GenY, get off your a** and vote, you jackwagon!

Yeah, that’s the old geezer me yelling at you to go vote. Does a blog post from a geezer voter make a really bad motivational speech to go vote?

Probably, but I’m doing it anyway.

This is not the first time I’ve read about GenY pouting about being ignored and protesting by not voting. The five reasons listed sound more like excuses than reasons. Did you all not overcome these obstacles for the 2008 election? Did you do it for yourself or for Barack Obama?

And now you are not voting as some sort of protest? Who pays attention to people who don’t speak up?

Nobody, that’s who.

Not speaking up is the same as agreeing.

If you don’t vote, you are just giving the folks who win a reason to ignore you and take advantage of you. Will you look back at your 24-year-old self from your 36-year-old self and ask why you didn’t care enough to get involved? Do you really want people in power to ignore your point of view, even when you’ve taken the time to write a letter, find a stamp and mail it?

People we vote into Congress have very real power. Congress is not like some Facebook protest group or Twitterstorm. A vote cast in Congress affects millions of actual lives. A vote in Congress puts people back to work or puts them out of work; decides whether they get health care or dies in an ER from a treatable condition; takes away their home or stops banks from foreclosing. While it may not seem like much, one vote begets another and another and another. Just like you may only be able to whisper as one person, when gathered together, you are deafening.

WIll you be proud of you or will you still be pouting?

Manup. Vote.

NOTE: The voice in my head while writing this was R. Lee Ermey in the Geico commercial. Click here to view in YouTube if you have not seen it.

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No party for old men

It is sad what the Democrats are doing to Joe Lieberman. The only “sin” Sen. Lieberman committed was having opinions that did not quite align themselves with the new leadership. 

I looked up the Senator Oath of Office. It reads:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

There is no mention of party loyalty, no mention of suspending personal beliefs and opinions when taking the oath, no mention of “with us or against us.”  To paraphrase from several Obama speeches, there is no Democratic Senate or Republican Senate, there is the Senate of the United States of America.

I want my senators to think for themselves. I want my senators to take risks. I want my senators to have the freedom to have liberal opinions on social reform, but conservative views on national defense. I want a healthy, authentic discussion of ideas in the US Senate. That was the mandate we gave Barack Obama, not a mandate to further divide the country with the “victor” handing out spoils of war. 

Joe Lieberman knew the risks he was taking, but I think at some level — perhaps naively, perhaps with more hope than was pragmatic — that this election cycle held two candidates, each had the ability, political capital and personal stones to rise above partisan government and lead a country. That he chose to back John McCain who eventually did not prevail is incidental to the academic argument.

President-elect Obama needs to show strong leadership with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. He need to put a face of cooperation, but firm leadership, on the “New Democratic Party.” All three are at a crossroads at this very moment, with Joe Lieberman being the turtle in the road.

If you have not yet read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, read it now. Focus on the turtle. The question remains; will the Democratic Party be the truck driver that swerves to try to hit the turtle for sport or Tom Joad who shelters the turtle in his jacket. (Spoiler: the turtle prevails, despite setbacks…)

These are the tests that determine the character of a man. I hope Obama passes.

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Joe Mamma?

First, just watch the video. All the way to the end.

I know Alaska is part of these United States, but how ignorant of racism is Sarah Palin? It is almost as surreal to watch as John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys tune! Before she can lead America, she needs to understand that Real America is made up of many different cultures. And what works as a long-standing line to a “knock-knock type” joke by African Americans is used as a slam by whites to demonstrate how ignorant and inarticulate Blacks are.

For those of us who perhaps did not grow up in the ’60s-’70s when Black culture was taking hold, the joke goes something like this:

“Hey man, Joe was looking for you.”
“Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

Or alternatively,
Hey man, I was getting it on with Joe last night”
“Yeah? Joe who?”
“Joe mama!”

The sign was not cute, adorable or in any way clever. It was racist. By not really knowing that, Sarah Palin has once again demonstrated her inability to learn and lead.

Do they talk american?

Here’s a tip when running for President of the United States of America: Pay attention in English class.

From an email on October 18, 2008 from the McCain/Palin camp, they write:

Help John McCain and Sarah Palin win in November!

With less than 18 days until Election Day our volunteer activities are in full swing. With your help here in Ohio John McCain and Sarah Palin will win on November 4th. To sign up for volunteer shifts at your local campaign office please click here!

What they meant to write was: “With fewer than 18 days until Election Day…” in addition to the comma after the dependent clause.. (…Election Day, for those who need a nudge.)

Guess The Elements of Style is one more thing Palin doesn’t read. These are the people we want in charge of reforming education in America? Perhaps what is really needed is just a federal mandate to lower the bar for everyone. Then, we can all look smart.

The problem of typos in the McCain camp is systemic. Take a look at his education issue page (just the last paragraph will do ya!) Is the world moving too fast that they can’t take a few extra seconds to proof their published material? Or, are they really that ignorant? Perhaps Peggy Noonan is right.

Stay in school, kids. Or, maybe just drop out now and get your name on a ballot somewhere. You’re probably already qualified!

You can reach more people with a blog than a bullhorn

Last night, I met Kealan on http://election.twitter.com. We have not spoken, I know nothing about her, but she said something during the debates that I thought was interesting and I wanted to be a part of the next really sage thing she says, whenever that is. So, I’m following her on Twitter.

I saw she tweeted again this morning. Nothing of consequence to me, but what the heck, maybe her blog had something on it. Sure enough, it was a post-debate post titled 3 miles in the snow, uphill both ways. That got my attention right away because, while I knew it was going to be a GenY rant against old people, the title was so clever that I knew the rest of the post was going to be good. It was.

GenY may not be out in the street protesting the rapid decline of this country, but they are online with a vengeance. And, apparently, they do care and they get it. They understand that respect is the root of peace, that you can reach more people quicker and deeper with a Twitter account and a blog than you can with a bullhorn and a flag and that party and company affiliation doesn’t matter as much as not being obtuse and condescending.

And, not only are they watching as things are going on, but they are recording it, playing it back, digesting it and analyzing it. They are predicting the death of spin and revisionist history.

And yeah, mom and dad, they have been listening to you. If not, how would they know to use a phrase like “3 miles in the snow, uphill both ways” in the correct context?

I just can’t wait to see what Phil DeFranco is going to video about the debates. Please hurry, Phil. We dogs need our fix.

Pay attention to the news cycle and do something with it

Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Clever focus on Arizona, with McCain running for president
Yesterday, I received the monthly issue of Association News, read the front cover and was immediately in awe of the level to which this organization is paying attention to the world around them.

One could say that the choice of featuring Arizona was merely coincidental or that the state was next on the calendar to be featured. OR, one could give these really clever, in-tune and aware folks credit for recognizing that if they were to include Arizona — the state John McCain is from — on the front cover, right about now in the election and news cycle and talk about it that they would get some lift in the blogs, Google News and just an overall heightened interest in Arizona by the otherwise complacent national media.

Just plain clever. I just hope they increased their circulation just a bit with the GOP events and their CPM to advertisers.