Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Let Me Tell You How America Works"...

I caught this over at Balloon Juice a couple days ago. I didn't touch on it at the time, but it keepspopping up in my mind, so I guess I better deal with it.

I've been saying for years that the eligible voters who don't vote on election day are a big part of what's wrong with this country, and I still stand by that. But there's another group of eligible voters that are an even bigger part of the problem, and I've totally overlooked them. This guy explains it:

...But if we'd gone to an actual party, then we would've missed a special lesson from a Murray supporter named Buddy Foley, 65, a pianist and handler-wrangler who won't say what he handles or wrangles (besides the Stella Artois in his hand).

"Let me tell you how America works," says Foley, who wears a plaid shirt, a mallard-print tie and a woodpecker feather in his fedora. "You have Democrats voting for Democrats and Republicans voting for Republicans and then you have these people down the middle who are -- " he lowers his voice " -- undereducated, and are trying to make a living and do the best for their children, but they're so busy that they realize two weeks before an election that, 'Gee, I better start watching TV to get some news,' and by then the richest [expletives] in America have shoved their [expletiving] money into attack ads and that's what this middle group of people sees, and they vote accordingly and they're the ones who steer the country"...

Fuck me running if that ain't the truth. That's exactly what happened four days ago. And in 2004, most likely. I have noticed the swing-voter phenomenon over the years, but somehow, I never placed much importance in it.

And there's something else I never took into account when it comes to politics. I already know I'm going to vote Democratic the next time around -- nothing is going to change that, if only because I consider myself a pragmatist and not an idealist, and there is simply no other viable party for me to turn to. But I've never really applied that standard to people who are going to vote Republican no matter what. I keep thinking that maybe enough of these people can be reached, the same way many others who voted Republican all their lives were persuaded to side with Obama two years ago.

But persuasion only works when the need to try a different method is obvious, as it was in 2008 when the tanking of our economy began accelerating at an alarming rate. Most of the time, it's about conviction. If you're a person who pays enough attention to politics to have a general understanding of what's going on day by day, then your mind is already made up, one way or the other. If you're a Republican and you know you're going to vote Republican the next time around, you and I could argue back and forth over all the issues from now until election day, and neither one of us would persuade the other to change his vote.

But that's fine. I may disagree with you on many, or even most, of the issues, but at least you are paying attention to what's going on. In my book, that's good enough -- one person, one vote, and how you choose to vote is none of my damned business.

The problem is, we have three distinct groups of voters in play here: politically aware people who vote Democratic, politically aware people who vote Republican, and politically obtuse morons who have made too many babies.

Guess which group I got a major beef with...


  1. Ah yes, the salt of the earth, the common folk, the common clay of the New West... you know, morons ;).

    It's amazing how the majority of modern politics can be illustrated by clips from Blazing Saddles and clips from Monty Python. It's like it's a comedy of errors... particularly stupid ones, that is.

  2. It's more like a comedy of errors minus the comedy. I can laugh at Monty Python and Blazing Saddles. This shit is just dumb...


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