Tag Archives: vote

Third Party Blues

I saw a funny tweet the other day. At least, it was funny to me.

“The two-party system is broken. The two no longer truly represent the people. It’s time for a third party.”

We always want to break large groups of humans into different camps, usually two:
Male v. Female
White v. Black
Obama was a great president v. Obama was the greatest president*
Ford v. Chevy
Pro-choice v. Anti-choice
Nike v. Reebok
Canon v. Nikon
Beer v. Wine
Eagles v. Cowboys
Christian v. anyone else
Whatever the topic, all of humanity can be neatly sliced into two sides. This simplifies conversation, simplifies thinking, draws nice, clear lines. It’s bullshit, we all know it’s bullshit, but we do it so we don’t have to think too much.

In the case of my Twitter (unintended) comedian, he was proposing a party to represent fiscally conservative and socially liberal people. That’s all well and good, but now we need a fourth party for fiscally liberal and socially conservative. But what about fiscal conservatives who are socially liberal, but draw the line on readily available marijuana? Fiscal socialists who are opposed to gay marriage?

Taken to its logical conclusion, every single person would be a unique political party. Otherwise, god forbid, we would all have to choose the party that MOST CLOSELY RESEMBLES our own thinking and beliefs.

And that’s what we have now. Two parties, diametrically opposed. We choose Republican or Democrat, whichever is closer to us, knowing that a “protest vote” for any third party is tantamount to not voting. Only the two parties have any real chance of winning any elections.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Each of the two parties is nothing more than a huge collection of individuals who, all together, hold their noses and vote one way or the other. I don’t imagine that any of us fully agree with what our party stands for or what our elected officials have done, but we vote one party because we know that the other party is absolutely wrong.

What’s the saying? “The perfect is the enemy of the good”?

Let’s go back to splitting things up even finer.

Any third party would, by definition, weaken either the Republicans or Democrats. In 2016, a split between the Hillary camp and the Bernie camp may well have cost the Democrats the White House (and Senate). The Republicans, despite a year-long civil war among a dozen different camps, voted as a homogenous block in the election. Little things like policy and platform didn’t get in the way of party loyalty and the Republicans won.

If a third party rises to take votes away from the Democratic party, then neither will win anything ever again. On the other hand, the Tea Party came up in the 2010 elections but DID NOT split the Republican Party. Whatever took place in the primaries, Republicans and Tea Party presented a unified front in the general elections, and managed to win handily.

But let’s work forward. Let’s introduce a fourth party. A fifth. Let’s ultimately have 50 different political parties. What then?

In the end, these 50 political parties will argue and negotiate and form alliances to consolidate power. They will bring together as many factions as possible, because the largest “single group” will have the most power, the best shot at winning elections. No one little party can possibly win, but a large enough affiliation will definitely win.

You know what we call those large affiliations? The Republican and Democratic Parties.

And that’s the joke.

* nod to Stephen Colbert

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Thank god I’m (now) a Democrat

Remember that Tea Party protest sign years ago? “Keep government out of my Medicare!”

That pretty much summed up the whole Tea Party movement. These folks were used and abused by the Koch brothers, who greased the wheels of the Tea Party Patriots to get the rabble all riled up. They were supposedly protesting taxes, but it was a time of historically low taxes. Then they were supposedly protesting Obamacare, but only 20% of the population would be eligible for Obamacare, and for them it was a godsend. No, it is not a coincidence that the Tea Party idiots came out of the woodwork in 2009, when the first African-American president was sworn into office. “I want my America back,” one stupid woman famously wailed in a moment of rare honesty.

Let’s be honest. Turn off the reactionary part of your brain and face facts. President Obama is not a communist, not a socialist, and not really all that much of a liberal. He’s NOT coming to take your guns, he is NOT a secret Muslim, and, yes, he WAS born in the United States, if you admit that Hawaii is a state. Obama’s two most famous accomplishments – the early stimulus program (including the Detroit “bailout”) and the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) – were Republican ideas.

Yes, his thinking on same-sex marriage evolved, as did Joe Biden’s, as did Hillary Clinton’s, but only after seeing the polls that said the American people were way ahead of him. If you are opposed to same-sex marriage today, you are in a certain minority. Even so, trust me that no one will force you to gay-marry.

Even his “assault on the [precious] Second Amendment” didn’t go as far as the vast majority of Americans (and Republicans!) wanted him to go. He did what he did through executive order, the same process that every president before him has used to effect change. Why is it that everything Obama does is an attack on our freedoms, when every president has done much the same? Because he’s black.

This president has been disrespected in ways that were never done before (i.e.: to the 43 old white guys that preceded him). From his very first State of the Union address (“YOU LIE!”), from the night of his inauguration when key Republicans held a meeting and determined that they would oppose EVERYTHING that Obama wanted, from Mitch McConnell’s famous declaration that the Republican Party’s Number One Task would be to render Obama a one-term president, there has been a unilateral, nasty, and (frankly) treasonous effort on the part of the right to deny this man his duly-elected office. The Republican leadership was willing to watch the American economy go down the toilet, rather than allow this president the chance to help, and thereby take credit for having done so. (If that’s not treason… )

Let’s look at who the Republicans have put forth to challenge for the White House this year, to succeed a good, gracious, thoughtful, and patient man.

Donald Trump is a joke. Period. Who has he not attacked? Even his recent statement that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and it wouldn’t cost him a single vote is disgusting, arrogant, and true, because the drooling right-wing 10% loves him (for all the wrong reasons).

Trump recently polled at 39% of “likely Republican voters.” Even with a healthy 50% voter turnout, this 39% would be more like 20% of Republican voters. Assuming Republicans and Democrats vote in equal numbers (reference the last three presidential elections), that 20% would be 10% of all voters. And since not all Americans are registered voters (too young or too dumb), Trump is actually polling in single digits, where the whole of the U.S. is concerned. In this light, you can see that it truly is the less than 10% drooling right-wing that supports Trump, a fraction of the American public that is getting ALL the attention in the press these days. And increasingly, Trump supporters include white supremecists, who feel emboldened now to come out from under their hoods, because they’ve found a new national spokesman.

Ted Cruz is dangerous. And a liar. With a fluid philosophy that changes as circumstances warrant. He is incredibly bright, calculating, and wholly evil. He may, in fact, be the Antichrist, but I won’t go there. Yet.

Marco Rubio is a little child having a temper tantrum. He is so eager to prove that he’s every bit as manly as Trump, every bit as Constitution-centric as Cruz, that he’s embarrassing himself on a national stage. Before this campaign, he actually showed promise.

Jeb Bush… no.

Chris Christie is his own biggest fan and one hell of a blowhard. Keep your “Jersey attytood” in Jersey. (And now he will, apparently.)

The rest aren’t worth a mention.

If I were a Republican and HAD to vote for one of the current Republican candidates, I would vote for John Kasich. Simply because he is not a rabid, drooling hatemonger spouting nonsensical red meat phrases guaranteed to entertain the rubes, Kasich gets my vote. He is centered, honest, sensical, and has a solid record of actual governance – including negotiation and compromise with the opposite party.

Yes, I “would” vote for Kasich on commonsense ideas, except that I cannot abide his stance on social issues. Common to most Republicans, his thinking on women’s health, social programs, and much else held dear by the progressive element is anathema. If it were a choice of one, I’d stay home, rather than vote for this man.

Like so many others, I was convinced early on that the Republican nomination was Jeb Bush’s to lose. When Trump entered the race, and for months after that, I believed his campaign was a satire, a funny “impression” of a campaign. All of the news sources treated him that way, too. But after a time, something strange happened – the journalists started treating Donald Trump as if he were a serious candidate.

Want a serious candidate? The Democrats have two this time. Both are competent, compassionate, and capable of leading the U.S. While the “clown car” that is the Republican slate continues lurching its way along, Sanders and Clinton show a glimpse of what used to be – politics that is respectful, courteous, fact-checked, intelligent.

Yeah, it’s good to be a Democrat.

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VOTE, dammit

I blame the Democrats. It’s all their fault.

Here comes another Election Day. Nobody cares. This time, it’s a bunch of judges, county commissioners, prothonotary (?), recorder of deeds, township supervisor, and a bunch of other offices for which we feel unqualified to vote. So we don’t. Over the years, the voter turn-out has declined to almost embarrassing levels. No, actually embarrassing levels.

When we pick a new president, over 50% of eligible voters turn out. But when it’s a mid-term and we’re only voting for Representatives in Congress or Senators, or – worse yet – when it’s an off year and we’re asked to pick local officials, 35% or fewer turn out. This is completely backwards, since the local and state officials have much more impact on our personal lives than the President ever will.

VOTE

RINO

When I turned 18 in 1972, I duly registered to vote (and registered for the draft). Being young, stupid, and apolitical, I registered as a Republican. Why, I can’t tell you. I had a choice of two, and that’s the one I picked.

Also, at 18, I was far more of a liberal than a conservative, although some of the conservative policies were attractive. In truth, I may have been representative of the huge middle – the Silent Majority, a pure centrist. While I wasn’t all that sure of my own politics, I know I wasn’t a hippie, but nor was I sporting a crewcut by any means.

It was a presidential election year – Richard Nixon was running against George McGovern, two candidates who couldn’t be any more dissimilar. I had a vested interest in this election, since the Viet Nam conflict was ongoing and the draft was still scooping up American kids to send over there. I had to vote McGovern.

Since then, in every presidential election, I have voted only for the Democratic candidate. There hasn’t been one Republican that I wanted in the White House, and yet I was a Republican the whole time*. Looking back over the presidential candidates during my voting adulthood (below), I still agree with that sentiment.

But while I and everyone else was focussed on the presidential races, a group of very determined hard-right Republicans were taking over state and local government. State houses, assemblies, senates, and state governorships went Republican, one after the other. It was masterful. By 2010, Republicans were in position to redraw districts (gerrymandering) to ensure that Republicans would continue to hold those state houses. And immediately, they (Priority No. 1) passed tax breaks and subsidies for their wealthy patrons, (Priority No. 2) began chipping away at women’s rights, and (Priority No. 3) severely cut or discontinued programs to assist the poor and or education budgets. Regardless of the words they say, Republicans show their true priorities by what they do. They tried to convince us that public school teachers were the true enemies of democracy and that public sector unions – all unions – were destroying our way of life (the way of life that we largely owe to unions).

taliban

This excerpt from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom is brilliantly simple, simply brilliant. It says everything I see in the Tea Party.

PATRIOT, SPELLED M-O-R-O-N

In 2008 we elected a black man to the White House. Immediately, the Tea Party came out of nowhere to make fools of themselves. It was about taxes, they said, at a time when taxes were historically low. Okay, so that couldn’t have been the reason for this “grassroots” Koch-fueled uprising. Wonder what it could be?

Sheep

Regardless, the Republican officeholders from 2000 on have been dishonest, disingenuous, hardly fiscal conservatives, and absolutely hawkish. (Witness John McCain, of all people, who never met a conflict he didn’t want to fully engage.) The LAST thing they were was “Republican,” in the true sense of the word. When I saw a wave of Tea Party idiots elected to Washington, I’d had enough. In 2011 I changed my registration to Democrat. I was too embarrassed to be associated with the R word.

(If they can’t take having a black President, wait until we elect a WOMAN. Their heads are going to pop.)

There is only one reason that the United States is being taken down by right-wing radicals: Democrats. If Democrats would come out and vote in significant numbers, all traces of the Tea Party could be erased from public office within a four-year cycle. It starts at the local level, it centers in the state house. Democrats have until 2020 to turn things around, or the voting districts already drawn will ensure another TEN YEARS of Republican control. Yet voter turnout, especially in the meaningless local elections, remains pathetic. As if it meant nothing.

NEED ANOTHER REASON TO VOTE?

One party is busy attacking your rights. One party is actively trying to take away your right to vote. One party wants to shut you out of the electoral process, and thereby hopefully win back the White House. The Republicans.

By not voting, you’re helping them take away your vote.

* Here are the choices I faced every four years of my adult life. Looking at the Republican v. Democratic candidates, there is no wonder that I voted Democratic every single time.

  Republican Democrat Independent
1976 Gerald Ford
Bob Dole
Jimmy Carter
Walter Mondale
1980 Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
Jimmy Carter
Walter Mondale
John B. Anderson
Patrick Lucey (ind.)
1984 Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
Walter Mondale
Geraldine Ferraro
1988 George H.W. Bush
Dan Quayle
Michael Dukakis
Lloyd Bentsen
1992 George H.W. Bush
Dan Quayle
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
Ross Perot
James Stockdale
1996 Bob Dole
Jack Kemp
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
Ross Perot
Pat Choate
2000 George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Al Gore
Joe Lieberman
2004 George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Kerry
John Edwards
2008 John McCain
Sarah Palin
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
2012 Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan
Barack Obama
Joe Biden

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Sickness

Recent Twitter war:

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
There’s a group o’ yahoos in Nevada making a strong case for tighter 2nd Amendment regulation. Patriots, my ass. #BundyRanch

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
@tfrogdotcom read the declaration of independence they are doing there  duty study history before you run your mouth dont be a commy

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
@WNevertell Next time I drive the turnpike and refuse to pay the tolls, I sure hope some yahoo “militia” shows up to cover my back.

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
@tfrogdotcom then protest it dont just bitch about it

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
@WNevertell Sorry, I thought we were pretending that this was a “Declaration of Independence” issue, instead of just refusing to pay bills.

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
@tfrogdotcom this is way bigger then a bill do so research or stfu

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
@WNevertell Right. ‘Cause if Bundy HAD paid his bill, all of this would have happened anyway. Sure. THINK, dammit.

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
@tfrogdotcom you are a sheep if it wasnt bundy it would have been someone else just one more straw on the camels back  go back to sleepsheep

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
@WNevertell You’re desperate to make something out of nothing. You backed the wrong horse, and now you’re stuck. Me sheep? #bundyranch

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
@tfrogdotcom that is the  thing I back freedom not the man  i hop you wake up some day

dwight munroe ‏@tfrogdotcom
@WNevertell Freedom to what? What “freedom” has been quashed here? You don’t like land use fees? You don’t like taxes? What, exactly?

will nevertell ‏@WNevertell
>no reply<

There is a sickness upon the land.

This is 2014, not 1776. A lot has happened in the last 238 years, but let’s try to keep up.

There was, some years ago (okay, a lot of years ago), a running skit on Saturday Night Live about rules and regulations that we all adhere to, because some ONE person screwed things up for the rest of us. Some idiot was caught urinating in a public park, so now NOBODY gets to urinate in a public park. Some idiot refused to yield at an intersection, so now we have STOP signs, traffic lights, and even “red light cameras.” (We never learn.)

Some idiot tried to set fire to his sneakers aboard an aircraft, so now we ALL have to take our shoes off. And now, some idiot doesn’t want to pay land use fees, so we have a whole bunch of yahoos waving guns in Nevada to protect “our freedoms.”

“Will Nevertell” is just one example of a knee-jerk “patriot.” They love to wave the Declaration and Constitution around, but fail to acknowledge that things have changed just a bit since the 18th century. For one, there are a hell of a lot more people here in the U.S. of A., and we all have to try, somehow, to get along and respect each others’ “rights.” For another, a few more amendments to the Constitution were added after the Second. And each of those successive amendments are as valid as the first two. We no longer get to own other people. Women are no longer “belongings,” but full-fledged humans with all of the rights and responsibilities of men.

No, I don’t think anyone is treading on Mr. Bundy’s rights. (Except, possibly, Mr. Bundy himself.)

There are billionaires (BILLIONAIRES) funding political campaigns, trying to stir up “the people” to oppose this oppressive Obama regime. I can’t figure out why – they’ve never had it so good. Since 2008, they’ve seen their individual fortunes rise astronomically. What more do they want? What are they fighting, exactly? The right to despoil the land? The right to rip off millions of consumers?

They want to abolish the EPA. Of course, they do! Who wants to spend extra money to protect the people’s ability to breathe, to drink clean water? After all, we know that the free market would never behave badly where the environment is concerned, even without the EPA watching over them. (Remember Superfund? That was a whole lot of taxpayer dollars.)

Social conservatives have no problem at all trying to tread on MY rights (and everyone else’s).

The way I see it, there is only one group who are trying to whittle away at my rights, my “freedoms,” and that’s the Republican Party. In state after state, they are changing voter registration laws with only one goal in mind – to decrease Democratic turnout and to guarantee Republican victories in elections. They have come right out and admitted to that. They are rigging the system.

In state after state, and now on the federal level, too, they are whittling away at women’s rights. In some states, it is now almost impossible to get a legal abortion. Now, first – no one is “pro abortion.” I don’t believe that the women who GET abortions are pro abortion, or even happy about it. But it is a necessary choice, and I am certainly pro choice. And who is it that are trying to take away this right? Usually, it’s a group of older white guys, Republicans, who sneak these things through.

Republicans want to slash the federal safety net – cut food stamps, end extended unemployment benefits, and they’d like nothing better than to FINALLY abolish Medicare and Social Security. Today, we still hand over $4,000,000,000 in taxpayer money to oil companies, and Republicans will fight to protect that subsidy to companies who have no need for that money, while cutting a needy family’s monthly food budget by $90.00.

Someone once said that progressives are always looking forward, conservatives always looking back.

Some conservatives, like my friend Will Nevertell, seem to want to take us all the way back to 1783 (pre-Constitution – more Articles of Confederation). Some want to take us back to the good ol’ 1950s. And still others seem to prefer the Dark Ages, when life was good, a man was a man, and Church was the only game in town.

Doesn’t matter how far back someone else wants to take this country, I want to go forward. There are a LOT more good people in this country than yahoos. It’s just that the good folks don’t want to make a ruckus, don’t seek out attention, don’t want to raise a fuss. Problem is, all of the yahoos will come out to vote in every election, while the good folks only turn out in presidential election years.

The good folks DID show up in large numbers in Madison, Wisconsin to support public unions, when Wisconsin Republicans wanted to strip them of all bargaining power. The good folks DID show up in large numbers to support Wendy Davis, when Texas Republicans were trying to outlaw abortion. In both cases, the good folks were ignored, and Republicans did what they wanted to do, anyway.

There is a sickness upon the land, and until the good folks start exercising their rights (while they still have them), the yahoos will be running things at the state and local level. And nothing – NOTHING – will ever be done about the obvious problem this country has with guns, with voting rights, with income inequality, with substandard education, with the millions upon MILLIONS of folks who wonder if they’re going to even eat tomorrow.

And Will Nevertell will never know what hit him.

 

No choice

In 2008, Obama was elected president. Ever since, we have seen historic obstructionism in the Republican Congress. We’ve had obstructionism before, but this is a whole new level. The minority leader in the Senate went on record immediately as saying that the Republicans’ #1 goal was to ensure that Obama was a one-term president. He was good to his word.

Never mind that the U.S. was suffering economic collapse. Never mind that Americans were teetering on the edge. The Republicans in Congress were determined to block anything that Obama wanted.

The United States of America no longer has a AAA credit rating. That’s obscene. And we no longer have that rating, because several in Congress had no real idea what “raising the debt ceiling” was about. They decided that this simple procedural vote should be an occasion for brinkmanship – a chance to gain huge concessions from the Democrats (who, by the way, could not believe that anyone would risk putting the United States into default). In so doing, and even though the debt ceiling was ultimately raised, our credit rating suffered.

In 2010, Republicans nationwide ran on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” As always, with politicians you have to ingore what they say, and watch what they do. In one state house after another, “jobs, jobs, jobs” became “abortion, abortion, abortion.” Republicans dropped tax rates for businesses and wealthy donors right off the bat, then cried “budget crisis,” going after public sector workers (hardly “the enemy”) and slashing programs (mostly that benefit the poor, but also education – who needs that?). In part, the budget crises were of their own making. I don’t think that even they knew how bad things were going to get. Once revenues began drying up, they couldn’t very well reverse their own tax cuts or, god forbid, raise taxes or fees in other areas, and so they dealt with rising deficits in the only way they could – by cutting even more government services and personnel.

We now have cities declaring bankruptcy, cities that can’t pay their police, their firefighters, their teachers, their other essential service divisions.

I’m watching the U.S. become a second-class country. This pains me, because I WANT the U.S. to be the greatest country on the planet. And it WAS, not too long ago.

We swore not to raise taxes. A lot of Republicans actually signed a “pledge,” promising that they’d never raise taxes under any circumstances. Ignore the fact that this is insanity as policy, and look where it leads us.

We went to war (twice) without bothering to put the expenses in a budget. Shortly after W. “gave the American people their money back” (“Bush tax cuts”), 9/11 happened. He decided to take us to Afghanistan (good intention) and to Iraq (bad, bad), but forgot that we’d have to pay for it. A logical thing to do would be to say to Americans, “Hey, you know those tax cuts we just gave you? We need them back,” and help pay for the wars. The American people would have understood and been okay with returning to the previous tax levels. But, no. We put a trillion dollars of war effort on the company credit card.

If we don’t raise taxes to pay for a war, when do we raise taxes?

Suddenly, when Obama is elected president, there’s a huge, gaping national debt. I guess it was invisible in previous years, because I don’t remember hearing all that much about it. Once Obama was in office, though, he insisted that all that company credit card debt be put back on the books, signed a HUGE spending bill to save banks and give more tax relief to Americans, and suddenly the national debt was an issue. Nevermind that the country’s economy was in freefall – paying off the debt was paramount.

Problem is, when the economy is in freefall – when companies are not spending money, when consumers are not spending money, the only entity that CAN spend money and thereby create demand IS the government. Don’t tell me that the stimulus package did not work – facts would indicate otherwise. Facts would also seem to indicate that the stimulus package should have been larger! When government spends nothing on infrastructure, when governments slash education funding, when police and teachers are laid off… It’s doubly difficult to come back from that.

Republicans reluctantly agreed to pass an infrastructure spending bill recently (in between legislation on abortion). “Government doesn’t create jobs” is one of those idiotic things I hear Republicans say – there’s no foundation to that statement. This highway spending bill will, in fact, create plenty of jobs (obviously) AND begin to fix the crumbling state of roads and bridges.

I had been a registered Republican all of my life, since first voting in 1972. After the American people bought into the insanity of the 2010 elections, handing one state house after another over to people who LIED to get elected, and then watching what these liars DID, I’d had enough. In 2011, I grudgingly changed my voter registration to Democrat. Not because I am a Democrat, but because the Republican Party has simply gone nuts.

I watched this year’s primary, often pained at what I saw. The candidates truly were a “clown circus,” and I kept wondering if these were really the best we could come up with. It occurred to me that the BEST available talent was sitting this election cycle out, because they knew that Obama would not be defeated… But along the way, these candidates became ever more extreme, to the point that fact (and science) was somehow anti-American. They waved their flags, supported our troops, and tried to top each other in opposition to women’s rights. Basically, the entire primary became a show geared toward the 10% most extreme right-wing elements of the country, ignoring the vast majority of us who are somewhat level-headed. Fine. You want that 10%? They’re all yours.

(Rick Santorum?!? Seriously?)

In any other election cycle (say, 2008), Mitt Romney would be treated by the media as the cartoon politician he is. I can’t honestly say that I know where he stands on any single issue (his fault, not mine), except that he wants to lower tax rates for the well-to-do. After a disgraceful, often comic series of flips on virtually every issue, it’s impossible to tell who the real Romney is. As a campaigner, he’s painful to watch. He talks a lot, says nothing. He embraces Donald Trump for his endorsement (DONALD TRUMP!!!).

(This sums up today’s Republican Party – Donald Trump as “Elder Statesman.”)

He’s running on his vast business experience as the better option to save our nation’s economy, but he has no business experience that’s relevant. And, please, don’t look too closely at that business experience, either! In fact, please ignore that business experience, and let’s talk … uh… “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Ohmigod.

In 2010, I overestimated the intelligence of the American voter. To me, Republicans, led by their new Tea Party affiliates, were simply not an option. They had already spent two years trying to sink the U.S. economy, just to make a president look bad, and I never would have believed that the people would actually reward them for it. But I also underestimated the power of lies. This year, those lies are being broadcast continually, fed by unlimited dollars from god-knows-where (Oh, I think we know where…).

Here’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans:
Democrats will spin, they’ll put on the happy face, they may actually slip out a lie. When called on that lie, however, they pull it back.
Republicans look you in the face and lie, lie, lie. Romney, himself, is a serial liar. When called on those lies, they happily repeat, repeat, repeat those lies, knowing that the public will eventually believe them. Republicans are keeping factcheck.org and Politifact on overtime, but they have (in a Klingon sense) “no honor.” They lie. Don’t believe me – get a second opinion, especially if your only source for news is Fox. Do yourself a favor – Google is your friend. Don’t be afraid to learn.

The Republican goal is to reduce government to its lowest levels (except the military). They DO envision a time when Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Pell grants, and all other “social safety nets” are no more. They DO intend to privatize every government function that can be privatized, and they DO want to “starve the beast” by cutting revenues and cutting spending. Medicaid (a program for the most hard-pressed among us) was the low-hanging fruit, and the easiest to go after. Medicare – a wildly popular government program – is next (a voucher system for grandma). Social Security – my god, it’s got the word “social” right there in the title! Privatize it. Hand all that money over to Wall Street, where it’ll be nice and safe.

Problem is, there are, in fact, functions of the government that cannot be done better by the private sector. Prisons. Space flight. National highway system. Regulation. Oops, did I say regulation? Yes – because we’ve all seen with our own eyes what happens when the private sector is left unregulated. Think of the worst possible outcome, and they’ll always go beyond even that. Why did we establish a Superfund? Why did our largest, most successful banks need billions and billions of taxpayer dollars? Personally, I have NO desire to return to rampant pollution in air and water. I WANT the EPA. I WANT the FDA. I WANT the FAA. I WANT people checking on our food supply, our transportation, our banking, our corporate environmental waste.

I WANT the U.S. Postal Service. I have no idea why we’re trying to kill off the Post Office, but stop it. There isn’t a company in the world that can do what the Post Office does; at least, not without huge government subsidies. Without Congressional interference, the Post Office could very well be profitable, so keep your damn Government out of my mail delivery! (Yes, a small jab at the Tea Party.)

Once again, the “Bush tax cuts” are about to expire. Let them. Let them ALL expire, and don’t try to bring them back. We have wars to pay for, investments in our nation to pay for, police and teachers to re-hire. Yes, we even have a national debt that needs attention. Now is not the time to think about lowering taxes even more. We’re Americans, goddamnit. We can handle it. Stop trying to buy votes by letting me keep another $5.00 each week. The government has already spent the money, so let the tax rates go up so we can pay it back.

If you “support our troops,” vote Democrat. Republicans SAY they support our troops, but Republicans have a nasty habit of putting them in harm’s way. And Republicans have a nasty record on taking care of those military personnel when they come back. It’s crazy, I know, but the Democrats are actually the party that supports our troops.

If your number one concern is the economy, vote Democrat. Recent history (oh, the last 30 to 35 years, anyway) shows that the economy is in better hands when a Democrat is in the White House. Savings and Loan scandal. Iran-Contra scandal and a sharp little recession under Reagan (who, by the way, dealt with it completely differently than today’s Republicans want to), and the ultimate Recession by the end of W.’s second term. Bill Clinton got a blow job. But at least the country was doing just fine when he did.

If your number one concern is the Supreme Court, vote Democrat. Republican appointees have now told us that “corporations are people, my friend.” That’s nuts. Corporations are MADE UP of people, but corporations, themselves, are not people. They exist only on paper. Democratic appointees, on the other hand, are hardly the drooling liberals that some would think – they’re far more moderate. If you want a Supreme Court that more accurately reflects the People of the United States, vote Democrat.

If your number one concern is keeping government out of your private lives, vote Democrat. Republicans have shown a rather embarrassing overconcern for our sex lives. Aside from their attitude toward the LGBT community, they’ve made it their mission to OUTLAW ABORTION in all cases. These old, white Republican men know far better than any woman what her options should be. In fact, yes, they would outlaw contraception, if they thought they could get away with it (they’ve tried). I keep hearing “family values” thrown around, but still have no clear idea what they’re talking about. Have these interfering idiots actually taken a look at this country? WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANY MORE, TOTO. It’s 20-stinkin’-12, not 1952. And even 1952 wasn’t anything like what they think they’re aiming for. So stay the #*%&@ out of my family, you loons, and focus on your own.

If your number one priority is jobs, jobs, jobs, vote Democrat. There’s only one person who’s pushing for help in this area. The Republicans have nothing. No jobs bill. No plan. No idea. Their candidate is Mitt Romney, for god’s sake. Only President Obama has been leading the way toward economic stimulus and job creation, except that the Republicans in Congress will have nothing to do with it.

All of the good that has come out of the economy since the Fall of 2008 is clearly because of Obama and the Democrats.

All of the negatives in the economy since that time can be laid firmly at the feet of the Republicans in Congress, who have a mission – NOT to help the country, but purely to defeat Obama’s re-election.

To my mind, the Republicans in Congress have committed nothing short of economic treason.

It would pain me to see them rewarded for that.

This election is not about choice. There is none.