The War Within the States

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The sovereign people of these United States have spoken. Barack Obama has been reelected president of the Republic, and the Man from Kolob has been sent on his way. I would not have been much happier had Romney won. But Republicans may take comfort in the fact that they will have no responsibility for the next four years’ events, unless the Mayan calendar puts us all out of our misery on December 21. That might be best for all of us.

The problem is that our head of state is inheriting a bankrupt nation from himself—though said bankruptcy has been decades in the making. In such a position, governments generally either: a) inflate the currency; b) deflate it into a depression; or c) go to war. For reasons known best to themselves, modern rulers seem to prefer the last alternative. I fear that His Excellency may feel compelled to follow in their train—we’ll need a lot of bayonets and horses to break through to Tehran.

Infanticide and alternative matrimony shall become ever more prominent, and those who oppose such things will be increasingly uncomfortable. No doubt the Catholic Church’s struggles with the state will increase. Still, given that a majority of those claiming to be Catholic voted for Obama, it must be said that these worthies will reap what their predecessors in the purple sowed in terms of poor moral and political leadership.

“It is not merely the country as a whole that is severely divided. Each of the states is, too, and that does not bode well for the future.”

It is a gift from above that Obama defeated his rival handily in the popular as well as the electoral vote; otherwise it would be the turn of so-called “conservatives” to advocate abolition of the Electoral College. The left has long called for the College’s abolition based on the notion that it is undemocratic. It would have been sad to see historically ignorant Republicans embarrass themselves by echoing this rant. Since the 1913 change in the Senate’s makeup, the College has been the sole effective constitutional remnant of the states’ sovereignty.

Speaking of the states, the electoral map for 2012 appears to reveal the formula for a new War Between the States, with the Old Confederacy (save Virginia) and most parts of the Great Plains and Great Plateau states pitted against the Northeast and the Far West. But when you look at a map of how the counties voted, the pattern is more complex. The cities, together with rural counties of primarily black, Hispanic, or Indian populations, went for Obama. The white rural counties tended to go for Romney regardless of the state. It is not merely the country as a whole that is severely divided. Each of the states is, too, and that does not bode well for the future. The Republicans could reach out to minorities on social issues: In 2008, California’s mostly Hispanic Imperial County turned in the Golden State’s highest majorities for both Obama AND Proposition 8. But since the GOP’s leadership does not really disagree with the Democrats—whatever their base may think—this is a resource that will remain untapped.

Here in California, the 2012 election proved that all is well in this Happiest Place on Earth. Not only did our undead governor get his tax proposition passed, the Democrats won a supermajority in the state Senate and appeared about to do so (there are still three undecided seats) in the Assembly. Having over two-thirds of both houses will allow them to tax anyone or anything they wish with abandon. Still reeling over their ban on foie gras, I can only imagine what the legislators will do with their newfound freedom from restraint. Even if business continues to leave the state in droves, Sacramento will be a fun city indeed.

Los Angeles County had a few propositions of her own, of which the most exciting was Proposition B. Taking the porn industry under its maternal wing, the county under this measure requires that sex-industry workers wear condoms and that film sets are subjected to inspection by county authorities. Opponents replied with libertarian arguments. No one questioned the morality of the trade itself, since years ago a court ruled that while having sex for money without a camera was prostitution, doing it with one was not. One supposes that smart hookers keep their cell phones in photo mode. The proposition passed overwhelmingly.

So what are we to make of our deeply divided nation? The evil-minded would declare that we have become a country consecrated to infanticide, sodomy, confiscatory taxation, and foreign wars. The good and virtuous would maintain that we are an enlightened nation that has safeguarded reproductive and civil rights, are about to force the rich to pay their fair share, and are trying to spread democracy throughout the world. The separation between these two narratives grows greater every day. I fear the effect that national bankruptcy may have on these fault lines.

Countries and cultures come and go. It may be that the United States is on its way out, Mayan calendar or no. We leave behind some good—if not spectacular—contributions to world civilization: the Broadway musical, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and jazz come to mind. They’re nothing on the level of Roman law or Greek philosophy, but they’re worthy achievements nevertheless. There are worse things to leave behind, as the Carthaginians could tell you

The Hard Truth About “Undecided” Voters

Okay, it has to be said. This business of “undecided voters” needs to be addressed. We need to stop coddling these people and treating the issue like the old man who has spinach in his beard but we are too worried about coming off like insensitive boobs to say anything even though every fiber in our being is screaming out, “You have f!#&ing spinach in your beard, you slob!”

For all intents and purposes, the election season started two years ago. Two years ago, people! And it isn’t like the candidates are churning out new messages every week! No, what we hear today is nothing more than louder, more commercially hacked versions of the same thing each has been saying for twenty-four months. Hell, we know the message so well by now that anyone of us could step in a campaign press secretaries on a moment’s notice. Truth be told, the message for each camp hasn’t really changed in decades, so why is it that we keep hearing about this wide swath of “undecideds?” Either these people are so completely A.D.D., or they are so tone deaf that they can’t discern the difference between a campaign stump speech and the ingredients on a box of shredded wheat.

I suspect neither is true. It’s time to call it for what it really is. These “undecideds” are not undecided, but rather nothing more than a sampling of the most ego-centric, narcissistic bloc of voters who, if truth be told, are probably too attention starved to be allowed within a country mile of a voting booth. Hell, I’d wager they aren’t going to vote anyway. For them, elections are not about validating a politician. It’s about seeking validation for their own miserable, lonely selves. For them, elections aren’t about ideas and platforms. Elections are simply an opportunity for them to run out into the streets in their birthday suits screaming, “Love me! Love me! Won’t someone love me.” They are the social equivalent of your batty Aunt Mary who lives alone with her herd of smelly cats. She thinks she’s coolly eccentric and secretly desirable, but she lives alone with a herd of smelly cats! And she always will.

Undecided voters are the restaurant patron who arrives as soon as the doors open and keep sending the waiter away when he comes to take their order with a polite, “do you need a few more moments?” Yes, they demur. And this goes on until five minutes before closing when they finally ask, “What were the specials, again?” It isn’t about the food. Hell, they aren’t hungry anyway. It’s about someone showing up every fifteen minutes to fawn over them and “take their order.” It’s about controlling the affections of others.

We treat the “undecideds” like the crown jewel in the Triple Crown. If only we can convince them, we will break away in the stretch of the longest, most boring race imaginable and trot off with the prize of being the next elected this or that. What we should be doing is ignoring this self-adoring conflagration of attention starved lunatics and getting on with our miserable, pathetic voting lives.

The only way to deal with these “undecideds” is to completely ignore them. You weren’t going to get their votes anyway, because it was never about the vote. It was always about them. Send them home to their herd of smelly cats and for God’s sake, old man…you have freakin’ spinach in your freakin’ beard!

My Quotes

We are closest to God when we exhibit compassion. We are furthest when we withhold it.

I don’t write because I have something to say, but rather something which must be said has me to write it.

You can’t walk a mile in another man’s shoes if he doesn’t own any. In such cases, give him yours.

The only thing more limitless than excuses are opportunities.

My wife says my poetry is too “dark”; I had no idea she was such a racist.

The surest way to dissolve a friendship is to interject politics into the relationship.

Extremism is little more than fear and insecurity on steroids.

I’m not an advocate of the redistribution of wealth. But neither am I an advocate of ignoring the suffering of others. There is nothing more tragic than to be so blessed with riches and yet be so poor in spirit.