It’s MY Vote

I am going to speak openly, although I shouldn’t.

I’d like to think that my political beliefs won’t outweigh the work I do on the job, so Board members, please – don’t let me go just for a vote!

I’d like to think that my political beliefs won’t cost me friendships, but I’ve already had to unfriend, and have been unfriended by, many people who I thought were friends.

I’ve been told I’m naive. I guess I am.

But I know what I believe. And I know what I have to say.

What I have to say is this:

I went from being a conservative Republican to being a bleeding-heart liberal. My heart still bleeds, but not for the Clintons.

In this year, I cannot and will not vote Democrat.

I have witnessed the Clintons disrespect the White House, between Bill getting blow jobs in the Oval Office to the two of them renting out the Lincoln bedroom and stealing china and artwork and furniture when they left Office in disgrace.

Do these things not matter to anyone but me?

To see Hillary carpetbag her way into New York as a senator, when she had no ties to my home state whatsoever…and then hurt Obama’s chances to become President only because she felt more entitled. Does no one remember how she and Bill mischaracterized him? Does no one care?

When she became Secretary of State, I felt that finally the Clintons would be happy with their lot in life. Hillary seemed to be doing a good job. They were obviously making money.

But…Syria? Regime changes? No fly zones? Benghazi? And now we know she kept every email on a private server, using a private email address, and the lines between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department have been blurred to such a degree that the FBI has had to investigate only to find the Department of Justice is blocking their way.

Why would anyone want someone with this much Nixonian baggage as our president? Why?

Aren’t we supposed to be better than this? Didn’t we learn anything from our past mistakes??

Bernie Sanders stood up for the average American but was shot down politically by the Clinton machine through Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile and the entire media establishment.

Now Bernie is stumping for Hillary and I have no desire to listen to him anymore.

I would vote for Stein but I’m in a swing state.

I’m actually voting for Trump, just to keep Hillary Clinton out of office.

I never thought I’d see the day that I would vote for what I see as the lesser of two evils. I had always wanted to believe in my candidate of choice.

Don’t bother arguing with me, because my mind is made up. It’s my mind, not yours.

And it’s MY vote, not yours.

You vote whichever way you want. But don’t tell me what you have to say about my vote.

It’s my vote.

I Want To Vote!

Today I printed off an absentee ballot application from my state government site for all things wonderfully public. I went to a lot of trouble to ensure I’d be able to cast a vote this year and I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

First of all, I had to renew my driver’s license this past July. No big deal, right? Normally, it wouldn’t have been. But, it’s been a long time since my life’s been normal so of course, renewing my driver’s license was befit with all the possible Sturm and Drang I could manufacture. Continue reading “I Want To Vote!”

Watching Maine

While most people spent election night watching the outcome of SB5 Ohio, I watched the election happenings in Maine. 1980 was a big year for me personally. It was the first time I’d lived in the United States since I was a small child.  I went to boarding school for my senior year of high school; my parents really thought I should know what it is like to be in America, to go to school in America and to learn to be an American. Boarding school… well that is a whole other story, but yes I ended up in Maine in boarding school and it was my first taste of living in the US for many years, I’d always been an expatriate, I was about to be something else.

I turned 18 in near the end of September in 1980. I’d wanted to exercise my vote since my dad handed me All the Presidents Men, in September of 1974, when we were flying back to the PI from the US at the end of our summer vacation. Reading that book on the plane trip over, back then it took much longer, with a layover in Guam. One time, and it could have been this particular trip our layover was on Wake Island because a large typhoon developed in the flight path and the pilots weren’t going to be in the air, so I remember I read the book in one flight, we had to layover on Wake Island for 8 hours in the tiny little airport and I finished the book before we landed in Manila.

I was taking the required class, American Government, which was not a required class in my school,  but I was quite interested to take it, I’d taken World Governments as our required class. I was interested in learning about how the American form of government differed from where I had come, where I’d lived through Martial Law, a military dictatorship, curfews, suspended elections, and other things that seemed the opposite of everything I’d ever read about the United States, where the will of the people was decided through mostly fair elections.

I was kind of over the top thrilled, going from a place where I could never discuss politics to the US where I could even participate in an election, openly talk about candidates, argue about beliefs and ideologies, Anderson was all the rage among many of the politically active students on campus that fall, and have no fear of any kind of retribution. It was pretty freeing.  I’d learned in our government class that if you were going to be 18, even the day of the election, in Maine you could register to vote the day of your birthday and vote in the election that year.  Sept. 23, 1980, a friend in school took me down to the city offices and I registered to vote.  I am so glad that Mainers voted to reinstate that law.

Unfortunately, in America more people don’t vote than do vote. The proof of course is in the numbers. The question has to be asked, why don’t more people vote? Is it because it is getting harder and harder to exercise that right? Currently legislative actions that will disenfranchise millions of voters are being proposed by multiple state legislatures. It is pretty obvious that legislatures are seeking to disenfranchise those voters with least protections, which are poor people everywhere, who by and large vote for Democrats.

I think you should look at the numbers, here is a link to the original spreadsheet I obtained at the US Census Bureau.  This attachment includes the workbook I built out of the data from the department and I made a simple graphs of the downward trend in voting among all groups, socio-economic or otherwise, but in particular a steep downward trend among the poor and undereducated.

Graph 1:

This is a very interesting graph.  The Northeast steeply dropped in eligible voters exercising their right to vote, which is kind of interesting to me, and it makes me wonder exactly what happened, did people just give up and decided it isn’t a worthwhile activity any longer?  No conclusions can be drawn from this data, all this data does is mark the downward trend in voting, what we do see it eligible voters in the Midwest are consistently voting in higher numbers than other regions.

Graph 2: Voters by Educational Status:

This graph doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, there is a very steep drop in those people voting who have no high school diploma. In earlier years that group voted with a much greater frequency, lower than the rest but certainly better than the under 10% today, in comparison to the 40% in 1968.

Graph 3: Voters by Labor Status

As a nation we really need to begin to understand why people aren’t voting with the frequency they once did.

Restrictive Voter Registration Laws

Current Restrictive Voter Registration Laws

Brennan Center for Justice, millions of voters could be disenfranchised.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/11/03/house-democrats-warn-states-on-changes-to-voting-laws/

http://mediamatters.org/research/201111020005

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/house-dems-urge-secretaries-of-state-to-protect-voting-rights/2011/11/03/gIQAPzsWjM_blog.html

If voting weren’t so important, why are so many Republicans tying to make sure fewer and fewer people will have the right to vote.

Crossposted @ TheAngriestLiberal

ANATOMY OF A FAILED MEME

Yesterday, Matt Drudge attempted to fabricate a scandal out of thin air.  And bless his little black heart, he tried his darnedest, but it doesn’t seem like its sticking.

So, here’s the story.

Yesterday at around 4 pm Eastern time, the Drudge Report did something he rarely does – actually file a report rather than simply repurposing another news agency’s reporting with a sensational partisan title.

Anyway, the entry he filed was titled. “Michelle Campaigned Inside a Polling Place?”   The implication is that the First Lady violated election laws.  The evidence provided by Drudge?  This line from a pool report of the First Lady’s trip to cast her ballot.  After she voted, she paused to take a photo with a fellow voter and supporter who then relayed what she told him:  “She was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husband’s agenda going,”

You can almost hear the arm twisting, right?

Continue reading “ANATOMY OF A FAILED MEME”

Hineni

If the ten days which have just ended had a message for this Jew, it was in the Hebrew word Hineni: “here I am.” This space will not dwell on the spiritual meaning of the word or its significance in a religious sense. This is not the place for such essays. Here is such a place, if you are interested, and, indeed, it is that sermon (including some comments with which I do not agree and not simply the ones about a horrible baseball game from 1978) is one of the reasons the word has particular resonance at this moment.

In the world of the less mystical, though, hineni means that punditry and hand wringing aside, we remain dedicated to the causes that have brought us together here and elsewhere, that elected Franklin Roosevelt to alter government’s mission in 1932, that elected Harry Truman to tell Republicans that the immediate postwar period was not a time to turn back, but to move forward into the greatest period of prosperity the nation has ever known, that elected Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to carry that mission to its next logical place, and, finally to elect President Obama to restore our country as the place of hope and dreams and progress and the example to the world of what can be done when people work together.

Over the past weeks, the President has (belatedly, yes) made that point as forcefully and as clearly as it can ever be made, and his comments this week were the most direct we have heard in a long time.

Continue reading “Hineni”

Cognitive Dissonance – Today, Sept 15, is International Day of Democracy

http://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/index.shtml

I ran across this today and was immediately struck how discordant it is with events here in the good ole US of A. Maybe I’m just over sensitive to this stuff. But everywhere I look I run into this kind of thing which reminds me of the wayward path we’ve taken. I sure hope there are enough of us who are noticing this who are content to go to the polls on Nov 4 and roll the dice.

Be Careful What You Wish For

With the primaries out of the way, the board is set and the game is on. I suspect there are those in Washington this morning who are coming to appreciate their infidelities  and maybe even some who will have learned from this experience. With all due respect to those incumbents who’ve really make an honest effort voters seem not to care one bit about that effort. Congresspersons are seen as having succeeded or failed voters as a unit. There are no in betweens.

For those of us, and I am one, who have railed against congress in general I’m ambivalent to the outcome of yesterday. Whatever happens in November is well deserved. If the entire congress changes and we end up with an even greater mess, all those who refused to work together and find the common ground necessary to move the country forward and equitably support the majority, they have no one to thank but themselves.

For all the ‘wrong track’ commentary over time and polling supporting that assertion, why dems and reps find themselves the target of voters ire can’t possibly be misinterpreted. Certainly they’re not unaware of how thoroughly they’ve repeatedly screwed the pooch.

Maybe after the upcoming fiasco they’ll have learned something. One can only hope. In the meantime our patience will be tried like never before. Oh well. I’ll just pull the democratic lever in November, hope for the best and try and avoid the onrushing flood of stupid. Man the life preservers.

The Gift of Fear

Fear, a gift? Think about it. If we listen to our fear, it can keep us from doing some incredibly stupid things.

In 1997, Gavin de Becker wrote a self-help book called “The Gift of Fear.” In it he discusses fear and it’s role in keeping us safe in the face of violence in a number of circumstances, dating, the workplace, home…

He doesn’t mention politics or voting, but I can see the application. Think of it in terms of fight or flight.

Are we going run away and hide from the big scary republicans? Or are we going use our fear of what they are trying to do to this country and fight?

We’ve heard a lot lately about the enthusiasm gap, and how people are so disappointed in Obama that they are just shutting down, and are prepared to stay home. The republicans are using their fear of the big scary black man who is a socialist, facist, marxist, nazi, Kenyan anti-Christ to motivate people to get to the polls and vote for ignorant, loud-mouthed bigots. Meanwhile many, including a large chuck of the left and indies, sound like they are willing to stick their tails between their legs and either stay home or worse yet actually vote for these cretins.

If you just can’t think of one other reason to get off your butt and vote for a dem, any dem, (and I REALLY hope you can, because there are many) do it out of fear.

If they have been able to screw over us so completely as the minority party, just think of what they can do if they (aided and abetted by a handful of gutless wonders with Ds after their names) are the majority party.

It ain’t pretty, and it ain’t right, but we have 2 choices (as I used to say to my kids when I presented them with 2 options, neither of which they liked.) We can stay home/vote repub/vote 3rd party (all of which equal voting repub)  KNOWING that bad things will happen. OR, we can fight, force ourselves to get enthusiastic and vote for the dems no matter what, and have SOME hope that the bad things won’t happen…

I know it is a little dramatic, but work with me on this analogy…

It’s like when a bad man tries to drag you into his van…you are better off fighting like hell and taking the chance you might be harmed in the process, but have the chance of escaping, rather than going with him quietly KNOWING bad things, up to and including dying, will happen.

Is letting the repubs back in control akin to a life and death situation? You know what? For some of us, that answer truly is, YES.