8/28/12

Opinions & Rants #40: POTUS Indifference


Whenever I get even slightly political here on Retrospace, it’s not long before the personal attacks start coming.  Americans are so polarized on the issues of the day that they lose control of any sense of perspective and  simple respect.  Well, here it goes again anyway….






I give zero shits about  who becomes president.  No matter who wins, it’s going to be the same rows of advisors and cabinet members standing behind the prez.  The lobbyists will still have their filthy paws on the entire legislative and executive branches and subsequently nothing will improve for the middle class.  The vast unrepresented and maligned middle class – the very group that fights the wars and pays for the wars…. yet, has no say so in whether to go to war.

Most Americans see through the charade and recognize that it doesn’t really matter who wins. Hence, the disturbingly low voter turn out.  The ones that still believe there’s a difference are either blinded by our awful excuse of a media, or are motivated by pure emotion, with no left brain involvement whatsoever.





So, how does this have anything to do with our collective past – the theme of Retrospace? Not a lot, I guess, except to note that it wasn’t always like this.  I sincerely believe that it used to matter – in fact, I don’t think it was all that long ago that things went south.  For instance, American history would genuinely have been affected had Mondale won (you could argue good or bad).  Certainly, McGovern as the POTUS would have yielded a very different country as would a second term for Carter.  You get my point.

Yeah, that's right.  He did all three.... even the grumpy one on the right.  Livin' the dream, baby.

Now that things have become pretty much homologous,  many Americans have thrown in the towel.  For the liberal minded, Obama was an opportunity for finally some ‘change’.   However, it turned out to be just politics as usual and the same scumbags that broke our economy were hired on as ‘advisors’ and top positions in the government.  Meanwhile, us middle classers were left holding the tab. 



I don’t want to be cynical.  I don’t want to be jaded and negative towards my country.  But what I want is a real choice in November.  Dare to dream.

52 comments:

  1. Well, I for one, could not agree more. It seems like the process has gotten progressively worse. There are the usual unkept campaign promises, and perhaps a few which are actually addressed, only to be voted down by an opposing house. At this point the system is so hopelessly f-ed up, I don't think anyone can fix it.



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  2. Yeah, another political rant! Everyone I know feels the same way about our choices come November and I couldn't possibly be less excited about this election.

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  3. Me, I stopped caring about anything political in this country the day my brother was brought home in a flag-draped casket from Iraq.

    Is it just me, or were girls prettier back in the 60s and 70s?

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  4. I think that cynicism is a cop out. There is a significant difference between the candidates and the parties. One side believes that you can create a better, more fair, more prosperous society with some government intervention and regulation, and that government should provide a safety net and ensure clean air and water, and that taxes should pay for those services. The other side believes that if you cut all taxes, then government will shrink in the right ways, corporations will pick up the slack, and somehow being treated like consumers will be better than being treated like citizens. They also believe that we can't have clean air and water and a prosperous economy, and that the most important class to protect are the rich since they are the "job creators." Not to mention the right's very different ideas about women's rights, gay rights, and legal immigrants rights.


    The democrats may not be knights in shining armor, but the Republican party machine has proved time and time again that they are more committed to their ideology than to doing what is right for the country, and they are more committed to trying to regain and maintain power than doing what is right for the country. There is an ugly, xenophobic, selfish mean-spiritedness extremism that has shown its face in conservatism in the past five years, which does not jibe with what I want my country to be about.

    The real travesty with american politics is the cynicism that has taken over, where everyone says that the game is rigged so that they don't have to care, and everyone just listens to people that spew their viewpoint. I think everyone should vote, and not based on thirty second tv spots by PACs and 501c4s funded by billionaires, or by what Fox or MSNBC tell you to do. Do your duty as an American and research the candidate and issues, and vote for the person and measures that you believe in, even if it isn't sticking to party doctrine.

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    1. FTW, Patrick. Nice post.

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    2. Amen. Perfectly stated.

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    3. cannot disagree more with the above comments. the dems are the ideologicaL zealots who believe in a paternalistic society ruled by an oligarchy of self-righteous hypocrites who march in lockstep agreement. As the Dems have gotten more crazy leftist over the years (expect bigomy and polygomy and incest to become favored planks in the near future!), THE Reps have become more centralist, leaving no real conservatist positions represented. my mother died a dem but the dems today stand for nothing she stood for and the reps only do on a few issues.

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    4. Anonymous:

      You have every right to dislike the Democrats, disagree with their policies, and vote Republican. And you can think that the dems are ideological zealots who want an oligarchy (which, interestingly, is the same argument the left makes against the right). But it's the republicans who have gotten more and more extremist and moved farther to the right in recent years. Nixon created the EPA and passed the Clean Air Act: 40 year later, Republicans think we can't have clean air and water and a healthy private sector. Both Reagan and George Bush Sr. recognized that sometimes you had to raise taxes in order to balance the budget. Raising revenue has been completely off the table in the debt ceiling debate/debacle.

      There was a recent study about this rightward drift:
      http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/04/10/150349438/gops-rightward-shift-higher-polarization-fills-political-scientist-with-dread

      And in terms of incest/poligamy, it's the republicans that want to vote a mormon into the white house (cheap shot, I know, but I couldn't resist).

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    5. Patrick, not to fuel political fires but Nixon could not have passed the "Clean Air Act." All he could have done is sign it.
      We all tend to forget that the early 70s were the TRUE "Hope and Change" movement that President Obama just dusted off. The Baby Boom generation, coming of political age, knew how to change the world and came in with a battering ram. The consequences we are still paying for.

      As for the Parties, they grow and change depending on US. Look at the Democrats in 1968 and then look at the same party in 1972. One was blasting the "Hippies" with water cannons, the next was run by those very same hippies. And now the DNC has not fielded a candidate who was not a lawyer since Carter.

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  5. Yogi for President. Snoopy for President. Meadow Party (Bill the Cat and Opus). Dan Gurney for President. Batman for President. Gracie Allen for President. Will Rogers for President. Any other cool people ran for PoTUS?

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    1. Jayne Mansfield and Linda Lovelace.

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    2. Dizzy Gillespie had a short-lived campaign in the 1964 cycle.

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    3. Frank Zappa. Joe Walsh. Pat Paulsen.

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    4. Pat Paulsen!

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    5. Marvel's (Steve Gerber's) HOWARD THE DUCK ran in 1976. I still have his campaign button.

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    6. Archie Bunker, early 1970's. You can buy campaign material on eBay. I have a campaign button but am not sure if I can get away with wearing it....

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  6. Magic KennyAugust 28, 2012

    OK - you got political, so I'm going to as well (but believe me, I love this blog and read it every single day. It's hilarious, and really takes me back).

    I find it ironic that you start your discussion/non-discussion about politics by taking the position of "every man/woman" ("The vast unrepresented and maligned middle class – the very group that fights the wars and pays for the wars…. yet, has no say so in whether to go to war"), yet every photo you posted - outside of the ridiculous OJ cartoon cover - features whites, whites and more whites. I'm talking every single person in every single picture. At first blush I thought you were making a statement by this, and kept waiting for the punchline. But it never came. Now, I certainly don't think this was intentional, nor do I think this site is the SLIGHTEST bit prejudiced. However, it does speak volumes that a discussion about unrepresented "American people" excludes any other race besides Caucasians.

    My point? The upcoming election speaks directly to this, and there IS a real difference between candidates. This is why I take offense to your statement "The ones that still believe there’s a difference are either blinded by our awful excuse of a media, or are motivated by pure emotion, with no left brain involvement whatsoever." We're talking about the rights of the American people. Rights - of a woman to her body, an immigrant on the a road to citizenship, a nation to decent and affordable healthcare, a shrinking middle class to receive the same breaks the wealthy do, a growing poor class to dignity and a way to escape the clutches of poverty - all of this will change, one way or another, depending on the election. It might be a slight move - only inches. But, after living on a fault line in California my entire life, even movement of a few inches is enough to cause a lot of shaking.

    Frankly, I couldn't be MORE involved, intellectually and otherwise, with our election and political climate, and it's not an emotional nor "left-brain deficiency" issue. I don't deny the system and politics are screwed up - and have been for decades. But the logic of "things are so screwed up it's pointless to do anything" makes even less sense. We're in a hole, and I could give a damn if the only tool I get to fill it with is a teaspoon - I'm gonna use the damn thing until my hands bleed. I love my country, and what my country stands for, enough to do my part - regardless if I "change the world" or not.

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    1. Oh, they're certainly talking about these issues. I didn't say they weren't talking a good game.

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    2. Right on! (Or maybe Left on?)

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  7. Both parties are corrupt, but there is indeed a difference. The Democrats will at least throw a bone to the middle class once in a while. Romney in the White House is a guaranteed war against Iran, curtailment of civil rights, and general lunacy, in line with the certifiably insane party he represents.

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    1. War with Iran a guarantee huh? Curtailment of civil rights? Really? Lunacy? Well I guess we have four more years of the same then. Thanks for the update Kreskin. Good to know Guantanamo will be open for business Another Four years, and the Patriot Act will be extended Another Four years, and the Lunacy will continue unabated.
      Obey_Gravity

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  8. I think the only valid reason to ignore this election is if you're very rich. Then, it truly doesn't matter who is elected President. Maybe you'll have to pay some more in taxes if the Dems get in, but you're rich, it doesn't matter much.

    Otherwise, if you're not rich, it you're one of the 99% go and read Patrick's comment again.

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    1. Fortunately (and hopefully) we all get to use our one (1) vote to vote for the future we hope to have......... Personally I'd rather my grand-children work for a greedy SOB and earn a living, than have to stand in line for a government handout. (Or worse... expect, and DEMAND a Government Handout)

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  9. there is a difference and if Richie Rich gets in we-are-fucked. it's that simple.

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  10. I also could not agree more Boogie Pilgrim. From your posts over the years I know we're about the same age, and yes, there was a real difference "back in the day" between one candidate or another and what would get done when a candidate was elected. But little has changed from Bush, to Clinton, to Bush, to Obama, because we're always somewhere fighting somebody, getting taxed to death, and hearing endless promises about what the candidates will do for us. This is still the greatest country on earth, and I love it, but, as one of those evil Republicans many of you hate, things are no better or worse under Obama than they were with Bush, nor will they change much with the next election. It seems like these days I'm voting against individuals rather than for something or somebody -- but that's just me, an evil conservative.

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  11. i shouldn't have insulted Richie Rich like that, i apologize...

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  12. The problem with government is in the voting system. Only rich people can run for office, whether it's local or national.
    We have the Electoral College, so there's no "one person, one vote". There's no national vote counting system, so there's always discrepancies in the tally. No matter how much we go to the polls, the same system is in place. And elected officials are always in office for too long a period. A regular 9-5 working working person not only doesn't stand a chance of being a leader, they don't stand a chance of having their voice heard. Indians (native Americans) are never even considered as candidates. You'll never see an Indian President. That alone tells you all you need to know. I'm Indian. I know.

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  13. I could not agree with you more. I have been toying around with the idea of not voting at all this election - being a "conscientious abstainer" if you will, because I am tired of having to chose between two equally undesirable candidates. Things were not always thus. I turned 18 in time to vote in the 2004 election, and I distinctly remember sitting at the table with my little black marker and wanting to burst into tears. I didn't want to see Bush re-elected, but I was not sold on Kerry either. At the time, I was registered Green and I really liked Nader, but I knew that voting for him was like wasting my vote. The same thing happened in 2008, only that time I almost voted for McCain because even though his politics were antithetical to my own, I didn't think Obama would really have been any better. Now we see that I wasn't too far off the mark. I used to be the type of person who would get on my soapbox to berate people who didn't vote. It's strange to find myself now considering joining their ranks. I'm a disenfranchised liberal, and I am tired of the class war. There was a time that I wanted to go into politics. I wanted to help the little guy and make a difference, but I soon realized that it was all a dirty game of Monopoly. Everyone's motives are the same - personal gain. Maybe I'll just write in Penn Jillette. He's pretty smart, and at least he'd be more fun than the other two.

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    1. I would like to add that as much as I would like to just call it quits with regard to political process, I will be voting, and I will be voting for whichever candidate I think has the best platform. I'm still disenfranchised though, and I wish that the candidates could or would talk about things that really matter to most of us instead of focusing on hot button issues to sway emotions. It's a dirty game.

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    2. Joyce, if you are planning on sitting this one out due to the equal unctuousness of the candidates may I please suggest that you consider voting for Jill Stein of the Green Party?

      A 3rd party is never going to happen if people don't get behind it.

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  14. Jane, you ignorant slut.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

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  15. I cycled past the first Nazi concentration yesterday whilst visiting the doctor in Dachau. To me the political situation that has been allowed to take over the US is an insult to the very concept of democracy. The choice is either more of the same or a crazy party where the leader of a party comprised of ignorant boors (Akin is a drop in the ocean) and who personally takes his orders from hi understanding of the wishes of a supernatural deity.

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    1. ***a crazy party where the leader of a party comprised of ignorant boors (Akin is a drop in the ocean)****

      Enjoying watching you lib pricks drop the phony veneer of tolerance.

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  16. And I must disagree. I recently re-read Hunter Thompson's 'Fear & Loathing on the '72 Campaign Trail' and was shocked, yes shocked, at the similarities between the Republican campaign tactics of then/now. One line of the book stands out, and because my 50-yr old grey matter is getting rather addled, I must paraphrase: Yes, Nixon and McGovern are both white, male, and political animals, but if you think the policies of the two would end up identically, please don't vote. The intent of the two could not be more stridently different.

    And with that, Dr. Thompson and his lawyer fled to Sin City in the red shark with a trunk full of drugs and an ampule of human adrenaline and went off to look for America.

    My bottom though is this, which I continually try to impress upon my 18 y/o son - who has spent all of his formative years in war, both literally and politically rhetorically - , if you bail, if you drop out, the bad fuckers win. You have to make a moral choice between progress and the pall that will descend if you allow the dark side of America to prevail.

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  18. I think one thing that has changed, and has not been discussed enough here, is a change in the American people. The American people are not simply these moderate, virtuous and put upon subjects or victims of History or lobbyists. Large sections of the American public have become political extremists, and it is not just on the Right. One of the effects of that division is to destroy our country and make it ungovernable. It is not just the economy or the bankers. The Left seems stuck in a 60s or 70s dream of not only social democracy but going further and attempting a Marxist or Anarchist project again. And the Right seems even more extreme; they seem stuck not in the 70s, but some fantasy of the 50s or Reagan 80s... they are so extreme that they seem to want no government whatsoever and indulge in some of the most dangerous and paranoid conspiracy fantasies. So while I understand your frustration I also know that lots of those middle class people you herald also harbor much credulity and many bad ideas as well.

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    1. I agree with your assertions that bad ideas are everywhere, but the pursuit of liberty and freedom demands a degree of rational thinking. With no great dialogue evident in our mainstream culture, I fear the Jeffersonian ideal that the electorate as a whole, with enough information over a sufficient period of time, will bend the arc of governance toward the ideal. I'm not Pollyanne-ish, but I cannot give up hope. There has to be some fusion of Locke and Hume.

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  19. And it looks like the political machines have become more powerful. Obama was fast-tracked to the Presidency by the Chicago Daley machine and Bush was put up by people who have been there since Nixon. Karl Rove began his political career working for CREEP in 1972. I think there is still a YouTube video online where CBS talks to a young Rove.

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  20. You want to be a Libertarian. Someone who wants and desires a small government. It's neither left or right, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, socialist or capitalist.

    The problem is that politicians have too much power. So everyone tries to curry favour. Those who lobby the most or who have the most money win. It's doesn't matter if their cause is right or not. They still win over the actual needs of the country.

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    1. This is why I love my retrospace readers - because when we get off the normal Miniskirt,Movies and Magazine posts and get to things genuinely important, the intelligent and insightful comments litetally blow me away.

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    2. Perhaps, but things get genuinely boring and snooty too.

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  21. For once I agree with you entirely.

    You've hit an accidentally perfect word with '70s echoes:

    "Now that things have become pretty much homologous..."

    I suspect you meant homogeneous, but homologous is much more appropriate. In car racing, "homologation" refers to a peculiar set of rules whereby a hotted-up race car is certified as "stock" so it can pose as a particular brand of real car.

    And that's our politics. We have identical highly specialized machines, designed strictly to run on a particular oval track, wearing fiberglass bodies that look like a black man or a white man or a woman.

    Why '70s? The Italian version of homologation is Omologato... as in Gran Turismo Omologato, or GTO.

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  22. Yawn......

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    1. You've summarized by point beautifully. The political back-and-forth has become 'white noise' for most Americans.

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  23. Eisenhower warned us about this. The problem is not that the military is gigantic, and that supporting it is putting us in the poorhouse; the problem is that there is no accountability. Billions routinely vanish without a trace; new and secret weapons systems are contracted, funded, and shelved; we have to invent enemies for our security apparatus to keep us safe from; and neither democrat nor republican has the backbone to call a halt to the hemhorrage of dollars or the ever-growing mountain of accumulating debt.

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  24. Gilligan, in all fairness to the "personal attacks" comment, when you get "slightly political" it is usually with a personal attack against the party or people who have riled your political feathers.
    If you are going to shoot personal, you have to expect it back. (said with all due respect)

    And while I agree with the time worn statement of "low political turnout" you forget that we are the most politically active country on the face of the earth. Witness both OWS and the Tea Party, AARP and the NRA. We have moved from voices at the ballot box to voices at rallies. Obama, in '08, bragged about his social network political moment and it was the talk of the town then. Now we take it for granted.

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    1. "we are the most politically active country on the face of the earth"
      I think I'd beg to differ on that.

      And I don't think any sane person actually enjoys personal attacks, right? But I understand that if I'm going to dish it out, I need to take it. That's why I don't moderate (censor, delete, etc.) any of these comments. Bring it on, I say.

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  25. No defense of the current chief executive sitting in the the big chair in the Oval Office but until WE as a PEOPLE choose to clean out Congress it won't matter whom is ringmaster to that particular circus we call government.

    Support Term Limits, it's like your changing underwear daily not just a good idea but a courtesy to those around you.

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  26. I used to be where you are (basically). I wrote in a candidate last time around. There is a factor that you're forgetting, assuming that you are a person of faith... Although the deck appears to be stacked it's God who allows people into office and has the ability to answer prayer. When you look back at our history it seems like God uses leaders at specific times for specific tasks. Maybe FDR was the right guy to help during the Great Depression, maybe Reagan was the right guy to oversee the end of the Cold War. These guys weren't perfect, but they did their duty. In retrospect we come to feel that Obama did a nice job of stemming the tide of the financial meltdown and someone else (whether it be Romney or someone else) will take it from there. Don't discount Our Father and what he can do.

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  27. Mitt Romney would've been a fantastic president. What we got with President Obama's re-election is the last positive campaign in a generation. If Romney would have mocked Obama (how many videos of Obama railing against things he now supports or making incredibly stupid comments are there?) he would be president and we would all be better off (even the Obama supporters).
    We know the IRS, SEC, OSHA, probably the NSA, and no telling how many other bureaucracies and federal agencies used their power to eliminate dissent of the president. There might someday be an asterisk next to Obama's re-election just like they put next to sports stars that have been proven cheaters - there should be.
    Anybody that still supports him is either puts party above country or is incredibly stupid.

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