We the People...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

          When we walked out of our car to the polling place, the local public library, it was early morning.  As we signed up for our ballots, one of the election officials--whom we all know from the Republican caucuses-- asked us "Is it still raining?"  We said, "Yes."  He said, "Good!" 

      He didn't need to say anymore; we knew exactly what he meant.  Republicans (supposedly) are more determined voters and a little rain wouldn't stop them.  There's always a little humor when it comes to getting the right people out to vote (and encouraging the wrong people to stay home).  In the 2008 Republican caucus here in Iowa, Mike Huckabee told his supporters, "If you've got friends or neighbors that won't vote for me, put all your snow in their driveway and don't let them out tomorrow night."  It must have worked, as Huckabee won with a 9% lead over his nearest opponent.
A little bit of snow in the driveway here in Iowa can sometimes be a big problem, as this photo from February 2010 shows. 
     Perhaps Republicans would vouch for moving the election to January for better chances of snow, except many Democrats also show determination to have their voices heard--as demonstrated by this woman who made her way to the polls even though she was in labor.

I was a little surprised that I wasn't required to show any identification (but Voter ID laws aren't in effect here and everyone knows each other anyway).  My name was in the registered voters book, so I just signed the book, gave my address, was given a ballot, and proceeded to a voting booth.  

I filled in the easy ovals first.  Iowa State Representative Pat Grassley is a decent Republican, and he had no candidate running against him. 

U.S. Representative Steve King was running against former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack.  They've both had energetic campaigns.  Yard signs for King or Vilsack decorate many lawns and I've received many phone calls asking which of the two I like better.  Steve King ranks in my top 10 of politicians.  I was very impressed listening to him at a town hall meeting a couple months ago, so he, of course, got my vote.  I was happy to see him win with 55% of the vote, as opposed to Vilsack's 43%.

On the back side of the ballot was the option of voting "yes" or "no" on retaining Iowa's Supreme Court Justices.  In 2010, 3 of the justices were voted out after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled to strike the words from the Iowa Code which limited marriage to the union of a man and a woman.  Iowa became the first Midwestern state allowing homosexual marriage.  This year, the vote on whether or not to retain Justice Wiggins was seen an important gauge of whether or not most Iowans still protest the homosexual marriage ruling or have now come to accept homosexual marriage as a norm.  To my dismay, Wiggins kept his position with 54% of the vote.

Here in Iowa, we had minor presidential candidates from the Constitutionalist, Libertarian, Green Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Socialist Workers' Party, as well as an independent on the ballot, besides Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic candidate President Barack Obama.  Many of the names of these minor candidates were unfamiliar to me; I imagine their election night hopes were as forlorn as Thaddeus McCoter's hopes were at the Ames Straw Poll in August where he played his electric guitar and finished with 0.2 % of the votes.  (I don't know what his stand was on important issues; I do know that I disliked his music!)

This Facebook meme epitomized the presidential election from my perspective.

     As Noah Webster wrote:  Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority...the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions.  There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern.  They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."  

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have dramatically increased the size of government at the price of individual liberty within my lifetime.  Under Republican President George Bush we saw the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, the TARP bailouts, the Patriot Act, and 2 wars which have cost us thousands of American lives as well as the lives of many innocent civilians in the Middle East.  With Barack Obama, we have the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the NDAA, and the auto-industry bailots.

Obama supports homosexual marriage.  In May of this year he said, "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."   Obama also supports abortion, or "a woman's right to choose."  As I am pro-life and strongly believe in traditional marriage, voting for Obama was out of the question.

Romney, on the other hand, declared in a 2011 GOP primary de-bate: "I believe people understand that I'm firmly pro-life. I will support justices who believe in following the Constitution and not legislating from the bench. And I believe in the sanctity of life from the very beginning until the very end."  In a 2007 GOP debate, Romney said, "I’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states to put in place pro-life legislation."  This is a drastic change since Romney said in a debate with Ted Kennedy in 1994: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country; I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate.  I believe that Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice."

 I found it incredibly difficult to vote for a presidential candidate who has "flip-flopped" on some issues, and whom I suspect may have changed positions on some issues just to please voters.  I can't vote for a man I don't more or less trust.  Additionally, I am not a fan of Romney's foreign policy.

I can't see why the Republican party chose the one of all the candidates in the primaries most like Obama.  Why did they choose the author of Romneycare, a program which was used as a pattern for Obamacare, to run against Obama?  To me, it was a borderline absurdity.

Neither candidate even promised to audit the Federal Reserve, cut various departments and agencies which I consider part of an overgrown, expensive bureaucracy, give young people the choice of opting out of social security without being treated like second or third class (or dead) citizens, or make the drastic changes needed to help our economy get back on its feet..

  So, to the dismay of both my Republican and Democratic friends, I wrote in Ron Paul.  Regardless, My county was won by Romney in nearly a landslide.

Perhaps I am die-hard, perhaps a bit stubborn, but I couldn't bring myself into voting which ice-burg our ship of state should hit.

The absurdity of so many of the laws and policies in these United States irks me daily and occasionally haunts my dreams.  Unfortunately, I don't believe either candidate would have changed the situation drastically for the better.

All I can say is, Oh God, deliver us from the shackles of what has become this gargantuan bureaucratic inferno of archaicness, degradation, oppression, and hypocricy that crushes in the bud so much of the nascent vitality of our people.

I'm disappointed that my fellow citizens chose to re-elect President Barack Obama.

If "We the People" have decided to adopt the new sport of crashing-into-iceburg derbies in an attempt to sell our birthright of liberty, become dependents on our government and not freemen, and enslave ourselves with debt, it would have broken up the monotony at least to hit a different ice-burg.


  1. Well put Bethany, although I would propose that if one is to jump off a building, it doesn't really matter which one.

    P.S. I wrote in Lee Gordon Seebach for President.

  2. Good job of expressing the futility of voting for either of the major presidential candidates. If there was any redeeming purpose in this election it would have to be in electing those who are suppose to provide the necessary checks and balance to keep the president in line. I hope and pray they do their job well but it appears that we could well have 4 more years of gridlock.

    It's unfortunate that we need government to do something to clean up the mess they've made because if things were going well for us, a government that did nothing would be preferable to one that continues to march us into ruin.

  3. You're right Hank. Good for you, I'm sure Mr. Seebach would have made a better president than either of the candidates!

    Spice, you are 100% correct.

    Thanks for the comments!