On Voting for the Romney/Ryan Ticket

You tell me that I should make the choice of changing leaders this November and support a new “direction.” What direction is it you’re asking me to go in again?

First, on a personal note, I have a President who respects my desire to marry the man I love, to share my life, my financial future, my (God forbid) hospital room, and then there’s the duo that wants to advance the notion that I am one of this nation’s problems, and that they somehow know more about what exists in my heart than I do.

I have a President who believes that I should have the chance to continue my education. I am a proud college student with principles, motivations, and values that I want help my community and world with. The access to that education through grants, scholarships, low interest college loans, and debt forgiveness is an access to personal competitiveness in society, and national competitiveness in the world. Then there’s the duo wants to limit and reduce access to that education by reducing investment in it. Borrow it from your parents, they say. Never mind the fact that an increase in college graduates increases the chance of success for the army of entrepreneurs they express to be fighting for so adamantly.

I have a President who worked hard and spent a great deal of political capital on advancing health care for all. It isn’t perfect, but improvement is always a work in progress and progress only comes from stepping into the dirt and pushing in the shovel for the first time, a process harmed by obstinate attitudes and falsehoods. Then there’s the duo who supported this cause when it was their own idea, but now wants to go backwards to a time when people could suffer pain in their lives and even die from causes that could be treated, but could not get access to that treatment. They say replace it, but they don’t seem interested in expressing any solid details on their plans to fix the nation’s health care environment that was broken to the point of creating an imminent danger to our economy and security. Consequently, this duo talks a good talk about national debt when lack of insurance adds to that debt due to uncovered people in emergency rooms. They detest the fake boogie man labeled the government bureaucrat making health care decisions, but have no issue with the corporate bureaucrat making health care decisions. Which bureaucrat do you want, the one who has to contend with the voting public or the one who is primarily motivated by the profit margins of stock holders?

I have a President whose 4 years in office have been marked by exploding profits and stock values for the companies that lost so much, and laid off so many before he took office. These companies are the ones not hiring, even though they face a business environment that has never been better. Then there’s this duo that wants to reward those companies with more tax cuts, with the notion that this will encourage them to hire people, even though this philosophy has been proven to not work. The loss of national income will be paid for by reducing investment in the living, breathing people of this country so that companies that ship jobs overseas can be invested in.

So, explain to me what choice it is that I have this November? I am to vote against my own self-interests and the interests of the people and communities that I care about. I am to take my vote and choose a President and a party that has boldly and unashamedly sought every chance to barricade any progress? I am to take my vote and choose those whose strategy of obstruction was set on day 1. I am to choose a party who had no issue with expressing that their main motivation was not helping the people of this country, but winning back the seat of the Presidency. Please, tell me what choice it is you are asking me to make, because it looks me to that you are asking me to be a fool!

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Congressional Salary — The Misguided Cause

I have observed a graphic going around that expresses the sentiment stating “Pay Congress Minimum Wage.” I feel the need to respond to this. The problem is not the wage earned by Congress, it is the money they must raise to run for office, and run for re-election. It is the overwhelming cost of being considered a viable candidate, leading men and women who begin with good intentions and the desire to be honest public servants toward the interests of those who can finance their campaigns. Worse now due to certain court decisions, they must now have enough money to fight against unlimited funds that can be used against them by the almighty Super-PACs. A good person sees a set of issues that tug on one’s passion to serve. They are then faced with proving themselves — not primarily with the ideas or values that spark the fire in their soul — but with the judgement of how much of a financial “war-chest” they can manage to build. Perhaps the fire exuded is enough to earn them a place in a small state Legislature, but the moment they begin to look like the elected official that got there on the merit of their message, the special interests (on both sides) that don’t like to see things shaken up begin their assault, and the only defense in today’s environment is enough money to fight it.
No, the wage of Congress is not the issue. Honestly, I would prefer that the people we elect to make the big decisions be paid enough by the people they represent so that they can focus on their jobs instead of the minimum wage they earn. Not to mention, minimum wage for Congress would mean that only those that have enough wealth to not have their Congressional salary be an issue already would run for Congress, forcing out anyone who cares enough to want to run but can’t afford to live on that wage.
The issue is easy access for wealthy donors. The issue is the idea that money is speech. Freedom of speech is shredded when those with more in the bank are given more “speech.” When you make the speech of one person more valuable than another, that freedom ceases to be the free speech written into our Constitution.
I appreciate the sentiment that goes into such a statement “Pay Congre$$ Minimum Wage.” We want our elected officials to have a grasp on the livelihoods of average working Americans. Paying them a lower salary would only result in exasperating an already troubled system where too many big money interests control the votes.

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Business Success = Political Success?

I fail to see how having been a business owner translates into having the right skills to lead a country. Sure, the experience likely has some effect on your economic knowledge, but it is one facet among many — and that experience isn’t necessarily a plus depending on what kind of success was achieved, and how. A business, for the most part, provides products or services with an interest in making profits. A businessman would make a fine advisor for economic issues, but a President should be someone who takes into account more variables than running a country like a CEO would entail. I, for one, don’t want a President with a businessman’s perspective. I want a President who considers policy based on the benefit to the society as a whole, with economic success being one. With national wealth steadily becoming more centralized to a few, too many are not benefiting from our so-called status as the richest nation on Earth. We need priorities that aren’t simply about helping business owners save more money — at the expense of public safety, health, or to the detriment of everyone else.

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July 9, 2012 · 7:30 pm