Tag Archives: election

The Next Four Years – Just Like the Last Four Only More So

It’s four-thirty here in Ajijic, five-thirty in the east, and I was too old to be that naive even four years ago. I let myself get caught-up in the Obama fever, just after the beginning of the primary season. I wanted so badly for the guy to be the real deal, that I didn’t want to hear about his adventures in Illinois, his “career” in the Senate, or in fact anything about his prior history. For all I cared, he could have arrived from another planet six months before.

In 1969, I went to work for an unknown company in Maynard, Massachusetts, called Digital Equipment. They built computers, mini-computers, in a time when the only computers anyone had ever heard of were massive devices that wouldn’t fit in the average supermarket of the day, let alone a private home. I felt that I was a very small part of an industry that was going to change the world — and I was right. There’s a feeling you get when you are in on the ground floor of something like that that’s like no other. You walk around like you know a secret that no one else knows, you would work for them for free, in fact, you would pay them if they asked. I waited for many years to feel that feeling again, and I thought I had it when Obama came on the scene.

I worked tirelessly for the campaign, doing everything a volunteer could do. Knocking on doors, hours on the phone, registering voters, and GOTV activities once balloting started. I thought we were changing the world, especially after eight years of Bush. I had many of the same feelings I had with Digital, and for many of the same reasons. I was convinced, in spite of some contrary evidence, that he would do, or at least try to do the things he campaigned on.

What came of that wasn’t merely disappointment, that’s what we feel when someone doesn’t quite “measure up” to our expectations; what resulted was betrayal — what we feel when someone does the exact opposite of what we expect, as though they had a different agenda from the beginning. Continue reading

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It’s Not the Election, it’s What We Do About It.

If ever there was an election in the United States that didn’t matter a whit, it’s these rapidly-approaching mid-terms. The Republicans are enmeshed in internecine warfare between the so-called “old guard,” and the know-nothing wing of the party, while the Democrats are flailing about trying not to piss-off anyone, and finding instead that their pitiful efforts are succeeding in pissing-off everybody! The President (yes, we have one), is running around the country in an attempt to rally the same people he told a few months ago they were the one’s they had been waiting for, trying to convince them to turn-out in large numbers to re-elect the same jerks who couldn’t get it done in the last congress in spite of huge majorities.

In spite of a sixty-forty majority in the Senate, and an overwhelming majority in the House, from a progressive point-of-view, no meaningful legislation was passed! None! What managed to sneak through was so weak and watered-down that it was practically useless. Oh, sure, some minor changes were made in health care, but they will soon be overwhelmed and circumvented by the insurance companies who, after all, allowed their passage. No meaningful financial reform was adopted, Wall Street simply wouldn’t allow it, so what we got were a few new rules restricting the ability of the banks to jack-up credit card rates on a few of us, leaving the rest of the industry free to indulge in exactly the same risky behavior that caused the crash in the first place. Continue reading