I try not to do things like rant about politics here, because then this would turn into one of those blogs where people do annoying blog-cliché things, like rant about politics. But after 12 months of this election, I'm kind of left with no choice. Some thoughts on politics:

-- How bizarre must it have been for Joe the Plumber to watch the debate last night? People there with him must have been like, "Joe, they mentioned you!......Whoa, they're talking about you again!!.......Um, they're talking about you again......My god! Now they're talking to you-- they're giving you advice!......The hell? Now they're arguing about you!...." How many texts must Joe have gotten last night?

In any case, the Joe thing is stupid. Because Joe is a plumber he fit the bill for McCain's message-- a typical middle class American working in a typical middle class career, whose taxes are about to go up if Barack Obama wins. Except one thing-- Joe is not a middle class American. Joe makes over $250,000 a year. Joe is a rich dude. Joe drives a Lexus. Joe takes vacations in the Caribbean and stays in the Hyatt. Joe's kids go to a nice private school. But because his business is plumbing, he was a perfect way for McCain to deceive voters into believing that Obama will raise the average American's taxes.

-- The running mate is an oddly important part of presidential elections. They even get their own debate. Why? Vice presidents are irrelevant. Meanwhile, the key cabinet members, who are ridiculously relevant, aren't even selected during the campaign. How does that make sense? How much more useful would it be for candidates to choose their Secretaries of Defense and State during the campaign so we could watch them debate each other?

-- Regarding most issues that come up in politics, I can understand where both sides are coming from, even when I don't agree with one. But I don't really get the opposing gay marriage thing. Why? What's the point? Who feels adamant that gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married, and why don't they find something better to do with their time? Where is the downside? It just seems unnecessarily discriminatory.

This may be a stretch, but I think in 50 years we'll look back upon this time and the fact that gay marriage was a controversial issue will seem as backwards then as 1960's racial segregation seems now. Speaking of which, 40 years ago, black people had to sit on the back of the bus. What? This was socially acceptable 40 years ago in this country. And they had to use different water fountains. Pretty boggling.

While we're here, 88 years ago, women couldn't vote. This blows my mind. Like, there could be a woman who was a professor of political science who wasn't allowed to vote. But her 18 year old male students could.

So yeah- I think gay marriage will seem like those things in a few decades. Civil unions may be equal to marriage in their privileges, but it's still making an exclusion. Like the black water fountain, which provided the same water as the white water fountain-- but that wasn't the point.

Kind of lame that Obama is pretending he's opposed to gay marriage for political reasons, when obviously, deep down, he doesn't believe it should be opposed.

-- Similarly, it's upsetting that we live in a country in which you absolutely have to be religious to become president. I'm pretty sure that neither Obama nor McCain is actually religious, but both are pretending to be for political reasons. Why is religion a major criteria for the choice of commander-in-chief?? If you owned a big company and you were trying to select the perfect CEO, would their personal level of religion factor into your decision? Of course not.

And McCain's divorce is this huge problem for his campaign. Would you care whether your CEO was married to his second wife or his first? No, you wouldn't.

On the other hand-- what you would care about would be the level of education of your CEO.

But in this effing country, Obama's high level of education has to be downplayed, because it is viewed as a negative trait (Bush covered it up in his campaigns as well).

-- Why should I vote on November 4? I live in California. California is definitely voting for Obama. Regardless of whether I vote or not. My vote has a 0.000000% chance of affecting the outcome. So why should I vote? If I'm supposed to vote out of principle, why not just wake up on November 4, write my vote on a little slip of paper, and very officially drop it in the toilet. Then I could flush the toilet, and pushing the little flush lever down would be just like pushing the little vote lever down. My vote would have as much chance of affecting anything, and I could save the trip to the voting booth. Not the worst plan, right?

I really can't stress enough how angry the Electoral College system makes me. When there were 13 states, and each one was basically its own country with its own rules and its own government-- then it made sense. But now? Now, it's stupid. Last night, the debate took place at Hofstra University, and we were all treated to the reaction of independent Ohio voters. Gasp! Independent Ohio voters-- The Great Deciders! They join independent Virginia voters and independent Florida voters as the most powerful people in the world at the moment. But independent California voters-- because they all happen to live within the irrelevant borders of a state that happens to be 60% full of left-leaning voters-- their votes don't count.

(The Senate is also an archaic system. Why should Wyoming's 500,000 people have as much influence in the Senate as California's 40 million? When each state was essentially its own nation, it made sense. That was 200 years ago.)

I know what everyone says about not voting-- "What if everyone decided not to vote? Then where would we be?" This is like when I was at summer camp when I was 6 years old and I was sitting on the lawn and I pulled out a handful of grass and the counselor said to me, "Don't pull out the grass. What if everyone did that?" This never made sense to me. Everyone doesn't pull out grass. Only some people pull out grass-- that's the whole point. Everyone doesn't not vote-- so it's okay for me to not vote.

Anyway, I'll probably end up voting because I don't feel like dealing with all the annoying judgmental people in my life condescending to me because I didn't vote on voting day. And I guess there is some local stuff to vote for which my vote actually counts. And it's kind of fun to go into the voting booth like a real adult and push the little levers. But still.

-- Finally, this is a real photo taken after the debate last night. I can't say enough about it:


Anonymous said...

Well we don't think all your crazy
political stuff is that irrelevant
at all.

Kyrgyzstan ...

p.s. As of writing Red Sox stage a
remarkable comeback to stay in the
campaign , against the scary Rays.
Cubs still eliminated , Expos still
in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Tim-0 ...

Why are you being so damn cheap. Just pay the fricken sketch artist $20 bucks and you can have somebody draw with a big pundit head.

Nice ... that you picked arguably the worst president ever (Grant) AND there is lineage in my family tree. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

As of writing , we don't play that
odd game of baseball here either.

Kyrgyzstan ...

Anonymous said...

since when is a plumber middle class?

Anonymous said...

You should vote because there are people who can't or will be kept from doing so. You should do it because it IS your civic duty to do. You SHOULD feel lucky to have that right. You'll give support to the winner or you'll be the loyal opposition. Either way, the more the voice of the American people are heard, the better. People not voting for the exact reasons you listed is why the US is a bit of a sham of democracy at the moment. The Bush administration is proof that those rights WILL slip away if we don't use them and care enough to protect them.

Anonymous said...

why are people so fervently encouraging others to vote? some people don't know anything politics. some people don't know anything about US history. some people don't know anything about the candidates except what they hear from their favorite pop stars. i don't want these people voting or sharing their opinions on who should run this country. so please stop all this "go vote" and "vote or die" bull sh!t.