Hot Corner: Vote for public servantsWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The mainstream media say there are approximately 4 percent of people who consider themselves “undecided” about the presidential election. My personal opinion is there are more like four. Not percent — the number four. If there is even that small percentage of voters who haven’t made up their minds yet after the nonstop campaigning and being bombarded by political ads day and night for as long as we can remember, they most likely will just not vote.
The first thing undecided voters need to do to come to a rational decision is to educate themselves on the candidates’ positions. In the case of Mitt Romney, this could take a while because they are prone to changing month to month, week to week or even day to day. And pay particular attention to his statements, which often seem to defy conventional wisdom or wisdom altogether.
A particular example just happened to play on a TV commercial even as I’m typing this. Romney states that teachers have nothing to do with building a strong economy, and that smaller classes are just the teachers union trying to get them to hire more teachers! I would be willing to bet that old Mitt never had 40-plus students in his classes in elementary through prep school, so it probably never occurred to him that the quality of education available to the hoi polloi in public schools is directly affected by class size. One teacher can hardly give any student any individual help or attention if she or he has to try to keep a large number of students engaged in the educational process. Those who attended private schools have little or no awareness of the trials and tribulations that the middle class and poor generally face.
Anyone who thinks that a well-educated populace has no bearing on the economy is delusional or simply doesn’t care about the people not in his social set. Romney’s “47 percent” comments have been well reported and seem to bear this out. It’s not just 47 percent that he doesn’t care about, however. The number is probably double that at least. Romney seems to have no real idea what life is like for people who weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths. He has spent his entire life in a bubble of privilege that has insulated him from the real-life adventure of having to make ends meet. He’s used to getting his way, and will do or say whatever he thinks the crowd du jour wants to hear to meet his goal of becoming president. You never get the feeling that he wants to be president to help you and me. It’s more like it’s another notch on his gun handle. It’ll be cool on his résumé, and when he’s done with that, he can probably make some really lucrative bucks by being on some large corporate boards. We’re not his people.
Romney keeps touting how when he was governor of Massachusetts, he worked with an 87 percent Democratic controlled legislature. During his one term in office he vetoed 800 bills; 707 of these vetoes were overridden. Hardly sounds like he was stepping across the aisle to work with the opposition. Add to that the fact that he was gone from the state for 212 days during the last year of his term. He was already moving on. He already had the governor notch. Next!
He did enact Romneycare, which is virtually indistinguishable from Obamacare, but he has dissembled on that saying that while it was OK for Massachusetts, it would devastate the nation if everyone had those benefits. The real reason was the extreme right that he was pandering to considered the one thing he could remotely call a success to be an albatross around his neck. These are the same people who don’t believe in any type of government social programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Since Ohio is now the center of the political universe, we’ve been plastered 24/7 with political ads. My last piece of advice would be to follow the money. Since the Citizens United case gave corporations the same rights as citizens, a lot of big money is paying for those ads. All of those Crossroads GPS ads are Karl Rove’s doing, paid for by anonymous money. Sheldon Adelson alone has invested $70 million to defeat Obama. Do you really think he spent that money because he’s worried about you? The Koch Brothers and Americans for Prosperity and many other groups backed by big corporate interests aren’t investing hundreds of millions because they’re worried about you. The same groups are investing tens of millions to defeat Sen. Sherrod Brown, too. Vote for your best interests, not to enhance their bottom lines. Vote for the real public servants.