November 8th, 2011

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#469 – Dick Bernard: Election Day 2012 is exactly one year away.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Today is an off-year election day. Do vote, and vote well-informed. As I wrote yesterday in this space, here, traditionally very few bother to vote in these important off-year elections. Be one of those who goes to the polls, well informed.

One year from today – the date is November 6, 2012 – is another of those most crucial elections in United States history.

One year ago, November 7, 2010, was another of those elections. A year ago only about 40% of those who were qualified to vote actually went to polls in our country, and a large percentage of those voted strictly out of anger. Paradoxically, perhaps as large a percentage of those who did not bother to vote at all, stayed away because they were angry, and did not bother to vote for exactly the opposite reasons of the other group. (I was an election judge last year: I saw the angry ones coming in, and the low turnout….)

Anger is not a good way to make a decision. That’s how we decided, last year.

Every election day is crucial. The only new difference is that elections are going off the charts in importance as we voters, through often uninformed action, and as often, inaction (not voting at all), are killing our future, and collectively we seem not to care.

It’s not as though we do not have information on which to make informed decision. We have a great plenty of information easily available.

We just don’t care. Or we’ve given up.

Whatever the case, collectively we got exactly what we wanted in 2010, and we will get exactly what we want in 2012. What we wanted a year ago appears to be, at this moment, a Congress with a collective approval rating of 9%. Only one of eleven Americans is satisfied with our closest national representatives. And we are the ones who sent them there, whether we actually voted for them or not. For a year now they’ve been saying that things will get better if only we get rid of President Obama, and doing their best to make sure that he can’t accomplish anything.

Our state governments are not much better. Watch the issues being voted on in this state or that, today. Or what those same governments are squabbling about if there is a Democrat Governor and a Republican House and Senate. We, the people, have tied ourselves in knots by electing this crew.

A few nights ago – it was Monday, October 24, 2011 – I watched Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say with his usual plastic straight face that the reason for the problems in the Senate is the Senate Democrat majority who have not passed 15 bills sent over by the House of Representatives.

The Democrats are the obstructionists, he said.

This is the same man who has declared from almost the minute of President Obama’s inauguration that his party’s intention was to make Obama a one term President. That is his sole working objective.

The day after McConnell’s performance on television, I wrote a brief note to my local Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, with a simple question: what are these Bills, by name and file number? I specifically asked for the information in writing.

Surely, this should be a very easy question: very timely; and in the age of the internet, very simple to accomplish.

Here’s the Congresswoman’s answer as of Tuesday, November 8, 2011: not a single word, other than an automated acknowledgement of receipt of the question, about noon on October 25, 2011: Bachmann Oct 25, 2011001. (I think I could make a list of what these issues are, but I won’t: they are a laundry list of wishes that have absolutely no chance of ever becoming law, but can pass the House because of the nature of its essentially anti-government majority.)

To the vaunted 99% who are the victims: there is, indeed, a class war going on, and it is being waged against you. Here is how the 28 years between 1979 and 2007 is portrayed by the Congressional Budget Office.

I hope you cast your vote today, and a year from now, and any and every opportunity in between, and that it is always a well-informed vote.

Watch what happens today, and be well prepared when Tuesday, November 6, 2012, comes around.