Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Right To Vote (In the category of Want What You Have)

Now that we have a presumptive Republican presidential candidate, the current election year is only going to get more interesting.

Damn, I forget sarcasm is tricky in a blog environment, especially if the reader doesn't actually know the writer. You might interpret a sincere voice from the use of the word "interesting." I shall speak more plainly.

Now that we have a presumptive Republican presidential candidate, the current election year is only going to get more obnoxious, mean-spirited and divisive. I can't ever recall a pleasant election year, but this one feels out-of-hand already, and the conventions haven't even come to their prospective towns.I blame Congress, who have proven to be more interested in filibustering the current administration's polices than actually doing the work that We the People need them to do.

Is there any hope in the fact that many of them are up for reelection? (I despair that some of the more moderate members are just walking away from service, perhaps out of frustration.) I contemplate Virginia's choices for senator with something less than enthusiasm. Neither was my favorite governor. I doubt whether one can stand up to the partisan bullying that dominates Capitol Hill. I am certain the other will enthusiastically throw in with the folks busy doing absolutely nothing right now and bragging about it. (As though preventing the passage of sound policy on the country's debt ceiling or student loan interest rates was good for America.)

The country's choices for president reflect this same divisiveness. On the one hand, the President has made little headway against a Congress so extreme in its partisanship that I am surprised they even know each others' names. On the other hand, his presumptive opponent looks and quacks A LOT like the lame duck president that we just replaced. One wonders if, with a new heart, Dick Cheney isn't in the wings waiting for his moment to swoop in and guide another young inexperienced, over-enthusiastic naive etc. etc ad nauseum through the machinations of running this country, all the while nurturing the slide toward a have-vs-have-not culture clash where 1% earn 90% of the GDP and the other 99% get arrested, deported, held back from coming anywhere near the gated communities of equal opportunity for education, wealth and security.

As I brace for the onslaught of negative campaign ads (#JustHitMute #BoycottCampaignAds), I try to remember to want what I have: a form of government that allows me to peacefully debate the issues and cast a vote for the persons who come closest to reflecting my values to represent my voice on all levels of government. I can only hope that the next four years shows us a path forward and out of the morass of bigotry, stubbornness, and intolerance that has buried the wheels of progress.

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