Best Of The Best

 

USA

We all know how important voting is so that our voices are heard in the democratic process and we can help shape the direction of this great nation. 

And this is especially the case when it comes to voting for the next President and Commander in Chief of this country. 

A couple of  concerning things though about this election cycle that I am noticing:

People Not Policy – While elections in general always have their share of rambunctious slogans and exaggerated/empty promises, this election seems to be shaping up with a distinct focus on the people running for President (are they trustworthy, do they have good judgement, how much experience do they have, are they decent people) as opposed to what policies and ideas they have for where they would take the country. Certainly, character and integrity are critical in voting for someone for such an important position, but it seems to have sidelined policy from off of the main agenda. Moreover, the inclination to vote for someone based on their race or gender or presumed sympathy towards those also has upended real discussion on where we are and should be headed. Maybe you really like your candidate of choice, but are you fully satisfied (or close to it) that they have a big picture vision for our future and that they telling it like it is or are they sugarcoating to what they think their audience simply wants to hear, or in some cases is it just limited to a single policy thread or maybe little or no cloth for the emperor at all. 

Questioning The Lineup – First it seemed with the election that people did what they always do, which is take sides and argue it out on the sidelines of the cacophony of all the electioneering. People would say, oh, I like this party and this candidate or that one or the other one–and people would debate who is the better choice. But now, this dialogue seems to have changed where many voters seem fed up with many (or even perhaps all) of the candidates. Some seem to be looking for new candidates to magically swoop in and “save the (election) day” or old candidates to show that they have different stripes. I have heard some question whether they will even bother to vote at all like this with all the negative campaigning or from whom they believe will be the ultimate candidates to chose from. Rather than people saying I like this one better for this reason, now I hear many asking which is “the lessor of the (presumed) evils.”

Considering the unbelievable power of the President of the U.S. and that we are talking about this for the next 4 or 8 years, it is scary for people to think they may have to somehow settle for less than the greatness that this position demands.

There are still many more months in this election season and things can take a lot of twists and turns, but hopefully the country will work its way to selecting the true best of the best that our candidates have to offer. 😉

(Note: This is not an endorsement for any candidate or political party.) 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to cgc76)

A 2-Year Campaign Cycle

Campaign 2016
So campaigning for the Presidential election, still some time off in November 2016, has already begun in earnest in Washington, D.C.



With roughly 600 days to the election, we are going to be spending a lot of time and money leading-up to this thing. 



Are you excited about all the lead up and electioneering?



The Chicago Tribune did an interesting comparison of the U.S. and U.K. in this regard.



In 2008, the U.S. spent $1.7 billion on the campaign (and you can be sure this number is continuing to go up, up, and away) versus roughly $33 million imposed on each major party in the U.K. and an election announced in April for May–one month! 



While you can argue that one month is too short for such a major decision for a country…do we really need 20+ months and billions in media advertising to communicate the candidates’ points of view and to coalesce around our next President?



Perhaps spending more time actually accomplishing things for the country and it’s people during a President’s tenure would be a far better focus of our national attention and efforts than an near endless cheer of ra ra ra sis boom ba yay candidate!  😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Vote To Have A Say

Voting 2
People vote to get representation in political office for what they believe or want.



– Gun Rights

– Abortion Rights

– Civil Rights

– Social Entitlements

– International Engagement

– Strong Defense

– Low Taxes 

– Etc. Etc. Etc.



But now, cities like Los Angeles that are looking to boost voter turnout want to offer cash prizes



The cash prize “might include a prize as high as $50,000.”



Nice (not!)–head to the polls like you do to buy a Powerball ticket. 



Votes, like love, is not something that should be bought.



For those fortunate enough to live in a free country, voting is a special right where everyone can have a say and influence the world around them. 



Instead of focusing on handing out rides or money to go and vote, maybe instead we should create awareness of what a great opportunity it is to live in a  democracy and be able to chart our own course rather than live like so many around the globe under the rule of dictators and tyrants.



Voting is a great privilege for those who care to stand up and make a difference by going to the polls, voting is not an ATM machine. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Targeting The Opposition

Targeting The Opposition

As I would imagine most of you felt this week, I was really surprised by news that individuals in the IRS targeted certain political opposition groups.

I thought to myself what country are we living in?

I couldn’t help wondering about disturbing stories from Russia, Iran, and others where political dissidents have been known to be jailed, shot, or otherwise disposed of.

Are we getting to the point (hopefully not) where our government institutions could likewise be used to unfair political advantage?

In the Watergate scandal in 1972, the Republicans broke into the National Democratic Headquarters to install microphones and copy documents unfairly and illegally.

Forty years later–is this an IRSgate 2012?

Both Democrats and Republicans have their political opinions–and everyone is entitled to believe what they do and feel an affinity to and vote for who they want–or if you don’t like either, vote for a 3rd party Independent–this is what makes America great.

We have freedom to believe what we will, to vote as we will, and to do so without interference or undue influence by either side or anyone.

If we cross the line into intimidation or oppression of those who peacefully choose a different position, then we have lost the best of our national identity and the human rights that we so justly uphold. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Voting Firsts

Gw_with_soda

With voting, this was the first time I’ve ever:

– Voted early–even though it was on the last early voting day.

– Had to wait on any sort of real line to vote–this one was about 30 minutes long!

– Waited outside in the cold on a line snaking around the building–until the election volunteers had a heart and let us all in and out of the cold. 

– Had electioneering occurring right outside at tables and people handing out “information” until maybe 25 feet before the doors of the polling center–in the past, this activity was always kept far away and and they didn’t have the nerve to approach you as you were literally going inside the polling stations. 

– Got to sit down at a voting machine–always had to stand up previously, but from the sitting position and the “ergonomics” of the voting machine, you could hardly see them properly. 

– Had virtually no voting privacy–the machine faced the walls with the touch screens facing inward towards everyone else in the auditorium.

Despite all these voting firsts and most of them disappointing, the one voting first that I would have liked to see and didn’t was Internet voting, where we would usher voting into the 21st century with ease of voting, convenience, and privacy.

For some reason we can bank, shop, and pay taxes online, but to vote, we’re still stuck in the dark ages and it seemed like overall it was getting darker. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Voting, The 7-Eleven Way

Vote_7-11

Want to know who is going to win the Presidential election?

Just ask 7-Eleven!

With the rollout of 7-Election, they have accurately predicted the last 4 elections.

So get out and cast your…cup of coffee?

The red is for Romney and the blue is for Obama (and there are neutral cups for those still undecided voters).

So far, from what I can see here, this is literally neck and neck.

My best guess is that the donuts sell out first–especially the chocolate eclairs.

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any candidate or coffee/donut.

Happy Friday folks!

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)