Thursday, October 30, 2014

Two Smart Candidates ... and Tim

This is what the debate for South Carolina US Senator was not:  it was not slick (despite the matching suits worn by Tim Scott and moderator Charles Bierbauer).  There were not a lot of fancy words or high-minded philosophies.  After all, this was South Carolina.  Instead, the responses by all three candidates were predictable, and if we did not know the candidates, left us with very little information other than how comfortable each was in front of the camera.

It turns out that the women, Independent candidate Jill Bossi and Democratic candidate Joyce Dickerson, shared similar views on most topics.  Both are strongly pro-women, pro-choice, both in favor of strengthening benefits for seniors and veterans.  They also (along with Tim) threw out the ever-popular "secure our borders" and "improve education" because who would not?

If you know Joyce at all, you are probably aware that she is not a formidable public speaker.  She has the tendency to occasionally mix up words.  But her understanding of politics and her democratic beliefs are strong ones.  I can see her in the Senate fighting for the middle class, as well as for those who are struggling to earn a living wage, and for children with inadequate health care and nutrition, and students who are unable to compete because of our government's unwillingness to commit to education.

If the race had been between Jill Bossi (I) and Tim Scott (Tea Party Republican), Bossi would get my vote easily.  But what concerns me about Bossi is her emphasis on her willingness to compromise, to find the middle ground, in an America where there have been too many compromises to an uncompromising right-wing.  Our middle ground is far right of where it was in the 60's and 70's, and our environment, our health care, our education, our infrastructure, have all suffered the results.  Bossi emphasizes her business creds, and I fear that once in Congress she would be all too eager to lean toward the big business dollars and lobbyists that would come her way.  Jill Bossi says she wants to institute a "fair, flat tax," a term that sends chills up and down my spine.

Tim Scott, on the other hand, for all his grooming by the big guns that control him, when left to his own devices, will talk about pretending to work alongside "everyday people," clueless as to the condescension.  Right from his introductory comments, he talks about wanting to be in the US Senate so he can spend time with his family, and help build a future for his nephew.  Clumsy, maybe, but he pretty much lets us know with this Freudian slip that the rest of us "everyday people" don't feature much in his consciousness.  Matter of fact, please go to C-Span and listen to his introductory comments, because I just can't do them justice.  You really do want to hear him say in regards to Washington, that if it weren't for relatives, people wouldn't like him at all.

But let's please get back to the issues.  Actually, not the issues, just the platitudes, because that is what Tim is all about.  Somebody invented something called an "Opportunity Agenda" for Tim, and if you listen to him talk about it, you will walk away wondering just what he's going to do to create all this opportunity.  Because he won't tell you.  The answer to the economy is creating "certainty" and "stability" in the workplace.  Now you know this doesn't mean certainty and stability for the workers.  This is just Tim Scott bullshit for cutting corporate taxes and deregulation.  Which has continued to drag us into the dark ages since Ronald Reagan's handlers first packaged it for the American people.

Of course, Scott called upon the evil Obamacare and was even told to bring up Dodd-Frank, as in "Dodd-Frank and Obamacare" as reasons why our country was failing.  Like Mark Sanford debating the cardboard Nancy Pelosi, this is a matter of throwing out red meat to the snarling and brainless base.  I am hoping that more than a few of us heard him and said, "say what???"  Apart from just the stupid pat phrases, there were the bizarre "facts," like that our corporate tax rate is ten points higher than the rest of the world.  Or that through Nikki Haley's leadership Spartanburg and Greenville are at nearly 100% employment.  And responding to the comment about his missed votes, that he has a "99% voting record" -- whatever that means.

Scott goes on to say that he "voted to reduce interest rates on student loans," which plain old made my head spin around.  So I looked it up.  HR 4628, prettily called the "Interest Rate Reduction Act," also repeals parts of the Affordable Care Act...

  establishing and appropriating funds to the Prevention and Public Health Fund (a Fund to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs). Rescinds any unobligated balances appropriated to such Fund.  

This bill had something in it for nearly everybody to hate, from those on the right that opposed keeping student loan rates low, to those on the left who opposed this sneak attack on essential parts of the Affordable Care Act.  In fact, the only group that officially supported the bill was the Christian Coalition of America.  Which made it good enough for Tim Scott.  Funny, though, how Scott made it sound like it was the student loan part of the bill he was supporting and not the strangling Obamacare part....

Oh, my, I wish I was a better writer, I could write a comedy and a tragedy on Tim Scott.  What's most important about the Senate debate for me, however, is that I got to hear just how lame he is next to the two smart women running against him.  I also had the chance to hear Jill Bossi, who was well-spoken and has lots of good ideas.  But not enough.

Joyce Dickerson may not have had time to rehearse for the debate because she appears to be spending every moment of her waking day running to different parts of the state to introduce herself to voters.  She is running on a shoestring, and doesn't have the staff to prep her and polish her.  But I prefer my candidate without the polish.  She is knowledgeable and caring, and she is not in it for the money or the power.  She is not likely to sell us out for business interests, and she understands the difference between healthy compromise and caving in.

So I will continue to support Joyce Dickerson, and I hope you will as well.

Joyce Dickerson
for US Senate

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tim Scott's Anti-Environmental Agenda

Hooray for Tim Scott!  Once again, he has received an award -- and just in time for the upcoming election -- for his service to, well, to the wealthy and powerful.  In Newspeak, it is called, The Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.  With emphasis on the word "legislative" of course.  What it means is that our Tim has worked hardest of all hard-bought legislators to make laws that protect big business.

You might not be surprised to learn that the National Association of Manufacturers is associated with our friends the Koch brothers.  Their agenda is also not much of a surprise:  they are anti-environmental regulation and have fought efforts by the government to control greenhouse gas emission.  Most recently, they lobbied to exempt certain external power supplies from complying with federal energy standards in February of 2014.  Yeah, Tim!

It's been a bit like word-puzzle fun to get an email from Tim about an award and trying to figure out what it really means, but not that much of a challenge.  As usual, Tim doesn't ever break new ground.  He pretty much does what all those fancy corporate lobbying groups tell him to do.

But I am tired of our state being held hostage by ALEC and the Kochs.  Our workers are underpaid and there are too many unemployed (latest figures show the numbers creeping up in spite of the nation's continued downward trend).  We sacrifice improving schools and roads and bridges so we can cut taxes on big corporations who are willing to do business in South Carolina if we treat them real good.  Too many in South Carolina are needlessly uninsured and suffer poor nutrition because Tim continues to vote against programs that would give his constituents a fighting chance.

Tim Scott and his buddy Nikki Haley have gotten pretty tiresome.  Their press releases are lies that cover up their true alliances as we continue to hold down the bottom rungs of any measure of education, health, public safety.

This is why we need to talk up the November 4 election.  Lots of our friends and family don't know it's coming up, and too many don't think it is important.  With only two more years of the Obama administration we need to give him a Congress that will support his environmental, health care, and immigration initiatives.  We need to give him a Congress that does not force him to compromise on programs that will truly move us forward.

Joyce Dickerson is a woman who will accomplish that in the US Senate.  She has been fighting to be heard over all the cash that is flowing on the other side, and she needs our help to let others know who she is.  She is the candidate that will work for better health care, better education, better services for seniors and veterans.  She will fight so that we all can earn a living wage, and so that women have the same rights as men.  She will protect our rights to privacy and a safe and healthy environment.

So please, spread the word.  The time is getting short and this election is too important to skip out on.  Use Facebook and Twitter, send out emails, call your friends and family and talk to your co-workers.  Tell them how Tim Scott's votes have kept them from improving their lives and those of their family.  Let's not let the phony awards get in the way of the truth.

Joyce Dickerson
for US Senate
November 4

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Owning the Bad News

It was inevitable.  Obama's economic push could only work in red states for so long before our own backwards economic policies dragged us back down.  We've been listening to Nikki Haley brag on -- and take credit for -- South Carolina's declining unemployment rate for some time now.  I wonder if today's news about its recent upswing will cause her any problem, message-wise.

Here's where our Democratic candidates should be jumping in, first of all, to let us voters know that this has happened.  And then they need to offer the logical explanation, and the logical alternative.

Where candidates like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky have stumbled has been in their fear of owning the best policies of the Obama administration.  In fact, employment began growing due to stimulus dollars, and has continued to grow because of programs like those he has undertaken to encourage alternative energy initiatives as well as protecting the environment.  Good for business, good for jobs.

Imagine where we might be if Obama had not had to waste time and tax dollars fighting a Congress which Republican members have had as their sole priority blocking administration initiatives.

Because of old-timey Republican philosophy, we have continued to have wealth stagnating in the reaches of the top one percent, while the consumers who are the actual "job creators" are unable to spend dollars they don't have.  Robert Reich describes in his documentary Inequality for All the "virtuous cycle" of economic growth that occurred up to the 1980's, followed by the "vicious cycle" that has resulted in the economic stagnation and increasing inequality that continues to this day.

What is frustrating is that the evidence is clear.  But we continue to spiral downhill due to lies and misdirection by right-wing politicians.

Take, for example, Nikki Haley.  Her policies have not been able to stop some economic growth in South Carolina in the past six years, but the bad ideas she has been pursuing have caught up with us.  The jobs she claims she has brought to the state have been not enough to counterbalance the drain on services that have resulted from her tax giveaways.  Bad business like refusing to accept Medicaid expansion dollars not only hurt uninsured individuals but result in loss in business due to employee illness, public safety issues, and loss of thousands of jobs in the health sector.

And then, of course, we have Tea Party's poster child, Tim Scott.  As long as he is prospering, he will promote any program groups like ALEC and the Koch Brothers are trying to sell.  And sell they do.  Scott's message sounds like Reagan's Morning in America, pretty words that belie the bad policies during the 80's "trickle down" years that began our decline from prosperity.  And if you look at his pro big business and anti middle class voting record, it becomes obvious why those polices just don't work.

So as we see our unemployment rate creep back up, let's spread the word that it's because of the bad policies of politicians like Nikki Haley and Tim Scott.  We have a state that stands to grow and prosper if only we are able to understand why we are in decline even as national employment continues to grow.

We have some great candidates and despite the occasional ambivalence of our state party and shoestring budgets, the word is getting out about them.  Joyce Dickerson is one candidate to watch.  She is not afraid to speak up about what has been wrong with our state, and what national policies need to change to get us working and thriving again.  The thing is, that with Tim Scott's wealthy supporters, it is all too easy to miss this strong, wonderful opponent.  I am hoping that we all will do our best to spread the word about the election coming up on November 4, and the difference between our Democratic candidates and their fiscally backward opponents.

Joyce Dickerson
for US Senate

Let's make sure our elected officials own the bad news they have created through their bad policies, and let's elect candidates that will truly make a difference.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What's In It for Me?

Corporations and their right-wing patsies have figured out that the way to win is to make it all about us, even though it's really not.  They make all their pitches about what we have to gain, and more important, what we have to lose, if we don't vote for them.  Those of us who don't vote often believe that it won't make a difference, that both parties are the same, that nobody represents them.  When we Democrats fail, it is often because we waffle about our principles so that we don't offend anyone, or we talk about them too broadly so they become meaningless to people who are struggling with day to day problems.

There are a lot of differences between the parties and the candidates, and they are not abstract.  They reflect the issues we are struggling with every day.  Who gets elected in November is going to determine in very real terms whether our lives will get better or we will just get by.  This election affects dramatically every person of every age.

So here it is, the pitch:

College graduates:  Republicans are opposed to allowing the refinancing of student loans, forcing graduates to carry high-interest rate loans for years.  This means being strapped with debt before they have even been able to make their way in the workforce.  The high interest loans involved are either owned or guaranteed by the federal government, so this is money that our government is making from what should be an investment in a student's future.  Debt from everything from mortgages to credit cards can be refinanced.  Big banks are allowed to borrow at 0 percent from the government.  Why are students forced to pay exorbitant rates on their loans?  Because the Republicans do not want to increase taxes on the millionaires and billionaires that fund their campaigns.

Women:  Oh, so many issues are so critical for the well-being of women in South Carolina.  Our state and federal legislators continue to force votes that would prevent women from accessing affordable birth control.  Preventing women from having family planning will result in not just unplanned pregnancies, but the stress involved with not being able to control decisions about college, jobs and marriage.  It will result in job insecurity.  Men should be outraged that legislators would remove from the family decisions that so directly effect emotional and financial well-being.

Parents:  School choice is the pseudonym for privatizing.  Basically all the many schemes offered provide inadequate financial allotments to most while the wealthy can continue to send their children to the expensive private schools. This false promise also drains money from a public school system that has never been funded adequately here in South Carolina.

Seniors:  Republican fear mongering about Social Security and Medicare is also all about privatization.  Back in the '80's, social security cuts were enabled by the promise of IRA's, which were supposed to herald in a future of wealth and prosperity, but actually just made us all vulnerable to the greed and speculation of Wall Street.  This false promise also allowed corporations to bargain away our pensions.  Cuts to Medicare have and will continue to damage a system that was once a great safety net, forcing seniors to spend more on health care at a time when they should not have to worry about whether they will be able to pay to survive.

So many issues:

Food Stamps:  Too many people are working and not earning a living wage.  Food stamps not only feeds the poor, but keeps dollars flowing in our communities.

Medicaid:  Not wanting everyone to have health insurance is just plain cruel.  But it is also stupid.  Even without the panic over Ebola, the inability to treat a medical problem before a contagion spreads, or a treatable illness becomes terminal, is costly as well as inhumane.  And again, providing health care also provides jobs to our communities.

Minimum Wage:  All the arguments against raising the minimum wage are really about not wanting to raise the wages of those who are making more than minimum.  Because Republicans really do know that a rising tide lifts all boats.  What they really don't want to see is all wages rise in response to the raise in the minimum wage.  Greedy and stupid?  Sure, but these are the politics we have been suffering under since the 80's.  If you are not working for minimum wage, and you're still struggling, you should be fighting -- and voting -- for raising the minimum wage.  And again, raising the minimum wage puts more dollars into the pockets of those who will spend it in their communities.  So if you are a business person, you too should be wanting everyone in your community to be making a living wage.

Voting Rights:  We all know people who won't be voting because they are afraid they will be confronted (and embarrassed) at the polls.  Let's get out there and vote to protect everybody's rights and elect people who will not need to use intimidation to win.

Gun Control:  Those who are most vulnerable in general tend to live in areas where there is more danger of gun violence.  The Second Amendment argument is pure nonsense.  But the mostly republican lawmakers who refuse to make the streets safe for all our citizens need to be voted out of office.  Our police officers should be voting for legislators who support reasonable gun controls; their lives are on the line as well.  And with shootings by officers in the news, we know that the more guns on the streets, the more stressful the job, and the more likely they will have to live (or die) based on a split second decision.

I could go on and on.  There are so many issues that really do affect us every single day.  I urge our candidates to talk to people not about issues that don't seem relevant to them, but to relate the legislation they would pursue to what it means for each of us, every day.  And when we talk to others about the upcoming election, if we talk about how each issue ripples out to affect us all, we might just motivate people to get out and vote.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

And THIS Phony Award Goes to... Tim Scott

I don't usually have so much to say on one subject that I do it in two consecutive days, but I have just learned from Senator Tim Scott that he has just been awarded the "Taxpayers' Friend Award," and, well, it was just too juicy to resist.

Yesterday I wrote about how I nearly choked while forcing myself to watch Tim Scott's TV ad about how he has been hanging around us "everyday people."  Call it masochism, but as one of the simple folk, I subscribe to Senator Scott's email newsletter, in order to be better informed as to what headaches the royalty are experiencing on my account.  Usually it has to do with battling that great beast, Obama.  But at times Scott feels he owes it to us to share the good news.  Which, of course, has to do with him, not us.

When Scott was running for the House of Representatives two short (or maybe too long) years ago, he was conveniently awarded the folksy sounding, "Standing Up for Seniors Award."  He got that by insisting that we seniors would be far better off if we got off our butts and supported ourselves for a couple more years, and if we stopped letting the government coddle us the way it coddles Congress.

Quelle surprise!  The award was given out by a group called RetireSafe, whose name really referred to the fact that you should climb into bed and pull the covers up if you really wanted to be safe from these guys.  They are a group of right wingnuts that make buckets of money for Big Pharma; they are still out there doing their best to keep us away from drugs that don't maximize profit for their members.

As Arlo Guthrie once said, "Some things change; some things don't."  This year's "Taxpayers' Friend Award" is brought to Tim by the National Taxpayers Union (yes, a union),  one of those groups that like to throw around words like "freedom" a lot.  Their goal, of course, is to cut taxes, the byproduct of which would be to cut government services.  Oh, but they fail to mention the cutting services part.  Tim calls it a "nonpartisan advocacy group," which is what you do when you have a bunch of rich partisans giving you an award and you want to lie about it.

Anyway, I want to end once again by saying that Tim Scott is a phony, and I wouldn't believe him if he told me what day of the week it is.  What I would do is urge everyone who really does work hard and pay taxes and try to do the best they can to support someone who really will work in Congress for us.

Joyce Dickerson
Not afraid to speak her mind.

Joyce Dickerson has been and will continue to fight for our individual freedoms -- as opposed to Tim's battle for corporate rights.  The right to earn a living wage, the right to health care equality and privacy, the right to a good education, which requires investing in good teachers and good schools in order to invest in our kids.  The right of veterans and the unemployed to get back on their feet.  The right of each of us to vote.  The right to have our government work for us, and not against us.

Don't forget, the ETV SC Senate debate is on October 28.  Listen for yourself, and spread the word.

Joyce Dickerson
US Senate

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pretending to Be ... You and Me

You know I fast forward through TV commercials, but when I saw Tim Scott I slowed it down ... then I rewound it ... then I did it again ... and then I wrote it down.  Then I shut my mouth, which had been hanging open for some time.

Here's the appointed Senator:

"I've gone all throughout South Carolina, doing everyday jobs with strong, everyday people, so that I could understand their dreams, their passions and what inspires them.  I've bagged groceries, I've waited tables, cut chicken and swept floors..." (group of well dressed, mostly white older folk milling about, hanging -- casually -- on his words, laugh), "...even separated clothes at the Goodwill.  And what I've learned is so powerful....  Everyday people understand that they have been empowered by the greatness of our country."

First of all, what is this "everyday people" crap?  Obviously he is talking about us.  Which sets us apart from... Tim Scott.  Oh, he throws in the word "strong" so it doesn't sound condescending.  Only because he is being condescending.

Well, Tim Scott apparently has been out in the upper reaches for so long that he felt the need to come down to commune with us "everyday people."  He's bagged groceries.  The man has "even" separated clothes at Goodwill.  Excuse my French as well as my redundance, but what a condescending piece of crap.

And the human props in the ad:  one African American woman (might as well kill two demographics with one stone), one Hispanic looking man, dressed as though he's just come from his middle class job.  And an assortment of middle-aged, pleasant looking and prosperous white men.  Imagine the auditions.

But back to the rousing speech.  Because we are about to find out what our fellow Tim has learned that is "so powerful...."

I'm figuring that after a few eight hour shifts "cutting chicken" (and is there a Tyson poultry plant hereabouts?) and sweeping floors, he's probably gotten an earful.  No doubt he's heard about how hard it is to get a day off to take care of a sick kid, not to mention stay home with the flu.  Or maybe his co-workers have proudly told him about their kids who graduated college but can't find jobs, or have been having a hard time paying down their student loans.  I'm thinking he must have heard lots of stories about living on the wages from that job sweeping floors, and about trying to find the money to pay the month's rent as well as the car repair.

But NO.

What our Tim Scott has learned in the time he spent with those people he obviously has to go out of his way to meet these days, is that "everyday people understand that they have been empowered by the greatness of our country."

Well, let me just say this about that.  Tim, you really need to not just push those brooms around when you go out to be with us "everyday people."  You need to listen to what we are telling you.  Because you are really the one who has "been empowered by the greatness of our country."  The rest of us have just been getting by, one day at a time.  We worry about our family's health, our children's "minimally adequate" education, our jobs -- which, I might add, don't come with the great benefits that your job provides.  We worry about whether we will make it to retirement age before our tired old bones give out, and whether we will have enough in our monthly social security checks to get by.

You, Tim, are smarmy and self-satisfied.  You have had those rich folks praising you for so long you actually believe the crap they are telling you.  They are paying you, and showering you with praise and fake awards, so that you will continue to vote to give them power without responsibility so that they can continue to make buckets of money while us "everyday people" struggle with all the things that can go wrong in our lives, while you spend a couple of hours pretending you are one of us.

Paul Ryan tried that once during his vice presidential campaign.  He pushed his way into a soup kitchen, pretending to clean already clean pots and pans, in order to create a photo op.  Tim Scott is using the same political playbook.  And I truly hope it works as well for Scott as it did for Ryan.

Back to Tim's pandering TV ad.  This disgusting ad ends by calling him "A senator for all of South Carolina."  Well, no, he's not.  He's not even much of a senator for most of South Carolina.  He is a man who has his head set on getting ahead, so he can hobnob with his wealthy friends.

So lets spread the word about the woman who is running against this puffed up hypocrite.  We need to elect someone who truly knows what her constituents are going through day to day.  We need someone who understands what it is like to be afraid of losing a job, to worry about your child's education, to work hard for too little pay.  We need someone who will fight for us.  That someone is Joyce Dickerson.

Joyce Dickerson
...and she's not afraid to speak her mind.

She doesn't have the buckets of money flowing into her campaign like Tim Scott has, because she doesn't cater to the wealthy and the big corporations.  So you might not see a lot of ads, but mark your calendar to see her debate Scott on ETV on October 28.

And spread the word.

Joyce Dickerson
US Senate

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dickerson v. Scott on November 4

In September, in another blog, I wrote about Joyce Dickerson.  For those of you who may not know, there is an election coming up, on November 4.  And you may know that there is an election, but you may not know who is running against Tim Scott.  The answer is, Joyce Dickerson.  And the reason you may not have heard of her, is that all the money, I mean, all the big money, is on Tim Scott.  He is being financed by all those cats from all those foundations that have the word "freedom" in them.  You know, freedom as in don't mess with my freedom to keep making big bucks and not have to be responsible to anyone for how I do it.

Well, in the time it has taken for Nikki Haley, who has never met a big donor she didn't like, to appoint Tim Scott to take care of her supporters in the US Senate, he has become a Big Name in politics.  Not because he is smart, because he is not.  Not because he makes tough choices, because he doesn't.  Not because he cares about the people of South Carolina.  Tim Scott's claim to fame is that he is an African American.  Yes, the media loves Tim Scott for being an African American senator the same way they love Nikki Haley because she is a woman governor.

But Tim Scott, like Nikki Haley, are rubber-stamp Tea Party conservatives.  Scott has been, since his appointment by Haley, groomed by the right wing, and he is delighted to do their bidding, and to believe that he is doing it for the good of the people.  But if you look at his voting record, there is no question whose camp he is in.

He may send out flowery emails on all the days that commemorate our veterans, but he does not hesitate to vote against anything that might improve their lives when they are done fighting for their country.  He is quick to tell how he was raised by a hard working mother who sacrificed to help him get where he is today, but he will flush down the toilet any bill that might give other children that same chance, or make the going a little easier for the moms that raise them.  He has learned to talk about how he is pro-small-business, but small businesses take a back seat to the big corporations that control him.

And then there is Joyce.

Even our own Jim Clyburn couldn't quite figure out why a woman would want to run against two men in the SC primary election.  But she knew why she needed to run, and without a whole lot of help, she beat her opponents.  She is outspoken and unafraid, and she will be heard.

Joyce Dickerson is uncompromising when it comes to working for the middle class and the disadvantaged.  She understands that freedom includes the right for a woman to determine her own reproductive health care, and without the intrusion of the government.  She knows that supporting the veterans isn't just about waving a flag and sending out emails on Veterans Day, but about making sure they have health care, and jobs or the opportunity to train for jobs that will provide them a living wage when they get home.  She will fight for a living wage for workers and the right to affordable health care.  Joyce will make sure that our children don't go hungry, and that they will be educated in good schools by well-trained and well-paid teachers.  Improve our roads?  Keep the oil barons out of our port?

What Joyce's candidacy means to me is just about every issue that matters.  She's not afraid to speak her mind and follow that up with action.  I can imagine her on the floor of the Senate, and being interviewed about critical issues and votes.  She is a woman we could be proud to have represent us in South Carolina.  What a breath of fresh air!

So, if a breath of fresh air is what you think we need, please be sure to vote.  Equally important:  don't be afraid to talk to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors about the upcoming election.  Ask them what they are unhappy about, and then tell them how Joyce Dickerson will work to change those things.

Joyce Dickerson for US Senate


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Why We Vote ... And Why We Don't

Given the fact that we are free to complain as much as we want about our politicians, it's just sad how little we know about what they do.  Political success these days, with help from the Supreme Court, is determined by public relations, which is brought to us by... money, lots of money.

And yet, if we wanted to learn about our candidates, we have so much information at our fingertips.  Project Vote Smart has a wealth of information about candidates, including voting record and ratings by organizations.

And yet, if not for a plethora of TV ads, most of us would have no idea there is an election coming up.  And those of us that do know, and plan on voting, may not have a clue who the candidates are, or their stand on the issues.

Man oh man, this is not the time to vote with your eyes closed.  Nor is it the time to skip voting.  We have had too many years of the rich getting richer and the poor losing voting rights, health care, and wages to stay silent.

Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of Nancy, is an amazing documentary film maker, who wanders around shopping centers and parking lots across America asking people questions about politics.  In an interview with Bill Maher on Real Time on September 26, she said, "...people do not know there is an election."  Those who said they were going to vote rarely knew the candidates.  If they said they were going to vote "for the republican," and Pelosi asked about specific issues, she comments that "...if you go through the laundry list (of issues), they don't know what a republican is."

So here's the thing.  We need to tell people there is an election on November 4.  Our politicians need to get personal, and talk not just about the issues, but about how the issues are going to affect them.

They need to know that by South Carolina not taking federal Medicaid dollars, not only are our tax dollars going back to Washington, but people here are getting sick and costing us all whether it is in time lost from work or children going to school with contagious illnesses.  When state and federal government try to make laws regulating a woman's reproductive health, this is government interference in family decisions.  When our lawmakers refuse to allow our college graduates to refinance their student loans, they are burdening our young adults as they are trying to begin their adult lives.  And all of the above taxes our economy and stresses our families.  And wastes taxpayer dollars.

We need to get specific.  Because when people talk about the issues, and their personal stake in those issues, they are talking about Democratic values.  They just don't know it yet.  And when they realize what is personally at stake, they may just make the effort to get out and vote.