Election 2010: The Rant

I do not often write about politics because the intensity of what I believe can be a little–how shall I put this?–intense. My waters run deep, but they are hardly still.

However. The 2010 Election is roiling those waters such that I can barely put forth a coherent argument. I am reduced to bullet points.

  • Barbara Boxer vs Carly Fiorina. Let me say this at the outset: I’m not a Boxer fan, for no particular reason. Okay, maybe I find her a little shrill. (Ooops. Isn’t that what is said about women who speak their minds?)
  • If Boxer is shrill, then Fiorina is just plain smug. In fact, she’s a smirker. That ad that starts so sweetly, “When the bickering ends, solutions begin” and ends “I’m prepared to oppose my party” with a huge Gotcha-smirk just crying to be wiped off her face.
  • This is when I start talking to the television. “Based on what should we believe this?” I yell. “Just because you say so? How dumb do you think the electorate has to be to believe a candidate’s unsupported statements?”
  • Well, pretty dumb, I guess. That’s part of what–annoys is too mild a word–frosts my hide (or is it chaps?) about politics today: the utter and complete lameness of the ad campaigns. Who’s writing these commercials (see, I’m not even asking who’s paying for them)? Is anyone home at the ad agency? Are the pros out playing Mad Men, leaving the interns back at the office to write the copy?
  • For much of this vveerrrry lllooonnnggg campaign, I’ve carried my channel changer around with me so that I could MUTE the annoying, angst-ridden, doom and gloom-warning voice-overs of the political commercials. I’ve muted Meg Whitman since almost the beginning of her precedent-setting attempt to purchase the gubernatorial office. She’s another smirker, but she does have a couple of good ads–the ones in which she is in closeup speaking like a normal human being to other normal human beings about this mess of a state we live in. Strange me, I respond best to those ads which–hey, novel idea!–respect my intelligence.
  • Lest you think I’m partisan, let me share with you what I just shared with one of Bera’s door-ringing minions. Who is this guy? What is his platform? What has he done? The only ads he’s running are anti-Lungren ads, and while that may be good enough for some, it’s a cheap trick way to run a campaign. Makes me wonder exactly what he may be hiding.
  • What Carly Fiorina seems to be hiding, at least for the purposes of this election, is her adherence to the GOP platform. Today she says, “Job, jobs, jobs.” Tomorrow, if she wins, her conservative stand on social issues will be waving in the wind. Any pro-choice independent who votes for Fiorina should know they’re voting for a hard-line anti-choice candidate.
  • The pundits are depressed. I had to turn the Newshour’s Brooks and Shields off last night because they were so woeful and sad. And old. Being old myself, I can say that without being ageist–but really, guys, take a pill. Suck down some martinis with the Mad Men. Life isn’t that bad. The United States will, as someone sings, survive. We have for all these years. Politics is nothing if not deja vu all over again.
  • Like Meg Whitman is the second coming of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Remember his platform? Only a businessperson rich enough not to need campaign donations can stand up to all the special interests and get the great state of California back on track. What is it about Meg that makes her think she can do what Arnold couldn’t? And why isn’t she telling me that instead of trying to paint Jerry Brown as some overspending ghoul? Anyone who was around for the first incarnation of Jerry Brown knows he got mocked for being such a tightwad.
  • Protest voters. Throw the bums out. Anyone but someone who’s in office. You’re the ones who voted for Ralph Nader and got us instead George Bush. Thanks a bunch. Protest votes are the electoral equivalent of cutting your nose off to spite your face. And, to continue the metaphor, cutting off the noses of millions of your fellow citizens. Please don’t. Scream, yell, start a blog, harangue your dog–do not waste your ballot on a Show’em The Door vote.
  • Warm and fuzzy voters. They’re the ones who pick their candidates by who “is most like me.” Politicans are not most like any of us. That mere act of running for office requires an ego that is greater than the average person’s, one that seeks power and approval above all else. That is the true core of a politician, which they then wrap in the garments of their particular philosophy–or at least the one that the pollsters say is the most popular this year.
  • You know what the problem is with the great state of California? We’re the problem. We, the people. We get suckered in time and again to believing this or that politician, this or that party is different. This time the people will have their rightful way, and we’ll all go on to live happily ever after in the land of the Tax-Free-Social Programs-Fully-Funded. The problem is that half of us want the Tax-Free and half of us want the Social-Programs-Fully-Funded, and no one wants to realize that they’re mutually exclusive.
  • I’m mad as hell too, but it’s us that I’m mad at. When are we going to learn that adult tantrums during the election cycle are no better than the three-year old who can’t get his way? When are we going to learn that ignorance is not bliss and you get what deserve should be the mottos of our elections? When, in short, are we going to grow up and become the reasonable, well-informed electorate that the Founders intended us to be?
photo credit: CBSNews.com

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