Election Day

26 Oct

With the 2012 election coming to an end in less than two weeks, and with the race so close, I think there is something that needs to be said. If this race is as close as the media claims it is and there is a “Photo Finish” I fear that the politics of the last two years will get the better of people and we may have a problem on our hands.

What I am talking about is the deep divide in our country’s politics. The last two years of constant campaigning have taken their toll on our sanity and our nation’s sanity. The divisiveness and negativity of our current politics will bring our country to its knees if this race is too close to call on election night.  Our country has been so divided morally, ethically, and philosophically for so long that people are going to have a hard time letting go.

When I started this blog I wrote about how we, as a country, are addicted to campaigns and how our election cycles never seem to end. The result of this addiction will be immediate and harsh withdrawal. There will be a void that needs to be filled. If the election is too close to call, this country will go nuts. Both sides will cry fowl and a political civil war (figuratively) will erupt. I can only imagine the frenzy that will ensue if there are recounts, and god forbid an electoral tie.

Can you imagine the country tearing itself apart on party lines if there is no clear winner? So many people want to be right, and need to be justified that their candidate/party/view points will win over the evils of the other party. What will their response be if there is no winner or their party losses by a very narrow margin?

Our media, being in the condition it’s in, will go into full spin/breaking news/crap your pants mode. It will be a frenzy so big and so intense that the 24-hour news networks will explode in a firestorm of blame and finger pointing so big, the election itself will seem sane and rational. Lets face it, it’s our fault for letting the media become what it is. We are to blame for not demanding fact and truth based reporting and accepting opinion as fact instead. Now all we get is opinion reported as fact. What will be the opinion on November 7th if the election is too close? I wonder, what will be presented to us as fact, on that day if Ohio is too close to call and neither candidate is the clear winner?

The candidates, for what it is worth will have brought this upon themselves for the way their campaigns have been run. This presidential campaign has been a circus of negativity and fear. The Phrase “most important election of this generation,” and ones like it, have been thrown around way too much. They have mixed with fear and outright lies. Both sides have done it, and have done it willingly. The result is a country so polarized that reasoned debate is a laughable concept as laughable as, bipartisanship or working together. How will the political parties react if one candidate wins the popular vote but loses the election? What will they say if it turns out that the candidate with the most votes does not win? Will it be Reasoned?

Finally, it comes down to us as a people looking at our electoral process. The amount of money that has been thrown at this campaign is staggering. Could that money have been better spent? We need to take a good hard look at ourselves and see what we want as a people. Do we want these never ending elections to run our lives? There are some who do not care at all, for them this is a waste of time and energy.

A lot of voters have been turned off by an electoral system that makes little sense to them. The electoral college is easily manipulated, making it so the candidates completely ignore most of country so that the parties can focus on a few states that are undecided. Those states are bombarded by a mind numbing amount of political campaigning. Is there a solution? Not an easy one, there is no easy fix to this. Deciding the election by popular vote will only change the places where the candidates campaign and other places will be ignored.

A storm is coming, this election is important. It will not be because of the people running for office but it will decide the way we look at our elections. It may show how broke our electoral system has become, or how broken we as a people have become. I have asked alot of questions in this post but I have one more: What will you do, if the election is a draw, if there is no winner on election day?

The New American Politics

16 Jan

Last night, January 12, 2012, Stephen Colbert declared he is forming an exploratory commission on running for president. He had done this before, in 2008. He ran for president in South Carolina and with the “Support” of Doritos made a big show of it. He did not have the money or support to get on the ballot. This time around he does.

For the better part of last year Mr. Colbert has organized publicly, a PAC (Political Action Committee), for the purpose of raising money for political adds. When legal issues arise with his employers at VIACOM, he used the system to turn his PAC into a super PAC with no affiliation to VIACOM. When he learned he could get large donations to that PAC without any disclosure at all he signed the document to allow that. Having seemingly unlimited money at his disposal and no obligation to disclose where it came from; Mr Colbert sought to influence the 2012 election cycle.

Last night in order to announce his candidacy he transferred that Super PAC over to friend and business partner Jon Stewart of the “Daily show.” Stewart is not allow to directly coordinate with Colbert, but as they pointed out on his show last night, Colbert couldn’t stop Stewart from watching his show to get ideas.

I know and you know, that this is a stunt. Stephen Colbert is a political comedian, not a politician. He is playing a character, a satire version of Bill O Riley. Mr. Colbert is trying to bring to light the broken system that is PACs. He had been doing so for months. These PACs have almost no regulation and the regulation they do have is full of loopholes.

They are the result of the Citizens United ruling by the supreme court saying that corporations have 1st amendment rights under the constitution and can donate unlimited money to these political groups. In other words money=Speech in politics. PAC’s are not allowed to directly coordinate with campaigns, but only as much as is legally necessary. They have already played a big part in the election so far and have flooded the political scene with negativity and attack ads. Since these groups don’t “Coordinate with campaigns” they may run whatever ad they wish without anyone being accountable for the PAC’s actions.

In essence you could run a campaign on the “moral high ground” and the Super PAC that supports (but does not work for) your campaign (directly) could run the most vile smear ads possible. You could not be blamed, because those people while supporting you, do not work for you (directly). They are just angry at whoever your opponent is on whatever issue the smeared him on.

This is not just a left or right issue, its all of politics. Obama will use this just as much as Romney or Gingrich or Mr. Colbert. It will become the defining part of our politics. They will be ruthless, unstoppable and unlimited. There will be no end to their number or their money. They have the ability to crush a candidate without his opponent even being involved (directly). Their abilities are only limited to the amount of money they can produce. Money which can be donated in any amount anonymously by people.

Corporations are people; people with a lot of money. That money is just lying around doing nothing, burning a hole in said persons pocket. They could donate that money to those PACs or Super PACs or 501c’s. No one would ever know who fueled the political hate machines. millions and billions of dollars donated, and unaccounted for.

This is what Stephen Colbert wants you to see, in his own ridiculous way. He is showing the American people the hippocracy of these PACs and how campaign finance needs to be reformed and corporate money doesn’t belong in politics. Citizens United has managed to further corrupt an already broken and corrupt system. To the point where the candidates who supported the ruling are now slamming the things that ruling allowed. I bet Newt Gingrich didn’t see that coming, neither will the next victim of Citizens United.

We as a people must stop this from completely destroying our political process. All politicians can now be bought and sold like brands. Their views swayed by whatever their buyers want. A country of the people, by the corporations, for corporate interests. God Bless the United States of Bank of America.

New Radio Show (the beginning)

4 Nov

This is the first post of this blog for my new radio show, “Speaking from the Center.” The show is 3 night a week political talk radio show about bringing sanity to politics. My friends and I hope to bring a fresh view of our countries joke of a political system and hope to inform people on how it needs to be reformed.

Our show is neither from the left or right. We believe that both sides make valid points and both should be heard. We are not apart of the “Tea Party” nor are we a part of the Occupy Movement. We think both movements are radical and only serve to hurt their own causes.

An debate where one side refuses to listen is pointless. Our two political parties have become locked in a battle for power. This battle has become so intrenched that neither side will even consider the others views or opinions. Everything is now split right down party lines. Nothing gets done unless one party has a majority.

Our show would like to show that reasonable people can have a rational debate (without yelling). Ever since the show “Crossfire” aired on CNN, and even before then, the 24 hour news networks (all of them) have been sensationalist and over dramatic to the point where, today, there is no news. Only news alerts or breaking news. Everything is an emergency, so there for nothing is an emergency.

That’s what we hope to stop, we want people to realize that there needs to be a more civil debate over issues. Politicians need to reach across party lines and extend the olive branch. This political and social gridlock needs to stop.

So come and listen, and have fun. take part in a reasoned debate about our country and the our political and social issues.

 

A few words from the center

4 Nov

Something needs to be said about recent events in our nations politics. I try to not act or talk politically if at all possible. Politics always bring up arguments, but it is that very fact which I’d like to address.

Our country’s politics have become so polarized and so entrenched in extremism that there are no debates anymore, just arguments. It started over a decade ago and has materialized as the Tea Party on the right and most recently the “Occupy Movement” on the left. Both sides are now out for blood. Honestly who could blame them, our politicians have become so corrupt and apathetic to the country’s needs. Over the last decade our country has been run into the ground.

We sat back and watched our government do as it wished, not as its citizens wished. The only thing elected officials care about now is getting reelected. Election cycles last whole years and millions and billions of dollars are raised for political campaigns. It’s as though our nations primary industry is political campaigning. This continuous cycle has led to several side effects our country is suffering from.

The first and most pressing matter is our politics have become polarized and our country divided. Red states, blue states, conservatives, liberals, Tea Party, Occupy Protesters, Socialists, capitalists, right wing, left wing, Democrats, and Republicans. These are some of the lines that have been drawn over the last five or so years. There is one word missing from that group; “moderate”. Our country has a serious lack of people in the middle. Our government has become so divided that no one is willing to give up ground for the sake of the country. The American people are the ones who suffer for it. What happened to the country that was the “United” States of America.

We have elected officials who have signed a written agreement to never raise taxes. Does anyone see how insane that is? You can only cut so much from government before said government is unable to do its job. I do agree government is too big, but so is our national debt. Cutting spending and raising taxes shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Where is the money going to come from? We have also elected officials who demand a constitutional amendment to mandate a balanced budget. Where were these officials during the last decade when we were on our way into debt from two wars? Am I the only one that that can see these things are unreasonable?

The next side effect is the direct result of 24-hour news networks, agenda driven media organizations, and “Spin”. The politics of this nation have been skewed but our now bloated and tamed media. Our country’s press and media have been neutered. For example, FOX news, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC are all too busy talking about the latest Hollywood, political, or corporate scandal to report on anything meaningful. The effect of instant communication and 24-hour news on our media is harmful at best and crippling at worst. Actual reporters are lost in a sea of punditry and “experts”. We are being spoon-fed opinion as fact. It’s not  just the on-air anchors either, regular people have been given a large forum on the 24-hour news networks to voice their sometimes ignorant opinions. In fact if you watch CNN for any length of time, you’ll see that it has become a joke.

I’m not saying people don’t have a right to opinion, but there is far too much opinion on the news. Fact-based and truth-based reporting has all but disappeared from the American media. Our media has become a high school rumor mill of “he said, she said”. The age of investigative reporting has been given up for “Entertainment”.

The final side effect of our never-ending political campaign and the extremism that our country has been engulfed by has been the creation of the “Tea Party” and the “Occupy” protests and movement. Each side admittedly has an argument to be made, whether I agree with it or not, it should never have come to this. These two groups of people represent the new American way of extreme idealism, fear, intolerance, ignorance, non-cooperation. The ongoing battle in Washington for political points and the upper hand has caused this to, literally, spill out into the streets. The problems that caused the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement are the problems of the country; including greed, bloated government, taxes, morality, the destruction of the middle class, overspending, and corporate corruption.

These grievances should have been dealt with in a cooperative and reasonable manner. Of course we can’t all agree on everything but if only one of these problems were solved by a government working together, perhaps the Tea Party might not exist or maybe Occupy Wall Street would not have happened. Perhaps if we worked together as a people, the debt crisis would never have happened. What if we set aside our differences and worked on a real solution for fixing this country?

It starts with taking corporate funding out of political campaigns. Politicians should not be sponsored like race cars; or if they are, those sponsors’ logos should have to be worn by the politicians like a race car driver. Politicians should be supported by the people, not Coca-Cola. If politicians don’t have corporate lobbyists pushing agendas on them during elections, then perhaps they can listen to the actual voters.  I would go as far as to repeal “Citizens United” and to get rid of Political Action Committees (PAC) and Super-PACs and the insanity that all that brings to our political system.

Something must be done, we must stand as a people, as Americans united. We must say with one voice, ENOUGH. No more divisions, we are all Americans, we all need to fix this country together or let this country fall as we remain divided. We need to get away from the extremist attitude that got us here. I, for one, will refuse to vote for any politician who is unwilling to work with their peers, even from opposing party lines. They need to reach across the aisle and get some work done.

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