Election 2016.. I Need a Hero… SOMEBODY… ANYBODY
With the election coming up Nicole Buckler finds herself asking… Where is my hero?
As a first-time voter in an Irish election, I couldn’t wait to vote. Until I realised with horror there was no one to vote for.
I find myself singing…
Where have all the good politicians gone?
And where are all the Gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need
I need an election hero.
Where are you??
I was born in Australia, travelled the world, met an Irish guy, married him, had some Irish kids, and have lived here for nearly 16 years. Oh HELL I have a lot to say about how I want my country to be run. But I couldn’t vote until I became a citizen. And I never wanted to become a citizen until I felt Ireland was my home. And that feeling came upon me last year so I applied to be one of ye all. And I was given full permission to play Eire guitar.
At the naturalisation ceremony, me and 3000 new friends were swept into the convention centre theatre. I was sitting between an 80-year-old Thai granny who couldn’t speak a word of English, and a 7ft tall female Ukrainian basketball player. I think I should have been allowed to at least drink with these people.
The army orchestra played a weird mix of songs while we were being seated, including Elton John numbers. And this is where it started for me… where it didn’t fit. Something was missing. I wanted MY army bad to play Irish songs. I don’t care if this means they were doing an acoustic version of Lipstick by Jedward. But I wanted some damn Irish songs. I absolutely hate it that an Eir ad featuring the song Fionnghuala can make me feel more patriotic towards Ireland than my own naturalisation process.
It is not the job of ad companies flogging me crap I don’t need to make me feel patriotic. It is YOUR JOB Irish politicians.
I feel it is important to mention first of all that at the naturalisation ceremony there were some hot soldiers on stage. So they got that part right (thanks whoever organised that). But then… the rest went so wrong. Some dude was up there talking about our responsibilities as new citizens. It was boring. I felt like I was 15 years old and the principal was lecturing me about personal responsibilty. Apparently, I had a responsibility to vote (what idiot lets me vote?) and other things… I stopped listening… I wanted to have a responsibilty do spy work if called upon (please PLEASE call me). It was formal, informative and inspired nothing in me.
Then a politician got up and did a nice vaguely motivating speech that made me promise to myself that I would do my tax return with due care and attention. And then it was over. We were shuffled out ready for the next 3000 people to get McNaturalised.
This is what I wanted. I wanted the inspiring speeches. I wanted the great words… the big ideas… to make me want to fight in some bullshit war for my country. I wanted to bleed sweat and tears to raise up my nation. I wanted to buy Hozier albums and promote them to my friends abroad. I wanted to get a mortgage that I could in no way pay back, for the right to own a piece of Eire. I wanted to be inspired. I needed to be inspired…. but… nothing…
The same goes for this election. I need a hero. I need that amazing orator to lift me up, fill me with ideas and goals and make me want to work 18 hour days and probably neglect my kids a bit doing so… in aid of the mother nation… but I don’t hear anyone saying anything that makes me want to vote for them.
Let’s look at some quotes from other politicians in the OTHER election:
“What the American people are angry about is they understand that they did not cause this recession. Teachers did not cause this recession. Firefighters and police officers who are being attacked daily by governors all over this country did not cause this recession. Construction workers did not cause this recession. This recession was caused by the greed, the recklessness and illegal behavior of the people on Wall Street.”
“Dignity does not come from avenging insults, especially from violence that can never be justified. It comes from taking responsibility and advancing our common humanity.”
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
I could go on. While Obama was voted in with much so much hope, he has turned out to be a weak president simply because he can’t change anything due to the way the U.S. political system works. BUT he gave impassioned speeches that lifted everyone, and gave them hope. This is what Ireland needs… great orators who give wildly inspirational speeches that make us proud and hopeful. I don’t even care if the speeches are written by PR executives or overpaid speechwriters. I don’t even care if they are bullshit and the politicians don’t even mean what they say. But I want them to sell themselves and their ideas to me. I want the big ideas out there. I want to go and vote for my first time in Ireland feeling that I can’t wait to put that person in power.
But nothing… no one is inspiring me… they are squabbling over government toys with no solutions in sight.
Gerry Adams in his day banged out some amazing speeches. “Making peace, I have found, is much harder than making war.”
I would be sorely tempted to vote for Sinn Féin if it wasn’t for Adams being party leader. Even if the allegations are untrue, I cannot vote for anyone even vaguely associated with any type of armed action. Now if Mary Lou McDonald was party leader, then I might change my mind. I think it is time for Gerry to retire. Perhaps Mary Lou could place some “Spanish beach living” brochures on his desk?
It is a long and lonely road this election if you want the political greats to vote for. (Is that a tumbleweed?)
Ireland in its modern form is 100 years old, so this election is the most important election ever. We have survived as an independent state through some hard times, and we have risen to be known internationally and held with a fondness and love and nostalgia that no other country enjoys.
We have modernised, and we have absorbed an immigrant influx with joy and curiosity, paying forward the generosity other countries have shown us in previous times of horrible hardship for the Irish.
We have revived our language, we have embraced our Celtic culture, we know more about our history than ever before. And people from all over the world are coming to visit us because of this. We had record tourism in 2015 because we have come of age and can invite others enjoy our country as we enjoy it ourselves.
I want politicians to sell me this. But no one is. Where are you? I need a hero. You’d better be here by the morning light.
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