Voting Skills; Learned Behaviours Or Critical Thought?

 

So. It’s now fewer than 40 days until Federal Election Day and like most people who actually give a shit about elections, my head is aswim with politics. Maybe aswim isn’t an actual word, but I don’t really give a shit. Should be.

I don’t like to say, “My head is swimming with politics,” when it’s the brain part swimming inside my head, and not my head in the pool doing the backstroke with politics. I make every effort to be accurate herein, as accuracy is my middle name.

OK, my actual true and given middle name is Einstein, the middle reliever on the team of words that were chosen to name me when born. My birth certificate says that my name is Butcher Einstein Johnson, which, had I not become Mooner during the first hours of my first day of First Grade, I’d likely be named “BJ”, like my buddy BJ, and everyone would be confused anytime a blogger mentioned, “I saw this over to BJ’s blog.”

Which reminds me to tell you that when you get a chance, step over to BJ’s place at: http://www.bjsunoriginalthoughts.blogspot.com/

and check out the embedded video clips that show on his first page. The Sammy Jackson clip is an easy fit for whatever theme I had when I started this tome. But look at the others posted to his first page.

Then again, what set me off in the first place was something I read over to Q’s place at

http://www.thankq4commonsense.blogspot.com/.

If you are wondering about the funky spacing in these last two paragraphs, it’s because I can’t figure out how to write text next to an embedded linkster to another site, like I did there with BJ and Q. There isn’t a single fucking button on my keypad I can push to prevent other text from merging with the linkster stuff if I don’t plan ahead and make extra blank spaces before I insert the linking text.

ADHD kills at any speed.

Anyway, what Q was talking about was how people don’t use their own brains to make voting decisions, they use Fox News or MSNBC or Smushed Limburger to make decisions for them.

And, sweet Jesus, how, inthefuck, did Rush Limbaugh ever get so popular? How many bigots still live in America?

I made a comment on Q’s site in response to his thesis that contained the following:

I was lucky. The first time I was old enough to vote–a time when my head was firmly planted in a cloud of pot smoke hovering under young womens’ skirts, I asked my father who I should vote for. He told me, “Pull your head out of your ass and figure it out, son. If not, please don’t vote.” 

Those words between the quote marks would be Daddy’s actual words to me when I asked him for whom I should vote when I was first of voting age. I was in college then and my head was too busy blowing hot pot smoke up young womens’ skirts to consider my voting choices. The candidates of my first Presidential voting decision were Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Richard Millhouse Nixon, and George “Ain’t No Niggers Gonna Roll Tide on My Watch” Wallace.

Wallace was out for me, and without any consideration. I was raised to hold no quarter for racists.

As for Nixon, I remember that I didn’t like him for multiple reasons, but I can’t remember what the specific reasons were during the last 40 days before that election. I liked the politics of HHH, but he was a limp dishrag to me, and for some reason I felt my President should demonstrate some moxy.

But 1968 was a terrible election year. Lyndon Johnson—my first choice—had health problems and chose to not run; Martin Luther King had been assassinated; and then my second presidential choice, RFK, was murdered as well. I had been involved with Johnson’s campaign even before I could vote and took up Kennedy’s banner after that. When the final candidates were known, I asked Daddy who he was casting his vote for out of confusion—I wanted his advice.

And he gave me his best advice.

But he also had already given me his best parenting and that gave me the values upon which my evaluations are made. Once, when I was seven years old, I told a joke at the dinner table that I heard in school. In the mid-1950’s the joke was known as a “Nigger” joke. And don’t you just hate that word? Doesn’t it make your skin crawl? I don’t like it coming from any person’s mouth—my own or even black people.

I think that black people are perpetuating the use of that word by using it.

Then again, I just used it twice to express precision in my words and I think I need to spend some time thinking about the N-word. Maybe I’ll ask God how to deal with it when I’m next visited.

So, we were in the middle of dinner and I had been waiting for just the right time to tell my joke. When Gram asked for a second helping of mashed potatoes, I took the following lag in the conversation to act. I told my joke, then I almost rolled out my chair laughing at myself.

“Go out back and cut a switch, Mooner. Didn’t I tell you to never say that word?”

Oops.

“Wasn’t it funny, Daddy? Everybody laughed when Junior Basher told it.”

Turns out, Junior Basher was killed over to Viet Nam when the latrine seat occupied by his ass blew both him and the latrine across a small chunk of jungle. Seems Lt. Junior Basher couldn’t stop himself from telling racial jokes, even in the company of enlisted men carrying the racial genetics bearing the brunt of his jokes.

Daddy replied, “Never means never, Mooner. That’s the same as when people call you white trash only way to the worse. Now fetch me that switch.”

How willow switches were used on my sister and me depended upon the season. In colder weather, the switch would be used classically as a whip on our asses as we bent over and grasped the edge of the table. But when the weather allowed us to wear shorts, we were made to stand up straight with our legs apart and the tip of the springy switch would be applied to our legs above the knees.

The whippings were always administered there at the kitchen table in front of the entire family, and each family member was given the opportunity to lay on a few strokes. On this mentioned occasion, each person present lay some wood on the tender skin of my thighs.

But I think I might be digressing just a touch. In less than 40 days, we will be making one of the most important decisions for America in modern times. We will choose whether we want to continue as a country towards becoming a Christian theocracy that plunders its working classes for the corporate good, and blunders about the Globe to enforce our desires on others in the name of Freedom.

Will we keep reducing social nets and networks and reducing the paid retirement benefits of people who prepaid for those benefits? Will we give religious zealots control of our country’s reins in much the same way as has been done in Egypt?

Or we will choose to demand social fairness, sanity and civilized administration from our elected officials.

Either way, please think before you vote, or don’t fucking vote. Manana, y’all.

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8 Responses to “Voting Skills; Learned Behaviours Or Critical Thought?”

  1. mel says:

    Hey, buddy! How have you been. I read that whole post, I really did, but the health care system needed me to work longer hours last night, and I have officially been up for like three days now. You did manage to spark a memory in me, which is pretty incredible at this point because I could hardly form sentences on the phone when ordering dinner for my children…and don’t even get me started on reading my credit card info to the lady…she had to call me back because I couldn’t read. Anyway, that has nothing to do with what you just wrote. No, you reminded me that my very first election I was old enough to vote in, Bill Clinton was elected. It was a very exciting time, what with MTV really getting involved that year. And then there was that leftover , I don’t know if I should call it loyalty, but Big Papa Bush came to speak at my high school my freshman year of high school, so whatever that was….I got over it. Oh to go back to those days… Exciting memories.

  2. mel says:

    and oh, oh, oh….stop by my place in a couple of hours. I know how you like pictures and my post that is going live is almost all pictures!! Maybe I’m in one…or maybe not. You can decide.

  3. Katy Anders says:

    My grandfather – who is roundabout retirement age right now – says that he voted for Nixon in 1968 because his mom “made him vote for Nixon.”

    Never could figure out how somebody’s mom could make them vote a certain way.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I just saw breasts on TV and forgot what this blog was about or what I was saying.

  4. Mooner In Austin says:

    Mel. As I am not currently in need of health care, I appreciate your spending more time there than here. It’s interesting to me that we Americans pay a huge persentage of our income on health care and doctors and insurance companies make big incomes, yet… Health care support personnel are worked to death and usually not well-paid.

    I’ll check your site soon. I’m still having trouble commenting. (?)

    Katy. Breasts? Where are the breasts?

  5. mel says:

    Glad you were able to comment today!

    And as far as health care workers, long hours and being underpaid? Couldn’t agree more. Just found out that we aren’t even getting cost of living raises…again. I’m also 100% sure that somehow we will be paying more for our insurance in 2013 too.

  6. bj says:

    Ol’ Chigger was a pretty smart feller, wud’n he? 1972 was the first year I was ALLOWED to vote bein’s I turned 21 in August. Yeah …. 18 year olds were given the right to vote in 1971 with the passage of the 26th Amendment and I was kinda pissed ’cause I thought I was smart enough to vote when I was about 12 or 13. Oh, by the way …. if I COULD’A voted in 1972 it would’a been for McGovern …. but although I was ALLOWED to vote in 1972 …. there wudn’t a single voting booth on Firebase Linda, RVN. Can’t IMAGINE why they didn’t want us voting in that election ……
    As for the “N” werd I never heard that werd in my parent’s house still to this day. My Daddy was a Lifer in the Army and I honestly never heard that werd until we moved to South Carolina in 1963 (and then I heard it QUITE often). My opinion is that there are NO werds too taboo to say in a given situation (except “FIRE” in a crowded theater, et al) or write, for that matter. There’s a reason the First Amendment is THE FIRST AMENDMENT! IMHO, though some things are better left unsaid or are so callous as to cause havoc (re: “Innocence Of Muslims), I will defend to the death your right to say them even if you’re a racist dickwad who needs a severe asswhuppin’. That werd has come out of my mouth a few times in my life …. and it always left a bad taste. Once,even a bloody taste ….
    btw …. I have several relatives and friends who aren’t smart enough to vote …. they’re also not smart enough to realize they’re not smart enough to not vote. Sooooooo …. whaddayagonnado?

  7. Mooner In Austin says:

    Mel. It makes my skin crawl to know that the CEO’s and their cronies at Health Insurance companies make tens-of-millions per year based upon a corporate profitability that can be directly-fucking PEGGED to disallowing claims and needed procedures.

    Rotten mother fuckers.

    Beej. Daddy was the best and still missed terribly. Many was the time I heard him say, “Don’t say that around me.” Time in the services seems to have a way of equalizing all races and classes of men.

    I never thought about whether troops in Nam were allowed the chance to vote. Now, the Repubbies are claiming that Obama made the Army and such wait too long to send ballots overseas.

    Huh? It’s been a month since we have known what the fucking Presidential/VP ballot will look like, and many states have lawsuits by third party candies trying to get on the ballots.

    As for the First Amen, I hate it that I agree with you. Love-Hate.

  8. Squatlo says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the word, but when Richard Pryor used it I always thought it was pitch perfect for the routine he was spinning. Other than that, it’s a foul throwback to a hateful time we ought to be beyond. Unfortunately, our current president has brought out reactions that remind us we’re never too far along the enlightenment trail in this country. The trolls are everywhere, and they’re spawning faster than thinking people.

    My first dose of politics was informative, to say the least. I signed up and campaigned for McGovern in ’72, and was naive enough to think he’d win, just because Dick was a dick and surely enough Americans wanted the war ended in Vietnam.

    That November was when I first told myself to never underestimate the ignorance and gullibility of the American voter.

    But anyone who sits this election out ought to forfeit any bitch-session rights afterward. We either get out the vote, or give up and country to the plutocrats and theological wing of the right forever.

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