Posts Tagged ‘2004 Election’

Hope For Tomorrow?

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

Current Listening: CCR – “Fortunate Son” (Chronicle)

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand, / Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh. / But when the taxman come to the door, / Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale,

Okay, so the votes are counted, and Bush won. For better or worse, we’re looking at another four years of Republican control. Since several Supreme Court justices are to retire sometime during Bush’s second term, there is a very real possibility that conservatives will control all three branches of US Government. This is a scary thought. But could it have a happy ending?

Take my state, Montana, as an example. Montana actually has one of the most progressive constitutions in the US, and for a long time was a left-leaning state. Then, something started happening. The economy started going downhill; Republicans started blaming the Democrats, and all of a sudden conservatives controlled all of Montana’s government.

That’s the way it’s stood for about a quarter-century. Our economy has been sliding into the crapper ever since. Businesses have been leaving, and we’ve been attacking the environment frequently. Things were beginning to look quite dark to some of us Montanans. Why are people consistently voting for Republicans when they’ve made the mess worse, we were asking ourselves. There weren’t easy answers. All we knew is that Montana was heavily leaning toward the right, and the poor Democrats couldn’t do anything right. I fact, they looked like everything, trying all sorts of tricks to regain control.

Then, Judy Martz was elected governor (governess?). And boy, did she screw up. If there’s any politician who could possibly be a challenger to George the Younger’s claim to Biggest Idiot in Office, it would be her. She kowtowed to corporations. She proclaimed herself the ‘lapdog of industry.’ She was an accessory to a vehicular homicide when she washed the defendant’s bloody clothes. And the people hated her. Not just the Democrats, who’ve been programmed from their teens to hate the other team. Everybody.

And she was enough to get the Republicans out of office. This election, we voted in a Democratic governor, state attorney, and one of our houses switched control to the Democrats. For the first time in some two decades, our government was balanced again. All because of an idiot politician, elected because of her party’s sway.

So, maybe Montana is ahead of the curve. Maybe Americans will see that, while George Bush is likeable, he and his ilk are not the best choice to lead America. Maybe Montana is a kind of oracle for the rest of the country.

Something to think about.


Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

Current Listening: Social Distortion – “Cold Feelings” (Somewhere Between Heaven & Hell)

Yeah I got faith / But sometimes fear it just weighs too much I don’t want to feel / Cold winds blowin’ through me with an icy touch.

Please, vote. If you’re thinking about voting for Bush, consider the debacle in Iraq, the amassing national debt, his war against science and the environment, and the fact that he claims Osama Bin Laden isn’t a threat anymore. * Shudder*

Photos. Poison’s in Stores. Me Happy.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2004

Current Listening: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Don’t Do Me Like That” (Greatest Hits)

I was talkin’ with a friend of mine / Said a woman done hurt his pride / Told him that she loved him so, then / Turned around and let him go

So I got the CD’s down to Rockin’ Rudies and Ear Candy, and a promo copy to KBGA, the college radio station. The local music program airs from 5pm-8pm on Saturdays, so give it a listen… 😉

Here, of course, is the box of CD’s:

And here’s my George Bush ‘Liar’ T-Shirt, which came yesterday. Excuse my freakish look and wild, untrimmed hair:

For the Love of God, Vote!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2004

Current Listening: The Mr. T Experience – “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend” (Our Bodies, Our Selves)

Life is full of contraditions, hard to understand / and for every happy woman there’s a lonely man / Nixon had his puppy, Charles Manson had his clan / But God forbid that I get a girlfriend

( This is some vintage Dave, from the election two years ago. I’ve changed a bit (ie, become more vocal about my political views) but the piece is still relevent. People who say that some people shouldn’t vote make me sick.)

You know, I really try to avoid politics because, more often than not, politics turn people into jerks. You know? Some people won’t even speak to others who happen to have different views. I’m politically motivated, but I typically choose to remain silent about my views. It would be a different if people could have intelligent political discussions, but more often than not a civil political debate will degenerate into name-calling and ad hominem arguments. I think the race for the U.S. Senate here in Montana is a great example of that. Despite what Baucus’s PR people say, there was definately an attempt in the ‘hairdresser’ spot to cheapen Mike Taylor’s image, even if it was only to make him look silly and not, as Taylor claims, homosexual. But Taylor is no better than Baucus, because he’s playing the hypocrite game. He says that the Montana political sandbox is too filled with kitty poop to play in, so he parades around the state, ostensibly trying to clean up politics, but really just trying to cheapen Baucus’ image. ‘Shame on Max’ advertisements, anyone? To Taylor’s credit, he is not directly responsible for the ads, but if he were really trying to scoop the poop from Montana politics wouldn’t he speak out against his party’s ads from his ‘Countdown to Decency’ (ha, ha, ha, Mike) bus?

But I said I’m not gonna shove my personal politics in anybody’s face, and I’ll hold fast to that statement. There is only one thing about politics that I’m downright vocal about (not counting my outright loathing for political partics, which are singlehandedly sending this country, in the words of Ben Weasel, “Down the fuckin’ toilet”), and that’s the actual process. Specifically, the voting. I’m gonna tell you to vote, but not how. That’s your decision.

I picked up The Missoula Independent today and was shocked by that issue’s installment of its weekly ‘Numbers’ section. 12.1% of eligible voters, age 18 to 24, voted in the last mid-term election in 1998. 12.1%. That’s less than an eighth of the eligible voters. That number sickened me. Why don’t people care? Why, specifically, don’t kids care?

What’s the big deal, you might ask? My big problem with this absolutely pathetic figure is that it could easily have been much higher. It doesn’t take too much effort to vote. I think employers are required to let you take time to vote. All kids at the University should vote (we have the whole day off, for God’s sake!), especially when there are issues and candidates concerning our education. Kids today are damn lazy, and that pisses me off. There may be a lot of slime covering our political system, but we can change that.

A lot of people also think that their vote ‘doesn’t matter.’ What a stupid argument! When you go out and vote, for example, for Ross Perot, you’re not only casting your vote for that third candidate, you’re making a statement. “Screw you Democrats and screw you Republicans!” I’m sure that if everybody who leaned toward an Independent party actually did vote, somebody who wasn’t a donkey or an elephant could get into office. When you vote for the person who loses you aren’t throwing your vote away, you’re telling the other candidates off. Isn’t it worse to vote for ‘the lesser evil?’ You’re still voting for evil, sonny (to use an old phrase). You may be voting for a ‘loser’, but you’re still not voting for somebody you dislike. And usually voting for a third party throws off one of the other parties, enough to the point to affect the election (Al Gore probably would have won the presidential race had there only been he and Prince George running. If the situation had been handled more gracefully, we might not have our oil baron for a commander-in-chief).

There are less people voting in mid-term elections than during elections on the ‘big four’ years. This is also pretty stupid, if you ask me. The president has the power to suggest legislation and veto it, but Congressmen are the bread and butter of the nation. They approve all his decisions and they can kick him out. They represent your state in that big mish-mash in Washington. Local politicians are even more important, because usually they make decisions that directly affect you. If people are skipping elections (which they shouldn’t be), they should skip the presidential ones.

In short, get out there and vote. I should expect a sympathetic ear, aren’t punks supposed to be politically motivated? There ain’t nothing that will bring about change quicker than voting, o mohawk-bearers. I’m going back home on Tuesday (granted, I only live an hour from home, but it’s still a lot more effort than most people need to expend to cast their ballot) so I can vote, and everybody out there should, too. In the words of George Jean Nathan, “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” Exactly.

Pick Your Poison’s Here / Where I Stand

Monday, October 25th, 2004

It actually came on Tuesday, but it’s been a busy week. Tomorrow, I’ll do my best to get a couple of Missoula vendors to sell copies for me. I might even look into a PayPal arrangement for ordering them online.

It looks great — type is readable, colors are vibrant, and the whole package looks pretty professional. I’m psyched. As I was staring in awe at my one-year-in-the-making baby, I noticed that I come across pretty negative on the record. But that’s NOT the case! I swear. So, here is my not-so-expert opinion.

Where I Stand

I got my George W. Bush ‘LIAR’ shirt in the mail today. I was prepared to engage at least one Bush supporter in a less-than-intelligent conversation about it, but all I got was ‘Cool shirt.’ Silly liberal campus. Anyway, I had a response prepared for what I thought was inevitable: well, my “Kerry LIAR” shirt is in the wash. There is no shirt that I’m aware of. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that, given the choice, I would wear one. After all, it’s sort of a prerequisite to being a politician (or a human being). Everybody hurts (sorry Michael), and everybody lies.

And that bothers me. The basic stance of Pick Your Poison is that you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. Vote for Bush, four more years of stupidity. Kerry doesn’t look any better. But the problem I see goes way beyond the candidates; it’s the parties themselves, and the two-party system, that’s to blame. We’ve becomed trapped in a mindset and it’s a very destructive one: black and white, left and right, one and zero, Kramer and Kramer. Things just aren’t that simple. But the American people have grown up all their lives being told that only two choices are viable, so they have to round off their views and go with the lesser of two evils.

Which is exactly wrong. Why would you vote for a candidate who only supports 60% of your own views? Fear isn’t an answer. To vote Kerry just to keep Bush winning is spiteful, cowardly, and wrong. If you don’t believe in somebody, you don’t vote for them. It’s that simple. It’s time we stopped turning elections into exhibits of fear and started turning them toward the issues.

As I said, our current method of choosing our representatives is outdated. We need a more representative system, one where the winner does not claim everything. The majority is not right all the time. That’s a simple fact. Politics has been stagnating for as long as I can remember. You’d think that with Internet and TV, people would be more informed, but the opposite is true. The Internet is binary by its very nature, ones and zeros, and that binarism filters down, or up, to its information. Every blogger’s either a militant Republican or a smarmy, smart-ass Democrat. Where’s the middle ground? Or the area outside the middle? TV is no better.

We’re heading down a dangerous road. Right now, the two parties in control have made it so that no other parties can possibly be able to challenge them or change things. Thanks to our advances in technology and culture, we’ve accelerated the fall-of-empire syndrome. What took Rome hundreds of years may take us only a few. And that sucks, because America is great, and it still can be. What we need to do is get off our asses and scream, We’ve had enough!. It’s time to stop shouting down others’ views and time to listen, it’s time to make things right. Not the way each of us wants them, but right.

It’s a long road, but it’s possible. Back in 1776, I’m sure that a nation that chooses its leader peacefully was as much a pipe dream as my wish. Anything’s possible, given the power of change.

They’re Both Right

Thursday, October 21st, 2004

Current Listening: NOFX – “Antennae” (NOFX/Rancid Split)

You’re selling sexism / You’re selling racism / You’re selling anything you get your fucking hands on / An understanding, you got a plan in a / Presentation to advertisers who demand it

This election season is so absurd:

Luckily for us, they’re both so pretty. Look at ’em. Awwwwww.

(Thanks to my buddy Josh for pointing these out. These two books were almost next to each other in the “Current Events” section of the Barnes and Noble in the mall in Spokane with the bumper cars and stuff. I think booksellers move the “Humor” and “Political” sections of their stores closer every election year).

Business as Usual

Monday, September 20th, 2004

I wanted do to say that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s comments about al Quaeda wanting Kerry to win have sunk us, collectively, to a new low in politics. But they haven’t. America’s politics have always been about slogans, supporting views with no basis in fact, and namecalling. Same song, different words.

In other words, Hitler would have wanted Bush to win. Just as provable.

Bruce Springsteen Hates America

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

Current Listening: REM – “Ignoreland” (Automatic For the People)

These bastards stole the power from the victims of the Us v. Them years / Wrecking all things virtuous and true / The undermining social democratic downhill slide into abysmal / Lost lamb off the precipice into the trickle down runoff pool

So Bruce Springsteen, once renowned for his extreme Patriotism (he recorded the pro-America anthem “Born in the USA”) is embarking on a tour with a string of Kerry Supporters and bleeding-hearts such as John Mellencamp, REM, and the Dixie Chicks. I never thought I’d see the day when the Boss would cross over and embrace such obviously anti-American politics.

I never understood why celebrities think they know anything about politics. The only people who should be involved in politics are the politicians. We don’t want every celebrity idiot (and there are lots of non-celebrities who do this too) giving us his two cents about peace, love, and all that unrealistic hippie bullshit.