Hot Air: The Pathetic Apathetic

I just don’t get “undecided voters.” I have absolutely no recollection of ever not knowing whom I was going to vote for from the very beginning of any campaign.

I mean, who out there had to wrestle with their conscience for long months to decide between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? Bill Clinton and Bob Dole? Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, for chrissakes?

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Golly Gee, I Can’t Make Up My Mind!

And this year the presidential race is being run by perhaps the two most well-known candidates ever. A former First Lady, US Senator, and Sec’y of State takes on a reality TV show star whose name is slapped on tall buildings, casinos, steaks, vodkas, suit jackets, colognes, and scads of other gewgaws, and some several million people can’t quite figure out who they like better?

“About 15 percent of the electorate isn’t yet committed to Clinton or Trump,” writes Nate Silver. Really? Honestly?

“Voters unsure about who to pick in 2016 are not very interested in politics,” writes Mary Pascaline in International Business Times. “They are also less partisan, less interested in the news and don’t have strong opinions on the issues dominating the election cycle. In fact, only 42 percent of undecided voters are interested in the 2016 race.”

“‘Politics’ is a dirty word to the public,” opines Mathew Flinders, director of the Bernard Crick Centre, in The Guardian. “However, ‘democracy’ remains an incredibly positive notion. The contemporary problem seems to be that large sections of the public want ‘democracy’ but without the ‘politics.'” The Crick Centre is part of the University oif Sheffield in England, a country whose voters seem to be as apathetic, uninformed, and lightning-quick to eat up any social meme that reinforces their ill-conceived notions about the world and reality as those in this holy land.

I have a friend who says not everyone should be allowed to vote. He suggests potential voters should be forced to take tests to demonstrate a minimal knowledge of current affairs and civics basics. Problems with that, natch, begin with figuring out who’s going to administer the tests and guarding against the inevitable well-funded efforts of racists and economic elitists  to suppress the dark-skinned and poor votes. The wicket only gets stickier from there.

No, we’re stuck with the ignorant, the lazy, the blind, the blissfully unaware, and the criminally credulous. Democracy means everybody gets a say in who leads our nation and where we’re going as a society. Your grade school civics teacher told you that was the beauty of our system.

I’m here to tell you that’s democracy’s weak link. Still, I haven’t seen a better system come along yet.

Just as bubble economies and the wealth gap are the inevitable results of free-market capitalism, this year’s Republican Candidate for President is the natural result of giving every jimoke the right to vote.

Sure, capitalism is better than communism, and democracy is better than tyranny. That doesn’t mean I have to be head-over-heels in love with either system, though.

Their Way, The Scare Way

This whole deal about a cabal of ultra-conservative FBI agents applying so much pressure on Bureau director James Comey that he was “forced” to write that Hillary/email letter to Congress is scary as all hell.

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Runnin’ Scared

In fact, it stinks like a nascent junta. The fact the cabal got its way will embolden Right Wingers. Watch for more armed law enforcement entities to begin pressuring public officials to do their bidding.

I don’t believe the Far Right will take over this country — there aren’t enough of them and our real masters, the corporatists, won’t tolerate rule by such a divisive few — but over the next few years they, the wingnuts, are going to be raising holy hell in this holy land.

 

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