Elections — the day after
Today is November 9th, 2016 — one day after local and national elections here in the United States, and I would like to offer a few observations.
The Earth continued to rotate and the sun rose on our beautiful home world. The apocalypse did not happen.
We may be in for interesting times, but life will continue.
Newspaper, radio, television and other commentators and pundits will play “Monday morning quarterback” ad nauseam for the foreseeable future — and it will change nothing.
There will be recriminations, gloating and regrets — and they will also change nothing.
Perhaps people will again become polite to each other despite their differing political beliefs or prejudices or fantasies. (My belief — your prejudicial and idiotic fantasies, of course, but I won’t hold them against you.)
Once again the candidate who got the most popular votes lost the election to the candidate who got the most electoral votes. Yet, I have heard no outcries to change the system so that our votes are actually equal and not distorted by giving each state, no matter its population, two additional electoral votes — one for each senator. Or, perhaps, doing away with the Electoral College via an amendment to the Constitution and going with a straight popular vote.
California keeps raising taxes — two dollars per pack of cigarettes and new taxes on marijuana that will combine to bring in more than two billion additional dollars yearly.
We now have another legal intoxicant in California and no legal definition on the blood levels necessary to charge a person with a crime when their smoking results in a motor vehicle accident and possible injuries or death to someone else.
California adult film performers do not have to use condoms while filming — now how did that get to be a state-wide proposition?
Proposition 61 failed to pass, thus allowing drug companies to keep raising prices for drugs. (Although if it had passed, there would still have been nothing to keep them from raising their prices. An expensive tempest in a teapot.)
California elected a female Democrat to the U.S. Senate to replace another female Democrat. Of course, if she had lost, California would still have elected a female Democrat to that position thanks to our top-two primary system.
It is going to be interesting to see how this Republican President and this Republican-dominated Congress/Senate will “work” together. Remember, we have a system of checks and balances in this country. And, no, these are not supposed to be checks with dollar signs in front of them.
If you voted, for either candidate, you have a right to complain about what happens now. If you didn’t vote, you still have a legal right to complain, but I don’t think you have a moral one. So, please, be quiet — grin and bear it until the next election. Then register and vote. If you’re not a citizen, become one if you wish to participate in our political process.
If you weren’t satisfied with either candidate and didn’t take part in the political process to select the candidates, next time participate. Get involved at the local level in the political party of your choice. Clinton and Trump were the results of too many of us leaving the selection to others for too many years. If you’re an independent and not a Republican or a Democrat, you have no say in who gets nominated — that say belongs to those who are actually registered as members of that political party. Think carefully about your choice when you register, and think carefully about whether or not you wish to get involved in the party or are content to merely vote on the choices of others.
A final thought
Election Day often falls during the same week as Veterans Day.
How about we make Veterans Day a true national holiday and combine it with Election Day. Think about it, a national holiday on which we can all vote. I think it would be a great way to honor those who have served and sacrificed to provide us with the right to vote and have preserved it for over two hundred years. (Oh, yeah and let’s keep it on a Tuesday so we don’t just make it another three-day-weekend and ignore its true purpose.)