Monday, August 22, 2016
Is there anybody out there who doesn't know that I'm a lifelong ideological Anarchist? Okay, so try hard not to giggle when you hear what I'll be doing next week on election day.
I'm going to be a local poll-watcher. No kidding.
Why? Well, the simplest answer is: money. I lost a lot of trees this past summer, and the county pays $140 for a day of poll-watching, and every little bit helps.
More to the point, though, I'd like to see the elections business from the inside, for once. This is a small town, the polling-place is the local high school, and the process should be pretty simple. The gang of us will have to show up the previous day, after school, for a three-hour training course -- and I'll definitely take notes. I particularly want to get a good look at the tabulating machines. If I see the word "Dieboldt" anywhere, you can bet that I'll raise a stink.
If the ballots will be counted by hand, I'll keep an even closer watch. Back in Chicago I saw plenty of ingenious ways to disqualify ballots, and I'll be looking for them.
Most especially, I want to see how many 3rd-party votes show up. The number of voters registered Libertarian, and Green, in Arizona is one of the better-kept political secrets in the state. It'll be fun to see the local media try to ignore the actual poll results, especially this year, when everybody is so disgusted with the Big Two. The mainstream-media have been squawking merrily about Democrats refusing to endorse Hillary and Republicans refusing to endorse Trump; what will they do when double-digit percentages of voters refuse to endorse either of them? *Snicker* Anyone who thinks that Arizona is a "red state" doesn't live here.
The only thing that could be more fun on election day would be poll-watching down in the border counties, where I could see how the Navajo votes goes.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Rasty has been watching the political commentaries almost non-stop for the past couple weeks, chortling over the anti-Trump jokes. He's seriously worried that Trump will be elected, on the grounds that the average voter has the IQ of a fence-post. In vain do I keep telling him not to worry, Trump won't be elected; the Democratic National Committee has been planning this gambit for years, the fix is in, the election is rigged, and Hillary will be our next POTUS. How do I know? Hey, I lived for 12 years in Chicago, dealing with local and grassroots politics, and I know for a fact that Democrats are much better at stealing elections than Republicans are. Republicans tend to cheat on elections by cutting people off the voting rolls and "losing" ballots, while Democrats cheat by inflating the voting rolls and stuffing ballot boxes. I was registered to vote in Chicago, and I'm probably still voting there. Yeah, Hillary's going to get it.
For you political naifs out there who wonder why this will be a disaster, I recommend that you go up on the Internet and carefully search Hillary's real political history, not just what her flaks advertize. She has a very long history of lying like a rug, lying when she doesn't have to, lying about matters large and small. She also has a record of chasing political power by means open and covert, and trimming her political policies to get it; what she's for one year she's against the next, so long as it's politically popular, and none dare call it flip-flopping. Her record on real support of women's issues varies from spotty to downright nasty, and far from being "the people's candidate", she's disturbingly cozy with crony capitalism; where do you think she (and Bill) get those hundred-thousand-dollar "speaking fees"? But above all, she has constantly shown a tendency to ignore, evade, and end-run the Constitution. Yes, a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe, but Hillary will do her best to be a disaster.
So what can we do in the face of this oncoming train-wreck?
Well, we can vote for anything but Democrats for congressional offices: not necessarily Republicans, but Libertarians, Independents, and Greens -- they're all on the ballot this year. Getting a mixed non-Democrat Congress will put the brakes on Hillary's tendency to wipe her butt with the Constitution without guaranteeing Republican deadlocks. And let's hear no knee-jerk squall about "wasting your vote"; the Libertarians and even Greens have shown remarkable increases in the polls as more voters become disgusted with the Democrat and Republican candidates. Breaking the long media policy of blacking out any mention of the third parties, CNN a few days ago gave the Libertarian candidates an open hearing on its Town Hall program. Johnson and Wells made an excellent showing, answering questions from both the MC and the audience with a marvelous sane clarity that won them a standing ovation. I suspect the Libertarians' percentage in the polls went up as a result, because the mainstream media carefully avoided mentioning them -- or their appearance on the program, or the current standing of the Libertarian Party, the next morning. And the Greens have been showing political ads all over the major networks. So have independent candidates for offices from senator on down. The old media wall of silence is crumbling, and voter predictability with it.
More to the point, if any of those third-parties can get 15% in the opinion polls, they can get into the televised presidential debates. In the debates, the Libertarians are likely to show themselves as a beacon of shining sanity, honesty, and responsibility in a sea of politics-as-usual In that case, they just might collect enough of the final vote to give us that desperately-needed anything-but-Democrat Congress.
Cross your fingers -- and vote Libertarian.