Posted tagged ‘voting’

Playing the Percentages

September 3, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this diverse nation of ours can survive the polarization that seems to be gripping us. And while President Trump is clearly the polarizer-in-chief, we all seem to be taking part in some way or another. For every person posting Black Lives Matter on social media there is someone else posting, I support the police … share if you agree. But I digress, I don’t want to talk politics, I want to talk percentages, although certainly these numbers relate to politics. I just found these interesting when presented together.   I’ve included references and for the most part chosen sources with no political axe to grind: (more…)

Tomorrow. Vote.

November 5, 2018

electionTomorrow will bring an end to a long midterm election campaign season, none to early to suit me.  Our phone has been ringing regularly with robo calls and soundbite messages of what will happen if I don’t vote for so-and-so.   This year, I have gotten an average of 5 texts a day offering the same thing.  At one point I decided that I would not vote for any candidate who texted me but by now I realize that would mean not voting.  So,  I will sit down today with the voter handbook and review the candidates resumes and the ballot initiative summaries and decide.   Initiatives are particularly difficult because the TV ads incorporate more scare tactics than information.  Of course, so do the  ads for political candidates.  This year the message mostly seems to involve President Trump.   As he himself would say, Sad.  Sad that our elections, a centerpiece of democracy, become a personality contest about one personality. (more…)

Really, America?

February 7, 2016

1952When I was in grade school, during the presidential debates, our teacher decided to hold a debate in class, assigning students to represent the then candidates, Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.  The two first ran against each other in 1952, which would have made me eight years old, a bit young for political debate, so I’d guess it was in 1956, which would put me in seventh grade.  I was assigned to Eisenhower.  I asked my Dad for some help and he gave me what he considered a silver bullet.  Just talk about Stevenson’s support for Social Security, he said.  Then tell them that’s socialism.  My Dad said socialism with the kind of disdain he usually reserved for fishermen who make a racket and scare the fish.    His silver bullet seemed to fall on deaf ears in class and ironically, Social Security would be largely responsible for his quality of life in his later years.  Eisenhower won without my help. (more…)

To Vote or Not to Vote

November 5, 2014

image It would be easy for me not to vote here in the California elections.   I live in an enclave of conservatism in a state that is resoundingly Democratic.  Our electorate continues to send an assortment of clowns to Sacramento, our state capital, where they continue to drive this once prosperous state toward bankruptcy.  My vote is like straw in the wind.  It is absolutely certain where our electoral votes will go in any presidential election regardless of how I vote, and congressional elections are pretty much predetermined, too.   The barrage of soundbite political ads on TV, one-liner political mail and phone calls at the dinner hour do nothing to increase the likelihood that I’ll vote.  The initiative system, which supposedly gives anyone an opportunity to put an issue on the ballot in recent years has been about bond issues (which always seem to pass, regardless of how much and how ridiculous the cause given the state of the State) and initiatives hiding under organizational names like Citizens Against Medical Abuse.  If I just dig a bit and see who’s paying for the process of getting the initiative on the ballot, I can figure out which special interest group has co-opted the initiative process.
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We Are the 75%

September 15, 2012

Although I rarely talk about politics here on Bud’s Blog, I am fiscally conservative, socially moderate, frequently libertarian curmudgeon who likes to keep track of where we are headed as a nation via polls.  The vehicle I choose is Rasmussen Reports, the electronic media company founded by Scott Rasmussen that features polls on the political world, current events, consumer confidence, business topics, and the president’s job approval ratings.  Rasmussen features automatic, telephone based polling and claims to focus on likely voters in order to achieve what it says is an unchallenged record for both integrity and accuracy.   I won’t debate whether it’s the best poll or the most accurate, or even contest Time Magazine’s claim that Rasmussen Reports is conservative-leaning.  It is simply a convenient place for me to keep track of what’s going on without reading editorials that make me crazy. (more…)

Election Day

November 2, 2010

Today is Election Day.   Here in California, we not only have Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial elections but voting on a variety of propositions that may dramatically affect the already shaky California economy.   For many years, I thought this initiative process … in which new laws can be voted on directly by the voters  … was a good thing, the closest to pure democracy we’ve got.   However, as we, the voters, continue to make decisions that drive the California economy deeper into recession, I’m not so sure.   For example, last year, as we descended into recession together … and California developed a budget deficit that would dwarf the economies of many countries … we voted for a $10 billion dollar bond to build a high speed bullet train which would connect San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.   This in a state where all mass transportation operates at a deficit, kept afloat only by government subsidies.   We the voters also seem to continue to elect politicians who promise one thing and deliver something else.   By the time you read this, I’ll have already made my early morning pilgrimage to the polls to toss my one vote into the abyss, hoping that perhaps sanity will prevail this year.   If that sounds cynical, it is. (more…)