12 November 2002

Election will make life better -- for the rich

Wow, this business column by Dan Gillmor sums up my sentiments on Election 2002. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the prediction that "things are going to get ugly" is on the mark.
Americans have just voted for a cartel economy, whether they realize it or not. They've reinforced the power of a corporate and political elite that serves itself first, and cares little for average people.

Get ready for some dizzying times as the members of the crony-capitalism crowd -- and the politicians they lead by the nose or who themselves are members of the club -- run even more roughshod than usual over tradition and liberty.

Hard words? You bet. But these are hard people we've put in charge. Despite some strategically moderate language during the campaign, they're preparing to shake up just about everything.

They learned how from President Bush, who also pretended to moderation in 2000. Then he showed how a bold, if deceptive, politician can take a non-mandate and pull off radical changes. Whether you like the result or not, this is leadership.

Two years ago, I said Bush's past was likely to predict his future. That column drew fury from his supporters. I was harsh, but not wrong.

``Bush considers himself a Texas-sized businessman, and he will recite fervent capitalist psalms from his new bully pulpit,'' I wrote. ``It's hardly pure capitalism that he's practiced, though. Bush amassed his personal wealth principally through inheritance and cronyism.''

Watch, I said: ``Bush will try to sell himself as a unifying force. But that would mean standing up in meaningful ways to the wealthy men and right-wing ideologues who created, financed and powered his candidacy.''

He has not disappointed his friends and patrons.

4 November 2002

Straight Ticket Express

This election, I did something I haven't done since 1988. I voted a straight Democratic ticket. Mechanically speaking, it was a tad more difficult than it was in 1988 (and in 1984 when I did the exact opposite by voting a straight Republican ticket). Back in them days they had that one lever you could pull to register your selection of the "straight ticket voting" option. In the election seasons after that one and preceding the current one, my votes have went to candidates of nearly all the different parties - Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans, Independents, the Green Party, the Reform Party. I have problems with both of the major parties, and it seems that I'm in disagreement with just about all of their stances on the issues.

However, conditions and events over the past several years made my election choices this year a "no brainer". The avarice, corruption, and hypocrisy in the Republican party is overwhelming and its evil threatens to turn back the clock and return civilization back to barbarian times. Yes, it sounds like an outlandish statement, but if you put together all the little pieces of the puzzle, a hideous picture emerges from the jumble of neoconservative political themes.

Not that most of the Democratic candidates are the epitome of statesmanship either -- it is indeed a case of the "lesser of two evils" ... I figure most have already made up their mind on how they'll vote tomorrow, but here are some questions that I asked before casting my ballot ...
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