Posts tagged " election "

Psst! Want to Join a Conspiracy?

February 6th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 22 comments

I don’t want to be responsible for starting a new conspiracy theory, but have you noticed something strange about the language that newspapers are using when talking about Bernie Sanders’ campaign?  Democrats can certainly be concerned that his decades-long socialist leanings might not be acceptable to many Americans. That is a valid and reasonable point for the press to make.

Yet, I saw two stories and neither phrased the potential problem in those terms. A news article in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 4, 2020, speaking of Bernie Sanders’ popularity read, “That has triggered concerns among centrist Democrats who worry Mr. Trump would use [my emphasis] Mr. Sanders’ political identity to damage the party’s prospects in Midwestern battleground states…” Similarly, a CNN article I read expressed concern that President Trump would “take advantage” of Bernie Sanders’ socialist leanings to turn voters against him.


A New Chance

November 10th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 22 comments

Thousands of words are being written about Donald Trump’s victory, but I feel compelled to add my own. I am immensely proud that this election reinforced a proper American rejection of corruption, demanding that our country recommit to the principle that no one is above the law. It upheld the idea that the IRS, Justice Department and other institutions of government must be apolitical rather than instruments of revenge or favoritism. Voters recognized that with Supreme Court nominations hanging in the balance, they wished to opt for Justices who would respect our country’s foundations rather than make a country in their own image.


Autism, TSA and the Upcoming Election

October 20th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 comments

Recently, my husband and I flew on Thursday to Phoenix, where he spoke for a Dave Ramsey sponsored Business Boutique event on Friday and for a local synagogue on Shabbat.

Not until the next day did we read of massive TSA lines in Chicago and of 3,000 bags that missed outgoing flights from the Phoenix airport due to TSA incompetence. In contrast, our TSA lines moved swiftly and it was the airline itself rather than TSA that behaved incompetently, consistently announcing an on-time departure despite the fact that anyone looking out of the terminal could see that there was no airplane on the tarmac. Eventually, they changed the departure time on the announcement board — to an hour after the flight actually left. Nonetheless, we were grateful to arrive safely at our destination and to meet our luggage there.


Vulgar, Lewd and Getting My Vote

October 13th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 44 comments

If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I have a visceral, negative reaction to vulgarity. Guests to our home have been on the receiving end of a withering stare for saying something judged as ‘not refined,’ an anemic, weak distant relative of Donald Trump’s words. I expect my daughters to be treated with respect and I reject ‘locker room’ banter as immature and  boorish.

I’m also voting for Donald Trump. I have nothing to say to anyone voting for Hillary Clinton because of Trump’s leaked words. That is simply hypocritical. Not only does she possess her own potty mouth, she colluded with her husband to degrade the moral level of America.  On this issue, she and Trump are two sides of a coin.

The other option is one that many public Republican figures are taking—to leave the president option blank on their ballot. I admit to feeling a pull towards that choice. Donald Trump is not only vulgar, but he is also a braggart and possessor of other poor character traits that I despise. While I thought that his statement apologizing for his disgusting words was classy, I think it would be naive to assume he is actually a changed man. As a private individual, I can give him the benefit of the doubt, but I need to vote for him acknowledging that his repentance might be transient or even expedient rather than sincere.


Lots of Change, Maybe a Glimmer of Hope

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 21 comments

After what sometimes seemed like an endless campaign season, the final stretch is in view. The debates, terrorism, Trumpian unpredictability and more Clinton scandals might make these last few weeks even more volatile than usual, but Election Day is approaching. It is time to remember Abraham Lincoln’s words, “With malice toward none.”

I assiduously read comments to my Musings. I regularly read comments to a variety of blogs that I follow. Recently, an article in the Wall Street Journal on the non-controversial topic of postal shipping rates stimulated a slew of comments that were both pertinent and helpful. In contrast, I rarely read comments on sites such as Fox or CNN. Unlike the previous examples, those comments often seem to be dominated by hate-filled, bitter individuals, both on the left and the right. If your window to American culture came through that lens, you would be forgiven for thinking us an unintelligent, vulgar society.


Lindsay Lohan for Senate!

October 26th, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings 2 comments

Have you seen those puzzles which show you two seemingly identical pictures but ask you to spot a dozen subtle differences between them? Well, no one would mistake Dallas for my Pacific Northwest hometown, but in this period of national branding they each have their Starbucks and Half-Price Books, their Nordstroms and Macy’s. And in these weeks leading up to Election Day both their airwaves are inundated with ads for and against candidates while signs promoting individuals running for office proliferate.

Yet there is a major difference. In the northwest, as you drive off the freeway exit and towards my house, the median strips and city-owned sidewalks are cluttered with campaign signs. In Dallas, at least in the neighborhood in which I am visiting, the only election signs I am seeing are on private property. The signs are sometimes huge – after all this is Texas – but they are on lawns and storefronts, not on community property.

What a great idea! If my neighbor or I want to show support for a candidate, we can make a statement by putting up a sign. There is both courage and meaning to this choice as we publicly proclaim our views. But signs strewn on public property carry no such significance. They are props to promote name recognition, not endorsement.

What a terrible way to encourage voters to choose a candidate. While Lindsay Lohan probably has greater name recognition than either Carly Fiorina or Barbara Boxer, I have no doubt she would make a terrible senator. Despite my opinion that she might be a better choice than the latter of those aspirants :), it is ridiculous to vote for anyone because his or her name is well-known. We should rather support a candidate because of a thorough analysis of his or her principles and track record.

In an ideal world, every candidate should eschew commercials in favor of debate and policy papers. An electorate deserving of statesmen rather than politicians would not respond to a 30 second ad that plays on emotions and may or may not be filled with falsehood. But as a first step, I think it would be praiseworthy for localities to assert that campaign signs are laudable only when they are sponsored by an individual who is willing to stand behind them.


Eagerly Awaiting Enthusiasm

August 17th, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings No Comment yet

Have you ever found yourself yelling into the telephone? You are trying to resolve a problem or update some data when you get lost in the automated phone labyrinth. When I hear myself shouting at top volume, “I said ‘speak to agent’” I know it is time to hang up.

Right now, automated answering devices seem to be paragons of compassion and individualized attention compared to government in Washington. I don’t think I am alone in my frustration, feeling that I know who I do not trust, but having little faith that things will change no matter who is elected. The quagmire is so deep; the quicksand of the political culture so slimy that I feel it will entrap and consume even the most upright, best-intentioned and clearest thinking candidates. Truthfully, I think it would be a depressing exercise to figure out how many politicians fit that description in the first place.

On his radio show a few weeks back, my husband asked listeners what three agenda items the Republican Party could offer that convert them into enthusiastic voters for that party’s candidates rather than just voting against the Democratic choice.

His question got me thinking about what type of statements would ramp up my enthusiasm. I realized that at this point, I am seeking more than policy statements such as “lower taxes,” “immigration reform,” or “responsible and transparent government” because those promises are too vague and have been offered and broken too frequently.

I am really looking for a commitment to bold measures, counterpoints to the bold measures the Democrats have put in place since the last Presidential election. I crave the assurance that starting at the end of January I will actually see stark and tangible differences; a bloodless revolution, if you will.
In 1994, Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America captured the imagination and crystallized the dreams of so many Americans. As the Republicans drifted from these principles, they lost the trust of those who had voted for them. But the idea of articulating principles was a good one.

I do think that if the Republicans ran on a bold platform that expressed trust in Americans rather than a “we the ruling class knows what is best for you” philosophy they would find voters willing to follow them. Wouldn’t that be a better strategy than just hoping voters run away from their political opponents?

Here are three of my suggestions:

1) One idea; one vote. There should be no unrelated pieces of legislation tacked onto bills.

2) Each and every piece of legislation should have as part of it a concrete cost and achievement goal for every twelve month period following its enactment into law. If either the budget goes too high or the results don’t match the pledge, the legislation would need to be voted on again at the end of that period.

3) Any representative or legislator who cannot pass a detailed test on all the contents of a piece of legislation cannot vote on the legislation.
And as a bonus added measure I would love to see two more suggestions floated:

1) Congress should meet in Washington for two weeks every other month while working most of the time from their home states and districts. With modern technology there is no reason for our elected officials to be removed from constituents so that they come to value and align with their fellow politicians rather than those who voted them into office.

2) All legislation must apply equally to all elected and appointed officials. No more passing laws while exempting Congress from the effects of that law.

Drastic measures? Yes, and there are probably many better ideas. But wouldn’t the debate on these types of suggestions be worthwhile? At the moment I see some innovative individuals scattered around a Republican Party that is moribund and directionless. Although the Democratic Party’s ideas are proving disastrous on a daily basis, fervently held bad ideas win out over nothingness each and every time.

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