Showing posts with label election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2020

Electing Joe Biden/Kamala Harris is our democracy’s only hope

I have tried to resist political comments in this blog. After all, this is supposed to be a personal place, where writing about the things I love gives me joy. So much of what I write about and photograph are positive, lovely moments to share with others. I enjoy taking pictures of beautiful things adorable animals, highlighting my quilting hobby. But the truth of the matter is the political situation with which we find ourselves is personal. It occupies my thoughts every single day. It even keeps me awake at night.

I’ve worked as a journalist; I’ve been involved in activism and community organizing. It seems like a lifetime ago, since I’ve been retired for the past fifteen years, but there have been lessons learned. Old habits die hard. Even today, I find myself drawn to watching public hearings in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. I watch political speeches and tend to pick up political publications long before I ever consider entertainment or other less serious publications. I can’t help myself. I have the need to know. I have a right to know. 

I’ve long believed and it is borne out every day that it is disingenuous to complain about politics when you have never been a student of it. Being genuine is important to me. Standing up for what I believe is important to me. And making a case for controversial decisions has to include factual information. Making hard decisions is never easy, but it has to be done. And, to do it, there has to be a thorough examination of as much as possible from every angle. 

A wise editor once told me, “If you think you know two sides of a story, you still don’t have the whole story.”  

He was so right. Life has taught me that. Politics is complicated. That is on purpose, a way to keep us all in the dark. It takes time and effort to understand why political decisions are made. Things are not as simple as they may seem. It is not enough to just proclaim political partisanship, or to listen to just one source. How many people who complain about ‘fake news’ and who malign the ‘main stream media’ know that news stories don’t see ink or make it to the airwaves until there are at least three credible sources? That certainly doesn’t happen on social media, which simply regurgitates somebody’s blog post or some hate group. Social media is no place to try to learn about politics. 

With all that said, I have to admit that it makes no sense to me how the upcoming presidential race can be so close. That always confuses me, but especially this year when the choices are so clear. 

I cannot understand how people I know to be good, caring people, can fall for the lies and complete fabrications of not just Donald Trump, but the Republican Party. How can anyone support a party when its leadership says one thing one day and the complete opposite the next? 

As of this writing Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by about 6-10 points in the average of a number of polls. I find that to be unthinkable. How is it possible that anyone, let alone more than thirty-percent of the country can fall for Trump’s con? 

“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

We have already seen the results of challenges faced by these two men. 

Joe Biden has been challenged in the most personal, horrible way possible. He lost his wife and daughter in a car accident and later lost his son to cancer. There can be no greater challenge in life. Biden handled that horror with grace and dignity. It made him a more caring, more empathetic human being. He genuinely wants to serve the American people, and to heal the pain felt by thousands of families across the country that have become ill or lost loved ones to the Corona Virus. He reaches out to people in their own time of grief and tries to console them.

In sharp contrast is Donald Trump, a man with no concern for anyone but himself, a pathological trait he exhibits in his every action. Thousands more people have died from Covid-19 because of his early inaction and failure to listen to anyone who knew better. Trump follows his own stable genius instinct, which has proven over and over again to be a failure to the American people. 

He completely bungled the response to this pandemic because he thought it would interfere in his re-election. Things were going so well for him when the stock market was skyrocketing to heights never seen before in the early part of this year. Of course it did. Trump did away with constraints on business, from environmental regulations to safety measures to workers’ rights. They all melted away under Trump, giving business carte blanche to plow through any forest, dump in any stream, and tear apart pristine land, whether public or private. There have been regulations over the years for a reason. 

The stock market is not the economy! Yet, Trump touted the fine economy, despite millions of unemployment applications and people in this country waiting in long lines to eat. He gave his pals a giant tax break that the rest of us will pay for generations. Even in a stimulus bill designed to help those hurt by the pandemic ended up in the pockets of Trump’s rich pals while hundreds of small businesses closed their doors for good. 

Trump has never apologized for his inept response to the pandemic, as he proclaimed it would simply go away. He never apologizes for anything. Instead he merely doesn’t talk about it. He creates diversions instead. He is a master at that. 

It is all about getting re-elected for Trump. I can see why. He knows when he leaves office he will likely be indicted for alleged money laundering, real estate swindling, tax fraud, the inflation of the value of his property for sales purposes and the same property deflation for tax purposes, and more during his business dealings prior to holding office. Just the things he has done while he was in office are enough to put him away for a long time. His treasonous behavior, the multitude of lies he has told, the money he has skimmed from taxpayers as he soaked the Secret Service who had to pay a premium to stay in his golf resorts, the lack of accountability when Russians put a bounty on the head of American service members in Afghanistan, no word about the brutal death of an American journalist in Saudi Arabia, and countless other foreign entanglements merely designed to enhance his business. 

Donald Trump is an accused rapist who is admittedly morally corrupt and brags about it, his misogynistic treatment of women. What kind of a man pays a porn star to sleep with him just after his wife gives birth to their child? He has no regard for anyone that isn’t white, wealthy, and subservient to him. 

He acts like a mob boss, with no scruples as he fawns over the world’s dictators. He maligns his enemies, the media, anyone that asks a question he doesn’t like. He answers only to his own ego as he lives only for his own self-aggrandizement. He lies, cheats, steals, and what is worse, he has manipulated every check and balance our government has spent years putting in place. 

And his latest scandal, calling fallen military heroes “suckers and losers,” may be the one that does him in. He is trying to talk his way out of this one, but there are just too many times he has said similar things. There are too many people who know better. Remember those three sources in news stories. There seem to be even more in this story.

So it simply makes no sense that between 30- 40-percent of this country can say they support this man for another four years. I hope when this election is over, these numbers were dead wrong and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris wins by a landslide. Only then can we bring peace, justice, and democracy back to the United States of America.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Election priorities all wrong

It has taken me six days to get over the recent election.

I was appalled at the priorities exhibited in this election--the amount of money that was pumped into this election by the Republicans. I was sickened as the Democrats tried their best to match it. I cannot tell you how many phone calls and emails I received from the party to which I feel most aligned, begging for money. Perhaps instead of just asking for money, all those phone calls and emails should be expressing the reasons why I would support this candidate.

Living on a pension, I have no money to spare, but if I was inspired by someone, I would likely find a few dollars to donate.

The corporations--the companies with CEO's making millions each year--some of which are not even based in this country, are behind the victors of the 2010 mid-term elections This will come back to haunt us all, unless of course we are among them. I disclose here and now that I'm not a rich CEO of any Fortune 500 company. 

The plethora of television ads this year were particularly scandalous. They should be done away with. They rarely provided information about the candidate, hardly ever told the truth, and most often focused on the other guy.

I had hoped people would see through all it all. I was wrong, evidenced by those that were elected. This was clearly a Republican sweep, bought and paid for. By the way, I felt similarly in the last election cycle when the Democrats swept the election. I believe in the balance of power in a cooperative White House and Congress, not something we can claim at all.

I take my politics very seriously. I have long advocated no votes by the those who are uninformed, either by ignorance or choice. I consider electing a government representative at any level to be a sobering responsibility. It should certainly have more to do with more than fundraising prowess.

I believe that not just the candidates, the office-holders, but the voters need to be accountable. No longer can we afford voting just for the party. No longer can we afford picking the name that we like, even though we don't know any of them. Voting is way too important to choose a candidate based on their television ads or some other criteria that boils down to simply paid-for advertising. If they ever claim, I approve this ad because, suspect. Voting should be based on the candidates' record. It should be based on the person running for office, not the letter behind his name. It should be based on the candidates' motive for running for office. If any of the answers consist of money, salary, greed, pension, or fundraising, look the other way.

We get the government we deserve. I just happen to think we deserve better.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not an informed voter, stay home!

Is this not the most disgusting election season in history?

The entire premise that rich people can buy elections has been around for decades, but never before has it been more obvious, at least to some. But some people still don't get it.

The I'm-mad-as-hell-and-I'm-not-going-to-take-it-anymore attitude is normally one I would endorse, but not this year. I am a strong advocate of exercising your right to vote, but only if you are an informed voter. If you are the kind of person that simply falls for the television commercials or glossy brochures that come to your door, please stay home.

Candidates of both parties are lying, manipulating, and waging the battle of their lives. I wish I could calculate the monumental costs of this election, but throw more than six zeros at me and I admit getting a little blurry-eyed. In truth, six figures is about all I can comprehend. Yet there are tens of millions being spent every day across this country. Doesn't anyone have a problem with that?

I used to bristle at the fact that only the wealthy could afford to run for public office. Now, I find myself completely freaking out about how unlimited corporate donations and anyone with tons of money and an agenda can turn any wacko into a candidate.

I've often wondered where this wealth comes from. I certainly don't have it, but then I'm a hard-working, honest person who tries not to hurt or take advantage of other people. My goal in life is not to be rich--I'd rather be happy. I would never step on other people just to get ahead. I don't rip people off. I try to tell the truth. I care about total strangers. I don't think I'm better than anyone else.

It isn't just the act of buying elections that is bothersome. I am horrified about the what if's. What if these nutjobs actually become representatives of our government? These people are going to speak on our behalf. They are going to make decisions that will ultimately affect us all.

I'm not sure what the answers are, but we have to learn from our mistakes. Why aren't we?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This election season is a perfect storm of insidiosity

This is the most frustrating election season of any I can recall. What is happening now is way beyond rhetoric. 

What we have today is a perfect storm of political insidiosity, which is a combination of candidate  desperation, millions of dollars in campaign cash, combined with too many uneducated voters.

The desperate candidates are using campaign cash to buy influence and ads designed to sway people who have not followed nor even claim to care about politics. Political neophytes are the most disastrous aspect of this election season because they don't know enough about the system to distrust the rhetoric they are being bombarded with. They are inexperienced enough to believe the endless lies and innuendos that are being thrust upon them.

Doesn't it make sense that the richest among us, the only ones who have the money left to throw toward politicians, are going to give it to those who will keep them rich? Big money is paying for the candidates they can buy to vote their way. Very wealthy people don't need tax cuts! Are those people going to give a damn about us regular people when they get into office? Wake up! They want to buy your vote. 

A vote is an honor, a privilege, and our right as Americans. Don't throw it away or let anyone try rent it from you. You will be evicted. A vote is a tool, the only tool we have to affect our own destiny. We must use it wisely.

Interestingly, I have often said during times of my own political frustration, that what we need is a tea party. What I referred to was a fight against the tyranny that exists in today's political system; the high cost of living with ever-increasing taxation without representation. The idea was borne by the patriots who fought for freedom from oppression. I never dreamed the noble concept of the tea party could become so bastardized.

How dare these offenders who call themselves Christians but worship the false gods of radio and television entertainers using this historic act as a symbol of their misguided rhetoric. They have tainted the representation of our country's historic freedom for their own gains. This is offensive at best. How many of these people who support the 'tea party' and its darling Sarah Palin ever studied the issues? How many of them have gone beyond just bobbing their heads like the little dog in the car's back window? Do they read multiple newspapers, opinion pieces, held discussions with opposing view points, or have they simply accepted as fact, the garbage they are being fed? 

With access to the Internet, it is easier than ever before to become involved, educated, and engaged. Elections shouldn't be bought with dollars. A far better commodity for our political system is experience, education, and leadership ability.

Do the 'tea party' members realize that open-mindedness is a key to learning? Do they understand that every story has more than one side to it? 

When there is an issue I want to know about, I listen to as many angles as possible, knowing that people's perspectives color a story. Money colors it even more. If you listen to only one radio station or one television network, you should not be qualified to vote for candidates that must represent us all.

If you are inspired by someone, great! But before you make up your mind, go to his critics, hear what people say about him/her before making up your own mind. If people had an open mind, we would be a lot better off.

Candidates are not rock stars. They are not celebrities that should be worshipped. They are people that will make decisions on issues that affect all our lives. Look at their motives. Self-enrichment, ego, and control issues should not be reasons to run for public office. Candidates should have integrity, ability, and intellect. 

By all means know that your vote counts. Make it count by using it wisely. Ask questions. Know the candidates you plan to vote for. Call their offices, read their websites, talk to the other side. Every candidate is colored by his own lens. You must get beyond that lens to see clearly. Do us all a favor--do your homework.