"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Thursday Hate - Experience


That's the buzzword of this presidential contest. It has been from the beginning. It was first thrown around by Hillary Clinton in the direction of Barak Obama; then when the voters saw through her fake smiles and sense of entitlement, the supporters of John McCain took up the charge. But when McCain chose little known – and just as inexperienced – Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, everyone seemed to hold their breath while they waited to see who would blink first.

The Republicans revealed to the world their true feelings on the matter for just a few seconds before the masks came back on – twisted grimaces of too tight smiles spouting sycophantic support.

Now the argument over experience continues on, ad nauseum, over who has more. Never mind that each ticket is anchored by a senior senator, each with zero executive experience of his own. There's a reason why so many senators have lost the fight for the Oval Office. Their voting record is too easy a trail to track their beliefs and contradictions. It's why Barak Obama is running now, early on in his career. Governors can generally hide their partisanship by sticking to enforcing the law.

Barak Obama seems to think he's the second coming of Christ from Chicago's South Side, while John McCain is desperately trying to validate his life before finally succumbing to skin cancer, and when he does, it just might place the keys to this country into the hands of a book-burning panderer to evangelicals, a Nancy-Come-Lately who nearly fell into her politics career and in the span of less of than 4 years has managed to place herself under investigation from everything improper firings to misappropriation of state funds to redecorate her office.

So where are we? We're left with each side resorting to delivering pre-written, coached speeches filled with hollow punchlines, built to elicit hope-springs-eternal head nods from brainwashed, celebrity-drunk delegates just dead-certain that their candidate will make a difference….and preaching on political shows or shouting and patronizing friends and family (kinda like I'm doing right now), trying to somehow convince the other that their candidate is more qualified to lead an over-the-hill empire that is saddled with a debilitated military, hundreds of billions in bad debt, a rapidly shrinking middle class, and a coming all-out class war, if not straight-up revolution…all in a world where corporations have all the power and their reach of power extends far beyond national borders. Our politicians are at the mercy and the service of CEOs, who laugh at and take advantage of our outdated notions of nationalism and patriotism.

So enough about experience, please. Not one person on the ballot has it. It's about vision and character and the people behind the candidate – most importantly. And because of that, all this campaigning is nothing but entertainment. Vision comes from ideals, and if you haven't made up your mind at this point, you have no ideals. Swing voter my ass. I'd rather have you not vote at all.

Neither side of ballet will get us a real health care plan, or more importantly, make health care more affordable to everyone, and tax plans can be parsed so many different ways as to make them undifferential by time a group of CNN analysts gets through with them. So it comes down to these issues in my opinion:

o Your ideals are either to try to get corporate ambition out of politics, or to accept it and work with it.

o To use the American Military for national defense only, or to unapologetically project it's power to protect national (and corporate) interests worldwide at the expense of an entire generation.

o To try to move society forward to other forms of energy now, or to do the same thing, but not 'til we've extracted every last drop of profit from the ground – if you think off-shore drilling and ANWR are bad, just wait until they start lining up outside our national parks, and they will – and figured out how to get us to pay through the nose for all the new stuff too.

o To defend our right to bear arms outright, or to deal with gun violence more pragmatically (I've never fired a gun in my life – and while I believe the 2nd amendment is a good thing, I don't think there needs to be fully automatic assault rifle in every home).

o To understand that science and learning and great literature advance our society, no matter your personal feelings on its conclusions or content - or to cherry pick, censure, toss-out, and burn that which you deem contrary to your preexisting beliefs. (Of course I am referring to the creationism debate…I have no problem teaching creationism in school - just so long as it's in a philosophy or theology classroom. Politicians are always bemoaning about how we're falling behind in math and science, yet half of them then want to replace science with a theory that's not based on science at all – in any way, shape, or form. How can you teach the principals of the scientific method, and then expect that lesson to hold up to, "Have Faith that God made it." Faith begins where knowledge ends. If you think Darwinism is just as biased, fine, that's your opinion. Offer up a valid scientific alternative, not more faith.)

Generally speaking, Republicans are against legislation dealing with Global Warming, Climate Change, whatever you want to call it. They've been denying it for 20 years, but now that it's obvious, it's just "cycles." What kind of cycles, they can't tell you, but it's definitely "natural." Except somebody forget to tell that John McCain. He's a supporter of real limits on polluters and believes that man-made climate change is real. Yet did he pick a like-minded candidate? Hardly. Palin has sued the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to remove Polar Bears from the endangered species list for using the "faulty science" of global warming to support it.

John McCain is a progressive on many immigration issues, much to the chagrin of the Republican base. Did he pick a like-minded candidate? He picked a running-mate so far removed from the issue she won't even be asked anything about it. So much for many of the constituents of his border state.

John McCain also has a lower rating – a big zero, a donut - from pro-choice groups, lower than G. W. Bush himself. Here finally he seems to have picked a like-minded candidate. An abstinence-only and pro-life preacher, as well, except her own daughter didn't get the message – a daughter now forced, yes forced (come on, really?), to marry the poor hick to satisfy the ideals of an entire political establishment. Who wants to bet on this marriage's chances for happiness?

So there you have it. I may be a complete cynic, but I've made up my mind, and so have you. It's not hard to deduce that I'm voting Democratic in this election. It's the stronger ticket that meets my ideals. Ask yourself if your choice does the same.

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