I haven't been posting a lot recently. And to that a friend asked, "What's the matter? Politics not pissing you off?"
It is, actually. And as such, I offer the following rant:
I hate that political campaigning -- especially the race for the Oval Office -- is a business of lies and deceit, fear mongering, and the deployment of weapons of mass distraction. No matter what a candidate says, their opponent will accuse them of lying, even if they aren't, and even if their accusations are lies themselves -- as if saying the same thing over and over again will make it the truth.
To wit: Obama has repeatedly described his tax plan that will give relief to 95% of Americans -- the middle class ($200K per year and under). The only ones to see a tax increase would be those earning over $250,000. Yet a current attack ad by the GOP has several people saying that "I'm Joe the plumber", and "Obama wants more taxes from me to pay for his spending?". Summing up with "Higher Taxes and Trillion Dollar Spending".
What? Is no one listening or does no one care? Are there really that many middle class Americans who are peeved that they might not be able to buy a $250,000 business because of Obama's proposed tax plan? Frankly, I wish I were one of them.
But I'm not, and neither are most voters. The unfortunate thing is that the sheep will buy into the GOP bullshit that Democrats will just tax and spend. Well, guess what? The policies of the last eight years have screwed this economy and this nation, especially the middle class, and now someone has got to pay. Period.
Who's it going to be? The middle class? Again? Still? Haven't the rich been getting richer long enough? We are in serious debt. Only taxes and thoughtful governmental spending will get us out of it.
McCain says he won't raise taxes on anyone. It's the typical GOP battle cry. Well, thanks....the rich and the corporations love that, while the middle class continue to get socked with the lion's share of the bill with no relief in sight in a McCain administration.
It's all part of the American Illusion that the Republicans are constantly selling. You know the one -- We could all be rich some day in this great nation, so don't you dare raise taxes on anybody, especially the rich, because you won't want those taxes on your wealth once you've ascended to the Inner Circle".
Wake up call. Most of us will never realize that part of the American Dream and earn hundreds of thousands a year. But enough of us buy into this fallacy to keep the rich laughing all the way to the bank while our economy flounders, our currency retreats, our armed forces bogged down in a seemingly endless exercise in the cradle of civilization, and our standing and respect in the eyes of the world shrivels.
And speaking of respect, I lost quite a bit of what I had for John McCain when he pulled his hat trick and decided on Sarah Palin as his running mate. Even the Europeans are mocking her. She is, without a doubt, the most frighteningly ignorant and unqualified candidate ever to be involved in a Presidential race since Warren G. Harding. And she scares the shit out of me. That she should be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office for any reason is unconscionable. God forbid. And yes, that is an impassioned plea to the Almighty for His divine intervention.
I shudder to think of what this nation could achieve if every voter were actually informed and cast their ballot based on the real issues and what was best for everyone -- not just believing the lies and giving in to baseless fears.
Which brings me to another point about the Republicans vilifying Democrats as being elitist and intellectuals -- like that's a bad thing. I mean, really....let's not do anything rash like put someone intelligent, educated, and well-spoken in the highest office in the land.
And what's wrong with being elite? We want our elite pilots to fly our fighter jets and our elite athletes to compete in the Olympics. I'd like an elite politician to lead this country. I don't want someone I can share a beer with. I happen to be an intellectual (sorry, but it's true) and I want the leader of the free world to be in a league far over my head, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, too many voters will just take the shortcut to thinking and cast a vote based on fantasy and misinformation while believing that they will just let the system "work things out" and everything will be fine.
Guess again. We ARE the system. And if we don't make thoughtful, informed choices to put people in place that will represent our interests and further the greater good for the greatest number, then the system doesn't work. Or it works against us, and we'll soon be griping all over again about how bad is the economy, the healthcare system, the housing market, the foreign policy, gas prices, ad nauseum....
I'm looking forward to this election being over. Although I'm a registered Republican, I consider myself an Independent or Centrist and am voting Democrat. The GOP hasn't been doing a very good job representing me or my interests lately.
Contrary to the abject horror the Republicans are anticipating if Obama is elected, it should be a tremendous benefit to have a Democratic President backed by a fully Democratic Congress. It might actually be possible to get this country back on track quickly and decisively. Granted, the possibility also exists that we could just as quickly make monumental blunders, but I'm counting on the former rather than the latter.
So, get thee hence and read -- a lot. Go to the candidates' websites and inform yourself on their issues; their foreign policies, their healthcare plans, and their economic goals. Then temper that information with some reliable third party data (preferably non-partisan).
And vote! In the words of Bob Schieffer's mother, "It will make you feel big and strong".