Seems I intro every political entry here with the disclaimer that I don’t want to write about politics. Yet, politics comes up all the time. I fear involuntary recruitment into the political blog-o-sphere, I don’t want to get caught up in the debates, and I need all my will to resist the powerful draw of the soapbox.
Nonetheless, New Jersey (and Virginia), in spite of voting in overwhelming numbers for Obama, went republican in this year’s Governor’s race.
I love to vote. I love going into the school where I vote in my district, saying high to the women, well, they’re mainly women, almost all Spanish, one lives in my building. Voting reinforces the small town feel of Jersey City, and it’s just a remarkable feeling I always get, realizing this moment is being repeated in schools and other places all across the land that I love best.
I don’t understand people who don’t vote, or who do not vote in non-presidential elections. On my father’s side, I have a direct descendent who fought in the American Revolution, I feel I owe it to him, John Henry Herrick. Getting frost bite at Valley Forge, I can’t take that for granted by being lazy. Not voting is intellectual laziness, I don’t accept a justification. His frost bite was not in vain!
The problem of course is a candidate like John Corzine. I just never warmed up to the guy. He got my vote, don’t get me wrong, both as Senator and Governor. I’m a Democrat. I rarely contribute money, and I don’t get involved in political activities beyond observation. But I always vote Democrat. I’m Blue. Even though the politicians often fall short, steadfast, loyal and true are my constant aspirations.
I’m a New Dealer. My political philosophy, in a nutshell, is based on the Sermon on the Mount and the Songs of Woody Guthrie. I don’t like the two part of the two party system any more than you do, but third parties just are not going anywhere. Ralph Nader is a douche bag. Every election, you have two choices and one choice will be closer to your political philosophy. This assumes you have a political philosophy, or more accurately, assumes you are aware of your political philosophy. I am not trying to convince anyone of the superior righteousness of mine, and I have friends and family members who vote republican, either all the time, often or some of the time. Although since I was old enough to vote, I’ve voted for a republican here or there—NEVER FOR PRESIDENT—but ever since the Monica Lewinsky mess, when the constitution was abused to impeach one of the greatest presidents, William Jefferson Clinton, I will never vote for a Republican in any capacity. The last eight years of that abomination called George W. Bush has only solidified my position.
That is just me. I’m just being honest, in this observation of our first, post-Obama election. Corzine is kind of a douchey guy—who the heck doesn’t wear a seat belt? I can’t think of a New Jersey (or any state I suppose) Governor that I loved, or even liked a whole lot. Actually, the gay guy wasn’t so bad. But good Lord, Whitman? Kean? give me a break, and I think I might have cast a vote for one of them during the pre-Monica days, probably because the Democrat candidate wasn’t appealing in any way. I justified this vote in another way. Like it or not, there will always be Republicans and sometimes your party wins and some time the other party wins. Moderate Republicans are good things because they have a moderating influence on the Right Wing nut jobs, but in my opinion, this has not been the case. The Moderate Republicans give the whack jobs like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin cover to make this country into a two tier fascist society where the rich get richer, the middle class dissolves and lives become one of drudgery, exploitation and emptiness.
A popular argument is that these are just state issues. That a Republican Governor in our blue garden state any no big thing, we’re still blue when it comes to the presidential. I don’t see it that. I see the political system as a huge infrastructure, local, state, federal, all moving together and if you believe in say, a New Deal, then voting against the party impedes that New Deal. Maybe you don’t believe in the New Deal, that’s up to you.
So, it’s easy to vote against Corzine. Shoot, I held my nose when I pulled the lever. The economy is in the crapper, and under Corzine, corruption has been rampant among our state’s Democrats, with the famous sting operation over the summer. Not much campaigning around these parts was there—who had more cooties, Healy or Corzine?
I read this in the morning’s New York Times: “In Hudson County, a party bastion where a number of Democratic officials were charged, only 39 percent of registered voters cast their ballots, county officials said”
The republicans got in because voters didn’t turn out, couldn’t be bothered. I want to say, who can blame them, but you know, you are wrong. Even if you don’t have a great-great-great-great grand pappy who lost toes at Valley Forge (I don’t know how many greats), it’s what America is all about.
I hate post-election day news, the circle jerk of spin and skin-deep analysis. Is this a referendum on Obama? Sick of Liberal Policies? We are a bunch of lazy, television addled, attention deficit disorder children. Eight years of Republican rule at the federal level has left this economy in the worst shape since the Great Depression. Very little improvement of the economy is done at the state level. What we need is more effective government, not less government. Has Obama accomplished what promised? Of course not, but it’s only been ten months, morons. Christie seems like a nice guy, he’s a Bruce Springsteen fan, and maybe he is not a nut job like Palin or Newt Gingrich or those other pieces of crap. But he was appointed by George W. Bush, and now he is the Governor. Ugh. On the other hand, Corzine was an uninspiring leader. He has a lackluster record at best. The field of Democrats in the state are not only thin in ranks, but tainted by corruption. The absence of enthusiasm surprised no one.
Remember that South Park episode, the election between a douche and a turd? (I don’t watch TV, I have every season on DVD). Yes, it is not a great choice, but just because you don’t cast your vote for Vader doesn’t weaken construction of a Death Star.
But the sun is shining, I’m not in the hospital, I’m writing on my blog and listening to some Bob Dylan. When all is said and done, everything is not political. And life can offer an abundance of beauty if you keep your eyes opened. Yesterday, I voted and I love to vote. It’s not my only love. Today is another reason why I'm thankful for the other loves.