from the past: same words still ring true with politics

I wrote this in 2008. Not much has changed except my State Senate and State Rep districts and where I call home:

Politics fascinates me. It’s like watching a bad reality television show in secret: you just can’t help yourself sometimes in the guilty pleasure of it all. Will the bachelor or bachelorette get their dream mate and a ring of super sized bling? Or in this case, will the candidate survive?

Election Day 2008 is already shaping up to be one of those election seasons like no other. Is it merely a case of desperate times mean desperate measures?

What do I know? The full complement of cute buzzwords to nowhere including:

Change.

Solutions.

Experience.

I know the definition of these buzz words, but what do they mean to me in this context? As in me, one ordinary American voter? What change, solutions, and experience will a candidate bring to my life to rock my world?

I have asked that of several dialing for dollars telephone solicitors for U.S. presidential candidates and they have all gotten downright agitated with me. Why was I questioning the word from on high? Why couldn’t I just accept the platform?

What platform?

Buzzwords are not platforms. They are buzzwords. If you want my vote, here’s an antiquated idea: earn it. Tell me how you, the candidate, are going to make a difference in my life. What are your positions on issues important to me? Will you remember my name just like those millionaires funding your flight time on private jets?

But does anyone give me answers? No. I just get more spin and more regurgitated political rhetoric spiced up with au courant jargon. And repeated requests for money. Just because.

Well now, I might purchase perfume “just because,” but I don’t believe in purchasing elected officials like a random pair of shoes.

Here’s an idea: why don’t candidates pay the American people to listen to all of the rhetoric and spin we are all going to be subjected to between now and November?

Getting down to it more locally and regionally, I am also in a politically irreverent state of mind, and perhaps am adding a dash of political inconvenience as well. I am being asked to choose both a state representative and a state senator with my vote, along with a U.S. congressman whom I chose not to put up top with the 2008 Presidential Follies.

With regard to the U.S. congressional race for the 6th District, I am going to come right out and say it: if it is like last time, I am taking two ibuprofen and calling it a day. Period.

Next we move onto our state races. I will be curious to learn who the contenders for state representative are in my district. At this point they all seem rather invisible. But since I am not sliding on glossy candidate advertisements by my door, as of yet, perhaps I am secretly grateful to be blissfully ignorant of all candidates at this point.

With regard to our state senate race for our senate district: we know the players, haven’t even reached primary day yet, and already it’s amusing.

As Pennsylvanians, we are most fortunate in our state races to have buzz words and phrases to delight and assault our senses, as well as the aforementioned presidential buzz and spin. Spin-buzz like:

Life Long Party Member Experienced Focused Independent! More signatures! Oh goody, more excuses to be politically inconvenient and irreverent. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (After all, during election season we are all Bill Mahers on this bus, aren’t we?)

Let’s start with “life long” political party affiliations. I’m not sure that is something to brag about, is it? And to be honest, who hasn’t thought about switching their political party affiliation once in a while, and how many people actually have switched their party affiliations?

And then there are my other favorite political buzzwords: “experienced, focused, independent.” Wow, what three utterly fabulous, completely subjective, spinable words. Well, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so pass the hand mirror so I can have a look-see.

How about something else I have seen two or three times now? The issue of who had more nominating petition signatures? I have to ask: why and how is that crucially important to my decision making process?

What do I want from all candidates? More substance and real solutions to real issues. Don’t just tell me what the issues are; tell me specifically how you will solve the issues without creating new issues. Also resist the urge to tell me I should vote for someone just because they are of my own political party. That is sort of reverse psychology for voters who think.

Above all else, if you want my vote? Earn it.

~ BY ME 2008

And yes, I am still as irreverent about American politics.

I am still as irreverent about political parties.

I know the New World order only thinks I am picking on them, but this has been my opinion for many years.

And what is still one of the most important things today to me and other voters? If these politicians want our votes they need to earn them. And it’s not about pandering to certain political factions or special interest groups or Facebook groups with no basis in reality.

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