ELECTION DAY 2014
ELECTION DAY 1024
It’s Monday, November 3, 2014, 2014. The day before midterm elections in the United States. I won’t be voting since I’m in Mexico. I could have done an absentee ballot before I left but for us residents of the District of Columbia voting is largely an exercise in frustration since D.C. is not a state and, therefore, we have no representation in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. On the other hand, we do have more people, 646,500 give or take a couple hundred, than Vermont and Wyoming. I will offer my apologies to Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is our non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives, and who does a reasonable job in trying to protect us DC’ers from the whims of the other 400+ House members and 50 senators who keep overturning laws our City Council passes. Locally, it’s probably a foregone conclusion that Muriel Bowser will be our new Mayor – before I left she was leading her principal rival quite comfortably. And, yes, there are candidates for City Council up for election but after tomorrow our Council will still have a comfortable Democratic majority and stay pleasantly liberal as well. Some things just don’t change. I feel slightly guilty about not voting, particularly with all the voter suppression extant around the country now, but this is the first year in many, many years that I will not cast my vote. In fact, I can’t recall the last time – if ever – that I did not vote.
But I digress. As of today, if the news is correct and God only knows if the reports are true or just some made up shit, it looks as if the Republicans are going to be the majority party in the Senate after tomorrow. And, no doubt, they will continue to be the majority party in the House. What will it mean for the rest of us? My best guess is “not much.” We will, without a doubt, be treated to a flurry of “Repeal Obamacare” bills, more tax cut proposals to create jobs (as if), bills to outlaw the EPA, lock up Ebola patients, require that every citizen arm themselves with at least one AR-17 and a handgun, and a whole lot more of the same stupidity and insanity we’ve seen for the past six years from Republicans. Oh, right. I almost forgot. And rest assured that there will be an “Impeach Obama” effort just like the one Clinton faced more than a decade ago.
The result? Nothing. Just more of the same bullshit we’ve been subjected to by the right wing propagandists and the Tea Party minions since 2008. Obama is still President for two more years and this time around it seems like a pretty safe bet that he will not be cooperating with Republicans since that worked out so well for him during his first term. Remember? Expect the next two years to amount to nothing. Why? Well the Obama Hatred Virus is still spreading its poison around the country and apparently infecting more Americans than I ever thought possible. Why? Because conservative Republicans (and too many Democrats!) still seem to believe that “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem,” “the unfettered Free Market is the best means of ensuring the welfare of us Americans,” “the private sector can do it better” and “regulation destroys jobs.” (About this last item – think about how many jobs the “Americans With Disabilities Act” has created since 1990.) Right. And as I said, it appears that even more Americans today believe all this fiction and propaganda. Sad. As if the past thirty years have been so great and wonderful for America’s working and middle classes and as if the biggest worldwide economic collapse since the Great Depression never happened.
But what depresses me is how many Americans actually believe all of this nonsense. Still. After more than thirty years. Unions are basically history except for government workers; taxes have never been lower; Federal, state and local governments have seen their budgets cut year after year; our political system has been so corrupted that it’s become a joke; money masquerades as free speech today thanks to the Supreme Court; women’s rights and minority rights are being eroded – the list goes on. And I think to myself, how has this happened? What’s gone wrong? Didn’t we fight all these battles back in the 60’s and 70’s? Yes, we did. But apparently it didn’t “take.” So now what? I honestly don’t know.
Back in the 60’s when we still had the draft and before I was classified 4-F by the Army, I considered moving to Canada to avoid the Viet Nam war. Today I’m wondering if Canada might not be a good place to live in my “declining years.” After all, Canada does have universal health care, Canada is not a world power, and even though the Independent Quebec Movement raises its head now and again, it seems like a peaceful country inhabited by polite, civilized folks who don’t run around spouting nonsense in the guise of good governance.
Or maybe I’ll stay in Loreto until the Obama Hatred Virus has run its course.