I’ve tried to think up a reason why I should be interested in the presidential race and I fail to see the point. For me it seems like the current boss is much like the old boss and the next boss will be a repeat of the current boss. Why should I care about this election? The electoral process doesn’t really care about my vote any way. If you listen to the pundits and you are a Republican, you shouldn’t even bother to vote. It’s a done deal. Well, almost a done deal, except for that pesky Newt Gingrich. I remember back to the 2008 primary. I was really into that election and then I discovered that the Democrats are as corrupt as the Republicans. The process of voting in this country is deeply flawed. While President Carter runs around the world trying to make sure elections are fair, he never looks in our own country for deceptions, lost votes, or discriminatory practices to deter people from voting.
In my humble opinion our country has lost much of the democracy that we fought so hard to obtain. We have elections that are run by the deep pockets of corporate influence. Those of us that want a choice and crave a choice between the two parties are left making a selection between bad and worse. We continually vote for the lesser of two evils. The two parties have made it virtually impossible for a third party to really structurally exist. It’s not just about the ungodly amount of money it takes to get elected for anything; it’s the process of getting on the ballot. It’s as if the two parties have secretly met to create this process. They both benefit from it and the American people are the losers!
In addition to this process is the amount of legacy corruption. It seems a pretty good bet if you father was in politics, you will be as well. I don’t know how this all started, maybe it was the two Adams. I don’t want to hear the argument about how I’m a teacher and my parents were too. I just think it cannot be true that a few families are the only ones with the smarts to be president. The other thing that I can’t stand and will mention here is Yale and Harvard. In recent times it has become all too clear that no one that went to a “state” university could ever become president in this country. For all the talk about Obama and Clinton coming from “Nowheresville” the truth is they both had handlers that put them in key positions along the way to the top and yes they both went to Harvard and Yale respectively. I don’t trust the system at all. I used to believe that my vote really counted and it probably does in local elections. However, when I look to the top of the ticket it really is a corrupt system. Both parties have fake primary and caucus systems where they have us pay for these elections when they already know who they want at the top of the ticket. They use the media to spread the venom necessary to get their guy to the top. When necessary they create some fake group that manages to steal votes for one guy or the next, like in my case here in Michigan when my vote was given to Obama in the primary. Forget about women, they have never made it to the top really. They have been used to appease those of us out here that believe in real equality between the sexes. They’ll give us a token woman to put on the ticket and then pat themselves on the back for their sense of equality. Behind closed doors they continue their “good old boy” mentality of running for office and ultimately running this country.
We see images of these guys looking like they are on different sides and then they come out with some piece of shit legislation that they can all agree upon. Usually it is something we don’t see as the big picture and it is usually something to help corporations and hurt the middle class. The media continues to work with these politicians trying to get us ready for the hailstorm that is to come into our lives, whether it is cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or even the current union busting legislation that has really come down from the top. Yes, here in Michigan we teachers worry about the new legislation that our governor and Republican legislature has forced upon us. However, the truth is even this has a blind eye coming from the Democrats. President Obama was for “merit” pay way back in the summer of 2007. I saw his speech on the NEA website back during the NEA convention. The words “merit pay” has always been union busting words to me. Fast forward to today. We supposedly have moved to merit pay but of course there is no money for it and who determines what holds merit anyway. Teachers have been vilified by the media. It used to be as a teacher you were respected. According to the media storm many of us are incompetent and lazy. We don’t do our jobs and we just live for the summer. All of the ills of society are the burden of the current crop of teachers. We are responsible for everything. It is our fault if a student doesn’t perform on some mysterious test that some corporate entity has determined is worthy. It doesn’t matter if that child has problems at home, lives in poverty, or is emotionally disturbed. We, as teachers, are their new mothers, fathers, cheerleaders, psychologists, mentors, and provider of all things positive for that child. If a student comes to us damaged, we have to make him whole. It’s not an easy task. We have always known that we must be more than a teacher. However, now we have the threat of the loss of our job if we cannot magically pull that rabbit out of the hat. It doesn’t matter if we have a passion for teaching and if we can be successful with most of the children. What matters is some illusive number on a piece of paper that tells a child they are either worthy or not. I am appalled that we have been pushed to a point where children will be scrutinized to the point that they cannot help but feel the pressure. Their teachers are being pressured. The children will feel that desperation. They have to buck up and so do the teachers. As a teacher we have no choice but I cannot help but wonder what is going on with politicians these days. Can’t they see that tying 49% of a teacher’s evaluation to a test is going to create much anxiety for everyone involved? Maybe they don’t care. I would not want my child to be stressed in this manner. There has to be a better way to get students ready for their adult lives than this.
So back to that question, “Why should I care about this election?” Obviously, there is a lot happening in government that makes me care about what is going on in our country. The problem is the lack of a real third party choice that could make it to the top. I saw Buddy Roemer on the Alex Whit CNN show this weekend. I was surprised that he made sense. Buddy was governor of Louisiana a long time ago. I don’t know much about his politics. I looked him up and it appears that he once was a Democrat and is now a Republican. What I found interesting is the fact that he cannot participate in the Republican debates even though he is running for president. He polls too low, so they won’t even consider him. He talked about having a Democrat as a running mate to break the gridlock in Washington. Since I see both parties as being similar this really isn’t a stretch. What he said just made me think about the obvious problems with our system. He doesn’t take any corporate money. He limits the money to $100 donations. No wonder he isn’t going anywhere but it says a lot about our system. Money is the root of all evil right? In politics, money talks and if you don’t have the corporate money, you are going nowhere fast. Our election process is flawed. I believe the money has to be taken out of the process especially in presidential politics. The amount of money that is going to be raised for the 2012 election is enough to make anyone ill. I think it’s too bad that money couldn’t be used for our education system or some other sinking ship in our government. Instead it will be used to buy our next president just like it was used to buy our last one and the one before that! I have no real useful words of wisdom. I’m just a frustrated voter wondering why our choices for president are so damn bad!