Tomorrow is Election Day. Man I’m glad. I’m so freaking sick of watching political ads on TV—most of which are negative and some even blatantly wrong. I’m surprised by the audacity of politicians and how they flat-out lie about what their opposition has/hasn’t done and misconstrue facts. I could literally write a 100 page paper on all of the lies put forth by all of these annoying ads. And even if they aren’t lying, they are skimming over the positives of their opponents and only pointing out the negatives. Why don’t we have more laws in place to regulate what politicians can and cannot say to the public? It's no wonder little girls are crying every time they see these ads on TV.
And what's with the creepy voices used by the narrators? Seriously, those creepy deep voices could make ANYTHING sound horrible. Just picture one of those guys doing an advertisement for Chuck E Cheese. "Where a kid can be a kid?" He'd make Chuck E Cheese sound more sinister than a retreat with Jerry Sandusky (Too soon or inappropriate? Sorry!) Anything those guys say sounds negative, and the problem is that too many people believe them!
Why does it seem like very few of us actually do the fact-checking ourselves? I was having a conversation earlier about how Mitt Romney is going to create 12 million new jobs, and that Obama can't and won't do that. According to two different studies done by Moody’s Analytics and Macroeconomic Advisers this year (Google it!), 12 million jobs will be gained in the next four years regardless of who is president. Why? Well, mostly because Obama initiated a recovery by saving the auto industry and reforming health care, and that recovery will be responsible—not any further action by the winner of this election. I listen to Romney’s statement and keep picturing some ancient caveman perched atop a giant rock telling people at the end of winter that, if they follow him, he’ll make the temperatures warm again and melt all the snow and make the plants grow. And of course this caveman isn't saying HOW he plans to do this. He just knows, based on patterns, that it's going to happen, and he's trying to convince the others to follow him knowing he'll look like a genius if they do.
There’s another ad with a woman saying how she voted for Obama in 2008 hoping for change, but that hasn’t happened and she is worse off now than she was when he was elected. So let’s think about this... When Obama was elected, the auto industry was in a nosedive. Unemployment was skyrocketing. Banks had just received their bailout prior to Obama taking office (signed into law by GW Bush), which if you don’t recall costed $700 Billion dollars. Lots of people pin that on Obama, but that was already a done deal by the time he took office. And it didn’t create jobs, and it really only gave the banks who participated in risky banking practices (think subprime mortgages) a cushion so that they wouldn’t fail. And I don’t know this as a fact, but I would assume that automakers, with their manufacturing jobs, would employ a lot more people than banks. And when you think of manufacturing jobs vs. banking jobs, it’s fairly obvious that bankers tend to make more money—and thus would be better off had they lost their jobs. So Bush bailed out the white-collar guys who were up to no good, and Obama bailed out the blue-collar guys who were just trying to put food on their tables.
But this ad with this woman saying she's worse off now drives me nuts, because she makes it seem like America is a pit of despair compared to when Obama was elected. As my wife has pointed out, America is not worse off when we can spend millions of dollars on things like Halloween decorations. Americans are not worse off when we can afford to (and rightfully should) hand out $10 or $20 each to the people in NY and NJ struggling after Superstorm Sandy. People aren’t losing their houses at record paces any more due to foreclosures. Unemployment is coming back down. Did you know that when GW Bush took office, it was 4.2%. When he left office, it was 7.8% and rising. Obama started with 7.8%, it went up to 10%, but then as his policies began to take effect, it dropped back down to 7.9% where it is now. So unless Romney does something drastically different than GW (and we still aren't clear on WHAT he will do), is it going to go right back up again? AND we even went through one of the worse recessions in our nation’s history when Obama took office. Obamacare has slowed—and in some industries REVERSED—the trend of annual premium increases in health care costs. Don’t believe me? Check out my post from August 3, 2012.
So lady in this stupid ad, I really have to disagree with you. America IS better than it was 4 years ago--or at least it's heading in a much better direction. We aren’t all the way there yet, granted, but it’s hard to accomplish anything in 3.79 years with half a Congress working against you.
After Superstorm Sandy knocked out my power, my basement filled with water because my sump pump stopped running. Water was coming up from the ground, and when the power came back on, my sump pump started running again and started pumping it out. I kept checking it every half hour, and it looked like nothing was happening the first few times I opened the basement door. And boy was I anxious. But I didn't go pull my sump pump out and buy a new one because the one I had wasn't working fast enough. I'd just bought the thing a year ago, and I knew it worked well. We just had too much water to deal with. I knew it would get that water out, and after a few hours and with the help of my dehumidifier, my basement was dry again. No change to routine. No added costs. Just patience. And honestly, if I had bought a different sump pump, maybe a red one that resembled an elephant rather than my blue one that resembled a donkey, I'd probably have left that one in too if I knew that it was working properly. But considering that I had a red, elephant sump pump in there a few years prior to my current one, and that one really crapped out and flooded my basement to the point where I needed a new water heater, dehumidifier, etc.--well, you get my point.
You can tell who I’ll be voting for tomorrow. But even if you don’t agree with me, please get out and vote. I find it even more alarming, aside from all of the lies and mistruths in political ads, that we live in an apathetic society where less than two-thirds of us actually vote for our leaders. If you hate what Obama has or hasn’t done to our country, get out there and do something about it. And if you do or don’t believe what these politicians say in these political ads, at least get out there and let your voice be heard. It doesn’t take much time (typically only 10 minutes for me), and it’s one of if not the most important thing you can do as an American citizen.
And if you think that voting is a waste of time because you are just one tiny little vote out of so many millions, just think about this: in the event of an Electoral College tie, which can happen under nearly three dozen different scenarios, the newly elected House of Representatives chooses the President, and the Senate chooses the Vice President. And considering how close those contests are, and considering that each state has numerous Representatives that are elected LOCALLY (meaning I live in Central PA and therefore can't vote for the Representative from Philly or Pittsburgh), it's critical to get out there and vote. Because if there is an electoral college tie, and if the House remains a Republican majority and the Senate remains a Democrat majority, Mitt Romney will be President and Joe Biden will be VP. But if the House switches to a Democrat majority and there is an electoral college tie, Obama remains President. In other words, your single vote for your local House Representative really could end up deciding who is President or Vice President.
So go vote!