Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Exhaustion

I'm deliberately writing this the day before the election so that my post isn't tinted with either elation or bitterness. Although many of you know which way I lean, I won't bore you with the details. To tell you the truth, I'm completely exhausted by it; it's been going on since the day Obama was sworn into office and the Republicans vowed to "Get him out at any cost".

Reasons for exhaustion -

  • Apart from the horrors of Hurricane Sandy, there is nothing else on the news. You'd never think that Syria was burning itself to the ground, or that there were any other countries on the planet for that matter.
  • The negative campaigning, at all levels, starts off being annoying and then becomes plain depressing. Not only is there a Presidential election going on, we have local elections for everything from state representatives to circuit judges. They're all bombarding us with political ads, most of which never mention the actual candidate that's running but just slag off* their opponent. I've decided that, in the spirit of "truth in advertising" if you don't actually mention yourself in your political ads, you can't run them.  (*Slag off = British term meaning to insult or talk down.)
  • The total and outrageous waste of money. At this point, both Presidential candidates are fighting for about 5% of undecided voters; everyone else has made their mind up and won't be changing it unless one of the candidates starts acting like Donald Trump. The numbers they are raising from donors is staggering - and shameful given the poverty in this country and in the rest of the world. They're talking about cutting wasteful government spending, and dreaming up ways to reduce the deficit, when each of them has raised enough to balance the sodding budget ten times over. In July 2012 the fund-raising on both sides had surpassed $1 billion. Just think what that money could really do.
  • Voting problems - we've had problems with voter ID requirements, which many claim would disenfranchise those who currently don't have a driver's license or other photo ID; then we had big fights about keeping polls open later in the day so that people who actually had to work could vote after their workday; now we have massive queues/lines at early places in Florida and of course, the problems just being able to physically vote when either your house or your voting station has been decimated by Sandy. No doubt some or all of these issues will be cited as the reason why the loser loses tomorrow.
  • Lies, damn lies - this is what is most tiresome. You can almost hear the words being taken out of context, and yet it goes on. Even as most of the networks now have fact checkers who immediately blast the candidates for outrageous and egregious claims, it doesn't seem to stop the politicians. 
  • Disrespect - I've just heard an ad on TV as I write, where Mitt Romney tells the President to take his campaign of "..division and anger and hate..." back to Chicago. Really? Since when has it been OK to accuse your opponent of all that? (See below where one Romney supporter calls Obama a "dishonorable man" too.)
  • Oh, and this type of uninformed idiot has had far too much airtime in my opinion. Seriously - I'm living with these people....

If you listen all the way to the end, it gets so ridiculous it makes you either laugh or cry.


  1. I've had enough of it too, and we get just the relatively modest info from French tele.

    I hate the slagging off, it should not be allowed. Respect has gone out of the window, and now it's pure law of the jungle. Americans should be ashamed of the whole process.

    And I have no idea why they give stupid people so much air time!

  2. Even in England your election in prime news and we are subjected to it too. I want Obama to have another chance but I don't really understand USA politics fully. Seems that there is so much to put right from Sandy & I hope these poor people aren't forgotten. Look what happened in New Orleans with that hurricane. And what about Haiti? No one seems to be doing anything.
    I could go on.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  3. Thank you for this. Seriously. The whole political system is broken. Can you imagine if the billions of dollars being spent on these soul-crushing ads were put to the national debt instead? And yes, the media is just as culpable, spinning a cliffhanger scenario for the purposes of ratings. With few exceptions, the news has become just entertainment. I am glad that whole debacle will be over tomorrow and I pray I can live with the result.

    But yes. I totally hear you.

  4. It amazes me that they have the nerve after four years of practicing the politics of hate and division (and I'm not just referring to the Tea Party here either)to accuse the Obama Administration of spreading hate. Even more unnerving is that part of the electorate is dumb enough to fall for such rhetoric. The shame I feel rivals the G.W. years.

  5. It's not just your news: I turned on Channel 4 news at about 7.20 this evening to hear the last five minutes of election coverage before "back to the studio for today's other news..."

    That's 25 minutes of their flagship news programme to say essentially "there's going to be an election tomorrow and we don't know who's going to win..."

    I wonder though if this is one of those times when you (and obviously I don't know you but this is what I feel sitting here) feel more conscious of how different we, the Brits and the Americans (speaking obviously in gross generalisations) are, and whether that makes it harder for you. One of the people they interviewed at a post Romney rally (and she may be in your video - am rudely commenting before watching, forgive me) said she was voting for him because Obama wanted to stop her keeping assault rifles in her house. She was young, attractive and to all appearances sane, and I found myself picking my jaw off the floor.

    I'm about to have a police interview because I've counter-signed someone's shotgun licence application and she's talking about assault rifles in the home...

    Sometimes it's more than the Atlantic that separates us.

    Oh, and they were reckoning $6 billion on the campaign as a whole...

  6. Ironically PlanB, Obama has done nothing to restrict the rights of gun owners. IN fact, he has annoyed some of his own supporters by not doing anything towards gun control, yet this woman was obviously regurgitating something she'd been told without even bothering to check the facts. Sigh.
    I don't think it's much of a Brit versus American thing as I've been here for 22 years. I definitely see the country (or at least the Republican party) becoming more right wing and very intolerant of anyone who isn't white, Christian and "American".

  7. I have found this election (and the direction of US politics in general) to be deeply troubling. I'm still confused as to why so many middle-class people are supporting Romney when it's clear that his policies are not aimed at improving their lot in life. I also think all this Bible-waving is ridiculous. I'm a Christian and I'm stunned and saddened by the number of Christians who truly believe that a government which tries to help the weak, the poor, and the disadvantaged is somehow anti-American. My co-workers (all German) think we're all crazy and are always trying to get me to explain how Americans think. I'm clearly the wrong person to do that, because I don't understand it either. As I've said before, I'm really glad I'm living out of the country right now.

  8. Ah, yes, 22 years would do it!

    That'll learn me. Sorry!

  9. Funny, we must be on the same wave length or something. I just wrote a scathing post about the over saturation of the campaign - and then promptly deleted it (that's my specialty; writing posts and deleting them)

    I am so sick of this campaign. Especially now that social media has evolved into the mainstream - I feel totally BOMBARDED with campaign stuff. As I said to my husband this morning, "Wednesday can't get here fast enough for me."

  10. I also think they shouldn't be allowed to start campaigning until 18 months before the election. Although that would go against every freedom in the USA so it will never happen.

  11. The money is ludicrous. Why don't they just buy up a small nation somewhere else in the world, stage a coup, and become president of that one instead. Would be cheaper.

  12. We're getting far too much coverage on the elections over here! My husband even commented this morning that we have so many important news issues in this country yet our news channels are bombarded with US elections.

    You'll know that our politicians do nothing but slag each other off rather getting the country managed efficiently. I don't think they can in all honesty because they're all pretty damn useless.

    As for the money raised, well, that's just obscene and disgusting. The world is desperately in need of funding and our political parties think it's okay to raise that kind of money for their campaigns? It's not okay, it's despicable.

    CJ x

  13. Buddhists have come in the country to take freedom of religion.
    That has to be the stupidest thing i have ever heard. Ever.

    I am stuck in the US because UKBA...I can't describe how incompetent and disingenuous they are without making your ears explode by my swearing.

    So i am stuck here with all this! KILL ME!

  14. Seriously, I couldn't have said it better myself. Fantastic post.


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