Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Once More...

I blame Transmetropolitan

I didn't think I would, but I'm writing political again. Nothing major or inflammatory, I think. I just have one thing I want to discuss: Political Ads on TV.

Here's the thing. I keep seeing ads dedicated to telling me why I should NOT vote for a specific candidate. This really bugs me. 

If you wish me to vote for a specific candidate, tell me what that candidate wishes to accomplish. And, if he is seeking to be re-elected, tell me what he did while in office that would indicate he deserves to have the job again.

If you run ads telling me why I should not vote for other candidates, you're trying to get me to vote for your candidate by process of elimination. That's not a good way to get votes. That's a good way to convince people not to vote at all. Which I guess could possibly accomplish your objective in a way.

The only ad I've seen so far that fits what I would like to see in a political ad was for Jim Matheson. It listed what he voted for in Congress and what he would like to do. I'll have to see the ad a couple more times to remember all the points exactly, but there was one that stood out to me.

Jim Matheson voted to NOT give the members of Congress a pay raise. I kind of think that getting a pay raise should not be decided by the people getting the raise. I would think that a lot of people would say, "A raise? Do I want more money? Yes." So that one point makes me want to vote for Matheson.

But to get back to my main point, when running an ad tell me why I should vote for a candidate. I want to hear what he wants to accomplish and what he has already done. 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Slightly Political

Here's the thing. I don't wax political often. Mostly because I don't share the same political views as the majority of my family and I like to stay on speaking terms with them. I also don't share the same political views with the majority of my state and I don't like being picked on or bullied by the majority.

Am I thrilled with everything that has happened during the current presidential term? No. However, I don't think President Obama deserves the blame for every bad thing going on in the country. He's still trying to clean up the mess the previous president made, while being hampered by a Republican controlled House of Representatives that, to me, seems to have taken an almost childish pleasure in saying, "no," to anything and everything he's tried to do.

So, let's look at what Clinton left Bush: A budget surplus of 237 billion and record low poverty rates. What did Bush leave Obama? A deficit of 1.2 TRILLION, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

So now we have a new presidential election coming up. Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate. I'm supposed to like him, because he's a Mormon and so am I, but I don't think I'll vote for him. And not because he's Mormon. Because, according to my most trusted political news source, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his budget plans include a big tax break for the wealthy. The wealthy would include Mr. Romney. Doesn't seem right to me. Also, I just don't see evidence of Trickle-down economics working. 

So I'll vote Democrat for president and my vote won't count. Why? Because of the electoral college system. The majority of Utah will vote Republican, which means that all of Utah's electoral college votes will be Republican. 

Okay, enough with the bad part of the election process. 

During a presidential election year, I think the absolute best piece of literature to read is Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Transmet was a comic book series that ran for 60 issues, currently collected in 10 trade paperbacks. It's set in the future and has many science fiction elements, but the core concept is a journalist's take on the presidential election.

The journalist is Spider Jerusalem. He was based on Hunter S. Thompson. The character claims to be searching for the truth and he doesn't really care who gets hurt by his quest.  It's a hilarious book that presents a critique of our society today. I guarantee you'll see a connection to whatever election is going on when you read the series. 

Why? Because the writer, Warren Ellis, is fascinated by U.S. politics. He's from England, by the way. It was he who pointed out a fact that I find quite amusing. A communist country is often referred to as a "Red State." Or was. I'm not sure if it still is. Most Republicans are vocally opposed to anything remotely resembling communism or socialism. As states submit their results in the presidential election those that have voted Republican are colored red. Thus, Republican states become "Red States." 

And on the subject of socialism and communism, having nationalized healthcare is not communist. Personally I think we should just copy and paste South Korea's system. Why? Because it WORKS. I paid about a small amount a month for my insurance.I can't remember exactly how much. It was just taken out of my check, so I never missed it. My employer paid the other half of my insurance. Anytime I felt sick I could go to the hospital and see a doctor. There was usually hardly any waiting. Why? Because the doctors get paid according to how many people they see, so they are interested in taking care of you as quickly as possible. And I never felt dismissed. The cost? One visit I saw the doctor, got chest x-rays, and paid for my prescription. Total amount out of my wallet? $20. Yeah. It's cheap.

Anyway, enough of my soapbox for now. I don't know that I'll get political again. I don't want to deal with the arguments.