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Dejection day

It’s election day. Or, as I’ve come to see it, dejection day.
No matter who wins today, less than 10% of the population will be bummed out/depressed/pissed/frustrated and a little more than that, will be happy.

The other 80 plus percent- won’t give a crap (remember, less than half the people who can vote are registered).

So much for women suffrage, so much for the equal rights amendment, so much for our freedoms and “democracy.”

The campaigns will have spent close to $4 billion on this mid-term election. $4 billion, that mostly went to sling mud in the media. By the time it’s over and the slime settles, we’ll be graced with professional politicians who are elected for style over substance, and their ability to kiss ass more than kick it.

Yet, in the grand scheme of things- people always say “well, it’s part of our freedom not to vote” and that “my vote won’t count anyway” or that “there is no one I want to vote for” – and who can blame them after this crapfest process.

How happy I would be to wake up Wednesday morning and find that not only will John Boehner not be the new speaker of the house, but unemployed. How nice it will be to find out that a former Green Beret (Tommy Sowers [1]) gets elected in MO-8 and the Dems pick up a seat with a long-shot candidate. It would be great to see the Wall Street banker get thrown under the bus in his quest for governor in the State of Ohio- the same way so many hard working middle-class people have been thanks to the wizards of Wall Street.

But, the reality is- unless everyone who got excited to vote for Hope and Change- gets out and votes again, we’ll have lousy turnout and another mid-term u-turn.

The reality is- we vote for too many offices, in too many elections, for too few candidates. America is the land of plenty in everything except when it comes to choosing who will represent us. You can find 400 kinds of shampoo at the grocery store- but you only can choose between idiot A and stooge B when you get to the ballot box?

If the system were working- the first indication would be that more than half the people who are registered  would vote (never mind that less than half of those eligible actually register).

If I could wave a magic wand and change elections overnight- we’d have elections every two years- nationwide, on the Fourth of July. It would be a national holiday- where you actually had to do something truly patriotic before the bombs blast through air. We’d have voting by mail- as an option, and it would be after every voter got a magazine delivered with equal space for every candidate. We’d eliminate primaries- and instead vote with Instant Runoff balloting [2]– where you rank your candidates, giving you the opportunity to vote for the “long shot” yet know your vote won’t be wasted. There would be zero campaign fund raising- with all the media and debates and airtime, and mailings paid for out of our taxes. Candidates would even get a stipend to run- paid hourly, so as to be able to take leave of their jobs to try to serve. Any candidate caught accepting donations would be banned from holding any office. Term limits would be a thing of the past- since elections would now be fair and balanced.

But, since we’re stuck with what we have- go out and pick the lesser of two evils.

It’s the American way.

And, I’d stop thinking of it as “dejection day.”

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Ice Bandit

And, I’d stop thinking of  (today) as “dejection day.” (David Esrati)
That’s right dear David. Think of it as “ejection day,” when the electorate rises up in righteous wrath and smites the 21st century equivalent of the Philistines. A ritual and necessary cleaning of the stables. This is a time of celebration, dear David, so put  a smile on y0ur face, your hand in the thumbs up position, and with a clear and decisive voice make like a home plate umpire and say “your outta’ here……..”

Jeff Dziwulski

On a more positive note, apparently Dennis Kucinich won re-election.  And there was a real, no-kidding socialist (boo!) on the ballot for Senate.

I was up in Buffalo and Cleveland for about a week a few days ago, and was impressed with these allegedly dying cities, both of which seem to have a fairly progressive and lively scene, including good progressive bookstores (Visible Voice in Cleveland and Rust Belt Books and Talking Leaves in Buffalo).  

It’s pretty cool to think that Dennis Kucinich is from Cleveland.  Howard Metzenbaum, too, I think (another guy who you wonder how he got elected given the right wing Valhalla that is SW Ohio).

Now, however, the Dayton Regions’ face to the nation is…John Boehner (and maybe Rob Portman, since he’s from Lebanon).   Can you imagine two more different politicians…Kucinich and Boehner.  Both from the same state, but representing totally different socio-political cultures. 

John Ise

Happy or depressed about election results?  This is some perspective from Jon Stewart at the Rally to Restore Sanity that will help you with your high or low.

Teri L

Now, however, the Dayton Regions’ face to the nation is…John Boehner (and maybe Rob Portman, since he’s from Lebanon).   Can you imagine two more different politicians…Kucinich and Boehner.  Both from the same state, but representing totally different socio-political cultures.

I have to say this is one thing I love about Ohio- that very different political ideas can be peacefully represented by the same state. A broad range of voices makes life interesting, and requires thoughtfulness. It’s all good.