Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It’s Time to Change the Conversation

"The democratic party, which is party of no ideas, and the Republican Party which is party of bad ideas." -Lewis Black

Well as I am sure everyone knows by now President Barrack Obama was elected to a second term. It wasn't as decisive as his electoral win in 2008 but any electoral count over 300 is pretty decisive. It certainly was not a surprise to me that Mitt Romney lost, I have been writing since July about what I thought Mitt Romney was doing wrong and that I thought he was going to lose. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fox News and the Tea Party seemed to have people convinced that this country was moving towards the right and that this country is getting more conservative. Now, hopefully they realize that this country is not moving to the right. If anything this country is speeding towards the center. 

The important things to consider from last nights election are not just that America choose a president, who lets be honest, isn’t exactly for small government. This country also decided that in two states that smoking marijuana for recreational use is perfectly legal, and two more states were added to the gay marriage equality list. This country is clearly, growing past the ideas of Iron Age ideologies and finally grasping the concept that was put forth at the beginning of this republic, that everyone is entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. 

If you can indulge me one more time before I get to my main point. I have said it before and I will say it again. Most Americans can easily consider themselves fiscal conservatives and social liberals. The foundation of this country is that we don’t like big government. So why is it that, we just elected a president that has arguably expanded the government more then any president since Roosevelt? The answer is simple; the American people care a lot more about our founding principles of liberty and civil rights for all, then the economy. That is extremely noble and wonderful to think of but in the grand scheme of things its more like cutting off our nose to spite our face.

What does this election mean for the Republican Party? 

I think that this election means that the Republicans finally need to come back to earth in more ways then one, and reevaluate the party platform. The worst mistake they made was backing the tea party. It made the entire Republican Party look like a bunch of radical bible thumpers and racists. The first thing that needs to be done is, the republicans need to distance themselves from the tea party and disenfranchise a lot of the party radicals and talking heads i.e Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and anyone else who thinks that gay marriage is the cause for all of the hurricanes and natural disasters that are happening. I never understood why the Republicans where against gay marriage. Obviously there is the whole religion thing but it always seemed very hypocritical to me, that the party of small government is the party that wants to take away and limit the rights of individuals. Supporting gay marriage and the rights of individuals fits perfectly into the Republican platform. If they completely turn around on gay rights they gain a huge amount of voters. I don’t mean, gays will all of a sudden vote republican, what I mean is that a lot of moderates who might vote republican because of fiscal issues but don’t because of social issues, might consider voting republican again

Now Gay rights seem to be a no brainer when it comes to changing the platform, but when it comes to other hot button social issues such as abortion, well that’s an entirely different ball of wax. Far be it from to dictate or say what a woman does to or with her body. There is a way though for the Republicans to maintain there dignity when it comes to the message and still be different from the Democrats. The fist thing that needs to be done when it comes to abortion is God needs to be dropped from the issue. You can be morally against it, but if it’s because you deity doesn't like it well then you lose a lot of moderate voters. Also when you add God to the issue, you create idiots like Murdock and Akin who think that rape needs to be legitimate for a woman to get pregnant, and that rape babies are a gift from God. Rape and incest are always a reason to have an abortion, period. Get rid of these people or shut them the hell up. The republicans need to breakdown when they are against abortion. For example I am opposed to abortion during late second term, third term, and partial birth abortions. I am for abortions anytime in the first term. Many people still don’t like that but to me it is a common sense stance on abortion. I am not for abortions any time during the pregnancy but I am certainly for it if a woman decides early on that she doesn't want a child. I am not saying the republicans should adopt my stance on abortion but, if you take God out of the argument and make it a moral stance, agree that during incest, rape, and the health and welfare of the mother its ok, and decide a “timeline” of when you think abortion is ok then I think you will attract a lot more moderate voters. 

No matter what happens, what this election has done is change the conversation. Instead of digging there heels into party rhetoric, both parties are going to have to talk to each other now. This election has changed the conversation because the Republicans are finally realizing that they have to change there message. Now I heard not long after they declared Obama president, some Fox News correspondents saying that Republicans need to move further to the right. I really hope that isn't the case. All that will succeed in doing is further polarizing the country to the point where nothing will ever get done again. My final point is this, if the Republicans change there tune to keep up with the wants and needs of the people, then real issues can be discussed, like the economy, the debt, the deficit, student loans, actual healthcare reform, gun control. Right now, nothing is getting done and nothing being discussed, that needs to change. The classic conversation can be bought back the front of American politics. Do you want a party of small government or big government? Hopefully the next election will be about the message of each party and not the issues covering the messages. It is now the perfect time to change the conversation and actually talk to each other.

Lewis Black on republicans and democrats working together:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How will Hurricane Sandy Affect the Outcome of the Election

Hurricane Sandy has left most of the east coast completely devastated. Nearly 65% of New Jersey is still without power. West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and some parts of Ohio got two to three feet of snow. There are still hundreds of thousands if not millions of people without power in the five boroughs of New York, and Staten Island was nearly wiped off the map. The east coast was in no way prepared to withstand a hurricane such as Sandy. Everything is either damaged or destroyed. While everyone is waiting to get power back, searching for gasoline, cleaning out fridges, and in many unfortunate cases trying to decide how to rebuild homes and businesses, the election is still going to happen on November 6th. 

Now it seems like an extremely obvious statement, to say that the hurricane is going to affect the election, but when the history books look back at this election, the turning point highlights are going to speak about the debates and the significance of hurricane Sandy. 

How is the election going to be affected? 

First thing we need to talk about are disenfranchised voters. These are voters who will not be able to vote or people who will be physically incapable of voting. Now many people in the conservative media are saying that the east coast is already decidedly blue. I would agree historically most east coast districts go towards democrats. The problem is that they are also historically close. If the districts in New York that got hit the hardest by the hurricane have a low turn out it really could change the outcome of the election. If Romney wins New York there is no chance the president can win the election. Now don’t get me wrong. There is still a very strong chance that the president will win New York. All I am saying is that because of this hurricane the president is going to have to sweat out New York and most of the North East coast. 

Second, the gas shortage, the disenfranchised voters, now increases due to the gas shortage. Polling stations can be difficult to get to. Public transportation is still out or not running in many cases. If those people want to use their cars, they might not have gas or are really trying to conserve gas. So they can’t drive to the polls. So now you have a significant group of people who are going to decide not to vote because they physically can’t get to the places they need to vote. Also in many cases the decision is, do I use the gas for my generator to heat my home and keep my food cold, or do I use it in my car to go vote. 

Finally you have the unfortunate people who were devastated by the hurricane. These are people who either lost their homes, businesses, cars, or in some cases all three. At this point, those people could really care less about a presidential election. Many people would say, “Well it is more important now for them to care then ever”. When you are trying think about rebuilding your home, or trying to think about where your children are going to sleep or get there next meal, are you really going to care about voting? It’s unfortunate because the outcome of the election will answer those questions, but still there will undoubtedly be a lot of people who could care less about politics when they don’t know where there next paycheck, meal, or bed is coming from. The one thing you can be sure of on Tuesday is that the voter turn out will be very low for the east coast, we won’t know badly until Tuesday.