Monday, October 29, 2012


October 29, 2012:

          The wind howls outside, Hurricane Sandy, and who can work? Or even read? The wind creates an internal tension. You know you'll lose power soon and not get it back for quite a while, and the President has just been on the news, having come back to Washington to take over and do his job, and has told us, in effect, not to travel, not to do anything but hunker down, and it's all very tense. And then when the wind won't stop it gets to you. You're always listening for the tree falling on your car, or your roof, or picking up a piece of lawn furniture you missed, or forcing the door on your shed, even though it's well fastened. It's nerve wracking.

          On top of that we're just days away from an election as important as any since 2000, when a thoroughly politicized Supreme Court put George Bush in office, and a similar kind of chaos prevails now, twelve years later, and the effects threaten to be as dire. From my point of view a Romney victory would constitute a major threat to our well-being and our liberties. He is, what's the joke? a man born on third base who thinks he hit a triple; he has no knowledge or emotional insight into the way most of us live, he's like most people of his level of income, they live in bubbles, in gated communities, they think government is wasteful and overly bureaucratic, they have little or no respect for or understanding of public service and if they do go into government, they go to strip it. They live under the illusion, furthermore, that their good fortune is of their own making, thus failing to acknowledge the interconnections among business and government, the government created infrastructure that makes all business success in this country possible, the governmental programs that fostered industrial growth in so many fields in the first place

          Wow! This wind has really picked up. Blowing now at about 50 knots, with higher gusts. I won't be doing this for long. But while I have time--somebody who's a FB friend of my son's asked the other day why anybody would vote for Barack Obama, and I wanted to answer. Here's why: first, because he understands that the huge and growing income gap between the rich and everybody else in this country is very bad for the country, and that it has to change or we'll slide rapidly downhill into a total oligarchy, instead of the partial oligarchy we have now, and people like the Kochs and Grover Norquist will be writing our laws. Second, because he's done an excellent job, although little advertised, in the face of a Republican party that announced that its only goal in Congress was to make sure he did not get a second term; despite that, he saved the auto industry, has begun to reform the educational system, got regulatory reform on Wall Street, which sorely needed it, killed Osama bin Laden and decimated Al Qaeda's leadership, ended the war in Iraq which the embarrassing George Bush got us into to on the basis of a whole lot of lying, and brought intelligence back to the White House. Third, because he's actually lived in Third World countries and knows their problems and is familiar with their style, and it is from there, in some such country, that the future will emerge. Fourth, because he's interracial and demonstrates pretty clearly that interracial marriage is a viable option for people; my own feeling is that only interracial marriage will ever fully change the racists attitudes so many Americans--the majority, according to the latest polls--live by. Fifth, because he believes that no government has the right to interfere with women's natural right to control their own bodies. Which is another way of saying that he has no intention of forcing his own religious beliefs onto the nation; he believes, in other words, in the First Amendment, and Mitt Romney and most of the Republican Party, determined to end abortion even in the cases of rape and incest, obviously do not.

          I could go on, but these are some principle points; and of course the final point is quite simple. He's not Mitt Romney. He's not the empty, soulless, clueless human being who is his opponent, who will say anything to any audience to get elected, who thinks nothing of buying companies, selling off their assets and then bankrupting them for his own and his partners' profit, thereby depriving thousands of people of their jobs; Romney, who has never had to scramble for a job, who supported the war in Vietnam but made sure, like so many Republican big-shots before him, that he never had to serve; Romney, who makes promises he knows he can't keep, that no one could keep--12 million new jobs! 5 trillion off the debt! or is that 5 trillion in tax cuts!--and then refuses to explain how he's going to do this (because he hasn't a clue); Romney, who claims to know how to create jobs when his entire business experience has been spent outsourcing jobs to other countries, who has, in fact, never started a business or been a businessman in that traditional sense; and Romney, who won't release his tax returns because he knows they will reveal how thoroughly he has exploited the tax code to reduce his own taxes--offshore accounts; a huge deduction, more than most people make in income in a year, for his wife's show horse--while ordinary people pay at double or triple the rate. I once worked for a very wealthy businessman who had a whole team to figure out his taxes. Some years he paid less taxes than I did, or no taxes at all, and this was when I was on his payroll making about $10,000 a year. Everything the rich say about taxes is pretty much lies. It's well known that the money doesn't trickle down. The rich are not job creators; the economists know that, too. When they make more money, they don't necessarily start businesses. My late cousin's daughter is the kind of person who starts a business; she's got a therapeutic massage business in Florida, she opened a shop, she has employees, she works hard. I can see it growing, expanding, and I hope, for her sake, that it does. She's very proud of it, as she should be. Romney? He has $250 million picked off the backs of people like her. Let us not be fooled. He and his party do not have the interests of the common man at heart--not even close.

          I have too few readers to change any votes, and Hurricane Sandy, the experts say, will wipe the election off the map all this week, which is probably a good thing; we're all sick of it. But if you do spread this around to other readers, maybe one person will take heed. That would be a good thing, too. In the meantime, stay safe and out of the wind. The trees are dancing wildly outside, and wind is roaring. Global warming, folks. Storms get bigger and badder with global warming, now we're here, enjoying the benefits. Well, as long as it doesn't tear down my black tupelo, I'll be content.