Monday, November 3, 2014

One more day...

For the past several months, among my first tasks each day, after feeding the cats and the fish, has been to go to my computer and dump all my email, which mainly consists of hundreds of begging letters. Well, maybe I exaggerate a little, but only a little.

The requests for money by individual politicians, as well as the political parties and their various supporters, have been particularly obnoxious during this season. The insidious ways they try to get you to look at them - the all lower case subject lines, the hashtag subject lines, and, lately, the doom and gloom subject lines ("There's zero chance...," "We're doomed...") - are particularly insulting to anyone who respects the language, not to mention truth-telling.

I have made my usual donations to the party and candidates of my choice, but it wasn't because I was swayed by their awful emails. Based solely on them, I wouldn't have given a dime to anyone.

So, one more day to endure all of this and then perhaps the mail-clogging messaging will stop. At least for a few months. Or maybe weeks. Soon enough we'll be in 2016 election mode. Sigh.

All the polls and pundits now assure me that all of my donations and my speaking out and voting for my candidates will be for naught anyway. It's going to be a conservative/tea party/Republican wave and the odious Mitch McConnell will be the new leader of the Republican majority Senate. And, of course, we know that those polls and pundits are never wrong...

In thinking about this election, I've been contemplating voter turnout, which is typically low in this country at all times but especially during midterm elections. It really is a disgrace that so many people do not vote. It makes one think that Australia has the right idea with their compulsory voting. That law has been in place in the country for about a century now, and the turnout in their national elections is said to be around 94%! Imagine that.

Imagine what the civic involvement of 94% of American voters might mean. What kind of government would be have? Would it be more truly representative of its constituents?

Of course, compulsory voting would involve a change in the law and we know that's not going to happen as long as one of the national parties is exerting every effort, both legal and illegal, to depress voter turnout as much as possible. That is truly the most depressing part of this particular election cycle. We seem to be regressing, returning to the days of Jim Crow laws when voting was made as difficult as possible - at least for certain people.

Anyway, after tomorrow, we should have a somewhat clearer picture of the political landscape and whether the political pundits will be able to smugly assert that they knew it all along or if they will have egg on their face.

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