Thursday, October 15, 2015

But, Will People Vote?

The political debates are all the rage this year.  Highest rated shows of the year!  Both parties’ debates sure pulled in a lot of viewers.  So, it does look like people are interested. 

I’ve watched them all so far, and the striking thing about them is that there has never been such a clear divide between the Republicans and the Democrats.  I may be biased, in fact I am biased, but while the Democratic debate this week was quite a dignified affair where issues of importance to us were discussed and examined, the two Republican debates so far have been laughable Clown Colleges of total bullshit. 

I’ll let the real writers examine the details for your enjoyment, but the broad outlines are as plain as the belly in Chris Christie’s suit.  Republicans limit their discourse to their usual talking points:  lower taxes (mostly if not entirely on the top earners); reduce the size of government (the better to drown it in a bath tub); kill popular social programs (in order to save them); deregulate business (so it can raise the general prosperity); and keep American strong.  For variety, they throw red meat to the resentful old white people that vote for them.  Rhetoric about things like abortion, immigrants, homosexuals, people who “live on government handouts,” and the dangers of living with black Americans.  This should all seem quite comical and ridiculous to the American people, but it seems to work pretty well for the Republicans.  The cynicism and hypocrisy of those who peddle this tripe year after year is breathtaking.  

The Republicans don’t seem to know or care anything at all about the lives of ordinary people; they don’t even seem to know the first thing about that beloved abstraction called money!  Carly Fiorina wants to build, what was it, two hundred additional warships?  Three hundred?  I started to do the math on that one and I got dizzy.  They talk about war like it was a matter of glory and national honor, which it to be expected, because I don’t think any of them have actually served in the military.  (der Krieg ist lustig, der unerfarnen.)    They actually stand there and say, out loud, that we must do these things and that we must simultaneously reduce taxes.  Hasn’t that been tried?  And didn’t it fail? 

No matter.  Several of them even have ingenious plans to reduce taxes on top earners while raising them on working class people.  They are channeling Ron Reagan, without whom Social Security would be solvent and the national debt would be much lower.  I’d better stop about the Republicans now, or else I’ll be taken in for observation as a danger to myself and others.

The Democrats, at the very least, seemed much more intelligent about the whole enterprise.  Whatever is really in their hearts, they do a very good job of always sounding like they want to help the American people.  Their speech is much better organized, and they are much better able to answer questions without simply swinging into elements of their campaign speeches.   With the exception of Jim Webb, they were all trying to stick to proposing solutions to the real problems facing Americans.  Webb seems to be there as some kind of dramatic device intended to make the others look good. 

Having said that, I should try to return to some kind of point to all of this.  Normal, non-crazy American people who are not rich and who have not been driven crazy by the politics of resentment should prefer the Democratic candidates.  They should prefer their ideas, their priorities, their mature and lucid presentation styles, their proposed solutions, and their values.  In polls where the political overtones are cleverly masked, Americans express opinions that are very much like those of the Democratic candidates, and nothing at all like the Republican candidates.  The Democrats are much more in line with current American thinking about the modern world.  So the question is:

Will the American people bother to vote next year? 

I mean, will they bother to get off of their collective, complacent asses and go out and cast votes for the candidates of their choice?  In last year’s off-year election something like thirty-seven percent of eligible voters cast votes.  And we see what happened then.  We got a congress full of raging lunatics who call themselves Republicans but who cannot even get along with each other, much less with anyone else.  Politics is so far out in the ditch that we see Republican candidates for president like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Michael Huckabee, all people who have nothing at all to recommend them for the job, people who, in fact, should be made to wear orange jumpsuits bearing the words, “Danger! Toxic!” Even the so-called real politicians in the group are dangerous and extreme.  Chris Christie? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio?  These are guys that no sensible person would ever consider making president.  Ted Fucking Cruz, for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus!!! 

(Edit after one week:  How could I forget John Bush!  But I am trying very hard to forget John Bush.)  

I hate to tell you, but if y’all stay home next year like you usually do, one of those dangerous assholes will probably win this thing.  And then strap yourselves in, boys and girls, because that will be one, rough, ride.

So do it for America . . . do it for love . . . do it for your families . . . do it for goodness sake . . . do it to pull your own bacon out of the fire!  Just do it!  Vote!  Vote for whomever you wish, but vote!  

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