Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Quote Day

Being in politics is like being a football coach.
You have to be smart enough to understand the game,
and dumb enough to think it's important.
~ Eugene McCarthy

’Tis the silly season, and the closer we get to Election Day here in the United States, the sillier it gets. Is it important? Well, it is to the candidates, if you consider the obscene amount of money being spent on getting their respective messages out. We citizens will go on, no matter which party prevails next month. Or the month after, should someone get their knickers in a twist and decide to challenge the election results in court.

What's important to me? Not living in fear. Which is why I mostly held my nose and voted a straight Democratic ticket. Democrats still, in spite of everything, give me hope. Republicans scare the crap out of me. Especially those Tea Party wingnuts. Their agenda of trying to make me afraid of Democrats has completely backfired. I'm waaaaay more afraid of Republicans than I am of the Dems.

The way elections work in the U.S. is that as soon as one is over, the campaign for the next one begins. We've been hearing about potential Republican Presidential candidates for months now; speculation will begin in earnest November 3rd. It didn't used to be this way. I'm old enough to remember, vaguely, when the candidate was actually chosen at the party convention, only a couple of months before the election. How would all the media outlets survive if they only had two months to air commercials and print ads?

(And how would elections work if each candidate had the same amount of money to spend? My guess is that they'd spend more time saying why we should vote for them, instead of why we should vote against the opponent. But that's just a guess. Since corporations are now buying our government, I guess further that we'll never know.)

So what does this have to do with knitting, running, reaping or eating? Nothing, really, it's just that yesterday was, as my husband calls it, a "Debbi Democrat Day." I worked a few hours at our party headquarters and then chaired a Democrat women's club meeting last night. It was, possibly, a little too much democracy all in one day. Heh.

I'm still maintaining my three-miles-a-day streak. I walked in town yesterday and came across the oddest thing, so odd that I had to snap it as my photo du jour. How often have you seen a bag o'taters hanging from a pole in the middle of your hometown? I wonder if someone found them and decided that particular pole would be a good place for a lost-and-found? Maybe the person who was carrying them just couldn't tote them another step, and had to hang them up for later retrieval. Or abandonment, as William Hurt did his suitcase in The Accidental Tourist (my all-time favorite film).

I'll never know, but it sure did make the end of yesterday's walk more amusing. And on a Debbi Democrat Day, that was a Good Thing.


gingersnapper said...

This is the first time in my voting history that I'm voting a straight ticket.

I have in the past voted entirely for Dems on one ballot (usually), but still I picked each candidate individually for specific reasons. That has infrequently included a Republican or third-party candidate.

This year I'm Sending A Message.

Elora said...

I'm with gingersnapper: I, too, am sending a message. I don't like any of them. So, for the very first time in my voting-eligible life, I'm not voting at all. I refuse, this year, to take the "least offensive" candidate. They're all offensive and none of them represent me or the American people. Foreclosures, joblessness, corruption, bonuses, corporate rescue at taxpayer expense...the list goes on. So, in honor of my right NOT to vote, I am not voting. It matters not IMHO which party or candidate wins.
The result is identical regardless.

altopower said...

You're not the only one afraid of the Tea Party crazies and the general Republican viscious anger. I'm not happy with the Dems, either, but you're right that this year many of us will be voting to not live in fear.

It's so hard to know what on earth the candidates stand for and/or would work to accomplish when all the ads are attacks savaging their opponent. Not to mention the even worse 3rd party ads. For this alone I'll be relieved when Nov. 3 comes.

When I saw the pic of the potatoes hanging, I thought you were going to tell us they represented your weight loss. It's a weird thing to see just hanging from a pole, I admit! Definitely worth a photo :)

gingersnapper said...

Dave Barry (the humor columnist) who is a Libertarian (not going to comment on that.. :-) once wrote a hilarious and very apt description of the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

He said, if your car was broken down by the side of the road in the rain, and Republicans drove by, they would stare at you all squinchy-eyed and tight-lipped and just drive on by.

If a car of Democrats drove by, they'd stop and try to help you, but they'd do something stupid like put brake fluid in your radiator, and make it worse.

If I'm not going to get any help, I'd at least rather have the people who are *trying* to help. Then there's always hope they might manage something constructive. (I suppose Barry means that he'd rather be left alone entirely if neither can help; a valid viewpoint).

In the past I've viewed Reps and Dems as people trying to get to the same place through different approaches - what is best for our country. The big disagreement is whether such-and-such method will really achieve that. But in the past few years I've seen so much hatred and ugliness from the Republican party that it's become obvious they are NOT trying to do what's best for the country, only for themselves. Or perhaps it's that they think the only part of "the country" that actually matters IS themselves.

Elora, I hope you will reconsider your non-participant stance in this election. I understand your disgust, but I feel like there IS some difference: there is the choice between "maybe" and "NO." One at least has some possibility.


Hello -- thought I would put in my two cents. The Republicans are the most mean spirited politicians that I can ever remember in all the years I have been voting. Kiss social justice good-bye if they get in. I know that the Democrats can be difficult at times but nothing compares to the other side. I am going to vote because I cannot bear the risk that Republicans will take over and then watch out. No social security, unemployment etc. I want someone in congress that will help even if they might put the wrong fluid in the wrong place in my broken down car. At least they will recognize that I am broken down and need some help. -- barbara