Tag Archive for election

Why We Vote on That Day of the Week

I’ve often wondered why the day for federal elections is set on Tuesday. In the midst of a busy week, with school, work, family responsibilities, and the like.  Why not, say, on Saturday?  Now I know.

It seems that Tuesday was chosen for the convenience of voters, which, in those days (1845), were the more prosperous white men. Those guys were mostly rural Christian farmers. That meant that they couldn’t vote on Sunday, the Lord’s day, and Wednesday was Market day.  Besides, they had to travel by horse one or two days to get to the polling place. Tuesday worked around all that for most of them

But why November? Because by early November the crops have been harvested, yet harsh winter weather hadn’t set in yet.  It was a handy time for them to travel to vote.

Who votes has changed, and we’re less of an agrarian economy than in those days.  But the Tuesday after the first Monday in November remains the same.

Who says politics is behind the times?

Do it…TODAY!

If you haven’t yet registered to vote, this day was created for you in 2012. The idea is to get as many people as possible registered to vote, because everyone should have a voice in how our democracy will be run in the coming years. If you think your one vote doesn’t matter, think about the math. Your one vote, added to another single vote, added to another…that’s how elections are won and lost and how propositions win or lose. And who gets elected and what propositions we’ll have to live with really DO affect each one of us.

Here’s a safe, bipartisan site you can go to to register on line (there are many others, of course): https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ Or at the federal government’s site at https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote. Or fill out and mail in a paper voter registration form. However you do it, just DO IT!

Make a difference. Decide your own future. Register now, and be sure to vote.

It’s Vital to Us as Americans

I know. You’re already tired of IMPEACHMENT, and the trial is just starting. Many of us are tempted to fast-forward to the end, when the final decision is made. That’s not a good idea.

We, the people, need to listen to the actual facts and tune out political posturing, half-truths, and outright lies. We need to analyze what we hear (and speakers’ telling body language), especially the questions coming directly from Senators later in the process, to determine if the Senators (both sides) are being true to their solemn oath to be fair and impartial. We need to scan the Senate floor, seeing if they’re being attentive or just napping or finding a way around the no-electronics rules. In short, we need to WATCH.

Why? Because the process reflects on us as a democracy. It shows the world if we can be trusted to practice what we preach. When it’s over, no matter what decision is made, it affects our future. If the people in power (President, Senators, others) have successfully manipulated the system, there’s no safeguard against their enacting self-serving laws, laws that make more Americans vulnerable and enrich the powerful on the backs of the poor and middle class. And our nation’s reputation and influence in the world–already severely damaged–sinks lower and lower.

But if they go 12 hours at a stretch….! Set your VCR. Watch the proceedings in bits, catching up to current time, then delete and reset for recording starting at that point. No, I don’t expect you to watch every second. But watch the majority of it. Be informed. Be critical. Be a concerned American.

And remember that an important election is coming up. If you think the Senators failed in their duty, don’t fail in yours. Make it right through your vote.

Winning an Argument with a Loved One

The more politics invades our lives, the more conflicting news and half-truths bombard us, the harder it is to avoid “discussions” that turn into arguments. And–darn it!–we’re right, so we deserve to win! This is especially hard with older adults, who feel they’ve lived long enough to have a very good perspective on life and how things should be.

The best way to win an argument with a friend or loved one is to avoid letting it come between you and, if nothing else, finally agree to disagree. Getting there is the problem, though.

How to Avoid Arguments When Discussing Politics with a Loved One was written with our seniors in mind but offers good advice for such discussions with any of our loved ones–or others, for that matter. It explains the dynamics of those situations and offers six concrete ways we can, in fact, have an animated discussion and still share a hug afterwards.

We All Deserved It

I AM OUTRAGED!

Whomever is telling the truth, Christine Blasey Ford or Brett Kavanaugh, is NOT the issue. The Senate Judiciary Committee has treated both of them unfairly.

Ms. Ford was not allowed to present witnesses who would be subpoenaed to substantiate her claims under direct questioning  and oath. Yes, some submitted short statements, but, as any attorney will tell us, that doesn’t bring out as many facts that in-person, under-oath questioning does.

Judge Kavanau may have benefited from those witnesses, because they may have contradicted each other or said something to prove his side when under the heat of direct questioning. He, too, did not present in-person witnesses which could have bolstered his side of the story.

On both sides, a thorough FBI investigation would have uncovered truths, half-truths, and inconsistencies. Or a history that made one or the other or both suspect. That’s their job–the job they’ve done for accusations made in past nominations. But the Judiciary Committee decided to take on most of that task themselves.

Remember that this is a committee that is supposed to be non-politically biased, like a court. Yet they were drowning in political accusations, blame, and verbal fights. Both sides had political motives. So how could they make an unbiased decision, especially without knowing the whole story that an FBI investigation would foster?

Why are both parties being harmed? Neither has actually had their day in court. Neither is vindicated. Neither has had their good name cleared. Both have had themselves and their families go through a demeaning experience in these hearings. These are people, not pawns.

And our country loses, because we’ve added a person to the highest, most important, citizen-protecting court in our land who will always be surrounded by a cloud of suspicion as he makes serious decisions that affect our lives.

Why would a delay of a couple of weeks–with a vote still before the November elections–have been a bad thing?  Both of these people, and America, deserved it!

 

When Will Diversity Finally be Ignored?

I was struck by the diversity of yesterday’s elective winners.

Hoboken, N.J.’s newly elected mayor is that city’s first Sikh American to serve in that office. A refugee from Liberia is Montana’s first black mayor.  A woman is Seattle is the city’s first woman to be mayor since 1926, and New Hampshire’s largest city (Manchester), which has been around for 266 years, finally got around to electing its first female mayor.

In Virginia, it is two people.  One is an openly transgender person who is a refugee from Vietnam–the first first Asian-American woman ever elected to their House of Delegates. Minneapolis elected an openly transgender person of color (the first ever elected in the U.S.) to their city council.

I approve of diversity in leadership positions, because I know that the more backgrounds that are represented, the better chance we have to enact just, fair laws.

What I don’t approve of is the fact that, today, the diversity of the election results is news rather than the norm and, therefore not even noticed. When will that finally be?

The Real Mexican Thieves

Thievery, among other negative activities, is often attributed to Mexicans. Now I believe it.  But only in people who don’t need to be thieves.

Friends from Mexico and/or have relatives recovering from the recent earthquake there have been telling me stories.  They describe people who have lost the very little they had yet helping others, sharing food and supplies.  They also describe what happens when the government receives direct donations of money and goods.  They tell of truckloads of necessities being driven to storehouses to save for festivities for next year’s Presidential election.  They tell of people from the U.S. with supplies being stopped by the Mexican border patrol, who demand that the items be turned over to them for delivery to the government.  They picture those people, who outnumber the border patrol, rushing through the boarder to get those supplies directly to the people.  Money that the government itself collects goes to the city, to get government buildings rebuilt and refurbished before the world focuses on the upcoming election…And their stories go on and on.

My friends are intelligent, caring people, not prone to untruth or exaggeration, so I believe him.

The moral of this story is this: Help the Mexican people, but be sure the help actually gets to the families and individuals who need it. Give to aid organizations you can trust, whose mission is to help the people.  That’s why, in this  instance and in all  disasters, my donations go to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities,  and the Red Cross.

 

Follow-Up on Yesterday

It’s worse than I thought.  In yesterday’s blog, I expressed my concern for the increase in hate crimes against a particular group, Muslims. Now I’ve learned that acts of hatred and bigotry are increasing toward many groups, and increasing very quickly.  You can Google it for yourself, but here’s a summary.

Since the election there have been 437 cases of racist vandalism, harassment, and intimidation.  Just since last Friday–less than a week ago–the number of such incidents nationwide has doubled, bringing it to four times more than any average week.  They are anti-Jewish, anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, and others.  They contain swastikas and tweets about “Mud Men” and signs like “Trump Nation Whites Only.”

Trump has told his supporters to stop it.  But, in post-election furor, after 1+ years of having their prejudices and fears played upon during the campaigns, they aren’t listening to him.

I encourage Trump to try harder to quell this disgraceful, demeaning, dehumanizing, nation-damaging tumult.  More than that, I urge all of us to regain our senses and realize that this is a momentum that WE have to stop!

 

 

 

These 30 Seconds Will Help You Chill

Still have a little tension from yesterday’s elections?  Chill out with this 30-second video.  Even if you don’t need to chill, I’m sure a laugh would do you some good.

 

Drunk Legislators

Is it okay for your legislators to get drunk and not call Urber, a taxi, or a friend to drive them home?  It is in my state (CA).  Or so it seems.  Our lawmakers have provided themselves with 24-hour-a-day drivers, on stand-by and getting paid (yes, by us taxpayers) to pick them up if they’ve been drinking.  This way, they argue, they won’t get a DUI.

Well, duh!  Do what your constituents do: call that taxi or Urber or friend.

Better still, be grown-ups and don’t put yourselves in that position.  Remember this: we elected you on the idea that you would make reasoned, sober, adult decisions, and you will be up for re-election sometime soon…