We’re less than two weeks from the Presidential Election. Regardless of the outcome, it’s the end of the Republic. At least that’s the consensus on social media. That’s unfortunate.
People on social media have many, many important things to say about the upcoming election. Some folks post dozens of times a day about it. I don’t mind. Just because I don’t do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I’ve watched every episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Last night, I watched a full hour of Call of the Wildman. I’m sure you wouldn’t do that, but it’s okay for me.
I can read those political posts or ignore them, just like I do posts about kids or dogs or people with awful diseases. Social media is the ultimate free speech zone. The best thing about all of it is that it makes me think about the issues that matter most–or least–to me.
I live in Kentucky, where we have no say in the Presidential election. By the time we have our primaries, both major parties have chosen their nominees. In the general election, no one seems to care about our paltry eight (or whatever pitiful number it is) electoral votes. I don’t think President Obama could find Kentucky on a map. Mitt Romney has been here, but that was only to raise money. So, my vote may not count, but I don’t really care.
I’m not a political animal, but I do vote. I’m fairly well-informed on the issues that matter to me. Those, of course, are the important issues of the day.
I’m concerned about the nation’s debt. Personally, I’ve never had debt problems. I live within my means and don’t borrow money. I would be a poor legislator.
I don’t like our country becoming a territory of the Chinese government. We owe them money, and they make all our stuff. Okay, not all of it, but a hell of a lot. They also control the minerals we need to make things like computers. Seems like a bad deal.
I don’t like our dependence on the Middle East for oil. Until we started sucking at their collective petrol teat, these countries were irrelevant. They’ve had us by the short hairs now for 40 years.
I’m also an unabashed supporter of the U.S. coal industry. The hate of coal is so virulent that we even have people who protest the exporting of coal. If you’re anti-coal, you don’t get my vote. Pretty simple.
There are also many, many issues which don’t move the needle for me. Now, understand that doesn’t mean they aren’t important nor does it mean that they shouldn’t be important to YOU. But this post is about ME. If that bothers you, try not to be so self-centered.
So, what DOESN’T matter to me? The list is almost endless. For brevity’s sake, I’ve distilled the list to the five issues which matter the least:
RELIGION: Specifically, anyone else’s religion. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Some people say the LDS church is a cult, although Billy Graham doesn’t list it as one anymore. I suppose that’s progress. My grandparents were Mormons. So are a lot of my relatives. I like Mormons. That said, I’m not a Mormon, and I don’t really care if Romney is one. One caveat to this is if you don’t like him because he’s a Mormon. Then, it matters but only in a contrarian kind of way.
So, I don’t care about a politician’s religion. Okay, if someone were an avowed Satanist, I might care about that. Obama is a Christian. Good for him. I don’t care. Some people say he’s a Muslim. If he were, it wouldn’t mean anything to me, either.
Now, if you insist that I believe your religion, I probably will care about that. I wouldn’t vote for anyone who demanded that I believe as he or she does. As Thomas Jefferson noted, whatever you believe won’t break my leg or pick my pocket. I would note, however, that you might use it as an excuse to do both.
Now that I think about it, maybe religion does matter, at least to the extent that you try to shove it down my throat. Or break my leg. Hmmm.
PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Here are some sample headlines I intend to trademark:
- MARKETPLACE BOMB KILLS [fill in number]
- SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS [fill in number]
- UNREST REPORTED IN [fill in name of Middle Eastern country]
- [fill in name of Middle Eastern country] THREATENS ISRAEL
- ISRAEL VOWS RETALIATION AGAINST [fill in name of Middle Eastern country]
- FERRY SINKS, KILLING [fill in number]
If I got a nickel every time a variation of these is printed, I’d retire in six months. Any of these could have been a headline any day in the last 40 years. Okay, maybe not the ferry thing, but have you ever noticed how many ferries sink in other countries? I don’t know if it happens in the Middle East, but it seems like it would.
Here’s a pointer for anyone running for office: THESE PEOPLE DON’T GET ALONG WELL! They don’t geehaw, as some say. They aren’t ever going to get along. Ever. Anwar Sadat tried to make them get along better. What did he get? The Nobel Peace Prize and shot to death. There’s a lesson in that.
Here is what I want to hear a future president say:
Today, I’m pleased to announce that the U.S. has imported its last barrel of oil. To our friends in the Middle East, I say, on behalf of all Americans: You can kiss our red, white and blue ass from now on!
It’s possible that I might care about this if there were a candidate who said that he or she didn’t give a damn about it. Then, you’d have my attention. So, I guess I care about it to the extent that I want a candidate who also doesn’t care about it.
Bitching and moaning about immigrants is as American as apple pie. My German ancestors were despised in Pennsylvania. The Irish were hated in New York. Jews were despised for decades. Italians? You bet. Vietnamese? Bingo. Japanese? Hell, we put them in concentration camps–and they were U.S. citizens! We’ve even been prejudiced against Africans, and we FORCED their ancestors to come here.
Now, people piss in their beers about Hispanics. Quit acting like it’s because of illegal immigration. Our history shows that we don’t like immigration, period–legal or not. Hispanic folks have the added disadvantage of looking different. We don’t like people who don’t look like us, whatever it is “we” think we look like.
We’re all immigrants, except the Indians, who aren’t really Indians at all. I’ll grant you that our borders shouldn’t be sieves. That said, I don’t care how many Hispanic or other folks are in our country. They’re here, and we don’t have any way to deport all the folks here illegally. Quit pretending like we do.
Wow. I got pretty fired up. I think I do care about it. Weird.
I need to explain this one. I do, of course, care about unemployment. It’s just that no politician can convince me that he or she will create jobs. How, exactly? The government has to spend huge amounts of money to actually hire people. We need to spend less money, not more.
Even the most conservative politicians will call themselves as job creators, usually by pointing to some success in the business world. What exactly are you planning to do–hire all the unemployed people?
Now, if you have a plan to strengthen our private economy, I’m all ears. I may not be persuaded, but I might at least listen.
Now, that I think about it, I’ve always had a job. Maybe I’m not the best person to weigh in on this one. Of course, I’m not concerned about it. I better reserve judgment. Depending on the outcome of the election, I guess it could be an issue for me.
Okay, I pay a lot of taxes and don’t want to pay more. I do, however, understand that there could be times when tax increases are needed. My problem is that my taxes are increased by a government that never decreases its spending. It’s like loaning money to your drunk brother-in-law who will pay you back when he gets a job. Of course, he won’t get a job because he’s drunk and keeps spending your money. As long as he gets your money, why get a job?
I don’t believe any politician who says that he or she will never raise taxes. Mitt Romney says that he wouldn’t increase taxes even if it resulted in a tenfold benefit to the government. That’s hard to believe. In fact, it’s impossible to believe.
I’m also dubious of politicians who increase spending and then make the case for higher taxes (see Obama, Barack). If you decreased spending and then needed more revenue, maybe I’d be persuaded. If you spend more, I would expect you to need more cash. Try spending less and then check back with me. Have you ever asked your boss for a raise because you owed a bunch of money to people? Try it.
The fundamental problem is that the subject of taxes is fertile ground for lying. No one ever won an election on the platform of “Vote for Me. I’ll Tax The Hell Out of You.” Whatever you say about it, you might be lying. If you say you’re going to raise MY taxes, that’s probably not a lie, but–like any right thinking America–I can’t support that radical agenda.
Now, if you’ll cut my taxes, I’m down with that. Now that I think about it, I’m against raising my taxes and all for lowering my taxes. I guess I do care about it, at least in a completely self-absorbed sort of way.
So, there they are. Things don’t matter to me, but maybe do now, upon further reflection. I hope this is helpful to you when you vote on November 6. If not, I don’t care. I think.