“Part Deux of The Last Annual conTIMplating 2016 Presidential Voting Guide” or “Boy, Do We Have Issues”

So last week I waxed eloquent upon the upcoming presidential election, which is increasingly becoming a toss-up, as in “I’m about to toss-up my breakfast.”   If you missed last week and wish to avoid being totally lost, you may peruse it here.  Said post, as designed, sparked a short conversation with my first-time-voting progenic offspring regarding the purported leading and distressingly fingernails-on-a-chalkboard candidates seeking the aforementioned public office.

“All I know,” said Thing 2, “is that one wants to build a wall and the other really wants to be president,” which honestly sums up their campaigns rather nicely for someone who doesn’t pay attention and frankly didn’t see the need to care until we went to see Cabaret wherein the characters do little more than eat and drink and have sex willy-nilly until they end up in concentration camps.  I do love a rollicking, feel-good musical.

This statement by her in turn sparked a desire in me and myself to once again do the negligent media’s job and offer a bit of an educational rant such that she and her sister could intelligently enter their local polling places and appropriately choose a mouthpiece bought and paid for by the banks and corporate fatcats to which to sell their souls.  Fortunately for the office of president there are more than just the two varieties of shrill screechiness, but for options lower on the ballot there are often just Republicans and Democrats, which I will henceforth refer to as ‘Reps’ and ‘Dems’ to save myself some typing.  (Unnecessary typing is always bad.  Why authors choose to give their fictional characters such long names, I will never understand.  Can you imagine typing out Zaphod Beeblebrox or Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov over and over?  I’d rather eat a bowl of aspic.  If I ever write a novel, the main character’s name is going to be ‘Bo’.  And he will be of Chinese descent.)

You will notice I do not use the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ as Republicans have little to do with conservatism anymore and Democrats have nothing whatsoever to do with classic liberalism.  At least the Dems have recognized their shift and now call themselves ‘progressives’,  as in ‘progressing toward socialism’.  But using the terms ‘progressives’ and ‘progressives-lite’ would lead to confusion, so I’ll just stick to Dems and Reps.

While at first glance it would seem the differences between Reps and Dems are legion (which I have written about here), if one were to be honest with one’s self, a herculean feat for most Americans, their variances on the issues can be seen as really only two-fold—and by two-fold I mean there are four because you cannot fold anything twice and not end up with four segments.  Since this is my blog and I can cry if I want to, I will briefly expound in an admittedly highly generalized manner.  You are of course welcome and encouraged to disagree with me and that’s okay.  I would love to hear why you are wrong in the comments section below.

And the issues are (in no particular order)…

Abortion:  Dems are in favor of abortion but like to use code words for it like ‘Choice’ or ‘Women’s Health’ because in most circles ‘Dismembering A Fetus By Sucking It Through A Tiny Vacuum’ is a tough sell.  They religiously stick by Planned Parenthood despite its proven illegal activities as if it is the only abortion option around and will do almost anything to avoid revisiting Roe v. Wade (the court case which gave us this ‘right’) because science is no longer on their side.  Reps are against abortion saying, “If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime.”  Many Reps make inconsistent exceptions however, such as rape or incest or ‘to save the life of the mother’, the last of which pretty much never happens but sounds compassionate.  Reps tend to claim, “Life begins at conception” while Dems say, “Life begins at birth,” both of which are unprovable and unknowable.  Reps say we as a society should thus always err on the side of life (except in cases of capital punishment and police action), while Dems say we should thus always err on the side of individual ‘choice’ (so long as said choice is limited to abortion and not something like healthcare, schools, vaccinations, light bulbs, expression, etc.).  Dems also say we should favor the individual over

The Rule of Law: Reps see the law as the law; it is concrete and inviolable.  The Dems not so much.  Reps TRUMPet “Law and Order” while Dems parade known law-breakers around the campaign trail as heroes struggling against the oppressive system (which they helped create, btw).  Such leanings are manifest in various sub-issues, one of which is immigration.  Reps say enforce the laws, Dems say nah.  Another sub issue is the role of the courts.  Hillary exemplified the Dem position in the final debate: the courts should “stand on the side of the American people,” she said. “The Supreme Court should represent all of us.”  The Reps, summoning their finest Dwight Schrute impression, say “False.”  The courts should stand on the side of the law and represent the Constitution.   Speaking of which, the Constitution, say the Dems, is a living and breathing document to be interpreted based upon the times and the needs of the people—particularly when it comes to the first and second amendments.  Reps say the Constitution is amendable, yes, but there is a process for that and it has nothing to do with the courts.  The only thing that separates order from anarchy, ‘us’ from ‘them’ is adherence to The Rule of Law.  Thus, Reps tend to be wary of

Globalization: Dems consider us a member of the global community and would like to see Swiss cheese-style borders such that social justice can be served and world-wide economic equality can be achieved.  Reps say borders are borders for a reason and such Utopian economic equality will place everyone at the lowest common denominator; ‘Murica is the greatest country ever no matter what and if you don’t like it, don’t let the ocean hit you on the way out.  Dems say that the U.S. has more than enough resources to share and are willing to place said resources under the control of corrupt and wasteful global bureaucracies, while the Reps prefer to keep such control within the corrupt and wasteful bureaucracies right here at home.  Reps, I think, have an aversion to globalism largely because of their apprehension toward eschatological Zionism, which stems from their view of

God (prepare to be controversied, as I am now stepping in it):  Dems have pretty much spit in the face of the traditional Judeo-Christian (and Muslim) God through their stances on things like abortion and the rule of law and same-sex whatever.  They actually booed God at their 2012 convention and would probably take any divine references off our money and pledges if it weren’t politically contentious.  They don’t like the idea of a higher authority over their human institutions.  Reps like to talk about and say they believe in God, but it is less the Judeo-Christian God and more the American God of respect and affluence.  They bow to the God of the golden age of peace and economic prosperity of the 50s wherein everyone went to church and wore a belt and knew their place.  Theirs is a civil Osteen religion wherein America is ‘blessed’ by God so long as their candidates are in charge and goes to hell when they are not.  They don’t like the idea of a higher authority that might disagree with their human institutions.

Those are really the only real differences that I see.  Now, figure out where on these spectrums you fall and vote accordingly.   And while our situation may seem hopeless, just remember: it probably is.

Life is a cabaret, my friends.

The Last Annual conTIMplating 2016 Presidential Voting Guide

Since the big and somewhat embarrassing presidential debates over these past couple of weeks, I’ve been inundated with an email asking my impressions on this country’s current entertaining and yet entirely nauseating presidential race.  It went something like this direct quote:

Dear Tim,

I’m torn.  I don’t know who to vote for in this presidential election, and the debates aren’t helping.  Your blog seems to have a lot of words.  What do you say?

Well firstly, let me say thank you for seeking out such wise counsel in such a time as this.  You obviously have no friends or family and nothing better to do and I am resultantly humbled.   My answer to you is thus:

Dear Torn,

You have a very funny name.  Are you related to Rip? Continue reading

An Open Letter to Those Who Write Open Letters

Dear Open Letter Writer,

While I appreciate the time and effort you put forth in stringing various words together into often complex sentences, and while I also appreciate you usually starting with a positive and complementary tone before going on some sort of impertinent rant, on behalf of literates everywhere I feel I must respectfully request that you refrain from future compositionary activity and stop writing open letters.

I fully understand that writing open letters is all the rage right now and fewer things have contributed to this tiresome trend greater than the marvel of the electronic interweb and its various addictive time-vacuuming social media outlets, but before you jump on the metaphorical exhibitionist bandwagon there are some things you should probably know. Continue reading

What Is It About Food That Makes Me Want To Eat It?

032Austin, Texas: named for Stephen F. Austin, considered to be the ‘Father of Texas’ and the first bionic man.  I was lucky enough to have a day to putz around in Austin recently and so I did a little googling to find out what exactly makes Austin tick other than its mild case of Turrets.  I did know that Austin is known largely for being the Blue bastion within a perpetually blushing Red state, but I didn’t want to go down that road.  One road I did want to go down was 6th Street, known largely for mayhem, collegiate debauchery, and launching up-and-coming artists into the satiatingly saturated and highly self-congratulatory music industry.

But nah.

Being a transplanted Minnesotan, I decided instead to go on safari and hunt amongst the Texan (George) bushes for that wild, elusive and somewhat dangerously delicious game found predominantly in The South of the United States known simply as Continue reading

Blame It On Rio

So I’ve been watching the Olympics this past couple of weeks.  Or trying to.  What with all the commercials and commentary and human interest pieces designed to get chicks to sit down and watch sports I think I might have seen a long jump.  And dressage.  Dressage.  Don’t get me started on stupid Olympic sports <coughcough rhythmicgymnastics coughcough>.  What kind of person is it that devotes years of their waking spare time to dance around with a little rubber ball?  And why isn’t Prancercising an Olympic sport?

Not to get on a rant here, but I’m about done with the Olympics—and it’s not just because I don’t know whether or not to capitalize the ‘the’ in front of it.  I alluded to the main reason for my apathy in the above preceding and foregoing paragraph, but more and more I am finding the Olympics downright unwatchable.  Thank you, various networks of NBC.  I’ll bet you didn’t know the Olympic theme had words.  Cue the tympani… Continue reading