Below is an e-mail I sent to my brothers and a few friends who from time to time have been subjected to my own brand of humor. It went out on election day-as a release from the …well you read it.
You may also want to read the post “No Way” to IO-way, it was my first election rant of a few years back.
Written November 5 and 6, 2012
Brothers and all,
Well, here we are, dragging ourselves over the finish line and into the polls. First of all, let me assure that Cheryl and I are fine. So far, no one has physically tried to drag us to the polls or threatened us harm unless we voted in a certain way, but they have done just about everything short of that.
If you are so fortunate to be living in a “swing state” like Ohio-well you may also be blessed with wall to wall information about our Presidential candidates, for example-did you know that Romney pinches little babies? And that Obama hates old women living in nursing homes? I didn’t.
On the TV
Non-stop negativity begins to get on your nerves by about 9 am. I don’t mind TV ads, but literally several minutes of them back to back; first by Obama, then Romney, then ads by a PAC to preserve Freedom, then another PAC to preserve the Flag, another PAC for the Freedom to Be Free, one for Crisp Apples; and before you know it, everything that is pure and good about a man has been tossed out the window, tarnished with innuendo and lies. Super PAC’s have been a gold mine for the advertisement business in Ohio-that’s one thing for sure, I’m not exactly sure what else they happen to be good for.
But what about Iowa? Brothers Mel and Norm are in harm’s way there as well, now that Iowa is labeled as “swing”. PLUS, they have to put up with this caucus business. Why it may come down to IO-WAY after all, casting the deciding vote. I see where at least Obama has been back there, campaigning in Dubuque, and late yesterday in Des Moines. Plus, I saw two excellent (and I am serious when I say this) TV shows on Dubuque and their politics, one on CNN and the other on public television. Turns out Dubuque and Iowa are indeed hard to pin down, interesting. Of course they are-I could have told them that. Why people in Iowa actually think about issues, debate them, that sort of thing. So maybe we should let IO WAY have a second caucus for all the marbles.
Then, right about 9:00am they start calling, and by noon they have called twice-for me! Usually it is the Republican National Committee, sometimes it is actually Mitt himself, or Ann. One day, one of his sons called. But the really scary thing is that they always and I mean always call when we take a nap. So if you have tried to call our land line and found it unplugged-you know the reason why. Oh they are all trying to be helpful, you know, inform me about how VITAL my vote is and how the world can’t possibly go on for another 4 years under the Obamanomic job robbing, highly regulating, economic stifling watch of Mr. Obama. By days end, they might call as many as 5 times, all with essentially the same message.
About a week after Cheryl and I got our absentee ballots, the messages changed. Now it was VITAL I (not Cheryl) return my ballot! Like how did they know I got an absentee ballot? And why was the Republican National Committee on MY case, hey-I’m on their side. At one time, after so many calls, I figured I would vote for Obama just to spite them. They were starting to really piss me off.
At the door
I’m glad I didn’t act on that because last week, in the middle of the day, Cheryl came to get me; she said there was a lady at the door wanting to talk to me, it looked like she was a Romney supporter and she insisted on talking with me. Sure enough, they sent a nice young lady to our door to ask me if I had returned my absentee ballot, by golly, they wanted an accounting of what I had done with my ballot. I paused for a moment-what business of hers if I did or didn’t? But she looked like a nice young lady. “Yes” I said, then came-“I assume you voted for Mr. Romney?” I just had to laugh, “Yes, I did, can you make them stop now?” I asked. She looks at me funny-so I explain: ”You know, stop calling me 5 times a day.” She smiles and says no, she doesn’t have anything to do with that. She is just a volunteer making sure every vote for Romney gets cast.
To me, this is remarkable, what an effort! And the thing is, this young lady turns out to be a real zealot for Romney. But wait! It is more than just Romney: “This is more than just about a new President-it is about the very future of our country. I really believe that” she said. I smile some more and listen as she explains more of what she believes, and she is hard core. My response maybe was not what she was looking for but as I walked her down the sidewalk I comment-“Well, I certainly admire your willingness to work so hard for what you believe.” Meanwhile I am thinking to myself, good grief, this girl isn’t old enough to know what she is talking-about-future of the country-indeed. I wanted to school her a bit, tell her the country would actually survive another 4 years if Mr. Obama is elected, that history holds many lessons and what she is spouting isn’t one of them. But I just let her get on to the next door, working for one more vote. I didn’t think Romney had a chance in Ohio until I met that young lady. Maybe now he does.
My only mistake I guess was that somehow along the way I got myself labeled as a Republican, hey I actually registered as one, I admit it. But I think the real problem is the $100 I give to my Republican Congressman every year or so. I like the guy, Cheryl and I have known him and have voted for him for the better part of 25 years, I used to insure his uncle for goodness sake, plus he is a descent soul, a family man with triplet daughters. He has to go to Washington just to get away from home every now and then. Right?
In any case, for some reason, this or something else I have done has put a target on my back. And by God, whoever they are-they have been relentless, relentless like we have never seen before. No wonder Romney lost, misplaced harassment, robo-calling beyond the limit, sending young ladies out to verify a vote. As my grandson used to say “I am not happy”.
Meanwhile, my Obama supporting wife smiles in her peace and contentment. Neither she nor we have received a call to support Obama. She sorts the mail, but if we have gotten Obama or other Democratic mail, I haven’t heard about it. Not one attempt to ask for our vote from the Dems, we were cut off-ignored. Now I feel hurt, that I was blown off that they didn’t once ask me to consider a vote for Obama.
Cheryl is glad this is all over. She is tired of hearing me talking on the phone to the recorded messages, and I am not always nice in my replies. Other times, I just mimic their talking points-I know them all by heart by now. Nobody has had anything new to say since maybe August as far as I am concerned.
Oh well, to be honest, I have become stoic about the whole thing. I have even come to love it, in a perverse sort of way. Thank goodness for the freedom to get these messages. Thank God for the chance to vote for all 4 candidates for President that we had on our ballot here in Ohio. Thank God for all the people who make democracy work, the polling place workers, the volunteers, and especially the candidates who sadly can’t answer a question honestly without fear of their entire lives being run through a shredder. Yes, thank goodness for it all, it’s the American way. And finally, good luck to Mr. Obama-congratulations-I guess.
PS The sad thing is that the more we unplug the phone and put the TV on mute, the more ways they will develop to weasel their way into our life. Here come political apps, algorithms, and all the software that will find out all about you and load your life full of the same messages I have been trying to avoid since last August. They will ooze in with your e-mail, pop up when you shop online, and grate on your nerves when you want to watch a video. I say good luck to us all.