Why I’m Staying Home Election Day

19 Oct

Mine is not a political blog, and I have eschewed taking political sides all ‘round.  I will take aim at specific policies, such as NCLB and the alternate assessment or the highly qualified requirements and the testing and other crap that goes with it.  As far as I’m concerned, neither political party has done any favors towards education and specifically kids with disabilities.  At the time the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was first passed, the bill was passed by a democratic congress and signed by a republican president.  Since then, we have seen presidents and congressional delegations from both parties come and go.  Jimmy Carter was a democrat whose own party was in congress, as was G.W. Bush and then presidents who the opposite was true.  There is no configuration of the political branches that has or will come along and do much more for my kids (as a father and teacher) than has already been done.  At NO TIME has the federal government ever fulfilled more than a fraction of the financial obligation they promised (and keep promising) under IDEA.  EVER.  NCLB was a bipartisan bill, and was actually crafted in 1997 by both parties, long before we had the present administration.  G.W. Bush can take the blame, since he was dumb enough to want to take all the credit when it passed.  You will not see that one fully funded in your lifetime either.  Congress has never seen a pledge or a promise that wasn’t worth breaking. 


Right now the republicans have both houses of congress and the White House, and they still can not get anything done.  For the record, I am pretty conservative.  While I have voted Republican many times, I have also switched my vote up between parties before, including third party candidates.   I’ve even sent money a time or two to a political candidate I liked.  Only do this if you enjoy getting lots of junk mail from every two-bit politico in need of funds.  I’ve moved 3 times since my last donation and the buggers STILL find me!


This election, I am really thinking of staying home.  The school board race was actually decided in the primary.  The other local races are more or less in the bag.  There are no real controversial referendums on the ballot.  In the governor’s race, I like both candidates equally as much which is to say I loathe each one equally.  The congressional race is apparently a hot one in my district, as the attack mailings and ads have been pretty pointed.  I have gotten mailings from some republican operatives from some other state, raging on this guy which the democrat rails back.  This annoys me.  I might favor some traditionally republican issues, but I do not favor any extremism or shrillness from either party.  I like a reasoned, moderate voice.  Am I the only one who gets annoyed at the sniping, nagging, harping, niggling, smacking going on?  I’m not going to pick on the democratic party, because frankly it wouldn’t be as interesting as reading a real democrat criticize their own party.  I would really like to see a liberal critique his/her own party on a few things.


So I’ll be a conservative and criticize the traditionally conservative party for a bit, while keeping an eye on the whole bunch.  IOW, any loathing I feel towards republicans can be multiplied by some random integer greater than 1 and applied towards the opposition. 


The main tipping point that spawns this screed is the failure of S. 843 or house version HR 2421 to be moved out of the house committee for a vote.  I understand that the Combating Autism Act might be somewhat controversial, but it perfectly illustrates the idiocy of the republican party.  This has passed the senate and has been supported or co-sponsored by some 227 representatives; this bill is a sure winner.  However, there is a republican congressman from Texas who refuses to bring it up for a vote unless HIS legislation on NIH reform is brought up to a vote.  The speaker of the house and majority leader of the house have refused to intervene.


This is the way business is conducted in Washington.  And don’t say it would be any different if the opposition were in control, because I’m not that naïve.  This is the way people get, no matter who they are, when they get too much power.  “To hell with what the people want, you are going to do what *I* want!”  Like the democrats in ’92, the republicans in ’06 are too fat and bloated for their own good.   The whole country needs an enema, and the democrats might just be the people to deliver it.  The republicans have not given me a good reason to get out and pull their lever.  OTOH, the democrats have all but promised to take more of my meager salary by repealing the tax cuts if they get control.  On one hand, if I vote for the opposition, this comes off as looking like an endorsement of their agenda which looks to me like “impeach Bush and it will all be better.”  OTOH, a vote for republicans tells them that they must be doing things right, and to keep doing what they are doing, which is spend $2 for every $1 they get from me. 


I’m not willing to do either.  I’m not impressed by the latest scandals nor the reactions to them.  Washington is full of slick crooks and this time around they can do it without my vote.


In fact, why don’t they include “None of the above” as an option for each election and each race?  Is it because “None of the above” would win each and every time?  Perhaps such an option would encourage a more positive campaign.  Think about it: If my biggest challenger is “None of the above” what kind of campaign ad would I have to run?   What kind of smear tactics are you going to use?  Is “None of the Above” a criminal, a cheater, a crook or even worse, a lawyer?  Every negative ad I run putting another guy down simply convinces more voters to go to “None of the Above.”  I might have to actually propose meaningful ideas and discuss things that mean something to the lives of people.  I might have to accomplish something meaningful to be re-elected.  


I might even bother to get out and exercise my right to vote “None of the above.”  Hmmm.  I’m going to think about that.  I might try writing in “No One” for those races I don’t care or know about.  Think about it; even in races that are unopposed, a “None of the above” choice would provide a bit of suspense.  Does the candidate have a REAL mandate or is s/he just a name to check?


I can think of no good reason a politician running for office would want a “None of the above” choice on the ballot, opposing them.  This means that this is a brilliant idea that has no chance at all of ever getting anywhere.  I’m glad I’m not the only one, and not the first one.  It’s an idea that has only gotten better over the past 20 years.



12 Responses to “Why I’m Staying Home Election Day”

  1. Alexander's Daddy October 19, 2006 at 6:02 pm #

    Dick, I’m quite surprised that your a Republican. I use to be one when I was in college. I was really into it and even served as a campaign staffer for Jesse Helms (yuck!). It was during his 1988 campaign that I came into contact with the people behind the Republican party that really made me change my mind. Just a bunch of wackos who were racist as hell.

  2. Dick Dalton October 20, 2006 at 7:02 am #

    I’m not a very good Republican, if that’s any comfort. I split my ticket quite often. It just so happens that I’m personally friends with a number of Republican politicians on the local level and a couple on the Democratic side. Knowing folks on the city council, the mayor, county commissioners and the school board is a good thing and probably more productive on a day-to-day basis that the band of monkeys we send to Washington, no offense to the other sapiens. And living in Georgia, the biggest racists I ever met were yellow dog Democrats! You know, the people who want to keep hanging the confederate battle flag? OTOH, we also had Cynthia McKinney who was embarrassing even to other Democrats. In the South, it is often difficult to tell whose side anyone is on. I have teacher friends who claim to be Democrats and want to be Democrats and hate George Bush, but really feel the party has just given them up. There’s even a book out called “Whistling Past Dixie” detailing how Democrats can win the house, senate and whitehouse without the south! This isn’t exactly endearing anyone down here to the cause. I have no idea what y’all will do once GW is gone!


  3. DougK October 21, 2006 at 4:16 pm #

    I don’t think the frequently very racist yellow dog democrats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_dog_democrat) can be equated with the current incarnation of the term “democrat.” In the South, “democrat” never had the same meaning that it does now, and the democratic officials before the1960’s had little in common with current Democratic policies. But that’s a topic for another, more political blog.

    If you’re worried about Democrats repealing the tax cuts, then you must be earning a heck of a lot of money, because the real losers in that scenario are the wealthy!

    I am not impressed with any of our candidates right now, neither for the State House nor for Congress. But some of the Republicans’ direct mailings have some pretty ugly things to say about me and my life. As always, I refuse to vote for anyone who demonizes me. Overall I’m right with you on these awful mailings: All that sniping, nagging, harping, niggling, smacking and so forth just really irks me.

  4. Dick Dalton October 23, 2006 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m going to add one more thing: The more I hear from Republicans, the more motivated I am to stay home. The more I hear from Democrats, the more I wonder if I’m doing the right thing and maybe I should vote against them. Am I the only one who happens to get turned off by whoever is talking the most and the loudest?

  5. Alexander's Daddy October 23, 2006 at 4:58 pm #

    Dick, out of curiosity, what is it that you don’t like about Democrats and that you do like about Republicans? I can’t think of a single positive thing Republicans have done to help people (oops, the ADA was a good thing), but maybe you can shed some light on what I am missing.

  6. Dick October 25, 2006 at 8:25 am #

    The Democratic philosophy is that all money belongs to the government; “From each according to their ability and to each according to their need.” When Bill clinton came into office, he said he was going to raise the taxes on the rich. It was then that I found out I was rich! There’s lots of reasons to not like Democrats and lots of reasons to not like Republicans. The only ones not holding their nose at the polls this year are left-wing nuts, bent on impeaching Bush, or Republican myrmidons who will pull the same lever every year.


  7. DougK October 25, 2006 at 4:03 pm #

    Hmm. Every time I hear folks quoting “to each according to their need,” it sounds familiar. Now I remember where I had heard it: Acts 2:45!

    Dick’s quote is not the exact same as in Acts 2:42-47–I think it’s actually from a 19th-century Germany philosopher who is currently out of favor…but darn it if Marx wasn’t quoting Luke, intentionally or unintentionally…

    Where is that philosophy found in the Democratic Party’s positions? I’m not being snide here (for once!!!), but I’d seriously like to know if that position is specific and explicitly that of the Democratic Party.

  8. Dick Dalton October 25, 2006 at 8:09 pm #

    Luke was talking about a voluntary movement among people with similar values. Marx was talking about wresting power, influence and resources from the bourgeoisie by force if necessary. It is perfectly represented in the Democratic Party’s call for an increase in the minimum wage, using the police power of the government to set prices rather than the market place of supply and demand. The result of this will be more jobs shipped overseas or more illegals being used in this country. It is also reflected in contempt for tax cuts for people who actually pay taxes while eschewing any attempts to base taxes on spending rather than income. Or how about a refusal to offer an option to privatize even 1% of Social Security? Or how about blocking attempts to set up Medical savings accounts? Again and again and again, Democrats consistently use the same dialectic between haves and have-nots to further empower the government and weaken the individual.

    The current Republicans have done very little to further the cause of individual liberty or encourage individual responsibility. Democrats will never have an opposition filled with as many push-overs as they do today! If Democrats win either or both houses of Congress, watch them break into factions and eat each other alive. Joe Lieberman was just an appetizer.


  9. Alexander's Daddy October 26, 2006 at 7:14 am #

    Dick, let me see if I understand. Democrats tax, Republicans believe in lower taxes. Think about that for a moment and how taxes affect your life.

    1. Taxes support public schools
    2. Taxes provide a road for you to drive on
    3. Taxes support a police and military to protect you
    4. Taxes provide parks for its citizens to enjoy
    5. Taxes insure the safest food supply in the world
    6. Taxes insure that someone is there to make sure that the drugs you take have been well tested and researched.
    7. Taxes help the poor to have access to medical care
    8. Taxes insure that we have attorney’s to represent you when you are falsely accused
    9. Taxes support a judicial, legislative and executive branch of government
    10. Taxes insure that you have a safety net when you retire.
    11. Just about everything you enjoy or take for granted in order to live and operate in this society has some connection to a tax somewhere
    12. Do you really think that if we lowered taxes on corporations and rich individuals that somehow everything would be peachy? Does that make sense? Think about human nature.
    13. Do you think that people in the US are happier and live better lives than some high tax countrys like Sweden.
    14. Do you like vacations? Do you think corporations would give their workers vacations, or pay them a living wage if they didn’t have to?
    15. Dick, whether you like to think so or not, you are a have not in this society. Anyone making less than $200k a year is a have not, and if you live in NYC, Wash, DC, LA or SF, if you make under $400k a year your a have not. When the concentration of 90% of all wealth is in the hands of 1% of the population, how is that good for the remaining 99%?
    16. Your arguing for a Darwinian society.
    17. Do you think you would have safe water to drink, safe buildings to work in, safe cars to drive, safe baby formula, and on and on if it wasn’t for government?
    18. What do you think would happen if free market was in control of electricity prices or water?
    19. Do you think banks would make loans to poor people if the government got out of the regulatory business?
    20. How about research, do you think that if we left research on medical disorders up to the pharma companies that they would do honest research? Or would you rather have government funded research that is untainted by the mechanism of the “free market”.
    21. Let’s look at the free market as it relates to private schools. Do you think private schools would allow children like yours and mine in them? How about the child with CP? And before you answer that private schools exist for kids like mine and yours, think about this scenario. In the pure “free market”, you will pay whatever the water company says you will pay, you will pay whatever the electric company says you will pay, you will pay whatever the insurance company says you will pay, you will be charged a toll on every road you drive on to get to your free market job, where you will not have wage protection because there won’t be a minimum wage. What money will you have left over, if any to pay for your children’s education. Your child’s education doesn’t matter to someone who is trying to increase his company’s bottom line from quarter to quarter in order to maintain his high salary and options. Shareholders only want stock appreciation and higher dividends.

    I’ve been a commercial banker for 15 years. I see whom actually benefit from tax cuts everyday. I see business owners who make millions of dollars not pay 1 cent in taxes. What do they do with those tax cuts? Invest in their company? No, they take it out in distributions so they can buy their 5th house, or trade in that 2 month old Lamborgini for a new Ferrari. Tax cuts are used by the rich to buy another toy.

    If the Democrats had their way, the middle class wouldn’t be taxed at all. But, the very powerful in this country try to dupe you that tax cuts benefit everyone, when in reality they only benefit the very rich. I see it every day. They play to people’s prejudices, we see it now in this election. “so in so’s for gay marriage”, so in so loves terrorists”. Please. Do you really think that these people give a crap about those “bigoted issues”? That is a way for them to get people to vote “against” their own well being.

  10. Dick October 26, 2006 at 4:40 pm #

    Playing to people’s prejudices? BOTH parties do this. The Democratic party does this every election cycle, promising that Social Security will be taken away if Republicans are elected, calling Republicans racists while disenfranchising their black constituency. Now we have the Democratic party saying the Republicans want the ill and disabled dead ala Micheal J. Fox.

    I could go line-by-line, you’re not going to change your mind or mine. I’ll go ahead and talk a bit about banking, since that’s your field. You wondered whether lenders would lend money to poor people without government regulation. In fact, lenders have ALWAYS lended money to poor people. Back in the day, it was called the company store! Today, it is the Credit Card Companies. And they LOVELOVELOVE! poor people.

    Look here:

    Every American should read the whole site. PBS and Frontline are hardly a paragons of conservative thought, but you will see that government from both parties has consistently mucked things up every step of the way. I do not think that government can help people as much as educating them to help themselves can.

    I’m not opposed to government doing regulatory things and being incolved in research and oversight and even education. However, Government does not tend to do even those things very well as it does not encourage innovation, initiative, ambition or responsibility. It encourages conformity, which works very well in the military but not so in other areas. When governments run businesses we get things like the Yugo!

    I prefer a more blended view, and right now the Democratic party is way, way, way off the mainstream. The Republicans are too drunk on their own power to care. It’s time for the public to sober them up. Perhaps a couple of years od Democratic rule would sober up Republicans and wake up the nation much as those years of Jimmy Cater did in the late 70’s.

    Back to the issue – The CAA was co-sponsored by both Republican and Democratic members of congress and was a sure winner. The guys mucking it up happen to be Republican and deserve to be punished.

    Actually there is an issue on our ballot concerning Eminent Domain that might get me out to the polls, but I think that, too, will be a slam dunk.


  11. Alexander's Daddy October 26, 2006 at 6:47 pm #


    We’ll just agree to disagree on this one. By the way,

    ” very well as it does not encourage innovation, initiative, ambition or responsibility. It encourages conformity, which works very well in the military but not so in other areas”

    Anyone working for a big corporation will think your writing about a big corporation if you just read that snippet.


  1. Nclb Blog Digest - Why I'm Staying Home Election Day - October 23, 2006

    […] Right now the republicans have both houses of congress and the White House, and they still can not get anything done.  For the record, I am pretty conservative.  While I have voted Republican many times, I have also switched my vote up … Posted by DickIt’s useful article i think.Link to original article […]

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