Tag Archives: Democrats

Election Day USA Is On Its Way

1 Nov

It’s less than a week until Election Day in the United States of America.  I’ve sent my postal vote through: I voted for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to mine, the one I think will be best for the country. Is that how you’ll be choosing your candidate? Does that mean you and I will be voting for the same candidate? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that Americans have different views and priorities and therefore support different candidates. I think my views and priorities and candidate are the right ones; I’m guessing you do, too. So how do we know who is right and who is wrong? We don’t. We’re different. So there’s little use one side trying to prove the other is objectively wrong (or objectively the Anti-Christ).

So let’s stop being stupid about it.

Here’s what’s going to happen. Most Americans will vote for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to theirs, the one they think will be best for the country. This will mean that some will vote for Obama and some will vote for Romney. A few may even vote for Dr. Jill Stein or one of the other parties’ candidates (perhaps even Roseanne Barr?).  The one who will get the most votes will win, bask in their glory, give a fancy speech in January, try to make a few changes, begin campaigning for the next election and then stay in Office past 2016 or not. That’s pretty much how it will work, regardless of who wins.

Why? Because the American political system is effed up proper. Unless the three branches of the government are dominated by a single party, not a lot gets done, because what seems to be the most important thing in American politics is beating the other side. Not doing what’s best, mind—just doing what will upset the others the most (or undoing what the other party has done). Don’t believe me? Are you calling me a liar or something? Rude!

Because a lot of Americans can see this tragedy, they won’t be voting at all. (I’m being generous, of course, because some won’t vote simply because they’re lazy.) Many will say, “It doesn’t matter so I shan’t participate in this facade. What’s the point of voting when the system is broken? Instead let’s bring this motherfucker down!”

Are they right?

Alas, probably, no. Unless, of course, they have a realistic, workable plan to actually bring this motherfucker down (which I’d be happy to hear the details of, though don’t post them through because you can get in real trouble for that), it will matter who wins this election. As I said above, the winner may be able to make a few changes and those changes may potentially make quite a big difference—to women’s choices about their bodies, to gay men and lesbians’ families, to many Americans’ health, welfare, and careers. This broken system will keep on keeping on even if you choose to opt out of voting: are you willing to risk the rights and freedoms that you have at the moment? Don’t you care about Sesame Street?

The other reason it matters who wins this election is because it will say something—to Americans and to the entire world—about what America stands for. We can take steps towards being a force of good or we can go back to being a symbol of greed.

Which is why I’m now thinking you’re probably now thinking it’d be wise to vote for the same candidate as I’m voting for. Or maybe you’re thinking of something else. I see that clever smile crossing your face, and I know it means you’ve just come up with a fabulous idea. I guess what I’m subtly trying to saying here is Yes, I’d be honoured to be your write-in candidate for the position of President of the United States. Honoured but not available, I’m afraid. But I’ll tell you what—go ahead and write my name in. If I win, that’ll be such a turn up for the books that I’d be willing to rearrange a few things to get the job done.

Let’s do it, America!

Let America Be America Again

8 Apr

These words start a poem published by Langston Hughes in 1938. As I write this post, we are hours away from a possible shutdown of the American government, because politicians cannot decide on a budget.

The budget fight is premised on the deficit that the country has. Now ideally, no one should ever have a budget deficit: not a government and not an individual. It’s really a matter of being fiscally responsible, a lesson that most of us should have learned when we were four-years-old and asked our parents for a pony. In a perfect world, no one would spend money they do not have. Take me, for example—as you know I’m not short of a bob or two, but I still stick to a budget. If it’s a Friday night and I’ve only got £1000 left of my weekly budget, I’ll have to limit my spending: say, if I’m tempted to wage a war in Afghanistan or fund a religious maniac’s diploma mill to the tune of $445 million, I won’t, I’ll just say no. It’s not always fun to say no, but sometimes it’s the only responsible thing to do.

But okay, the US government’s got a deficit, so what’s the best way to get out of it? Clearly, you’ve only got three options when you’re out of cash: bring more in, take less out, or a combination of the two. As any bisexual will tell you, a bit of both is always best.

One obvious way to increase the money a government brings in is to raise taxes. Duh. Now no one wants to pay taxes, we all know that, so anyone who feels compelled to make the point that taxes aren’t fun should just zip it right now. There’s lots of things in life we don’t want to do, but sometimes have to do. If a fun solution had been an option, we wouldn’t have gotten to this crisis point. We’ve got to find the least not-fun solution available.

So we’re in the middle of a financial crisis, we’re all struggling, and now I’m suggesting raising taxes?  Before I go any further, just think about this for a minute.






Because you know what? A lot of us, we’re not struggling; we just have less money than we used to have. That isn’t the same thing as struggling (especially if part of the reason why we have less is because we neglected to follow a budget, as outlined in paragraph 2.)

So bumping up taxes (particularly on the rich) is an option. Or is it? No, because Obama extended the Bush tax cuts, a measure that costs more than his stimulus package Republicans are always banging on about, even though evidence shows the cuts neither hurt small business nor help grow the economy.

As the government’s given up on bringing in more, by default, they’re choosing to spend less. The government spends a lot of money on a lot of stuff. Big stuff, little stuff, good stuff, bad stuff, useful stuff, useless stuff. The argument now is what to spend less on?

I am not going to propose what should and shouldn’t be cut here. I could go on about my personal opinions and interests and the way they reflect my own upbringing, background, morals. But I won’t. And here’s why.

Because the truth is most Americans know the difference between right and wrong.

Leviticus 23:22 When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

The Prophet Muhammad: He who sleeps on a full stomach whilst his neighbour goes hungry is not one of us.

The Upanishads: Like in a well the more you fetch, more water oozes . . the more you give the more you get. This generosity is mandatory to every individual.  Hurry to promise or pledge to help. It is one thing—glorious and divine—to strive for getting an occasion for that.

The Buddha: Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Guru Granth Sahib: The poor and the rich are both brothers. This is Lord’s immutable design.

The Talmud: Whoever destroys a single life is as guilty as though he had destroyed the entire world; and whoever rescues a single life earns as much merit as though he had rescued the entire world.

My Grandmother Boots (one for the atheists): If you turn your back on the needy, you are a real shit.

All Americans should realise that however this crisis ends, the final budget will have effects across the globe. When people around the world look at what America does, they don’t look at it as Republican choices or Democrat actions.

What do we want the world to think is important to Americans?