American Elephants

This Election is About Absolutely Everything by The Elephant's Child

voteA day before the 2014 mid-term elections, it’s getting a bit peculiar out there. Republicans are being accused of being Nazis in Wisconsin,  in Texas a Spanish-language ad that is running on Univision implies that tea party Republicans rank right up there with ISIS as terrorists. The ad begins with American and Mexican flags waving next to each other with a narrator saying “These two flags represent friendship, liberty, opportunity and justice. That image is then replaced with the tea party’s “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. Apparently unaware of the history of the flag, the narrator warns us that it is muy peligrosa, (very dangerous):

It’s the flag of the tea party Republicans. They are radical terrorists and they want to take matters into their own hands, affecting our children and families with violence and firearms on the border and in our cities.

President Obama was out on the campaign trail, warning of the “war on women.” He complained about women who get paid less than a man for the same work — (not since 1963 when equal pay became settled law). And went on to include women who stay home to care for their children. “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.” Really?
Obama came to office promising a “reset” with Russia. Other than the Crimea and Ukraine, how’s that going? In Russia’s new gallery titled “No Filters”, featuring the work of about 100 cartoonists, a feature is a very large work in which Putin is spanking President Barack Obama who has the body of a schoolboy.

The riots in Ferguson, Missouri have been used as fuel to bring black voters to the polls. Democrats in the South have been distributing flyers featuring black toddlers holding signs with hand prints and the words “Don’t Shoot.” Other flyers have had images of lynchings. On TV One, a cable channel geared for African-American adults, Michelle Obama said that what candidates say or do should not matter to  African Americans because voting for a straight Democratic ticket best serves their communities.

At the start of 2009, the unemployment rate for blacks was 12.7% and 7.1% for whites. Four years later in January 2013, the rate was 13.8% for blacks and 7% for whites. Today black unemployment is down to 11%, but the rate for whites is 5.1%. President Obama is asking for black votes for racial solidarity, because he cannot make the case on the basis of the results of his policies.

The Obama administration has made promises to those who have served our country in uniform, and then failed those veterans again and again and again. Democrats are trying to claim the election is about nothing — a boring and uncreative campaign. Oh really? The Weekly Standard’s Stephen G. Hayes summed it up nicely.

Not only is this election not about nothing, it is being fought over exactly the kinds of things that ought to determine our elections.

It’s about the size and scope of government. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the security of the citizenry. It’s about competence. It’s about integrity. It’s about honor. …

It’s about an administration that cares more about ending wars than winning them, and that claims to have decimated an enemy one day only to find that that enemy is still prosecuting its war against us the next. It’s about shifting red lines and failed resets. It’s about a president who ignores restrictions on his power when they don’t suit him and who unilaterally rewrites laws that inconvenience him. It’s about a powerful federal agency that targets citizens because of their political beliefs and a White House that claims ignorance of what its agents are up to because government is too “vast.” In sum, this is an election about a president who promised to restore faith in government and by every measure has done the opposite.

The election is about the policies of Barack Obama, and the Democrats who have enthusiastically supported those policies. Republicans have opposed them. Most voters think the administration has done a lousy job and disagree with his priorities.

That’s not a boring and uncreative campaign. And it’s not nothing.

I Want My Election Day Back! A Celebration of Citizenship. by The Elephant's Child

It’s the day before Election Day, and the news is all about everybody’s ‘closing statement,” polls, prognostication, hopes and fears. There are a lot of races that I really care about. Unfortunately I don’t get to vote in any of them.

I have been gerrymandered into a largely Democratic district, and my representative is a Democrat and fairly innocuous. They obviously had a hard time finding someone to run against him. Lots of judges running, many  unopposed. Two Second Amendment issues, one to grab guns, which has lots of financial support from Democrat billionaires, the other to rein in the gun grabbers. I voted as I have in every election since I was old enough to vote for the first time, but there’s not much joy in it. I’ll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the candidates for whom I cannot vote.

I am troubled by the early voting, the states where you can register for the first time and then vote on the same day. There are a lot of schemes designed to make vote fraud easier. In Washington state, everybody votes by mail, which we are told makes vote fraud, which has been a familiar problem, even easier. But we read of voting machines that are deliberately programmed to — misread  your vote. Voting machines are being discarded across the country in favor of paper ballots.

I liked having to drive to the polling place, greet the election workers who were the same women who did it every year, show my photo ID, sign in, and receive the ballot to mark up in the privacy of a booth. I miss it. I always believed it to be an important and special day. Marking up a ballot at the kitchen table just isn’t the same.

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