Election Day and Halloween!

It's almost Halloween! My kids love Halloween. I always liked it when I was a kid, but I was strange, I didn't like it for the candy or the costumes, I liked it because it meant that elections were soon! Yeah, I know, I was strange!

So with that let me remind you to get out there and vote. If you're like me, you had a mail in only ballot, get it in! Mail in, or in person, get that vote counted!

Now that your public announcement is over, let's look at something that pertains to voting that has been in the news once again. I've heard it more than once this week that people are again looking to get rid of the Electoral College. Not a big deal this year, but be prepared to hear about it ad nausea next year. But before you leave and decide that this topic isn't worth talking about, let me point out some things that maybe you haven't thought of before. I'll try to make a stunning argument to keep the antiquated system. But please, you gotta read the whole story before you decide I'm a nut case.

Here's what's going on. When we elect our next President one year from now, we won't ACTUALLY be voting for the President. We'll be voting for a bunch of people that will vote for the President for us. If you went to school and had government class, they should have taught you that, however, I've noticed that government class isn't what it used to be, and some of us are getting older, so I will attempt to explain what the heck the Electoral College is and why it is so important that we keep it the way it is.

First off, what exactly IS the Electoral College? Simple, it's a slate of people that vote for the President of the United States. When you vote for a person, you are actually voting for that slate of electors to represent you at the official Electoral College vote. SO, based on the number of Representatives and Senators your state has, you are selecting between 3 and 55 people to pick your "guy" for President.

Now the hard part, WHY the Electoral College. This is where people get kinda weird. See the founding fathers actually had very little trust in Democracy. That's why they created a Republic. They even severely limited the participation in the Republic. They decided that the only thing that should come down to popular vote was the election of the Congressional Representatives. Senators were to be elected by the State Congress', not the people. SO, how do they make a compromise to allow the people to vote for the President, but not really allow it? That's where the Electoral College came in. The framers of the Constitution decided that Democracy can be influenced to easily by loud minorities, and the silent majority would then be ruled by an elite few. As a way to combat that, they decided that not only would they limit the new government to a Republic, but the President would not really be elected by a popular vote. It almost works out that the popular vote is also the way that the Electoral College swings, but not always.

But who really benefits from something as convoluted as this? Actually, the very people that the framers meant to protect. It can protect the silent majority, it can protect the loud minority, or it can protect everybody. Let's take a look at the way the country votes and the way things work out. Let's say we go with a pure popular vote. Who wins then? Well the largest states population wise are: California, Texas, Florida and New York. These 4 states make up 32% of the US population. By comparison they only make up 4% of the Electoral College. Now if you live in California, Texas, Florida or New York, I'm sure you'd love to have all the power that would come with getting rid of the Electoral College. What though, if you live in Michigan, or Colorado, or even Wyoming. Do you think ANY President would really care what you thought if you lived outside these 4 or 5 large population states? In order to get to half the US population, you only need to go to 11 states. Now, take into account voter turnout, and the actual number of states that are needed to elect a President could easily turn into 3 or 4 of the largest states. I can see a Presidential candidate doing a HUGE push to turn out the vote, only in a largely populated state, and winning by only have 2 or 3 states vote for him. What about the other 47/48 states? How is that right?

The founding fathers saw this might happen. They made a compromise with the Electoral College. It’s not really that hard to understand, but it allows those small states population wise to still have a voice in who the leader is. Poor Vermont, who right now only has 3 Electoral College Votes, would just be a stop on the way to New York for some politician to go to the bathroom. If you live in “fly over country” just imagine how much you’d get ignored. People from the south western states would have nobody caring about water crises, droughts, illegal immigration, or anything else for that matter. The only thing the President would care about is how happy a large majority of people are in a few states. That’s not leading a country, that’s just being an elitist.

Now the funny part about any action like this is there is always an unintended consequence. One thing I think the people pushing for the ousting of the Electoral College don’t take into consideration is what about “the little man”? See most the people pushing for this type of reform are those that live on either coast. They have the most to gain by not having an Electoral College. As the world of American Presidential Politics sits now, it takes more than 11 states to decide who is going to be the Chief Executive. The world of popular vote could turn that into only needing a handful of states.

The rule of a few over many is called Oligarchy. We might be close to that now, but get rid of the Electoral College, and it will be that way forever.



OK all, it's time I take a chance, step out on a limb, and make some comments about the "Occupy" movement. So, this is my take, like it or leave it, feel free to voice your opinion as well, that's what America's about, and that's one reason I was in the Army, to defend your right to disagree with me.

Let's start with what this movement is. Well, maybe somebody can help here. I'm not sure what this movement is about. I get people are mad that they feel screwed out of the American dream. I get that people feel like they have been stomped on by "the man". I get that people feel like they’re not in control. What I really get out of these people is that they "FEEL" something is wrong. Ah yes, the all important FEELINGS. We've begun to think that instead of "I think therefore I am", it is "I FEEL therefore LISTEN TO ME I'M IMPORTANT!" That right there in a nutshell is the entitlement mentality. Not really entitled, but for some reason people think they're important. Let me tell you..... YOUR NOT AS IMPORTANT AS YOU THINK! AND I'M NOT AS IMPORTANT AS I WOULD LIKE TO THINK.

OK, I said it. Said it in a shout as well. I believe that's where some of the huge schism got started in American politics. See, it used to be that both sides really were out there to help the country in the way they thought was best. But somewhere along the way, both parties decided that instead of helping AMERICA, they would help themselves. That led to two opposing ways to go about things. Democrats decided that only a few elites could have money, and anybody not on their side of the field would have to give up everything they had for the others on the Democrat sidelines. Republicans decided that only a few could have money, and everyone else should work hard to try and be one of those few.

Strange isn't it. Neither side wants everyone to have money. One side says the rich are evil, the other says, the rich are what you should strive to be. Both sides say it's the other side’s fault. Both sides cry about injustice. Both sides are full of rich fat cats, and poor working people. Both sides really only want themselves to succeed.

So, I can see where the "Occupy" movement is coming from. I am frustrated with the leaders of this country as well. I bet 99% of the country is frustrated. What I don't understand about these people is what the end game is. Protests work when there is an end game. In the 60's the end game was to bring equality to the black population. In the 80's I remember protesters trying to put an end to nuclear arms. Both had an end game. The T(axed) E(nough) A(lready) Party has an end game of bringing Republicans back to their roots. What is the end game of the Occupy movement? Do they want Wall Street to be brought down? Do they want taxes lowered? Do they want an end to deficit spending? Those things are debatable and actionable. The problem I see with the Occupy movement is that there isn't an actionable piece to their puzzle. You want leadership change? Fine, go out and run for office yourself and effect that change. You want the government to get out of your daily life? Fine, go and vote for those people that support your ideas. You want more taxes to help get rid of the deficit? Fine, vote for those that raise taxes and send in the extra money you have each month. You just want to whine that life isn't fair? That's something I can't handle. That's something that's not actionable. Life will never be fair. Like my mom used to say, "If life where fair I'd be first for everything!" See, fair is in the eye of the beholder. Fair is as measurable as the sands of the worlds beaches. You can't measure fair. What's fair to you isn't fair to me and vice-a-versa.

If I had a better understanding of what the Occupy movement wanted, maybe I could back them. Until I do, I say go fill out an application at McDonald's, get to work, work hard and move up the ladder. I'm gonna need somebody to make my hamburger once I become one of the rich! :)


Ahh yes... 2012 must be around the corner!

So, I'm getting 2-5 calls a day from different political interests. I'm getting a TON of e-mails from states I used to live in, and of course all the news is about the Republican race for the nomination. SO, with that, I shall give you my quick and dirty guide to whose who in my mind in the race for the Presidential nomination. No particular order for these people, just my .02 hoping to be seen by somebody important and actually get paid for my opinion. Isn't my opinion just as valid as Rush, or Hannity, or Matthews? What makes them guru's? I'm the local guru in my house on politics, so here goes... like 'em or not, here's my run down:

Michele Bachmann - Never did like her. She started out strong, but withered away like 8 day old roses without water. Just as fast as she sprung on the scene, she was (or should be) gone. She reminds me of the parable of the seeds that J-sus talks about. The ones that get tossed to the ground and start to take root in the rocky soil. Sure they sprout up, but once the sun hits 'em hard, they wither away. Now if only she'd take the hint and leave already...... one can only hope.

Herman Cain - Now this is a guy that I like. Multiple reasons to like this guy here. He helps the Republican party overcome the racist label they unfairly have. This is a guy that Republicans can vote for and Democrats can't call them racist for not voting for Obama. What I REALLY like about him though is his business sense. He's got that something special. He has taken root slowly, and people need to know more about him, but everything I've read tells me he's a no nonsense Republican. Could he be the "next Regan" the Republicans are looking for? It's a big label, but I believe Cain can handle it. Plus, with a name like Cain, even those crazy hard religious right crazies can remember that name right?

Newt Gingrich - "She turned me into a Newt" "A Newt?" "I got better!" Sorry just couldn't resist that whole Monty Python thing. I always think of it when I hear Newt's name. Just can't vote for a guy that makes me think of Monty Python all the time to lead the country! Seriously though, Newt comes with too much baggage. Now as an advisor to Herman Cain (or any other Republican Nominee) alright. Not as VP, Not as Sec. of State, just an advisory please. Plus wouldn't he make meetings fun? He's almost as bad at spouting off at the mouth as Biden. Might be good for a laugh or two, but who really sees this as a viable campaign?

Jon Huntsman - I don't really know ANYTHING about this guy. Don't see him as being all that important. Maybe I'll look into him when 2016 comes around. I see that as the next time this guy is relevant.

Gary Johnson - See above. See Jon Huntsman. Same thing here.

Ron Paul - Now this is a guy I WANT to like. I really do. He makes me think of a crazy uncle. I like him, but I'm just not so sure he's what we really need. There's a lot of things, point by point I like about the guy. I just can't get past some differences I have with him. They're not huge, but they are enough that I can't get past them. One thing I can't seem to get is the gold backed currency again. Really? That's not going to help ANYTHING. I do like his strict constitutional stands... I'd be willing for him to be a VP, just not sure I'm ready to vote for him to be the lead here.....

Rick Perry - See above about Michele Bachmann. I can't get behind a guy that isn't willing to get in the race when he should have, early on, and I can't get behind a guy that demands religion is his way. Sorry, my copy of the Constitution says there shall be no religious test, and that the government can't establish a religion. I'm a devout Christian, but I'm not going to make sure the whole country is, that's not what this country is about.

Mitt Romney - Now here's another guy I can get behind. I liked Mitt back in 2008. I like his business sense, I like his political savvy, I like the fact that even if he didn't back it totally as governor, he understood his constituents and passed health care reform. Now personally I can't stand the idea of health care reform. I say let the chips fall where they may, and let the free market determine things, but Mitt was governor of a state that demanded free medical care. He did alright for what they demanded. Was it what a Republican should do? No, but it was what a leader should do, listen to the constituents and try not to bankrupt the state in the process. I give him a pass on Romney Care, it should really be called Kennedy Care.

That's it for now, but let me know what you think, and if your a friend of somebody in the big world of political commentary, let me know... maybe you'll see me on the boob tube one day!! LOL!