My sister Kathy was born on November 7, so it’s no surprise that she’s been into politics since her days of wearing “Pass the ERA!” buttons in high school. It’s also no surprise that that particular day has held life-changing events for me starting when I was 18 months old. I will be celebrating Kathy’s birthday on that day, but I hope that this year I, along with the rest of the country, will also be able to celebrate dodging a mega-bullet.
I hear a lot of grumbling and whining from otherwise reasonably-minded, progressive friends and colleagues who seem to be indicating that they’re just going to stay home on election day – after all, what’s the use? ThoseWashington politicians are all the same, nothing’s ever going to change, why waste your time voting for the lesser of two evils?
This is why—while our lives may not change much if President Obama gets re-elected (though I believe they will), it is a certainty that change will be catastrophic if the Wrong Right wins. Did we learn nothing from 2004?
The Left and the Center either staying home or voting with puffed-out chests for Ralph Nader, plus a stacked-deck Supreme Court, got us another four years of W. And that got us TWFCSTGD (the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression), two wars, increased poverty, homelessness, hunger, and lack of healthcare, record unemployment, and the rise of the Tea Party terrorists.
In 2010, bigots, fascists, and Wrong Right wingnuts were joined by pouting liberals who don’t understand that NO president can do anything without Congress and were set on punishing Obama for not fulfilling every campaign promise by “voting out the bums!” That unlikely “coalition” gave us a Congress of wackos, ideologues, and obstructionists who made no effort to hide their naked hatred of the President (while disavowing their racism) and their intent to defeat him at every turn, no matter the harm it did to the rest of us.
Hey, liberals in Wisconsin who voted out Russ Feingold and replaced him with Tea Bagger Ron Johnson, have you learned your lesson? Kentucky, are you glad you picked Rand Paul over Jack Conway? How about you folks in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida—happy with what those Wrong Right governors are doing to your state, your vagina, your voting rights?
On the other hand,Delaware, aren’t you glad you picked Chris Coons over the “I’m not a witch” lady (though as one who applauds Wiccan beliefs, all I can say is what coven would want her?).Arizona, aren’t you glad you voted to keep Sharron Angle’s “second amendment solution” out of Congress?
If we wake up on November 7 to the reign of the Wrong Right, one thing is certain—our lives will change. For those of us living with chronic medical conditions who don’t make 1%-type money, we can kiss healthcare good-bye. Think that’s melodramatic?
Not only is the threat to Medicare very real, but if the Ryan budget is enacted, Medicaid would lose about three-quarters of its federal funding by 2050. Over the next 10 years, the program’s budget would be decimated by about $810 billion.
And that’s just Medicaid as it is right now. Also at stake is the much-touted 2014 expansion of Medicaid provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Not that there was any way that was going to happen unless the Dems gain control of both chambers, but if they lose the White House and Congress, not only will there be no Medicaid expansion, there will be no ACA.
So here’s something to think about. If you’re angry, disgusted, or frustrated with the President and Congress, instead of blindly voting the incumbents out, or believing everything you see in ads (from either side) on TV or the Internet, do your own research. It’s really easy.
Go to www.politics1.com. Click on your state to see all the candidates who are running for office in your state. Click on their name and you’ll be taken to their website where you can read about them and find out where they stand on issues you care about. If your issue isn’t mentioned, you can call or email their office and ask. Here’s a hint—if you get the “We’ll get back to you on that” response, chances are they don’t have a position on it, which is not a good sign.
There’s no question that American voters are regarded as stupid, pliant, and lazy by the very people who are trying to win their vote. That’s why there’s so much pandering to the lowest common denominator – people who can be manipulated by fear-mongering, lies, and hearing what they want to hear. Don’t be one of them. If we demand more than that from ourselves, we would deserve it from our political leaders.