Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Village Missing Idiots? Not Likely, They're Everywhere.

We live in a country that is currently involved in nothing short of civil war. No, it’s not a violent war and it likely won’t be for quite some time (not counting the occasional “escapee” from the “lunatic fringe). It’s a war of words. And what both frightens and amazes me is that in what is arguably the greatest country in the world so much can be said without facts, documentation, historical record, or even common sense to back it up.

This war is likely un-winnable. Battles will be won and lost but the war will go on as long as we remain a democratic republic. The truly unfortunate thing to me is that these battles are not won by intellect. It’s a two party marketing campaign. The campaign strategies have been developed as if they were commercials for consumer products. And there is no accountability. Have you ever wondered how it’s possible that more than one laundry detergent is touted as the best? How can it be that nothing lubricates better than a certain engine oil, unless it happens to be another engine oil that nothing lubricates better than. How can you claim something tastes better than its competitors? Isn’t taste a subjective thing? I’ve even heard that toothpastes really can’t whiten teeth (and that the abrasive nature of whiteners can harm your enamel… let’s promote what’s bad for you…another subject entirely). We are continually saturated with an endless stream of advertising that is aimed at making us buy specific products, or vote for specific candidates.

I think we can all agree that the election of public officials is a pretty important thing. Some people should by definition be unelectable. We do not want unqualified individuals making decisions that can prove critical to our lives and life styles. But it happens all the time. How that possible? Well, here’s my take on it.

The first problem is that there is no accountability in political “advertising”. We need an extremely visible watchdog group that monitors this stuff and calls bullshit on it when necessary. Freedom of speech should not protect blatant lies and misrepresentations when it comes to selecting qualified people to run the government. If a candidate lies they need to be called out on it immediately. If a candidate attempts to disseminate information that is inaccurate or misleading they should be called out on it immediately. It’s a shame this is necessary but it is, because candidates and their parties spit bull shit at us all the time, and because of the next reason….

Our country has an extremely high number of voting idiots. A friend of mine recently commented that while at his local watering hole he was amazed at how many people were quoting political ads almost verbatim. It didn’t matter what was being said. They were quoting it. Now, anybody care to bet on whether or not they researched it first? I didn’t think so. This is a big problem. Idiots are given an equal say in what will determine our futures. I don’t like that. I don’t want an idiot making decisions for me. This is how Michele Bachman got into office. I realize we live in a society where every law abiding citizen has an equal right to vote but I’m extremely uncomfortable with idiots contributing to decisions that affect the country. It’s bad for me. It’s bad for you. It’s bad for America.

The next thing that has absolutely got to go is corporate campaign contributions. There is no way in hell that an elected official can be unaffected by large campaign contributions. This is what is meant when someone says our country is run by corporations. This too is bad for me, bad for you, and bad for the country. The only way to eliminate this particular type of corrupt influence (because it is nothing less) is to publicly fund elections. We need a process in place to determine viable candidates. A caucus that starts locally and slowly expands to the level of representation be it a district, city, county, state, etc. Everyone gets the same funding. Everyone gets the same airtime. You create a level playing field. Anything else really doesn’t make sense. When we were kids we were constantly told that one of the reasons this was a great country was because anyone born here could become President. That’s not really true is it? Anyone born here with access to money maybe but, not just anyone.

This next election has me extremely worried. It’s no secret that I lean left and it’s not looking good for those that do. Why? Revisit my comments on idiots. The economy is gaining traction. I read today that unemployment claims dropped last month to the lowest since July. The stock market is up. Most of the “experts” believe that the worst is over. Sure there is still work to be done but there is no doubt the country is in better shape than we were when Obama took office. Yet “the people” are restless. How can they forget the reasons for the ass whooping the Democrats put on the Republicans in 2008? Are we really that short sighted as a nation? Is Obama doing everything right? I don’t think so. Will the Republicans? Definitely not. I haven’t heard a single new idea or viable alternative from a Republican yet. They just parrot the same old crap that they have for the last 20 years. Reduce taxes (VERY dumb move with our current deficit), reduce spending (they don’t strive for that anymore…. GW the MORON spent like a drunken sailor), give the government back to the people (I’m sorry? Didn’t the people elect those currently in office?).

I guess we’ll see what happens come November 2nd. I’m still hopeful that all the doom and gloom talk is just that… talk. I think if voter turnout is huge, the Republicans won’t do as well as they think they’re going to. Nor should they. Christine O’donnell? Really? I’ll be blogging on her next but how can you support a party that elevated her to viable candidate status? Fucking idiots.


Common Sense

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