Thursday, November 6, 2014
Post-Election Blues and a New Typist
We've had a cold snap here, and last night the sky was so clear and the moon was so full and blue that I left the bedroom drapes open to enjoy the moonlight. Unfortunately, I felt like I was sleeping in front of an oncoming train. I probably should have closed the drapes.
So, of course, the American elections were a disaster. I was surprised to see even unpopular politicians reelected for yet another term. Mid-term elections often seem to swing against the incumbent president's party, so that's no surprise -- but why on earth did voters keep Florida Governor Rick Scott, who is liked by no one as far as I know? It is honestly a mystery to me. I guess the oligarchs that run the United States using massive infusions of cash to spread their poisonous misinformation must be beside themselves with joy.
I mean, I'm gay and somewhat left-wing and living in Europe, so I know I'm not your typical voter. But I don't feel like my views are that far out of the mainstream. To me they feel fairly moderate. I'm always surprised when an election swings so wildly in another direction and I am once again reminded that I think so differently from many voters. It's alienating, frankly.
Why are people so angry at Obama? Despite problems, Obamacare has "largely succeeded." He got Osama bin Laden. Is it just about racism?
Indeed, I suspect that when the election demographics are broken down we'll find that lots of older white people voted -- probably especially older white men -- and other groups, like minorities and young people, failed to turn out.
Europe does have immigration issues -- just like America does -- but locking down borders isn't the answer. We have to help improve people's lives in the countries where they live, and give them a reason to stay. But god forbid you should suggest -- in America at least -- that we spend any money at all on foreign aid. The right-wingers would go nuts.
Anyway -- I wonder if Skeeter won his seat on the Mosquito Control Board in Pasco County?*
At left, only tangentially related, is a copy of a newspaper article I wrote when I was a budding journalist in March 1989. I found it online last night. My friends and I always laughed about this article, representing as it does the nadir of my young journalism career. Can you believe I cranked out eight paragraphs about a tiny Florida town hiring a new typist? I attended the Town Council meeting where this was discussed, and the discussion was contentious -- hence my decision to make it a story. But I remember my editor circled the story in the next day's paper and wrote, "This could have been a brief." Which helped teach me that just because elected officials talk about something for hours doesn't mean it's important.
Something to keep in mind during our post-election hangover.
(Photo: A sign in a shop window in Barking, East London.)
*Addendum: Yes, with 62 percent of the vote!