Tuesday, August 2, 2016

State Level Primary Blah Blah Blah

Today is the state primary election here in Missouri. Like most places who have either had their state primaries or face one shortly, we've had our share of negative ads and robocalls that make people want to turn off their landline and just stream movies until the general election.  While I've been busy house sitting this past week I've had one thougth cross my mind.

Am I the one person out there sick of hearing a candidate blather on about their faith and "religious liberty?"

It seems every candidate on one party is trying to play like their the best and most faithful person out there.  Ads show them praying with their families either just before or just after talking about being pro forced childbirth (or as they call it - "pro life") and brag about their NRA rating.  It almost seems as if they forgot about the First Amendment and the concept of separation of church and state.  Add to it a concept of "religious liberty" which seems to allow business owners of one type of Christianity (which is on the far right end of the religion) to deny services to employees (i.e.: contraception coverage) or allow them to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people and it seems that the sincere faith of a lot of people is being twisted and weaponized into something between a gimmick for votes and a subtle projection of battle against those on the other side. 

It's especially bothersome during an election since this shouldn't be an issue at all.  However, it has become one and how it's being played makes me wonder if t=candidates who do this realize their dog whistles can come back to haunt them.  Especially when we all know damn well that an agnostic or atheist candidate for any office could never state in an ad that he or she didn't care about religion and wanted to focus on the job without facing a shitload of blowback from the same people who use "religious liberty" as a weapon against others. 

After today some of the ads will subside and others will pop up against the other side.  Either way, many people will be sick of this shit by the time the general election rolls around. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have shit to do.

Election Update - DRUMPF, I mean TRUMP vs CLINTON or Now We Know (And Probably Wish We Didn't)....

Hey!  Sorry for the time away for posting here.  A lot has been on my mind and I had to both deal with that and take a step away from this to catch my breath and take everything in.  Now back to the blog post.

Yep.  Election 2016 is in the final stretch.  The conventions have been held and we know who's running for President for real in November.  And the results are...Donald Drumpf, I mean Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.  Admittedly it's not the most inspiring selection.  Both candidates have had record unfavorable ratings in polls and have had campaigns mired in controversy.   While a lot of people have made their minds up normal opinion says the rest of the run is for the undecideds to ponder and make up their minds. 

However, this hasn't been a normal election cycle and what would be unthinkable previously appears to be on the way to becoming the new normal. Because of this it can be safe to assume that most things are up for grabs.  That doesn't mean that the pundits will always be wrong but it does mean to take them with a grain of salt. 

Because of this let's briefly look at the Presidential candidates and what their uphill battles are.  Let's start with Hillary Clinton, a candidate many people think they know form her time as first lady back in the 90s to former President Bill Clinton.The Wikileaks release of documents and e-mails suggesting the DNC's favoritism towards her and implying attacks on her main rival (up to the Convention) Sen. Bernie Sanders wasn't exactly news (many Sanders supporters merely had their suspicions confirmed.  I'll do a separate post on the angry Bernie supporters). However, it did cast a shadow at the beginning of the Democratic convention that made things harder to get on track.  Also, her pick of former VA Gov. Tim Kaine (a man Daily Show host Trevor Noah called a :real life version of every black person's impersonation of a white guy") drew some eyebrows due to his moderate stance on some issues (and his personal stance on abortion versus his voting record - the latter of which was hella better in the Senate than when he was Governor).  Add to this the post convention polls for the Republicans (who held theirs the week before) and there was some concern raised amongs more progressive factions of the Party and the media.  However, Clinton and company did manage to get some of their shit together even amidst the angry Sanders supporters and the protests,  that says a lot more for her than it does for her rival.

With that in mind, let's look at Donald Trump and the fear fest his party called a convention a couple weeks back.  It's clear that Drumpf, I mean Trump's campaign comes with a lot of baggage.  It says a lot when the two living former Republican presidents (George W. Bush (a/k/a Dubya, Bush 43) and his father George H.W. Bush (Bush 41) decide to skip the convention - as did a lot of Republican politicians.  Ladle over the top the sense of terror and fear in the Donald's speech that actually left some in the press afraid for the country and the right wing seems to have made a shit sundae of sorts that may appeal to the Trump devotees but leaves many cold and worried. 

Then there's polling that suggests that a slight majority of each candidates likely voters are doing it to vote against the other person.  How that plays in the next few months is anybody's guess though certain actions that I'll post in another post could cause some to switch sides.   While the pundits may try to normalize the Donald, his own rhetoric and actions may bite him in the ass.

So what's ahead.  That';s hard to say.  Recent events (and a Democratic Convention that ended up looking relatively sane in comparison to the other side) could make things better on that side as November nears.  However, as I said earlier, this isn't a normal election cycle and as the last 14 or so months points out - anything can be up for grabs.