by and an overwhelming feeling of panic came over me as I realized something wasn’t right with our media. I just felt that something was being left out, something wasn’t right. Since then I have watched in disbelief as Bush has committed crime after crime.
Our representatives and media have let him get away with it with minimal protest, and so have many of our American Citizens. 2004 came and went, and again my vote went to Nader with many family and friends telling me that I was throwing my vote away. I took these arguments passively and still watched politics as an observer. I would raise awareness of issues, but always with a feeling of defeat and complacency.
2008 has been my breaking point. I am in my 29th year of life and in April I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Quentin Michael. I have never felt the need to protect our future the way I do now. I can’t have him grow up in a world where he is just another cog. He deserves freedom and a clean environment. I can’t just do my part at home and quietly stand by while others abuse this world and kill it for their own personal wealth and greed.
I have always felt that Nader was someone who truly stood for the people - but now I say it loud! We need to take our rights back and really change the course of this country. Our children deserve it. The theme of this election year has been about change and hope and that is why I am voting for Nader/Gonzalez for 2008. I am voting for my son. I am voting for the future. Thank you Ralph Nader for giving me a choice.
—Maureen Nicholson Schramm
I have been at my breaking point for several years now. I am 26. I graduated from college with a Bachelors of Music degree. Thanks to hefty student loans, I couldn’t afford to work an internship and live at the same time. The interest on my loans was 95% of my monthly payments and I had (have) to work dead end jobs just to break even. I feel myself further and further off the path I started down when I was in college, and I have a void inside. I am finding myself too depressed to listen to or write music. Add to this the fact that I have no health insurance. My wife and I can barely afford the bare necessities and I have to hear arguments on the semantics of the word "recession" on the radio. I can’t afford to get sick, or worse, hurt.—Zack Passman
Now there are $700 billion dollars for bank bail outs? I have been dying to start my own business for years and I can’t come up with capital to start it, and now credit markets are dry. What am I supposed to do? Be depressed forever?
Photo above provided by Tom Gibbons.
If you haven’t reached your breaking point, visit www.breakingpoint08.com.
Send me your Breaking Point story to share at email@example.com, so the growing numbers of independent voters can join our voices, and together, we can change the system.
Nader for President 2008