A BIPOLAR NATION

The United States of America is a manic depressive and this really pisses me off.

They do a wonderful thing. They elect Barack Obama as president. They cheer this great moment in their history with maniacal displays of jubilation that, quite honestly, embarrassed those of us with a more reticent way of doing things. But we all saw what a great thing they had done and we celebrated with them and we believed what they were telling us about the change that had come. Then, almost before the Obamas had moved their furniture into the White House, the US population descended into a deep depressive state and snuffed out the candle of hope it had lit only a few weeks earlier.

Okay, Obama has been pragmatic when some wanted idealism to rule the day and he has not lived up to all his electoral promise. But, heck, even Jesus Christ didn't live up to God's election manifesto, the Old Testament.

Obama is a good man (at least he is until it is proven otherwise which has not happened and, I personally believe, will not happen). Furthermore, he is the best the US has got. Yet even those who supported him before his election are being so negative about him that there is every chance that they will end up voting for Armageddon at the end of his first term in office.

The rest of the world thinks the US is crazy. We can see that, because of Obama's presidential style alone, his calm manner and his thoughtfulness, the world is a much safer place at this moment in time (I cite the fact that the world didn't end the day after North Korea bombed South Korea recently as complete and utter proof of this). None of us trust our political leaders completely, but Obama has already won more trust from us than we are normally prepared to give. That Americans turned against him so early on in his presidential career confuses the hell out of us. It also scares us because it makes them come across as immature and we know they have the biggest bombs of all.

Don't dismiss this rant as the words of just one, informed, Western European. When the Russian press starts saying exactly the same thing as I am then, really, Americans should start paying attention. And start acting responsibly. Their status on the world stage at the moment is higher than it has been since the end of WWII - higher than when JFK was running things, because Obama has even won the admiration of its old, Cold War enemy.

From PRAVDA (30th. November 2010):

By attacking the democratically elected President of the United States of America at a sensitive time in her country's history, Sarah Palin shows the tact of a boorish drunkard bawling obscenities at a funeral. If Sarah Palin is not some kind of a massive political joke in the USA, wheeled out to liven up the political scene from time to time with nonsensical and pastiche (one hopes) displays of sheer and utter ignorance, then it is worrying.

Just occasionally, one encounters a bar-room idiot whose party piece is belching loudly before falling backwards off his stool, bouncing off the floor on his backside with a background provided by guffaws of laughter, yet who winks knowingly as he is carried out with his feet scraping along the ground and says "Don't worry son, most of it is an act".

The act. It reminds one of Marilyn Monroe putting on the act of the dumb blonde. But an act it was, a character projected by a shrewd, intelligent and charismatic woman with the ability to invent a persona. Sarah Palin, however, is the real-life thing. And it is becoming patently obvious that it isn't an act.

And now she turns not only against the fibre and backbone of her country, but against its democratically-elected President, accusing him of being incompetent for not stopping Wikileaks. Where was she and where was her GOP before and during the 9/11 attacks? She accuses President Obama of not taking "steps" to assure the leaks were not published. What "steps"?

President Obama after all knows the difference between North and South Korea, he knows that Hawaii is the largest US island and not Kodiak and he does not use the expression "refudiate". If anything is a threat to the national security of the United States of America, it is this screaming, unrefined oaf with as much class as a searing release of flatulence followed by hysterical giggling at a state banquet. Is this what the people of the USA deserve?

To attack the President of the country at a time when the USA needs to close ranks and stand together to consolidate the enormous strides his intelligent and respectful approach has achieved in building bridges, when her party's period in government bombed them, Spankin' Sarah Palin comes across as a pitifully inadequate anachronism from the times of the Far West.

The United States of America has evolved. She has not.

COMMENT: So, there you have it. The rest of the world does not hate America, it just hates its idiots and unfortunately, in the past, Americans have been in the habit of electing their biggest idiots to the presidency. But this time they have not and they should take advantage of what may be a one off anomaly in their political history. In other words, they should "cut the complaining," at least to a reasonable level, and they should certainly stop allowing Sarah Palin to do the complaining for them. Believe me, she is what the world hears, and the US is in serious danger of being equated communally with someone who thinks fart jokes are funny. How stupid is that when they have a gentleman and a scholar as their official head of state and representative on the world stage.

Thanks to Our Trace for the link to the Pravda opinion piece.

Comments

A BIPOLAR NATION — 50 Comments

  1. “Furthermore, he is the best the US has got. Yet even those who supported him before his election are being so negative about him that there is every chance that they will end up voting for Armageddon at the end of his first term in office.”

    Well spoken. Very well spoken.

    Sarah Palin scares me beyond expression.

  2. Unless President Obama takes off that sign on his back that says “Kick Me,” and if a third party spoiler gets into the 2012 presidential race in the name of “bipartisanship” (Michael Bloomberg?), Sarah Palin could be the next POTUS.

    You betcha!

    The other problem with US politics is that most people don’t vote. It’s usually the elderly and the religious and ideological crazies who vote regularly. Any election turnout of over 50% of the eligible electorate is considered a good turnout. A lot of races, especially local races, see 10% voter turnouts regularly. Local (and not so local) corruption flourishes with such inattention. Hello Jersey City and rural Kentucky!

    And sadly, who can blame them? Their choice is usually between a center right candidate on the corporate take, and a far-right candidate on the corporate take, with another independent even further right candidate out there financing his own campaign with his own billions.
    Most people are too busy with their low-paying long-hours service industry jobs and trying to raise families on low wages to follow politics at all. What’s to vote for?

  3. Remember all those Sarahfolling ignoramouses are the same as she is–there IS a whole culture of uninformed, insensitive idiots that have somehow confused freedom of speech with belching bull-shit that makes no sense but sounds good to them–anyone who has listen, quietly paid attention, to bigots on a binge and cheap grandstanders in the U.S. for knows not to be surprised with pedestrian antics of Sarah Failin wear´n lipstick. There is a T.V. sitcom we get in Central America named ¨the office¨…she´d be good joining up with them.

  4. I heartily agree, both with the main content of this post and with Ellie Finlay.
    America really doesn’t deserve Obama, he’s far too intelligent, world affairs-wise and UN-nuclear or as the late unlamented “W” would have said “Nucular”, minded.
    Where are the thinking activists so much in evidence in the 60s and early 70s.
    Surely they can’t all be dead?

  5. She was THIS close to being vice-president….. If John MacCain had been elected, the United States – and much of the rest of the western world – would now be in a REAL depression, with hundreds of even large corporations out of business due to not being able to get bank loans for cash flow. McCain was essentially against the bailout and most likely would not have pushed for one if elected. He might even have tried to stop the initial TARPS scheme from continuing. It went against his nature to bail out businesses that had gotten themselves into such bad economic straits. That, of course, is the mantra of the right: let the free market forces operate without government interference. In this case, it would have meant a depression worse than the one in the 1930s.

  6. I did not vote for Mr. Obama. A lot of us did not. He was elected by a rather tight margin. This in spite of a truly bad campaign by his opponents and deeply divided electorate. (I voted Green.)

    If the Republicans are crazy enough to nominate Mrs. Palin, I will not only vote for Mr. Obama, I will volunteer for the campaign. That woman scares me to death.

    I think he is making the same mistake Dr. Williams has made. He is ignoring his friends. Consider one case — he has the legislated authority to end the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. What does he do? He punts and sends a bill to a lame duck Congress. Which is not thoughtful, or centrist; it is chicken-bleep.

    I cannot imagine voting for any of the Republicans that appear on offer. I can however imagine voting for Mrs. Clinton were she to resign and challenge him in the primaries. I am that upset with his failures.

    FWIW
    jimB

  7. Oy. A big part of the problem is that Candidate Obama said all the right things, made all the right promises, and took the right attitude (YES, WE CAN!) to get the progressives and the liberals and the first-time voters all excited and out to vote for him, and President Obama has been utterly subdued and cautious and business-oriented and determined to compromise with people who want nothing more than to drive him from office ASAP. Yes, Obama has done excellent things while in office—but those things weren’t the things he said as a candidate that he would do. He’s orders of magnitude better for the country and the world than the opposition; lots of us know that, even if the first-time voters and the disappointed idealists have fallen away in the mid-terms. There’s much good in the Obama presidency, but he needs to remember, as the late, much-missed Molly Ivins said,”You got to dance with them what brung you.” I hope he figures it out soon.

  8. Yes, Jean. But that’s why I accuse the American nation of being bipolar. Western European populations would not have got all hyper about his election in the first place and would have accepted beforehand that he would disappoint. After the election they would not have become depressed to the point of taking their own (political) lives when he did what they were fully aware that he would do in the first place. We would have made jokes about it as we always do, but we would have respected his right to govern as we are democrats. Above all, we don’t start fighting the next general election until it is obvious there is going to be one. Heck, elections are tedious enough for the two months we have to put up with them every five years. Why on earth would you want to endure them 24/7/365?

  9. Just because I am furious with President Obama for compromising (caving) repeatedly when the Republicans threaten a hissy fit does mean I won’t vote for him again. But I am much more energized to fight for progressive candidates for House and Senate. That he is an educated, diplomatic person is a huge plus for the US and the world. Still, I will criticize because I want to hold ALL our presidents accountable. He is not the monster Bush was nor the irresponsible and irrelevant crank that McCain is, nor the ignorant, power-hungry grifter that Palin is. He inherited an immense mess. Even so, we desperately need a Democrat street fighter right now, not someone with a “kick me” sign on his back, and that sign is the sad reality of domestic politics at the moment. The consequences for the global economy as well as our own are going to be ugly.

  10. MP, you’re comment re: election cycle is spot on but it would take a constitutional amendment to change and in this climate, impossible. @counterlight raises a fundamental issue – EVERYONE is disgusted with Congress and the vicious partisanship and many don’t bother to vote, because the banks and corporations buy their candidates through election financing. The last election cycle generated $4 BILLION in spending (the networks get rich). I don’t ‘write to my congressman’ anymore because they simply respond with a form letter that says nothing. Sad fact is that until we reform campaign finance laws, it’s only going to get worse, and to do that we have to amend the 1st Amendment (free speech), and that ain’t gonna happen. A great deal of the bipolar crap you correctly identify is due to the speed and ease of anyone communicating anything and finding some other idiots who agree, that and the press treating these fringes as legitimate – which turns them into being legitimate. I honestly fear for my country, we are becoming ungovernable…

  11. As this thread goes on, each person has contributed valuable pieces to the puzzle that is American politics today, a scary portrait!
    I know that I seem to be playing the same old tune when I write, but I worked in the church(s)as this mess developed, and this Tea Party scares but doesn’t surprise me at all because I saw it developing. The right wing folks got in the religion business early on and had everything to do with the de-intellectalizung of America in the name of religion. The founder of the Heritage Foundation was one who
    discovered that religious message really delivered in political fights. Whoopee!! they found the key, and the rest has been more of the same. Prayer Groups organized people into groups of people and solidified them with great doses of emotion and plenty of talk about abortion (the fulcrum of the right wing world) Education was for the Elites and they (Elites)were part of what was/is wrong with the country, etc. (please note: Obama fits the concept of an intellectual Elite to every last word that he speaks!
    PLEASE read the books of James Davidson Hunter, especially “Culture Wars- The Struggle To Control The Family, Art,Education, Law & Politics”. Go to Amazon, type in his name and look at the titles of his books that cover almost every aspect of American political development in the last 30 years.
    When religious conservatives and political conservatives discovered that together they could change elections, it was ‘game on’ and it still is.
    Strange thing is, in all of the religious in-church power struggles, almost no one discusses this now, and yet it played a huge part in the problems of today. Their propaganda serves American corporate power to a scary degree.
    Read also “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet.
    As ever, Nij

  12. the press treating these fringes as legitimate

    Yes, this must be a huge problem. If we had a Sarah Palin, our TV media would report her occasionally but they are unable to to promote politicians due to our laws that insist on balance.

  13. RE: Paul @ 16:52

    I mostly agree with you, but…

    I will only vote my real conscience next time around.

    In 2008, Joe and I really voted AGAINST John McCain, not so much FOR Obama. Yeah, we marked his name on the ballot, but it was with misgivings.

    I should have written Dennis Kucinich in.

    Next time, if I have to write a candidate’s name in, then I will do it. Period.

    I’m still considering leaving the Democratic Party and officially joining the Socialists. I’ll have to send the DNC a letter that says specifically why I took my vote and what little donation money I had with me.

    I do wish it was possible to get people to leave the Dems en masse. If they saw a huge exodus of people to either the Socialists or the Greens, that might get their attention.

    But part of the problem here with Presidential elections has to do with the debates and who controls them. In the 1980s the nonpartisan League of Women Voters stepped down from sponsorship of the Presidential debates; why?

    “Control of the presidential debates has been a ground of struggle for more than two decades. The role was filled by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV) civic organization in 1976, 1980 and 1984. In 1987, the LWV withdrew from debate sponsorship, in protest of the major party candidates attempting to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were conducted. On October 2, 1988, the LWV’s 14 trustees voted unanimously to pull out of the debates, and on October 3 they issued a dramatic press release:

    The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates…because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

    Now, the Commission on Presidential Debates or CPD (www.debates.org) handles the Presidential debates, and they are anything but nonpartisan.

    Joe seems to think that the advent of the Internet and sites like YouTube and alternative media will undermine the death-grip that the 2 parties currently have on the entire political process. He thinks the “establishment” is not quite media-savvy enough to stay ahead of your average mouse potato college kid who can hack through any firewall and get information where it needs to go – about issues and candidates, etc.

    I take a “we’ll see about that” approach to how the new media will impact the political scene.

  14. To add to what Strangelove said above: and we’d be just one 70-yr old guy heart attack or stroke away from having that batsh*t crazy woman as President of the United States.

    Thanks about THAT for a moment. An America in the grips of the Great McCain Depression + Pres. Palin. at the wheel…

  15. Yes, read “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet.

    He’s not BSing in that book. One of my family members was involved for a number of years with The Family. No shit.

    Also read his new book “C Street” – more on the same situation.

  16. MP, I mostly agree with Jim, hope that explains some of American bipolar-ism. I agree with you in the sense that Pres. Obama’s foreign policy has been fairly close to perfection (American style anyway).

    His former rabid supporters who are now almost equally rabid detractors (I’m one of them), have good reason. He has failed to deliver the one possible improvement regarding health care, a single payer system (much less option) to bring proper competition to the for-profit health insurance industry. He has failed on promises to end DADT (maybe that will make it through if he decides to get off his tush in the next few weeks and work to promote it, but all other LGBT equal rights promises have been actively ignored), two pointless wars, Gitmo, professional lobbyist running the country, and practically every other domestic agenda item he promised so far. His failures are even more astounding considering his political party controlled both houses of congress for two years. If that’s the best he can do given that advantage, the next two years should be an even more epic failure, domestically. It is even bleeding over to foreign policy now since the minority Republicans have been so emboldened by his reflexive caving on EVERYTHING, that they are now even opposing the most common sense nuclear arms treaties with Russia!?!

    Given his obvious intelligence, one may think he would have learned that the recent Republican victories were not a repudiation of what he claims to stand for, but a repudiation of his spineless governing style. Nope, no hope.

    Is he better than his predecessor? “You betcha,” but that bar was set so low a hunched granny couldn’t possibly have even tripped on it.

    All that said, will I vote for him again in 2012? Possibly, if it looks like he needs my vote to defeat whatever moron the Republicans vomit out at us, but most likely will vote third party on the principle that America is most dysfunctional because of our failed two party system.

  17. Tracie, thanks for pointing out the issue of presidential debates. If only we could have the League of Women Voters moderating them again instead of the staged events we get now with stupid questions by airheads.

    When Democratic fundraising entities contact me they get an earful and no money. I support candidates on a one-by-one basis and certainly gave my fair share to help re-elect my progressive Representative.

    Molly Ivins, of Blessed Memory, was right when she said until we fix campaign financing we will not have made any real change.

  18. Americans are out of touch reality. We allowed George Bush to be re-elected and to start one war and perpetuate another, facricated the “enemy” who flew jets into the World Trade Center; then to sell the farm to Wall Street.

    Now, a brilliant black man takes over and has to cave in to the criticism of the mess they accuse him of not being to quick fix.We may as well tie him to a whipping post. Oh, and he’s Muslim and a communist too, don’t forget. As I said – out of touch. And…that’s…entertainment!!! If you follow me.

    Pagan Sphinx

  19. Sorry, I have more to say. We are not just a bi-polar nation, we are a criminally insane one.

    The two wars are bankrupting the nation, and the corporations are getting a bailout. Massachusetts just hit 9.8% unemployment. Obama tries to limit tax cuts to people making under…uh…I think &200 grand and he gets slapped down. That’s always a good time to cut loose the leash of the Republicans’pit bull – Sarah Palin.

  20. America needs compulsory voting. Any democracy does.

    Compulsory voting “compels” the politicians (more than the voters) to go out there and get/win/cajole everyone’s vote. That changes the whole election process for the better because everyone has to be “bought” in some way. Currently in the USA politicians can say to their committees, “Don’t worry about them, they don’t vote. Sure there are millions of them but we don’t have to appeal to them, they’re not voters.”

    It’s under those circumstances that a so-called democracy can come to represent narrow groups such as ‘Big Oil’ or ‘Big Arms’ or ‘Big War-Reconstruction’ or ‘Big-Religion’ or ‘Big Hetero’ or ‘Big Idiots’ or in Palin’s case, ‘Big Ignorance’.

    Like you MP, I have faith in the average American. There would be a whole lot less trouble in the world if every American was made to vote.

  21. I have faith in the average American.

    Bearing in mind that the only test one has to pass to be able to vote is to be born, live to 18 years old and not commit a felony.

    That’s it.

    Boaz, do you mean the “average beer-swillin’, nose-pickin’, gun-totin’, Bible-beatin’, truck-drivin’, NASCAR watchin’, Skoal-chewin’, homophobic, flag-wavin’ (considering they can’t seem to figure out which flag to wave – they keep hoisting the REBEL flag and not the flag of the side that WON), butt-scratchin’, huntin’, need-I-go-on American” by chance?

  22. Comment from Joe: The only thing we can hope for from these “average Americans” is that they keep their cell phones in their pockets where they’ll microwave their testicles/ovaries.

  23. Where are the thinking activists so much in evidence in the 60s and early 70s. Surely they can’t all be dead?

    No, the ones who survived and hadn’t fried their brains did exactly what my ex’s brother-in-law did – sold out.

    The man was a musician in the late 1960s and was considering joining the Atlanta Rhythm Section but instead he got married, went back to college, earned an MBA and became a partner in a big corporation.

  24. Does Pravda realize that most (US) Americans tune out . . . when they hear the word “Pravda” (still)? O_o

    Obama’s presidential style alone, his calm manner and his thoughtfulness

    …and there are even many DEMOCRATS who aren’t happy about that. They want him to Get Angry already! They want him to come out, publicly, and say to the ReThuglicans, “NO! We’re not doing that. We’re doing what’s right for the country, instead.”

  25. I tend to agree, MP.

    But the man does frustrate me . . . he needs to adapt.

    He still acts like he’s playing one-party politics in Chicago, and he’s not. My problem is that he hasn’t been pragmatic, which, in Washington, also mean ruthless.

  26. I sometimes wonder, Tracie, if I have a very high, or a very low view of humanity.

    Truthfully, I believe that we are capable – everyone – of becoming a great and saintly being . . .

    BUT . .

    Until that time, we need careful control, careful accountability, and a high degree of regulation. Just as children have to learn that discipline is good for them, so does humanity. I think that we are still a very young country, and are spoiled.

  27. Had to think of this conversation tonight. I was reading Langworth’s book of Winston Churchill’s wit and found this: “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter.”
    :>) ’nuff said, Nite all!
    Nij

  28. Boaz, do you mean the “average beer-swillin’, nose-pickin’, gun-totin’, Bible-beatin’, truck-drivin’,…

    Tracie, I’m thinking that many of these people already vote.

    But yes I’d happily look forward to more “beer swillin’, nosepickin’, truck drivin’, NASCAR watchin'” Americans voting, especially if they haven’t voted before.

    I would imagine that that, “Bible-beatin’, gay-bashin’, gun-a-totin’, flag-a-wavin’, Bungalow-Bill-a-huntin’ types are the first people lining up outside the polling booths on election day. It’s about time these people’s votes were outweighed by the “nut-scratchin’, can’t-be-a-botherin'” types.

    I will restate that the world would be a safer place for all of us if the ‘can’t-be-a-botherin’ types in America were made to vote.

    PS Who or what is a Skoal-chewin’ actually chewin’ or doin’?

  29. I did vote for him and I don’t regret voting for him, though I was disappointed in his allowing more deep water drilling for oil. I’l vote for him again next time too.

  30. “Skoal-chewin'”

    “What is a ‘Skoal-chewin” . . . ?”

    Skoal is the traditionally-preferred brand of chewing tobacco (aka: “chaw”) amongst the NASCAR, deep-woods redneck, and rednecky-punk-teen crowds.

  31. Obama’s my man. Perhaps you thought you were putting the United States firmly in its place by describing it as a bipolar nation. This annoyed me just a tad because some of my best friends, closest relatives, and the person I know best of all in the whole wide world have bipolar illness. Still, I get your point . .

  32. No, Forsythia, the point of the post is not to put anybody in their place, but to encourage my democratic friends out of their negativeness. I fear your interpretation is symptomatic of the presenting depressive and passive aggressive components of the American psyche.

    Oh, and the name MadPriest is not ironic, it is descriptive. I have done the time on the mental health wards to allow me to use mental health terminology in whatever way I like.

  33. I liked Boaz’s idea of compulsory voting, but then it wouldn’t be very democratic and how could we enforce it? But in lieu of that, I think that upper level schools, especially,should work harder at educating kids re: voting. A friend of my grandson’s said on voting day last month: “I’d vote too, only I have no idea about any of it.”They are so wound up in their own world and problems that voting seems fearful and foreign to them.

  34. I liked Boaz’s idea of compulsory voting, but then it wouldn’t be very democratic and how could we enforce it? But in lieu of that, I think that upper level schools, especially,should work harder at educating kids re: voting. A friend of my grandson’s said on voting day last month: “I’d vote too, only I have no idea about any of it.”They are so wound up in their own world and problems that voting seems fearful and foreign to them.

  35. I liked Boaz’s idea of compulsory voting, but then it wouldn’t be very democratic and how could we enforce it? But in lieu of that, I think that upper level schools, especially,should work harder at educating kids re: voting. A friend of my grandson’s said on voting day last month: “I’d vote too, only I have no idea about any of it.”They are so wound up in their own world and problems that voting seems fearful and foreign to them.

  36. I was one of those ’60’s activists. I did not precisely sell out, I burned out. We got a couple laws passed and everyone in the society decided we had “solved” civil rights. Come with me some time to the West Side of Chicago and see the fucking solution. We get out of Viet Nam, and everyone in the society thinks we have “solved” the foreign relations problems. Take a tour of Hatti or Columbia’s drug culture some time!

    I got damn tired of charging windmills, getting some half ass partial solution and watching everyone else walk away. I am told I am one of a handful of folksingers who will perform most of the old freedom songs. Hell, we solved Civil Rights!

    Sold out my butt, we were sold.

    FWIW
    jimB

  37. Voting does not have to be compulsory, simply provide an incentive for it. Make the “i voted” stickers so many States use into a $50 reduction in license plate fees or good for cash. Watch the voters appear!

    FWIW
    jimB

  38. Nay, nay, Boaz. If MORE of those types of Americans voted, Palin is GUARANTEED to be President in 2012.

    And making voting compulsory here would be a HUGE mistake.

    People would be very resentful of that, and yes, would regard it as being counter to the very idea of democracy and freedom. Don’t FORCE people to do it. That’s not being free.

    Not only that, but if people were forced into it, they’d resent it and take it out in ways that would be very dangerous, like voting against their own better interest or writing in names like “Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck” just to prove some kind of stupid point.

    It’s like some people have thought that military service should be compulsory here, but that would also be a really bad idea – you don’t want resentful men and women in the ranks, undermining the esprit de corps. It’s bad enough that a lot of the people who enlist are the ones who are broke and feel like it’s the military or a life of crime for them. To some degree, that’s what drove Joe and his brother Alvin and sister Ruth into the military; they were very poor and there was no paying for college for those kids.

    So with keeping voting voluntary, at least you know the people who DO vote really WANT to do it. If some of them go out of their way to participate in early voting, as Joe and I did, all the better. 🙂

  39. Oh, and my mother is one of those “I don’t vote because I don’t know enough about the issues TO vote” people. She’s in her 60s, I don’t think is registered to vote, and thus I don’t think ever has voted. She has never liked reading (as in books and newspapers) so she doesn’t keep up on the news all that much, and no wonder she feels too intimidated to vote.

    I’m not sure if we want to compel Americans like her to go to the polls. She would just randomly mark the ballot, taking wild guesses as to who to vote for, and run like hell once it was over.

    She also endeavors to escape jury duty on the few occasions she’s received a summons in the mail.

    Contrast this with me, who has received 3 jury summonses since I moved to FL in 1991 and made no attempt to dodge it. I called in the night before, my number came up twice, and I went in and was ready to do my duty as a citizen. I’ve never been seated on a jury however; the two times I went in, the cases I almost served on were settled out of court. The third time I got a summons, my number did not come up so I didn’t have to go.

    Joe, for his part, has never received a jury summons and he WANTS ONE. If he could find a way to volunteer to do jury duty, he’d do it. He and I both know how important – crucial, even – it is to have a jury of one’s peers to hear one’s case.

    So indeed, there are some people you don’t want to vote – uninformed and unmotivated people like my mother. Her biggest worry in life is painting her foyer.

    No, it was my dad who impressed upon me the importance of being an informed, participating citizen of the United States. Damn, I miss him – but in a way, I’m glad he’s not here to see this mess we’re in now.