Ten Questions and Answers for Election Day

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - November 2, 2014 - Features, Politics, Ten Questions/Answers - No Comments
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Alan Cleaver / Foter / CC BY

Now that Halloween has come and gone, I want to write about something really scary.

No, it is not the San Francisco Giants winning another World Series, though perpetual losing clubs like the San Diego Padres, Miami (or is it still Florida?) Marlins and the Chicago Cubs are certainly terrified competing against the Bay Area Big Guys.

Instead, I want to write about next Tuesday’s elections.

Today, I am starting a new feature in An Ordinary Joe’s Soapbox called Ten Questions and Answers. This is based on a post I did a couple of weeks ago. I had a blast answering questions that have been swimming around my brain for years.

Here are ten questions–and answers–about the upcoming elections:

Will you vote on Election Day? Of course. However, I am not a Chicagoan who will vote early and often.

Are you excited about the upcoming elections? My wife is. As for me, I am more excited about upcoming mixed martial arts matches.

Who will you be voting for? Hard to say. I did notice several independent and third party candidates on the ballot. They will get my vote simply because they are not part of the Demopublican political monopoly.

What do you think about all of the negative ads during the campaign season? Even though they are disgusting, negative campaign ads, to paraphrase H. Rap Brown, are as American as cherry pie.

Will these elections will have a significant impact on your life? Probably not.

Do you think the Republicans will take over the Senate? I won’t know until Wednesday of next week.

What do you think about President Obama? More and more, he is becoming like one of those musical teen idols who was hot for a year or two but now is about as popular as tone-deaf polka players from Nowheresville, Ohio. Even though the economy is improving, Obama has not benefited politically. And his handling of the recent Middle Eastern crisis has been–well, the less said the better. Still, I am not sure if Obama will be regarded as a failed president like Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, James Buchanan, or Warren G. Harding. Harry Truman was unpopular during his tenure in the White House, but now he is considered as one of the most successful chief executives. And don’t forget Bill Clinton is arguably the most popular Democrat today, even though he was impeached during his second term. So I don’t know about Obama’s ultimate place in history

What politicians do you like? I have a fondness for Bernie Sanders. Not only he is not a Democrat or a Republican, Sanders looks more like a mad scientist from a cheap 1950’s sci-fi movie than a politician. He usually tells it like it is on talk shows rather than mouthing the usual political doublespeak. Politics would be a whole better if Congress was filled with a bunch of Bernie Sanders clones.
From the right side of the political spectrum, I haven’t been remotely impressed with anyone since Ron Paul. Yes, I know Paul is the Tea Party’s Tea Partier, and yes, he has a multitude of wild and crazy ideas, but his arguments against the Iraq War in 2008 made me do something I haven’t done in years–I stood up and cheered during a televised political debate. Unlike so many Republicans, Paul strikes me as a true believer rather than a loudmouth huckster using Jesus, the flag, and tax cuts to con well-intentioned but gullible conservatives.

What issue has been ignored most by politicians in recent years? For me, it is the three decade transformation of the United States from an industrial-based to a service-based economy. During the 1990’s, it looked like the high-tech industry might be our savior, and we would be sitting behind computers and doing cool things like devising video games for eight hours a day. However, since the start of the 21st century, countless computer-related jobs have been shipped out to China and India and other Third World countries, and automation has eliminated countless others (when was the last time you saw help wanted ads for telephone operators, proofreaders, and even word processors?). Increasingly, the jobs being created in the United States are not like those during the 1950’s and 1960’s but rather Kellys, Mickeys, and Wallys–that is part-time, temporary, minimum and barely above minimum wage, no benefit, no security, no advancement jobs at Kelly Services, McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart. Until Democrats nor Republicans start championing some of the policies (e.g., universal day care, more generous vacation and medical leaves) enacted by successful First World nations like Germany, Norway, Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, I am convinced the United States is going to become a glorified Third World nation except there will be plenty of gadgets like iPhones and gargantuan flat-screened TVs around to keep the masses amused.

Will you ever run for office? When pigs fly. And if I do run for office, it will be for some obscure post like dogcatcher or assistant to the assistant county clerk.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

Garbage collecting is a much cleaner business than politics.

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