You Get What You Pay For: The Midterm Elections

canstockphoto3694682This morning, we Americans were treated to a bevy of smug smiling old white men from every media source. I voted, so settle in – I get to complain. This morning, I scrolled glumly through the election results. Let’s face it, same old shit, different day. I’m not going to launch into the typical polemics of them versus us, except in the sense that them versus us is all about the average American versus the political oligarchy that swims in the sewage of big money. Politicians of any ilk.

President Obama, in my mind, has not distinguished himself from any other president in the last three decades. I had hoped, especially early on, that he’d be bold. Instead, the only change he implemented was the change he ran on – “not Bush”. Mediocre presidency. The Democrats have spent this entire time acting like the bullied kid on the playground – not pushing back, not taking a stand, not doing much of anything except wringing their hands about them bad ole’ Republicans.

The Republicans are still confusing ideology with good policy making and while they tout the first black Republican woman elected to Congress, they are as white and misogynistic as ever. Her campaign was based on “there are no women or race issues, only people issues”, which reflects the tone-deafness of her fellow party members. Guess what? Not acknowledging problems doesn’t make them go away. And exactly what are the people’s problems? Because seriously, I have no issue with not calling corporations people and getting creepy male politicians out of my privates and training police officers how not to shoot black people. And for goodness sake, stop telling me what a real marriage is, especially when so many of your own houses are in disarray.

Billions of dollars were poured into these midterm campaigns, spent on making dysfunctional political families look like something out the 1950s, while rabid dogs gallop across lawns. And then there were the family pets. I am discouraged. I participated in the process. Most of the candidates I voted for won, but I feel like I just got out of the gutter. All this money scares the hell out of me. Four billion dollars for a midterm election? Four billion dollars? Holy shit. Welcome to our pay-to-play system. For all the harkening back to the founding fathers, I truly doubt that this is what they envisioned for this country.

So, what’s an American to do? I’m pretty fed up with reading angry blog posts (and just about done writing this one), since social media doesn’t mean squat in this river of money. It’s another way we citizens can seem to be involved and powerful that, in the course of history, will just be an added distraction for the masses, like Candy Crush. Or voting.

As someone who is relatively optimistic about my country, I’ve hit a new low. Four billion dollars. Republicans who are doing their doolally happy dance this morning, act like they won something based on their super duper plan for improving the country. Nope. They just paid for it. Democrats look downright rudderless. They paid for that, too. Worst of all, we, the People, are going to pay the price for this cynical and corrupt political system as we suffer the next two years of relentless campaigning for the 2016 elections. Four billion will be just the tip of the iceberg.

28 Comments on “You Get What You Pay For: The Midterm Elections

  1. I’m Canadian so I hesitate to weigh in because really it’s none of my business. But I am interested and I do watch what goes on over on your side of the border, so for what it’s worth I agree with every word you’ve said. If it’s any comfort our politicians aren’t any better up here. Lunch box letdown all around.

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    • What I really dislike is reading headlines that trumpet victories for whatever party, while having this sinking sense that it’s no victory for the American people. I just can’t get over the amount of money wasted and how most politicians seem to represent a demographic of which I’m not a member.

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      • I totally agree. And that’s the same on both sides of the border too. I always vote and always will but I also ask myself, every time I leave the polling booth, why I bothered. Because the outcome will still turn out to be disappointing and won’t improve my life or the lives of my fellow citizens. It sure would be refreshing to wake up one day and find a real leader in office. I live in hope.

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      • Well said. I’m in Wisconsin and still shocked at how handily the Republicans took the state. My Republican friends are all celebrating and think I’m upset because the Democrats lost. Would I feel better with a candidate who supposedly supports women’s and gay rights? Of course. But I’m more disheartened by the entire futile process of voting in a two-party system. Like you said – a number of politicians can celebrate expensive wins, but it’s no victory for any of us.

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        • I’m not particularly surprised by the Republican wins, as midterms are notorious for taking a swing at the administration. And what can I say about Wisconsin? On the upside, they’re predicting the highest midterm voter turnout in 50 years for your state. That’s something, I guess.

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    • Hahahahaha – imagine a sad, maniacal laugh and a head being slammed into a keyboard.
      On the plus side, I just used the phrase “unlucky balls” in my NaNo novel. I need to stop reading political articles this morning…

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  2. I too am sad. But mostly sad because the election was decided by (1) money and (2) old white folks. Everybody else stayed home (except you and me). People deserve what they will get — continued gridlock and ignorance — because they stayed home. Trouble is, we don’t deserve to get caught up in the whirlpool too.

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    • Yes, when I went to the polls yesterday morning, I was a youngster there. My husband went last night and it was the same thing. I’ll rally for the next election – the clip you posted by John Oliver was wonderful, by the way. I’m curious to see what the voter turnout was for this. I get the apathy – we seem powerless at times, but to give away the very little bit of power we might actually have seems bizarre.

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      • YES!!! I feel bad because for the first time in many years, I didn’t do any political work. Mostly because what I’ve always done is make calls, and I am sick to death of getting them myself …

        And John Oliver is wonderful. I can’t wait to see what he does on Sunday!

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  3. Great post Michelle. It’s all about money. Painting the picture you want to show…with money and more money. Don’t even want to think about the 2016 campaign.

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  4. Very well put. Things are never going to change if the person with the most money is the person who gets elected! I’m no expert but really, $4 billion?! What could that money be used for instead? Supporting people who need health care, the homeless, education, the environment…

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  5. All the money is insane! Incredibly selfish, oh what? Just pathetic. I thought along these lines, too, this election. All this money. I’ve had enough of it!

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    • I am often baffled by what the money gets spent on. Do people really vote based off a make believe TV ad? Does anybody believe anything that comes out of a politician’s mouth, especially once it’s been through the sieve of a PR firm? It really is puzzling and definitely shameful.

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        • Money and power – once they get a taste, it’s all about getting more and keeping what they have. Unfortunately, the political process has become so twisted and misshapen, it would be hard to recognize a good leader when she or he came along.

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  6. It really is all too depressing. Nothing changes. Even the tiny changes Obama made will get taken back once he’s out of office. How did FDR do it?

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    • I feel a tad more optimistic this morning. Perhaps because I have not read the news today. One thing that President Obama did do, is that he showed that changes can be made to the healthcare system. Whether it’s a good or bad change or maintainable remains to be seen, but it had been a debate in American politics for a decade and nothing happened. Unfortunately, the Democrats did a very poor job of rolling it out and the Republican PR machine steamrolled everyone.
      FDR was either adored or loathed, but was also a president of his time. Much like President Bush’s popularity rising after 9/11, larger events played a role in FDR’s presidency. President Obama came into a mucky, gray mess both domestically, abroad and politically. I don’t believe any president could have done well in this environment and racism definitely impacted his popularity.

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  7. America, like the UK, needs to radically overhaul it’s entire political system. Government has become an arena where only a small section (the wealthy elite) is represented, and the job now is to try and make the masses aware of this injustice so that change (and I mean real change – not just a slight deviation from right to left or vice-versa) can come about.

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    • Our system of government has become so convoluted with gerrymandering, filibustering and outright graft, that the average citizen feels truly powerless and as witnessed in this election, so confused as to vote against their own best interest. John Oliver did a terrific piece on the midterm elections that was spot on. We need to stop waiting for big presidential elections and start paying attention to local elections, from city councils to school boards to the midterms. This is where these corrupt megalomaniacs and fringe legislative groups are born and where they begin gathering support on their way to the top.

      Liked by 1 person

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