11.05.2012

Election Musings

I've decided that it is a really good thing that the election falls in the same month as Thanksgiving. Because we are sure going to need a reality slap after Tuesday!

Now, I'm not anti-politics at all. While I'm not as interested or as passionate as others, I do my research and vote accordingly. I have my own opinions and, for the most part, can back them up with facts. And I'm all for an educated and civil discussion between people who disagree. 

What I'm NOT for, however, is people on any side brutally tearing down the other. I don't thing any party is innocent in this case. Having social media friends/followers on both extreme sides of the spectrum, I've seen my fair share of mudslinging this election season, and it hasn't just been on television. 

While it does matter who we elect, it doesn't matter that much. Our government was created with checks and balances to prevent one person from holding ultimate power. So even if we elect a person who secretly longs to be a dictator, it probably won't happen. Our country most likely isn't going to be destroyed in 4 years, so don't destroy relationships because of it. 

America has a tendency to lose perspective during an election season. Many people decide that the government should revolve around them and their needs alone and they start getting greedy. They take our country for granted. 

Obviously, America is not without mistakes and corruption. We are still human, after all. But when I look at the "systems" in other countries, I start to realize how good we have it. When I was in high school, I had to do a project for World History in which I researched the recent history of Thailand. I only had to look into the previous 7 years, and the amount of governmental coups that took place astounded me. If nothing else, that project made me grateful for the stability of our government. While we may worry about a certain law getting passed or overturned, most people don't worry about our government being overthrown. 

We should also just be grateful for the chance to vote. While most people will complain no matter who gets elected as President, we at least have the opportunity to make our voice heard. Not many other nations can say the same. Once again, our selfishness rises as we demand that our opinions be the only ones heard. Even though it is our right as Americans to vote, it is much more than that. It is a privilege. If our government did get overthrown, we probably wouldn't have that right anymore and our complaints would be of a very different nature.

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that no matter what the outcome of the election, whether in "your favor" or not, just take it in stride. Our country has survived a few hundred years with many different men at the helm and we are still a stable society. Yes, fight for what you believe is right, but don't tear others down in the process. Be understanding, but stand your ground. And simply be thankful for the opportunities we have as Americans. Because really, we have it pretty good. 

And to lighten the mood a little bit, how about some cupcakes? Because everyone loves cupcakes. :)

Source: Martha Stewart

Election Day Cupcakes
Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, preferably European-style, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • 1 (24-ounce) package fondant
  • Red or blue paste food coloring
  • Silver edible glitter
  • Red, white, and blue nonpareils

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, add milk and vanilla extract; stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk mixture; beat until just combined. Add cocoa powder and beat until just combined.
  4. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large 5/8-inch round tip (such as Ateco No. 808). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, press your thumb into the center of the fondant to make a well. Place a small amount of food coloring (red for Republican, blue for Democrat) in the well and knead fondant until color is well blended. Continue to add more food coloring to fondant until desired color is achieved. Roll out into a 1/16-inch-thick sheet.
  7. To make Republican elephants, cut out 12 elephant shapes using 2-inch elephant cutters. Sprinkle with edible glitter. To make Democrat donkeys, cut out 12 bear shapes using a 2-inch bear cutter. Using a 2-inch daisy cutter, cut out enough daisy shapes so that you have 36 petals; sprinkle bear shaped and daisy petal fondant with edible glitter. Top each cupcake with a fondant elephant or bear, using two daisy petals to make donkey ears on each bear and one petal to make the tail. Sprinkle cupcakes with nonpareils and serve.
What are some ways that you keep the election and political talk civil and productive? I'm really liking the cupcake idea. Haha. Just keep adding more food the more heated the discussion. :)

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