Thursday, November 02, 2006

Election Musings

Are you geared up to vote? Good. As my favorite election-year button reads: vote or shut up. If you don't vote, you don't get to bitch about what goes on. End of story. So...make up yer damn mind, and get to the polls on Tuesday. Meantime, here are some things I've been pondering lately. Sorry if these seem a little disjointed...sometimes, there just isn't anywhere else to go.

• I read that a sheriff in rural Henry County VA was indicted, along with 12 employees, on charges of racketeering. Seems the sheriff MIGHT just have been in charge of a ring that took drugs which were seized from dealers, and then re-sold them. Sometimes right out of a seargent's home. I tried VERY hard to find the political party this sheriff (an elected official) belongs to, but couldn't due to "high volume." Still...he's the sheriff of a little (58,000 pop.) county in rural, southern Virginia. Which party do YOU suppose he belongs to?

• In addition to 2,817 DEAD U.S. soldiers in Iraq, I saw today (for the first time) a tally of the WOUNDED. It's a big number. 33,838, to be exact. Wow. And the tempation might be to think of a healthy portion of these wounded as having suffered, say, light shrapnel in the arm, or perhaps similar to Forrest Gump, who was "shot in the buh-tocks." Maybe. I also read a lengthy article describing one soldier who lost fully ONE THIRD OF HIS FUCKING HEAD! This guy is seriously messed up...he can't speak, he can't write...that's also the kind of "wounded" we're talking about. Soldiers who lived not because their wounds weren't mind-bogglingly horrific...they lived because we've finally advanced medicine enough to keep alive people whose heads are kind of strangely flat on one side because the brains & bone that USED to be there is now carrion-food in the Iraqi desert.

• Another comment on the soldiers: I support them, okay? Enough with the ribbon magnets. You know who I DON'T support? The president, with his boner to finish daddy's war, his crooked fucking party, and his failure to even ACKNOWLEDGE the chaos he has created in the name of our country. In two years this joker will be history (which will at least give him the long-lived notoriety of being the worst U.S. president ever), but the actions he has undertaken will haunt the rest of us for years. Decades. Permanently? So, yeah...I support the troops, many of whom are not "risking their lives for us" willingly. Shit, a lot of 'em just wanted the free college tuition, you know? No, they're risking their lives because some dumbass put them in harm's way.

• As long as we're dealing with the concept of "framing the debate": being against one idea doesn't automatically mean I'm FOR someone ELSE'S description of the opposite. I support the troops...but only because I feel sorry they're there. People would like me to think that talking crap about the government is a tacit rebuttal of the troops. It isn't. I can do both...even if you don't WANT me to. Same thing with abortion: I support the availability of safe, legal, medical abortion. That does NOT make me "anti-life." You know whose life I'm concerned about? The woman who, either through a sorry mistake or lack of education, becomes pregnant with no hope of securing any sort of decent future for her child. Anti-choice advocates never talk about that part, do they? They're all about "saving the life" of the fetus, but once the baby is actually BORN? Forget it. There's very little help available for these women and their children, who are so often the poorest, least-educated people in the U.S. George Carlin summed it perfectly for me: "If you're pre-born, you're fine; if you're pre-school...YOU'RE FUCKED." Can we agree that human animals are going to have sex and just educate the hell out of everyone? Do THAT, and your abortion rate will plummet.

• If you haven't already come across it, the George Lakoff book Don't Think of an Elephant is a fantastic read. I'm tired of pollsters tweaking questions so that both the question itself AND the available answers are dictated by a single mindframe. "Pick the option that best describes you: A) I believe everyone should be able to keep the money they earn, or B) I believe in turning over large chunks of my hard-won earnings to be misspent by activist legislators." about "C) You're a dumbshit"?? Here's the poll I want to run: I want to ask people if they want A) lower taxes, or B) basic services. Because, hey, you can't BOTH lower taxes AND have a lot of nice services like police, road crews, and a rapid response to your 911 call. If you believe you can spend less money and get more stuff (i.e., services), please report to the U.S. GAO're a freakin' genius. Lakoff describes the very sneaky way politicians are railroading the citizens of this country into thinking they can eat their cake...and then still have it.

Okay, enough. The point is: take a look around. Are you happy with the way things are? Are you freaked out about the toilet the U.S.A. is being flushed down? Get out and VOTE on Tuesday...and take your neighbor with you.


Blogger Gknee said...

"ROCK The Vote!!"

I'm looking forward to some local races here in Florida as well as what happens nationally. Maybe I'll pop some corn and switch back and forth between Fox News and CNN all night *shrug*

Happy voting!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Why is our Nation so far to one side or the other? Should either of the Parties ever have the balls to offer up a Moderate, they will win, easily. There seems to be no middle anymore. You're either for something or not, and that makes you a Donkey or an Elephant. Bullshit! We don't live in a Black and White world, yes world. Ever heard of the Concord Coalition? Check it out, It's Dems and Reps that get along and most are in the middle. They get it. Open your eyes, there's a big world out there.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Animal said...

I couldn't agree more with the concept of "getting along!" A great article in Rolling Stone recently called attention to how MUCH this concept has changed in Washington since 1994. Ultimately, I think we're all after so much of the same thing: a safe & happy home, a decent chance for financial stability, etc. etc. The few things that we can't seem to agree on are blown out of proportion by...who? Media? Politicians? A successful moderate who came out & encouraged everyone to "agree to disagree" on some of these social hot-buttons could probably pave the way to a 2nd American "golden age." WHERE IS THIS PERSON??? It's so frustrating to feel like I'm PUSHED to one end of a spectrum simply as a defensive measure in order to balance someone else's migration to the far opposite end. Hear, hear, Mark for the words of wisdom!

9:51 AM  
Blogger kat said...

I would argue for Get Out (an EDUCATED) Vote on Tuesday. I mean, what if people are just watching those frickin' political ads, and then they trudge over to their polling place? ARGH!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Another awesome post!

I get to bitch...I voted. (Like anything has ever stopped me from bitching before huh?)

12:59 PM  

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