Dad of All Trades, Master of None

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Vote Early and Vote Often

Posted by doatmon on November 6, 2006

Soooo…election day is here. Or as we Republicans like to call it, unemployment day.

I will first join the cacophony of other voices telling you to go vote. Seriously. Do it. I did. It was get Starbucks or vote. I voted. My votes should count double. Although the reality is I am secretly avoiding said coffee shop right now because someone correctly pointed out to me that I always order “girlie” drinks. Apparently adding another shot of espresso doesn’t make a raspberry vanilla latte okay for a man. Point taken. Any thoughts?

So I voted. You should too. It’s a relatively painless experience once you get past the elderly poll workers, waiting in lines in the rain, people registered to vote in Montana thinking they can vote in suburban Columbus…it’s painless. Really. And you get those cool “I Voted” stickers. It never ceases to amaze me when I walk into a business meeting and see a CEO sporting one of those things. Good for you, buddy. Good for you. Cookie?

The reality is though, that little sticker is the closest most of us will come to influencing public policy and the “rules” which govern our daily lives. I am lucky. In my career, I get to use my words and my relationships to impact the decisions being made for me. But most people remain blissfully unaware of the constraints or financial burdens being placed on them until they go to light up a cigarette and are told the bar is now smoke-free or worse yet, you pay for a lapdance and the dancer stands 5 feet from you and keeps the cowgirl costume ON. I mean really. You need to keep up with legislative actions.

I have written and re-written this paragraph about 10 times and I have decided there is NO WAY I can write this without A) Sounding like an 8th grade social studies teacher and B) a right-wing flunky. So I’m just going to try to re-create the way I typed it the FIRST time. The votes you cast today, whether you realize it or not, will have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day life for the next two-four years…your financial life, your social life, your children’s lives. And therefore, as you go to the polls today, I just URGE you this: DO NOT vote on Iraq.

I am not going to debate the merits of our actions in Iraq, the auspices under which we went into Iraq or the morality of some of the decisions made during our time in Iraq. That is another series of blogs for another time. What I am going to tell you is to not let your feelings on Iraq enter into your decisions on this election day. There are single-issue voters. I understand that. For some, it’s the issue of abortion. For some, perhaps the environment. For each and every candidate, their stance on this ONE issue is a make or break proposition for you. I understand that. But I implore you. Please do not consider Iraq a single-issue.

First of all, many of the people you will be voting for today had NOTHING to do with Iraq. Your governor, county commissioner or dog catcher may have an “R” next to their name, but they may have never uttered the acronym WMD and cannot most likely even SPELL Abu-Ghraib. Yes, I too had to look that up. They can pass the dreaded “red-light cameras”…they can raise your taxes…they can euthanize “Fluffernutter” no questions asked…but they cannot appropriate body armor for the troops or end Shiite/Sunni conflict. Do not vote against a candidate who may share your views on everything, just because you’re going to send a message to George Bush by voting for the Democrat.

If you want to send a message to George Bush, stop buying gas. Don’t buy that 15th fruitcake this Christmas. There are things you can do to send a message, but this isn’t one of them. Vote on the issues, vote on the candidate. I voted for the Ohio Democrat candidate for Governor today. I voted for a Democrat Auditor. One does a good job, the other scares me in a “Brave New World” sort of way. Not a “Brave Little Toaster” sort of way. That’s different.

But likewise, if you vote against a candidate because they walked an intoxicated cocktail waitress to their car and, depending on the account, assaulted her or allowed her to drive home drunk…or you vote against a candidate because they were involved in a scandal to ruin Workers Comp benefits in a rare coin scandal (Thank you, Tom Noe!)…or you vote against a candidate because their name just sucks…seriously, CONGRESSMAN Zach Space? I don’t think so. Any and all of that is fine.

But don’t vote on Iraq. That vote will come at the pump or in Macy’s or more likely in 2008. And I’ll be back in this space giving a legitimate reason to get you to vote against Obama. It may take me that long to find one.

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