The Midterms

This blog is mostly oriented toward writing in its many aspects but, as regular readers know, I occasionally wander from issues surrounding writing and publishing to take on other topics, usually of a liberal and/or freethinking perspective. This entry is one of those.

This week, we finally concluded the midterm election season. I, for one, am absolutely sick of the avalanche of campaign mail that assaulted our mailbox. Not only was it voluminous, mostly going directly into the trash, but the individual mailings became larger and larger in format. How many trees gave their all just to end up in my recycling bin without more than a cursory glance? Worse, the distortions of truth, outright lies, and thinly veiled prejudices in many of the pieces of mail we received were, to say the least, both cynical and terribly disheartening. The only thing some of those mailers did for me was to convince me ever more firmly not to vote for the candidates touted on them. As for the television ads, the less said, the better. Well, except for the disgusting ad by the Republican candidate for governor in California, who somehow thought it was in good taste to show a drowning child, improperly analogizing it to the incumbent governor’s alleged disregard for education and children’s welfare.

Moving on…I simply do not understand how so many people can vote for candidates of a party (guess which one) whose stated positions run so counter to those people’s best interests. Opposition to women’s rights, including equal pay for equal work and abortion rights, stated opposition to “big government” unless that government and its courts adopt particularly undemocratic policies that include voter suppression and unlimited campaign spending, opposition to immigration reform, thinly veiled bigotry and overt religious zealotry, and opposition to universal health care. There are more, but why go on?

“Be afraid of ignorant people in large groups,” says the bumper sticker, and never was it truer than now. To those words of wisdom, I’d only add, “…and keep those folks out of our bedrooms and, most of all, keep them unarmed.” A sheep-like public following the ignorant and cynical politicians of the right is a freaking dangerous mob, and it scares the hell out of me. Unless you’re planning to join an American Taliban, it should scare the hell out of you, too.

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