Monday, May 19, 2014

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

At some point soon, it just might.  

Weird Wally (that would be me) didn’t get serious about blogging until 2007.   And that was about the time he got his head out of his butt and took a look around.  Something was up, but not yet obvious and Wally took to blogging to help him figure it out.  Although nothing more than an online journal, he learned to question authority, and in the process, finally started paying attention.  A lot of other people also started paying attention, but we could not believe what we were seeing.

Besides the irrational tax cuts and big bank deregulation that no one really wanted, we also saw a gigantic increase in corporate welfare, billion dollar no-bid government contracts, and a senseless war in Iraq.  And not too long before the financial crises of 2008, President Bush and other Republicans were pushing hard to privatize social security and hand the money over to Wall Street.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  But would President Obama be sitting in the Oval Office today, were it not for the financial meltdown of September 2008?  

For a while, we believed that our votes actually made a difference, but as Obama’s first term progressed, he didn’t stand up for much and many began forgetting what he once stood for.  Nobody from Wall Street went to jail, foreclosures continued, wages remained stagnant and the rich kept getting richer.

Meanwhile, with the help of a super-secret society, known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), many states were busy finding ways to keep minorities, single moms, seniors and single women in general, away from the polls, and voter suppression was just a start.  ALEC also promoted cutting state taxes for large corporations, fighting unions and keeping worker wages as low as possible.

In Washington, DC, things were equally as bad.  The Supreme Court had gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, immigration reform stalled and in Congress, the House voted over 50 times to repeal “Obamacare” and Republican politicians cowered to talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and people on Fox News and denied that they were all just bunch of women hating racists, anyway.

But as things started getting uglier, Wally could not yet believe how ugly things already were.  Black men and women who were unarmed were getting shot by cops and regular citizens alike.  Seems like, if you shot and killed an African-American, all you have to say is, that person was “black and I feared for my life,” and if you’re white, you might just get away with it.

Even as Obamacare shows major signs of success and the president is getting his mojo back, no one from Wall Street has gone to jail and the “too big to fail banks,” continue to keep private their profits and make public their loses (by way of the tax code, monetary policy and government subsidies), I’m pissed, but will vote this November in spite of it.

Had Romney been elected in 2012, he and his administration would have ignored ALEC and its attempts at voter suppression and a lot of states would be throwing people off voter rolls unhindered.   As it is, it’s an uphill struggle. 

So if we don’t vote in November, there’s a good possibility we won’t ever have to stress about it again.  A lot can happen in only two years.  Meanwhile, keep an eye out and please pay attention, because you never know.

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