Hoping (and Voting) for Change
Author’s note: What follows are my own opinions, not written as reporting and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of this newspaper, its staff, delivery crew, next door neighbors, children or pets.
Next Tuesday, those of us who vote will have our quadrennial opportunity to help determine the course of the country for at least the next four years. To quote a new President Obama shortly after his inauguration and explaining his refusal to extend a cooperative legislative hand to the Republicans on Capitol Hill, “Elections have consequences.”
With that colossal understatement in mind, and with next week’s crucial election upon us, herewith some thoughts on the occasion.
Once again, there are several California propositions on the ballot that supposedly benefit “schools,” “education” or that Holy Grail of all emotional appeals, “Our kids.” One or two props even pretend that money that will actually trickle down to the classroom itself. Sure it will. Just once, I’d like to see all the groups (are you listening, teachers’ unions?) who spend untold millions of dollars to support higher taxes “for our children” be forced to spend all those advertising and political contributions on – wait for it – education! If more money for schools would actually make the difference, and if you really and truly have our kids’ best interests at heart – by all means – go ahead and give that money you dump into political campaigns and TV ads directly to the schools. It’ll never happen.
Speaking of schools, I cringe each time I see the pro-Prop 30 commercial with the voiceover that says something about “keeping the money out of the hands of Sacramento politicians …” and yet, the very next mug you see is the top Sacramento politician himself, the very man who has championed this latest “temporary” tax hike on Californians, Gov. Jerry Moonbeam Brown, urging us to vote for his latest ploy. It’s akin to asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders.
I find it deliciously ironic that President Obama had to show a picture ID when he became the first President ever to participate in “early voting” on Oct. 25. Was asking for his ID racist? Did it suppress his vote? And by the way, why bother at all with an “Election Day” if you can vote weeks in advance? Why not have election month. Or election year. This push for early voting stinks of Chicago politics on a grand scale. I wonder how many early voters will wish they could change their vote as the quickly developing Benghazi Libya ineptitude and cover up is exposed to the light of day?
I’m grateful this isn’t Ohio. Whenever we’re up in Mammoth Lakes during an election, the frequency and fury of political ads broadcast from nearby Nevada is just plain numbing – easily triple the number we see in California. I can only imagine what those poor souls in the notorious “battleground” state of Ohio are living through this year. Owning a TV station in Ohio must be like owning a Saudi oil field – a gusher profits.
I’ve never seen our country so divided by the political left and right, radical cultural agendas and shamefully blatant race baiting. It’s no wonder that polls are showing there to be hundreds of thousands of Americans who voted four years ago for “hope and change” and who now are simply hoping for change.
Finally, I’ll wrap up with two more quotes from President Obama. He spoke the first on Feb. 1, 2009: “If I don’t have this [turning the economy around] done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
The second, said often during these last weeks of the campaign: “People, you know that I say what I mean and I mean what I say.”
For better or worse (and in more ways than one), it will all be over in less than a week.
I’ll see you in the voting booth.