Single Gal and A Historic Day

I am feeling patriotic today. The historical significance of this national election is something we have never seen before, and I love the feeling of optimism, that perhaps a change will be made today in our country that will affect our lives for the better.

Even if there is little a new President can do to get us out of the gaping hole that “W” put us in, it’s nice to have that positive feeling. Even if it’s for a fleeting moment. 

Along with many others, I will be watching the election returns tonight like it’s a heavyweight bout, sitting on the edge of my seat as the votes roll in and we see whatever effect race, gender, war and taxes will have on the minds of the American voters. As we have seen before, though things seem clear as to who is the out-and-out favorite, we know that things can change on a dime and become something much different than what we expected.

On the local level, we have changes coming too, and hopefully for the better.  I am hearing more and more advertisements on TV and radio for Measures J and K, and know that the impact will be tremendous if they don’t pass.  I don’t see a reason San Jose voters wouldn’t vote for these measures, but you never know.  I hope that we are able to keep our local services and not have to cut back on essential things for our city.

So on this day, our historical Election Day, here’s to smart choices—and to change. We are starving for it…

35 Comments

  1. In the old days we could be confident that the fundamental fairness of free elections was in place because those who stepped into the voting booth on Election Day were casting a vote that was completely protected from coercion or bribery.
    The recent trend toward mail-in voting is compromising the integrity of the whole process.
    How do we know what pressures many voters were subject to as they filled in their mail-in ballots at home- perhaps shortly after answering the door to a campaign worker- perhaps with the help of that campaign worker?
    20 States still do not have absentee voting. Let’s recognize these 20 as models of free and democratic elections and bring the other 30 states back in line.

  2. Hey #1 – I assume you just as troubled by the Supreme Court stealing the election a few years ago? I see that as a much bigger problem than any unproven theory about the vote being tainted by having more people participate via mail-in voting.

  3. I voted against the dishonest phone tax “reduction” because it’s dishonest. If you vote “no” the fee goes away and it’s a 100% reduction, not a 10% one.

    Vote no on dishonest tax increaes.

  4. SG,

    Your optimism is refreshing, not because I suffer from pessimism, but because youthful optimism may be the only asset the whores and traitors running the show haven’t squandered. Despite the fact that, once again, the two major parties have failed to offer a candidate I can vote for in good conscience, I hope that somehow your optimism is rewarded.

  5. John –

    If you tried to argue that vote-by-mail is a by-product of America’s perpetual (and increasing)laziness and inability to drag their overwieght, tired junk off the couch to do the single most important right we US citizens have, the right to vote, I might agree with you. However, I don’t think that voting inside your own home is any less secure than voting behind a curtain at the local elementary school or firehouse. If a campaign worker stopped by my house and asked to help with my voting I would tell them to get bent.

    Besides, how is a campaign worker stopping by your door minutes/hours/days before you write in your mail ballot any different than the campaign worker on the corner of the street at your polling place as you pull up to cast your vote? Does that one sign holder or handshake with the candidate before you walk in the poll booth door make any more or less of a difference than the guy who litters my front door with campaign flyers?

    I hope everyone, regardless of political leanings, takes the time to go to their polling place (or kitchen counters) and casts their ballot today. If for no other reason, do it because as participants on this blog, it would be hypocritical to complain about the system if you do nothing to participate in or change it.

  6. I like your column SG. I remember feeling just like that the first time I was old enough to vote. Funny thing is, I STILL feel that way. It is very exciting to know that change for the better is on its way.

    Mark G. is right, if you don’t take the time to educate yourself on the issues and vote, then you don’t have the right to complain. SO GO VOTE ALREADY! wink

  7. SG – don’t disregard the Democratic Congress,twasn’t all George Walker.

    #1 – I’ve heard from an Oregon resident that absentee is the only option there.

    #3 – agreed

    Question – since the mission statement of this site has been disregarded the past few weeks, are we to expect that this site will continue to cover national politics?

  8. Wonder Woman #7

    I don’t think you have read and understood the entire mission statement:

    Mission Statement: This site is designed to encourage political debate, discussion and change in our city, started by people who value San Jose and are interested in her future and in this valley’s place in the state and nation.

    It was always our intention to include discussions of county, state and national (and in some cases, international) issues from the perspective of San Jose, as well as examine the effects of the larger political context on local citizens.

  9. SG—it won’t be the end of the world as we know it if J & K fail.  Even Mr. Openness, Reed, falsely portrays this measure.  If we vote NO, there is a 100% reduction in taxes because the tax expires.  If we vote YES, there is a paltry 10% reduction.

    Want to save $$$ in tough fiscal times in SJ?  Dump the entire Office of Cultural Affairs. 16-17 folks, who appear to do little other than feathering their own nests.

    John #1—just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean other people aren’t out to get you.

    Do you actually fear some random accident that AT THE PRECISE MOMENT a voter is filling out his/her absentee ballot at home that a campaign worker will show up at his/her door and dissuade him/her from or persuade him/her to a particular vote????  There are far more people hanging around the polls ready, willing, and able to affect outcomes than may randomly appear at your door the very second you’re filling out your absentee ballot.

    Measure B is the most intriguing from an influence point of view.  I just returned from 12 days in Texas to find no fewer than TEN campaign mailers asking be to vote in favor of Measure B.  Where’d all that $$$ come from?  In any event, I shredded them all and voted NO.

  10. SG – ” the gaping hole that “W” put us in” what gaping hole would that be? Bush may only have a 34% approval rating but Congress has a 17% approval rating.  Should the country have to endure four more years of that?

    On the state level you might have written a piece about proposition of sensable re-districting.  If we expect people to participate in government the least we can do is make it fare and honest.

    John/Downtown

  11. #8 – Thank you, Jack, before you came on the scene, it seemed that this site was for local political discussion.  That’s fine if you broaden the scope, just so I know where you are coming from.  I’ve always felt that we have more influence on local politics than on national.

    #9 – agreed, sneaky way the props were written to “lower” taxes; they didn’t emphasize that the taxes would be eliminated!
    I felt like I’d studied for a final by the time I figured out how I wanted to vote.

  12. Mark G & JMOC,

    Mark G, *you* would tell them to “get bent”. So would I. But there exists a vast “squishy” segment of the electorate who absolutely would not.
    I had an elderly aunt in Indianapolis who subsisted on an extremely limited fixed income, but she had subscriptions to about 25 different magazines. Why? Because she was a sweet old lady who couldn’t say no to anybody.
    I can picture a scenario in which someone knocks on her door, politely inquires of her,
    “Ms. Brown, have you decided who you’re going to vote for?”
    “Why no, young man. I don’t pay much attention to politics”.
    “Oh. Well did you recieve a ballot? I’d be happy to help you out with it.”
    “You would? Why that’s very kind of you. I’ll go get it.”

    JMOC, contrary to your assumption, no unlikely coincidence of timing would be necessary.

    My aunt was by no means unique. There are millions of elderly who are preyed upon by unscrupulous salesmen of some description or another. And the elderly are by no means the only demographic group that could be targeted by a determined and knowledgable campaign. The presidential election can often hinge on the outcomes of a very few closely contested states so just a small amount of this sort of tactic, carefully targeted, could be enough to swing an election.

    It seems to me that when one considers the stakes, one should not disregard the lengths to which advocates of one candidate or another might go in order to secure victory.

    The wisdom of the voting booth lies in the fact that, no matter what someone may have told any other person about how they might vote,  when they draw that curtain behind them, they are completely free to vote their conscience.
    Except under special circumstances, I believe it is a no-no for more than one person to be in the voting booth. This can be monitored at the polling place but obviously is impossible in the mail-in circumstance.

  13. I voted for Mccain but, I don’t feel any different then I did last week. I don’t feel any sense of hope because I never had the feeling of hopelessness to begin with.

    If Obama gives people hope and makes them finally relize that they can finally achieve more, then I guess that is a good thing.

  14. Congratulations to Obama. I hope he truly lives up to his campaign rhetoric and does not ignore the folks who didn’t vote for him by pushing an extreme far-left agenda. He needs to keep in mind he only got 52% of the popular vote. I still believe that the next administration will be a disaster but for the sake of the country I hope to be proven wrong. I also hope the media wake to the fact that Bush will be gone in January and criticize Democratic mistakes with the same fever that they criticized the Republicans for the last 8 years.

  15. My apologies for the long Rave but, God it feels good to wake up with such pride and hope! I couldn’t be happier or prouder of this country then I am today! Record numbers of people voted, how awesome is that? Our young people came out in droves to work hard for the candidates they believed in and renewed my hope for a better future. They showed me that there are some incredible, educated, civic-minded young folks who will do this country proud! My God, after reading about gang violence, stabbings, drunken brawls, etc. in DT San Jose, this was a refreshing, and exciting change!

    I’m very pleased that President Elect Obama won! After many tears of relief, and phone calls with friends reflecting back to times when African Americans were treated as less than dirt, our joy and pride in Americans soared! I awoke with such hope for America this morning, something I haven’t felt in a very long time. I watched several news stations showing the reaction of foreign countries to President Elect Obama’s win. I was deeply touched to see that they too cried in relief and happiness, and share in my hope that President Elect Obama will bring us a better tomorrow.

    I must say I was deeply impressed with the integrity and humility John McCain showed in his concession speech. A true American hero who understands it is “Principles Before Personality,” and that service to our great nation must come before all else. He has always tried to serve this country well, and I just know that President Elect Obama will bring McCain in to help in trying to bring our country back to where it once was or even better. Congratulations Senator McCain on a battle hard fought, your sincere efforts to serve our country have not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated.

  16. Kathleen:

    “He has always tried to serve this country well, and I just know that President Elect Obama will bring McCain in to help in trying to bring our country back to where it once was or even better. Congratulations Senator McCain on a battle hard fought, your sincere efforts to serve our country have not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated.”

    Last week you basically labeled McCain a harbinger of hate and nicknamed him “McShame.” Now that “your guy” wins, McCain is a stand-up, patriotic and honorable man? Isn’t it curious to see the effect an election night victory can have on one’s perspective?

  17. Mark G: No different than McCain himself, who was quite the gentleman toward Obama in his speech last night after weeks of name-calling and throwing mud.  If McCain had been as positive during the campaign as he was last night, he might not have lost the respect of many of us.  It’s curious to see the effect an election night defeat has on one’s perspective.

  18. #20-Mark G.,
    I stand by what I said last week. McCain was behaving like a man of integrity last night; the same cannot be said about his campaign methods the week before. Despite his nasty campaign tactics, I have always respected him for his military service to this country. He deserves the complement for losing with grace. The way someone loses shows me more about whom they are, than when they win. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

  19. #19 – Here are some statistics that may interest and surprise you:
    the talk of increased youth turnout was more hype than reality. The 18 to 29-year-old vote increased from 17% to 18% compared to 2004 (and, in fact, decreased in Ohio from 21% to 17%). The difference was not a high youth turnout—it was Obama’s astronomical popularity among young voters: Obama captured 66% of under-29 voters to Kerry’s 54% four years ago.

  20. David #21:

    Not that it matters now I suppose, but I didn’t vote for McCain, so I am not sure your retread/rewrite of my analsyis about losing and one’s perspective makes any sense. Good attempt to throw my line back at me though…

    McCain is an honorable man who has long served his country as best he knows how, sacrificed much and is a true hero. His selection of Palin was enough for me to go a different route, but I didn’t feel the need to name call the guy or brand him a hater. Kathleen is of course welcome to think of someone as she chooses. Her comments, both before the election and now on this post, came with no qualifiers however, but hey, hypocrisy isn’t always a bad thing I guess… And good for you for trying to defend her! Another fine example of a true gentleman indeed! (sarcasm isn’t always a bad thing either…)

  21. Mark G.,
    Didn’t you find it odd that President Elect-Obama gave his victory speech alone, with bullet proof glass surrounding him, while McCain, his wife, Palin, and her husband stood out in the open together during McCain’s concession speech? Why do you think that was Mark G.? Or did you miss media reports on McCain and Palin rallies where people could be heard screaming “Kill him, or Obama is a terrorist,” because McCain and Palin kept touting Obama’s supposed ties to radicals and terrorists. If calling a spade a spade makes me a hypocrite then so be it. 

    Attached Please See “Qualifiers”: 

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/06/mccain-does-nothing-as-cr_n_132366.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVFWahLTdUo

    http://www.theseminal.com/2008/10/15/mccain-supporters-continue-to-scream-kill-him-obama/

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/breaking-skinheads-arrested-obama-as

  22. I eagerly await January 20th when Barack Obama, with a wave of his Holy Sceptre, will repeal the laws of economics.
    While he’s at it, perhaps he could be a sport and do away with gravity too.

  23. #21 “If McCain had been as positive during the campaign as he was last night, he might not have lost the respect of many of us.”

    That’s funny on many levels.

    It was easy for Obama to keep a positive message.  Obama just kicked back and let his 527 group, aka the ‘journalists’ in the news media, do the attack dog work for him.

    Not so easy for Republican candidates. 

    You see, the news media is comprised almost entirely of those with leftist points of view and thus is in the tank for the left – and even more so for the Messiah. 

    The news media was quite content to continue on with their non-vetting/idol worship of Obama the most merciful.

    The *only* option McCain had to inject *legitimate* issues of Obama’s past associations and his long record of non-achievment into the national debate was to attack the Chosen One in ad’s and campaign stump speeches.

    Only then, the news media had no choice but to reluctantly scratch the surface of the One’s past.

    #26 Sorry to disappoint but “Kill him” was a load of unsubstantiated crap that reverberated through the news media echo chamber.  http://www.timesleader.com/news/breakingnews/Secret_Service_says_Kill_him_allegation_unfounded_.html

    “supposed ties to terrorists” – Oh man that’s rich.  Why do you think they are “supposed”?  Read the first part of my post for a clue.

    PS.  I’m still waiting for an Obama supporter to hip me to one thing, just one accomplishment of the Messiah’s that qualifies him to be President.  [Giving speeches and running for office doesn’t count]

    PSPS.  Did you see that William Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, and Obama all voted at the same polling station?  What a hoot!  How’s that phrase go about birds and feathers?

  24. Kathleen:

    Let me get this straight…you think it is McCain’s fault that Obama needed that security?  It had nothing to do with the fact that he is the first black president selected to lead a country that unfortunately still has a relatively small but vocal population of racist, intolerant hate-mongers? Blaming McCain for this country’s intolerance and hate could be one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever seen you post here, and that is an impressive achievement. 

    Anyway, we can agree to disgaree I guess.  You call a spade a spade, I’ll call a hypocrite a hypocrite. Perhaps now we can move on to other issues we might agree on?  Like Prop 2 maybe?  Can you beleive they actually passed that garbage? I mean really, who cares what happens to a bunch of chickens….

  25. #26

    Let’s hope this election marks the end of the social conservatives who have no idea whatsoever of what they are talking about regardless of the subject.  Yet, they incessantly run their mouth.

  26. BlueFox: 

    You raise an interesting point.  Yesterday, on CNN (I believe), the pundits were talking about how the Republican Party was meeting this week to sift through the ‘rubble’ of the election and their campaign methods, to see what went wrong, and what changes they need to make within their party.  They were talking about how Reaganomics no longer applies, and how the Republicans need to come up with a new doctrine for the coming decade.
    The Republican Party seems to have come to realize that they are no longer in step with the times, and the needs of their own party members.  As you know, many Republicans voted Democrat for the first time in decades. 

    So you may get your wish after all:

    “Lets hope this election marks the end of Social Conservatives who have no idea whatsoever of what they are talking about regardless of the subject.”

  27. Novice,
    If you had watched the McCain/Palin rallies you would have seen it for yourself. At one point a woman called President Elect Obama an Arab. McCain, to his credit, corrected her and explained Obama was a good man who could be trusted. Palin on the other hand denied hearing people screaming out “Kill Him.” I find it interesting that after all the hateful comments made by the McCain/Palin team, that they were the least bit surprised that people found it acceptable to behave this way during their rallies. Also, during the last Presidential debate, when President Elect Obama confronted McCain on his and Palin’s behavior, which created a permissive attitude for the public to scream out “Kill Him,” McCain just rolled over that and went on to something else.

    Let me remind you that when Hillary made a comment even slightly eluding to the fact that President Elect Obama may not make it through the campaign, everyone and his brother was on her, fast quick and in a hurry, even the Kennedy’s were angry! She at least had the integrity to apologize. 
     
    I do have to agree with you on one point however, the press does seem to pick and chose what they will and will not report. As a citizen, I find that to be concerning. How can we make educated choices if the media censors information we need, or slants stories in such a manner that misleads us?  I also agree that politics is a nasty business and needs change. I’m not sure how that change will happen if it ever does, but it certainly is needed.

  28. Kathleen,
    It seems that you really, really, really want to believe the “Kill him” stuff.

    “SCRANTON – The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.

    Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.”

    http://www.timesleader.com/news/breakingnews/Secret_Service_says_Kill_him_allegation_unfounded_.html

  29. #28 – missed the polling station info, that’s a good one.  Which reminds me, just mystifies me how the Kennedy family can endorse someone who’s buddy dedicated his bood to Sirhan Sirhan.

    as someone told me O could fit his resume on a post note; just shows anyone with ego, connections, financing, and the media can get elected1

  30. Novice,
    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I really wished I had never seen or heard it, but I did. I’d hate to think people are that ignorant or hate filled, but sadly they are. I watched the rally on CNN and heard it myself. I also watched the Presidential debate and heard President Elect Obama bring it up to McCain, and on another occasion watched as a reporter confronted Palin on why she didn’t intervene when someone screamed that out. Palin said, “I didn’t hear it.” I guess I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that.
    I also watched several news commentators discussing how negative McCain and Palin had gone in this campaign. I must tell you that I was going to vote for McCain until he did two things, the first was to choose Palin, and the second was the way he conducted his campaign with Palin. He greatly disappointed me.

    I had always admired McCain for his service in the military and for his unwillingness to leave his fellow soldiers behind in a prisoner of war camp. That action alone had my vote cast for him; too bad he didn’t make better choices in how he ran his campaign.
    As to President Elect Obama, he is not God and he does not walk on water. I do not think he is the answer to all our problems, but he is the man I think who will do his very best to bring about badly needed change through collaboration, and a great sense of love for this country. I have great faith that John McCain will be included in trying to make things better for us all.

  31. Mark G. # 29 needed to be more selective in his language when he said:“You call a spade a spade…”
    Kathleen #31 stated:“I do have to agree with you on one point however, the press does seem to pick and chose what they will and will not report.”  You got that right, girl!

    I just heard on CNN that our “man of the people” president elect has his kids in private school in Chicago.  He doesn’t live on The South Side, so he has no security excuse.  So, ain’t no way he’ll have them in public school in D.C., with all them black folks ‘n’ such.

    Like his pledge to take public financing when he was a nobody, which he promptly rescinded as the big bucks kept rollin’ in.  Guess he didn’t want to redistribute THAT wealth as he has pledged to do with the wealth of certain citizens of our country.  Funny how morally superior people behave when their ox is getting gored.

    Principles, schminciples—it’s all about gettin’ elected.

    The only major plus I see so far is that it’s impossible to be worse than Dubya.