Notions, Odds and Ends

soapboxpileIt has been a long slog through the muck. There were things left undone as my attention was diverted by both Campaign 2012 and blogging for Race 2012. I admit it, I love politics it is both an intellectual distraction and a philosophical passion, sometimes futile I admit but this time, I think we all learned a few things. Does the end of the campaign and the re-election of POTUS 44 mean I will stop bombarding you with politics?

Well no, probably not but what it does mean is I will stop blitzing you quite so much. My earlier intent to look at and compare the platforms of the two parties moving forward from 1900 to today hasn’t changed, I think this is remains an interesting subject. What about you?

The world we live in remains disrupted by stand your ground ideology on both sides of the aisle. For those of us who voted for the winning side, we can celebrate today but the heavy lifting is only just beginning. For those who voted for the opposition, I am sorry your team lost. I know you are feeling despondent even today the loss is still sinking in. The problem is we are all Americans; we have to find common ground and move our nation forward. We cannot afford to allow those we sent to Washington to set the agenda against our collective best interest.

We are not:

  • African (Black) Americans
  • Hispanic (Brown) Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • White Americans
  • Gay Americans
  • Young Americans
  • Older Americans
  • Female Americans
  • Male Americans
  • Christian Americans
  • Muslim Americans
  • Buddhist Americans
  • Mormon Americans
  • Atheist Americans
  • Deist Americans

Nor are we any other flavor of American the pollsters or for that matter, the Census Bureau can think of. We truly need to begin to think of ourselves not as special interests groups, rather simply as Americans, citizens of this nation. Do not mistake me, I fully agree we have not achieved equality and Civil Rights across the board remain elusive for many of our citizens. Some continue to believe Civil Rights should be a ballot measure, granted only if your neighbor pulls the lever and agrees you as a citizen should have the same rights they have.

This past few years has been ugly. We have seen billions of dollars poured into campaigns, dollars that could have been better spent to feed and educate children, create jobs, research new technologies or study new cures. Instead, these dollars were spent to divide the nation, spread fear and lies, clog our airways with party ideology that did nothing to move us forward, nothing to solve our nation’s very real problems. I along with others, watched in outrage and horror as SCOTUS passed Citizen United and the Super Pacs came onto the political field. My repulsion grew exponentially as gerrymandering became de rigueur and new voter laws begin to pop-up with regularity where there was no reasonable cause.

Worse still, we missed it we missed the most important SCOTUS decision possibly of the century in 2000, in Bush v. Gore while we rung our hands and whined the election had been stolen we failed to see the writing on the wall, the future of our great nation hanging in the balance with these simple words:

 “the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote.”

The state has preeminent rights, greater than individual citizens and greater than the federal government to direct voting. We, the people (remember us) do not have an affirmative right to vote in federal elections! Yes, you read that correctly. There are Constitutional Amendments, namely the 15th, 19th and 26th that prevent discrimination on the basis of Race, Gender and Age. These wonderful Amendments nevertheless do not provide an affirmative right to vote as an American Citizen, they only prevent discrimination where the State allows voting to occur.

What does this mean? Well, think of it this way, as a citizen you have the following:

  • A positive Right to own a Gun
  • A positive Right to Free Speech
  • A positive Right to Assembly and Protest
  • A positive Right to practice your Religion
  • A positive Right to Free Enterprise

You do not have the RIGHT TO VOTE. The right to vote, who will vote or how the electors to the Electoral College for your state will vote is in truth in the hands of your Governor and your Secretary of State. How do you like them apples? Everything the states did leading up to the Presidential Election of 2012, was legal. We might not have liked it. We might have recognized it for what it was and found it repugnant, but it was within the law.

What do we do now? SCOTUS said November 9th, they will hear a case on whether Congress exceeded its authority when they reauthorized the 1964 Voters Rights Act, specifically Section 5. This section requires States with a history of discrimination, gerrymandering and disenfranchising voters to submit changes to their voter laws to the Federal Government before they are enacted. Is there a correlation between the Courts decision to take this case up and the reelection of POTUS 44? The possibility certainly exists and we the people of this nation need to be watching this case along with others they have agreed to hear that quite possibly will change the will of the people as they legislate from the bench what is not the will of the people.

We have allowed this, in some cases encouraged this scourge on our national dialogue. We the people failed to see through bile being spread before us as Truth and the American Way instead we repeated it. We were sucked in. We engaged our friends and family members as if they were foes on the battlefield, all too often forgetting to dull the edge of our sharp tongues, forgetting sometimes we catch more fly’s with honey.  I am as guilty of this as many others, having had to fall on my sword more often than I can count. Having had to apologize to many I love for my acerbity.

We are a nation still divided. I am saddened by this great divide within our country. Separated not because we are really so different but rather because we have allowed those who do not have our best interest at heart to convince us we should be enemies. We have drawn lines in the sand and called them race, religion, gender, sexual orientation; what they really are the boxes others have placed for us to crawl into preventing us from getting to know our neighbors, preventing us from learning we might be friends. We have aligned behind ideologies, believing the talking points without digging down and asking questions and thus defending the indefensible. We have in fact allowed our great nation to be hijacked by two Parties the DNC and the GOP, two sides of a coin Heads I win Tails I lose, nothing in between no diplomacy, compassion or negotiation. Two sides embittered and embattled wanting nothing but power for powers sake, never mind the bodies left on the field in their wake.

Truly, is the middle so hard to find? I wonder, I do. So will I continue to write about politics, I will because I can’t help myself, it is my passion this nation of ours. It won’t be my only subject though, there are other things I think about, other passions I have.

So, for those I insulted with my acidic and barbed tongue, I hope you will forgive me. Believe me as often as I snap (I do I know despite my attempts to do otherwise) will be just that often that I will fall upon my sword and grovel for you forgiveness. My comments are never personal (well mostly never personal) and are never meant to attack anyone personally (mostly not).  


  1. I do not like them apples.

  2. It’s going to take a lot to find common ground. Have you heard that about 20 states have submitted petitions to the federal government requesting they be allowed to secede? Clearly, there’s a lot of unhappiness in this country right now. Sigh.

    • It will Monica, but there is wiggle room. There are rumblings some of those who were once moderate Republicans are weary of their party. The new members are refusing to sign the Oath with Grover and even some of the returning members are forsworn. There might be hope.

      As for the secession movement, you can see all the petitions here,

      They are ridiculous, but have one thing in common. They are not coming from the states, but rather from individuals. Bet if you dug down a bit you would find they are driven from one person or group. I think this will be the basis of my next post.

      I grow tired of these azzhats, don’t you?

  3. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Since we now have our reelected President, we really must stand together and try to work things out for the betterment of all U.S. citizens, to the best extent possible.

    United we stand. Divided? We fall.

  4. I find you far less “acidic and barbed tongue” than some others out there. On the contrary–I think you do a great job of trying to look at things in a balanced manner. Or maybe that’s only because I agree with you. 😉

  5. **So, for those I insulted with my acidic and barbed tongue, I hope you will forgive me.**

    Do not apologize. Just “Be” who you are, dear.

    I read because your voice is raw & real. Xx

    • Ah that I am, but sometimes that raw and real voice rubs like sandpaper against the sensitivities of others. All to often those others are people I care for. Advance notification of my intent not to hurt, well it just seems easier.

      Thank you Kim, for sticking with me and of course your support.


  6. Val, this issue, as you know, is near and dear to my heart. It is what I worked to prevent on election day, sitting at a polling station and helping ensure folks could vote who might otherwise not have. It was a wonderful experience (although I am still exhausted from it). I haven’t been able to write about it.

    If you know of ways that citizens can get involved, please let me know. I have tried to contact the folks I worked with and they are resting as well.

    This is a fight that needs to continue. People should all be allowed to vote. Period. People should not need to stand in line for 3,4,5,6 or 7 hours to do so. People should not be intimidated. People should not wake up dead as I wrote in one of my blog pieces. People should not be threatened by their employers unless they vote the way their boss did. There are many should nots.

    Keep on. Sometimes when we write about difficult subjects we have to be more strident than when writing about other matters. So be it. Keep kicking ass when necessary. After all, you have the boots for it!

    • Elyse, I don’t know off the top of my head what the answer is. What I do know is we cannot allow SCOTUS to determine our future from the bench and we cannot sit idle as they strip this nation of more of our voice. We must become active and we must become activist for our voice. We cannot assume our work is done because the President has been reelected, it is not. I think grassroots must spring up and we must push to force these issues into legislation. We must neuter the Court. Federal Elections must be governed from the top and must be public and safe, that is step one.

      We must see an Affirmative Right to Vote in our Constitution before the next election.

      We must see private industry out of our elections.

      We must push this administration to be a force for positive change in this and other Civil Rights.


      • I agree with you absolutely on the need. But Constitutional Amendments take decades, not months. They must go through both Houses of Congress, then be ratified by 2/3rds of the States before they are adopted. They tend to languish.

        I think that there might be a more manageable solution, although I don’t know what it is.

        As I said, this is some thing near and dear to me. Voting should be basic, easy, encouraged.

  7. I am glad you will continue to write about politics! We must continue to stand up for equality each and every day. And we are children of the universe.

    • Thank you, I am glad you enjoy this part of my writing. I agree we must all stand up and speak out. You are right, we are children of the universe and we should engage in making it better.

  8. Val even though I get so lost in American politics. I love how passionate you write. And I hope that one day that people will understand what ever labels we give ourselves. We are all human beings. And need to reach out to each other. Helping not hindering. Finding peaceful solutions not arguing. And Caring not condeming. And I would still vote for you. Lol
    Sue x

    • Thanks Sue, passion I have in abundance for this subject. I would love to see our labels fall away. I don’t see this happening soon, we seem to cling to them don’t we. Argument is fine, debate is healthy truly right now though it is not leading us to solutions only armed camps. I wish it was different.

      Thanks for you vote! Perhaps one of these days I will not be so afraid of those skeletons 😉

  9. I completely agree with you about the amount of money politicians invest in campaigning when it could be put to better use

%d bloggers like this: