Whew! It’s the day before election day and I didn’t think it would come soon enough. It has been going on in some form or another for more than a year. There will be some last minute campaigning and a final deluge of TV ads then those who haven’t voted early will vote tomorrow. Even though I think our version of democracy is the best in the world, I still had issues with the whole process. As good as our system is, it isn’t perfect and it makes me nervous. Here are the major issues I had this cycle.
1. Candidates lying didn’t seem to cause any complaints
I’m NOT talking about the usual political hyperbole saying if you vote for candidate X we will ALL be enslaved or some such crazy talk. The lies I’m talking about are the ones told even after the true facts are known. Like when Mitt Romney continued to say “Obama Made the Economy Worse”:
But while Romney was pummeled by fact checkers last year as soon as the words first left his lips (prompting Mitt to hilariously claim for 24 hours “I didn’t say things are worse; what I said was the economy hasn’t turned around”), the “Obama made it worse” fraud has remained the centerpiece of his campaign. Unfortunately for Romney, the facts and the overwhelming consensus of economists – including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and John McCain’s 2008 brain trust – flatly contradict Mitt’s closing argument. Instead, the numbers show and the experts confirm that President Obama saved the American free-enterprise system from the abyss and averted Great Depression 2.0.
The media, who you expect to point out these kinds of lies and hold the teller to account, didn’t really say anything. It was if everything said during the campaign was just “he said/she said” politics. I think the average informed person lost out in the media’s failure to do their job.
2. Too many TV ads
With the Citizen United court decision in 2010, the floodgates were opened to 3rd party ads, paid for by hidden sponsors, which more often than not simply lied about a candidate’s position. This ad by the NRA was one of many examples:
Gun control advocates argue that, contrary to what the NRA suggests in its ad, Mr. Obama has not done enough to promote gun control. In 2010, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave the president a failing grade for “continuing concessions to the ‘guns anywhere’ mentality of the gun lobby and lack of leadership for common-sense gun laws.”
Among the laws Mr. Obama has signed while president is one that allows people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked luggage on Amtrak trains. The Brady campaign also complained in 2010 that Mr. Obama “muzzled Cabinet members who expressed any support for stronger gun laws and failed to appoint permanent leadership at the agency that polices the gun industry,” and that “this White House even voiced no objection to people carrying guns near Presidential events.”
Even though TV stations can (and have in the past) refused 3rd party ads, it seems that the money the ads brought into the local stations was more important than the truth and their integrity.
3. Republican efforts at voting suppression
This really burns me up. Elected officials, all Republicans, have worked really hard to make it as hard to vote as possible. After living though the suppression efforts of Ken Blackwell during the 2004 election, this election we get a repeat from current Secretary of State Jon Husted.
A last-minute directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) could invalidate legal provisional ballots. Ohio is widely viewed as the most critical state for both presidential campaigns and — with some polls showing a close race — the 11th-hour move could swing the entire election.
The directive, issued Friday, lays out the requirements for submitting a provisional ballot. The directive includes a form which puts the burden on the voter to correctly record the form of ID provided to election officials. Husted also instructed election officials that if the form is not filled out correctly by a voter, the ballot should not be counted.
If you have to stop people from voting to win, then your ideas suck.
My fingers are crossed that the people and issues I supported win on Tuesday. I know many people who are sick of the election but please, if you haven’t yet, VOTE!