Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stand Up and Be Counted?

Arcadia--"Election Day" (mp3)

Yeah, I'll be voting today, though I don't really know when, where, or why. Just because.

I know I should be more fired up, I know the reasons why I don't like the Tea Party or, most of the time, the Republicans, and I know that I would prefer the Democratics stayed in power. But I'm really not fired up, and I'd guess I'm not unlike most of the other voters of my ilk, that being liberal and informed and well-educated. Except that I'm guessing a lot of my types won't bother to vote at all.

Part of it is because I feel pretty disenfranchised here in Tennessee. I'm a Blue guy in a Red state and I don't have a whole lot to vote for. My supposed candidates for Governor and the House of Representatives don't have a cat's chance on a coyote farm. And I haven't even bothered to find out what they're about because they aren't real contenders. The dirty little secret of a state like this is that because a Democrat has so little chance, the candidates that actually run tend to be weak and uninspiring. And, yes, I am fully aware that such a mindset is self-defeating.

The other thing is that sometimes I think people need to get what's coming to them. That's part of why I'm a liberal.

Liberals criticize their own. Liberals eat their young. That's why you saw Jon Stewart ripping into Obama on The Daily Show the other night. That's why MSNBC has been one of Obama's harshest critics.

So when when people want to "vote the bums" out, I have a hard time disagreeing with them, as much as I deplore what will take their place.

The blind obedience to conservative values is what helps the Republicans and Tea Partiers so much. There isn't a whole lot of questioning going on, and even though there is some dissension in the ranks, it's not about ideology. They'll still all weigh in pretty much the same on the key issue of President Obama being a socialist.

If this were about Obama, then, yes, I'd be fired up. I support the president as much as ever. I will the next time that election comes around. But does the Democratic National Committee really think I'm going to give them money to help out Harry Reid?

Voters on either side of the aisle have had to deal with crappy candidates in most races for so long now that no one can be surprised that they are fed up. What's disheartening is that those "renegades," those "mavericks," those "outside the Beltway" candidates aren't going to be better and will likely be worse.

Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that voters, rather than addressing the ultimate weariness, which is one side getting into power and trying to undo what their counterparts had previously done and causing us to spin our wheels again and again and again, willingly accept the pattern that when the other side wins, they become "the enemy." This means that every two or four years, the political bosses can get us all fired up about how we've got to get the other guys out of office and push our own agenda.

Well, this ain't one of those times for me, either on offense or defense. Hang in there, Mr. Obama, learn from this, and get better.

My thanks to Popdose for the last-minute, peppy Election Day tune.


Billy said...

Irony #1 - Biggest chronic criticism of Obama: inexperience. Result? Let's vote in a bunch of people who have little to no experience!

Irony #2 - Call it a cop-out, but I'm not voting for Mike McWherter. If I vote, it goes to Haslam. So all my vote does is increase the impression that we're an even redder state than what I want us to seem. So my political persuasion is better served in abstaining.

Irony #3 - Losing this year will help the Democrats in 2012. Two years of insane and non-comical gridlock the likes of which we have never seen will keep that pendulum swinging.

Irony #4 - I probably am sodomizing the actual definition of irony in at least one or two places.

Sara C said...

Great post, Bob. It is so hard to be "blue" in a red state, but it really frustrates me that we accept that notion of the uninspiring candidate as a result. Why wouldn't we be searching for and supporting those candidates we can get behind? Haslam is probably the better candidate this time, but I'd much rather be working on behalf of a candidate I really believe in. I fear it is a case of money winning all once again. Who do you know that would willingly enter into a costly battle that would likely end in a loss? We've got to find a way to finance a non-wealthy candidate and start generating a little inspiration!

troutking said...

Yeah watching the returns tonight is going to SUCK. My hope is that the Democrats retain the Senate but Harry Reid loses so we can get someone else in leadership. He is a doddering old fool. Poor Barack, he doesn't deserve this. America, I'm afraid, does.

Anonymous said...

Took the girls voting this afternoon after a Costco run (highly recommend the latter...the former was really depressing, although I did see Andrea O and Jackie B). Being blue in a red can wear on one, true dat, Robert.