Choices and consequences

As a former election judge in Austin during the 2000 General Election, I can state from my own observation that voters can be stupid. It was November. It was raining and the temperature was around 48-52. My poling place was an apartment complex office/club house. We had 200 people in the space wrapped around twice. It was taking over an hour to get people through the line. I locked the door at 7pm and announced to the room that the polls were closed and anyone outside the building was not allowed to vote. We got everyone voted and out by 8pm. About 8:30 a guy who I had seen leave the place came knocking on the door. I told him the polls were closed and he couldn’t vote. He said he went to another precinct and they wouldn’t let him vote. I said I was sorry about that but each location is by precinct and the polls closed at 7pm. He got pissed and started yammering about “rights” and threatened to call my superiors the next day. I said, “That’s fine,” and he left.

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Majorities

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In 1970 I was in the 2nd grade. The teacher had been indoctrinating us with the notion of majorities and having us vote for stuff. So there was something that ‘we’ had decided to do as a class that I disagreed with or didn’t want to do, and a classmate said, “Oh well, majority rules.” It wasn’t something that I needed to be obstinate about to the point of getting shoved into the Principal’s office. Given that, I had no choice but to go along with whatever it was. I don’t fault the little girl for saying that. I know that she was just being a good little sheep-drone and all, but to be honest, over the years situations where it becomes clear that my agreement or disagreement is irrelevant in the face of some group dynamic has caused me to feel a certain amount of disenfranchisement.My desire is always to live life individually, and to allow society and other subset groups go this way and that at their whim.

‘Socialism’ for real

shutterstock_66506893As the presidential election day approached in 2008 people were moaning about the evils of socialism, and that a vote for then Democratic candidate Barack Obama was selling out the country to socialists. There were many other things said back then, but I just want to hold the discussion to this word, because people’s biases are blinding them to their own socialist attitudes.

So eight years later Bernie Sanders, who over the years doesn’t seem to have changed his positions on how he feels the tax dollar should be spent, is yet another in a long line of “antichrists” leading the country into “socialism.” The thing is, we’re already there, and we have been for over a century.

People on the “Red Right” are just as socialist as the folks they’re busy demonizing, hissing at, and crossing themselves over. Those who identify as right wing, red state, conservative, Republican, or whatever other label you want to use also want to redistribute wealth, just not in the same way as someone like Sanders. They don’t mind a $1,000,000,000,000 in taxes here or there as long as it’s going to bomb countries they think are the baddies.

It’s one dollar. It can feed someone, fix something, or kill someone. The choice is in how it’s used, and it only stretches so far. If you want to see people fed, clothed, taught, roads and bridges built and repaired, vote that way. If you want to trample on the sovereignty of other nations, march more young people past roadside bombs that wouldn’t be there if we hadn’t been on an interventionist crusade, vote that way. Just know that it’s socialism, regardless of whether the taxes go to promote life or death.