The last part of this series, as to why I think it is more important to worry about the loss of our right to vote than whatever the NSA is doing, is relatively easy. And I have really had it with the whole discussion so I will go as quickly as I can. I have come to terms, as I said in my last entry. My vote for the presidency is meaningless. While it has been pointed out that I may stretch an analogy once in a while, I am not exaggerating here. Odds are you do not live in a swing state where your vote has meaning either. A minority of citizens choose our executive AND our judicial branch of government, by extension.
Because of the winner take all method that most states choose in apportioning the electors in the electoral college, the election comes down to a few states and is not representative of the majority. Each state chooses it's election rules, purging of voting lists, and decided on the use and counting of those butterfly ballots upon which Pat Buchanan polled amazingly well among people intending to vote for Al Gore.
It is incredibly important that a democracy in which every person has one vote is not the method of the election of our highest office, but even at the primary level of selection we have very little voice. Iowans count a lot, for instance, and because of that we burn food to fuel our cars and muck up their engines.
Really, as this blog is only roughly truthy, as it was meant, with tongue in cheek, I want to say here and now that I am particularly pissed about my own lack of voting rights. Forget the recent supreme court decision encouraging voter suppression. My vote has never counted regardless of the length of line I stood in or whatever threats and hoops I had to bypass or jump thru. (I use the short version of "through" to hurry thru with this damnable blog entry that will change nothing.)
You see, I live in Alabama. While my presidential vote is completely meaningless because all the electors will vote GOP, I can look forward to the primary. But by the time it is our time to vote, the list of candidates has been winnowed out by such a strange process of money and influence, and states vying for television exposure by moving up dates, and really a complete anarchy of insanity.... that last year, I almost did not vote. It was not worth the 5 minutes it now takes me to vote. But there was Obama and if there is one president in my lifetime that I love on a personal level it is this man.
Attack him as you will, but I remain putty in his hands. I have even lost my respect for Jimmy Carter over him. Perhaps Jimmy was a twit after all and everyone was right after all.
What happened in my life was this: I actually started viewing African Americans, or whatever title they end up with, as my friends, true deep down total friends. I shook Barack Obama's hand once during the primaries but that did not come close to the day following the election. I have never been so affected by an event in history. I went to work the next day in a cloud. I was ten feet off the ground. I didn't really connect with African Americans that day as they seemed to be going about their daily business. Perhaps the younger folks knew the totality of what had just happened but I did not see the true boundless joy I felt. As I was closing the computer area of the library at about 9 pm, a lady about 10 years older than me was still in there. She was black. I walked by her doing my job but stopped and said "This was quite possibly the most extraordinary day I have ever had in my life." She looked at me and said "Yes, yes it was."
I am not the one to criticize, say, the views of Noam Chomsky that I read today in support of what I feel is a rather rash rush to judgement. And by gosh, I realize the importance of treating Obama just like any other president.
I just like the guy. I trust the guy way more than I trust the folks who will benefit from the destruction of his second term and I decry the precedent setting war on presidential second terms, as it appears will always be the future strategy of the party not in power. OUR SYSTEM SUCKS.
I trust this guy more than any other president I have known.
I was never blinded so that I could not see the continuation of Gitmo, the near non-change in the Iraq war, the ramping up of the Afghanistan War, or the exponential increase in our use of drones to assassinate people from the sky without due process. I voted for Obama the second time fully aware of these things and the industry building around security from terrorism and the spying that this would necessarily logically mean. I wasn't stupid. I watch Frontline, I do my research. What Snowden revealed with factual data was no surprise to me. What he probably makes up for the press would surprise a little, but I still would advocate very careful consideration before actually publically castrating our ability to stop terrorism
And what happened that day after Obama was elected completely changed my viewpoint on the world including African Americans. I see their kids are just like I was when I was a young man, more so than I do the kids of any other group of people. I lost a bit of my outsider status that day and my relationships with all people, whether on Facebook or in real life, have grown (I have to use a word twice) exponentially. That day was the most positive day of my life. The moon landing was beat solid.
I knew I would be here typing on my Chromebook till the wee hours of the morning. But at least I didn't run away with the boring details of the complete and utter failure of our electoral college system. This plus what I have outlined in the other four parts tells the story of what I feel outrage should address rather than our current system of security which after all was built by men we "voted" into office. I encourage you to prioritize your outrage.
I am happy I veered off into tangents at the end. I really am tired of arguing. Tangents make up my life. And this blog IS the bread of my life, after all.