Thursday, December 15, 2011

Throw the Bums Out

An American citizen in its native habitat, the real world.

In my post, The Long Goodbye, I spoke with a growing sense of despair, one that's understandable given the self-inflicted cataclysm our Dear Leaders are steering us towards. But then I read this in the WaPo:
The American electorate is primed to throw out record numbers of incumbents in the 2012 election, according to new polling from the Pew Research Center.
Everywhere you look in the numbers, which were released this morning, you see political land mines for incumbents.
Sixty seven percent say they want to see most Members of Congress voted out in 2012, the highest that number has ever been in Pew polling. And, while people are more favorably inclined to see their own Member re-elected, (50 percent yes/33 percent no) those numbers still match historic lows.
Among political independents, the numbers are even more grim. Just 15 percent of independents want to see most members re-elected in 2012; only 37 percent want to see their own incumbent win a new term next year while 43 percent would like to see their own Member lose.
Most of the time I've spent paying attention to politics, the numbers in these polls were always rendered irrelevant by the "except their own representative, which they highly support." This is might really be different. So how do we make it so?
  • Stop giving money except to newcomers you've vetted and feel truly enthusiastic about. Elizabeth Warren, Darcy Burner, or Tammy Duckworth come to mind. The rest, even an incumbent you like, the hell with them.
  • Call, email, or snail-mail your representatives on every level, even state, city, and county, and remind them constantly of your views on the issues and that the jig is up. You'll vote against them and campaign relentlessly to usher them out of office. And NO MONEY unless you see them working for the welfare of all the people. A whiff of bankster love, and it's over.
  • Pick some way of being active in politics. Go to town meetings and help whip up support for your issues. And your activism should be local and issue-specific, but if you're pissed at Ron Wyden for blowing up the Democratic Party advantage on Medicare -- while endangering seniors who've paid all their lives for health security in their so-called Golden Years -- then be unrelenting in your contacts with his office. Find ways to make them hear (representatives in Congress make it difficult to get email from non-constituents). Make their ears ring!
  • If you don't like them, vote them out. The idea that protecting the Democrats because they're marginally better may be self-defeating. What if both sides of the aisle believed that the exit door was one false move away? Republicans and Democrats alike would start to think, "Can't we all get along?"
  • Boycott corrupt businesses. Leave the big banks for local ones and credit unions. Let's not leave them on Move Your Money Day. Let's leave them for good. And don't shop Walmart or any other big player that fights unions. Unions may be the way to bring back the middle class. That's a no-brainer. Oh, and if an airline screws its unions, avoid flying on that carrier. Contact your favorite airline and tell it that destroying unions through Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a surefire way to lose your business for good.
  • Support bloggers who rally citizens to the cause.
  • Big must: Fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms we have on the Internet. Don't fall for the hooey that they're only trying to protect their copyrights. They want to control all content. That's their game. Stopping piracy is just a bonus.
  • Be a protester, be Person of the Year, every year. If you don't like something, go disobey civilly.
You get the message. To be truly non-partisan while remaining effective might just mean that we've got to throw our own bums out, regardless of party affiliation. It'll scare some sense into them!

Leave me alone, I'm occupied!

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