O, How history tends to repeat itself…

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You can’t hardly turn on a radio, log on to a computer or hold a damn phone lately without sorry sack of skin telling you which way you should do it, some other turd lick howling about how its more important now than it ever was, or once all’s said and done, find at least a dozen jackasses running about braggin’ about how they went and did what they’re supposed to do in the first damn place

But for all the hype I’ve seen on elections lately, I have just one thing to say: I can’t wait for all this shit to finally be over and done. Why? It gets downright irritating, especially everyone’s current tenor and fervor on just how important it all is at the moment.

In case you, too, happen among the delusional multitude who got fed some line of crap  enough times it’s made you believe otherwise, let me begin by first apologizing. I’m terribly sorry that you don’t know dick how politics actually works. Because here’s a news flash for you, it ALWAYS important that you vote.

Every responsible citizen should cast their ballots whenever they are given the opportunity. That’s how democracy works. It’s a basic tenet to living in a free republic.

Of course, that’s not why the powers that be have worked so damn hard to convince everyone this is the end all, be all of elections.

They could give a crap about how responsible the general citizenry might be. In fact, their job just seems that much more necessary, the more irresponsible people act. If everyone behaved responsibly, we’d probably have a lot fewer laws, don’t you think? We’d need fewer people enforcing them, and one hellova lot less of the folks we send to places like D.C., just to sit around thinking up new shit to make laws about.

No, they’re one hellova lot more interested in either getting or getting to keep that cushy, sparkling job that your vote is going to help somebody get. I mean, if you knew that just you and one other fellow were up for a job whose base pay was $165,000–quite possibly for the rest of your natural born days, not counting all those untold millions you get to pretend you have along the campaign trail–I bet you’d pretty near break your back convincing folks that the other fellow was about sorriest hunk of crap that ever wore shoes.

And it sure wouldn’t hurt in the least if you somehow managed to convince everyone that the world was coming to swift and fiery end if they didn’t do their part to land them said cushy, sparkling job, too.

Gee, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, that’s right. Chicken Little much?

And before you accuse me of bullshitting you, consider this: About the most interesting thing in politics where I live is a Senate race between incumbent Republican Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Now on any normal day you wouldn’t toss a warm bucket of piss on either of them, even if one ran through your house fully engulfed in flames. Not only because we a law on the books in my state known as the Castle Doctrine, which makes it perfectly legal to blast first and sort out the dead later, but also because you couldn’t find a less remarkable pair of stuffed shirts if somebody paid you. I mean these two are so dull, it makes you long for the days of watching paint dry or grass grow. Pair them against each other, though, and it suddenly gets damn entertaining.

person dropping paper on box

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all day today, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

For starters (and you can’t make shit like this up), you’d be hard pressed to find a more Irish-acting Cruz anyplace, and I can pretty much guarantee there ain’t a more Chicano-sounding Irishman on this side of the Atlantic. I only know this because the latter apparently bought a bunch of air time on Spotify, so at least once an hour, every hour, for the past few days, O’Rourke interrupts my tunes to spend a good minute or two blabbering a bunch of crap in a language I don’t understand that couldn’t sound much more Mexican if he busted out with an over-amplified GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! at a soccer game with a mariachi band in upturned sombreros singing backup.

“Soy un hombre muy honrado, que me gusta lo mejor, las mujeres no me faltan ni el dinero ni el amor…”

Why exactly he chose to air that particular advertisement between the nonstop runs of Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Bob Dylan and Sabbath, I can’t quite explain, nor did it seem to fit on Red Dirt Texas Outlaw station I was listening to. Of course, Willie Nelson did attend some rally to back him not long ago that ruffled a few feathers. My boss had the TV on before work the other day, so I actually heard some commentator on a FoxNews segment, just confounded–I man, flat out perplexed–because “Willie never does anything political,” he says… How he said that straight-faced, I’m not sure, or am I the only one here who didn’t wake up from a coma last Thursday?)

Anyhow, the only reason I even knew it was him was that after this long spiel in Spanish that seems to drag on for like 20 minutes, he ends, in the first English we’ve heard for a while now, identifying himself (finally) and telling us that he approves that thing he just said (also in English) whatever the hell that might have been (because I still don’t speak enough Spanish to keep up with a conversational pace to the words, pronounced properly). So, yeah, dude’s a douche…

But Cruz will probably clobber him at the polls tomorrow, not because he’s any less of a douche than the other fellow, but because he’s not “one of them.” Being that other party, of course. I mean, Cruz has been in office for six years already, and I doubt his staunchest supporter could come up with a list of just five things he’s done that had one iota of positive impact on his life. Wull, he’s protected our Second Amendment rights. Really? Doesn’t the Second Amendment do that? What bill did he introduce to make it any better? Nada. In fact, stories I read seemed to suggest there was an awful big push, early on, to get rid of those kickstop devices that were used at the Jason Aldean concert in Vegas, a device created and sold by a Texas manufacturer, no less. Wull, our economy is a lot better off… Hmmm. I thought reliance on job numbers, which shows all these great jobs that sprang up since Trump took office and single-handedly fixed America–because that’s what he says happened–you know, job numbers on folks like me, who despite a pile of diplomas now make half what they did five years ago and not even a third of what they brought home a decade prior. Even if that’s acceptable math, somehow, what’s it got to do with our junior Senator from Texas?

I bet most anyone could cite dozens of things he maybe voted AGAINST or perhaps prevented from happening, but name five good things he did on our behalf, using the very powers all those votes granted him. I doubt anyone could. I bet most folks couldn’t name one. Nor could they tell you how he voted in any of his last dozen or so issues he helped decide, or for that matter, what those issues might’ve been.

Nobody cares. Not really.

Still, bring up either man’s name right now, and folks plumb lose their minds around these parts. You can’t drive three blocks in any direction right now without seeing both names at least six times, and sure as all get out, I can pretty much guarantee there’s somebody driving by just seething with every opponent sign they see.

Wait a minute, did he just call the election? A couple graphs back there… He DID! He must be one of those …

Realists? It’s true. Texas might be good at a lot of things, but a two-party political system ain’t one of them. No, the Lone Star has flown over a single party system for ages here already. Right now the Republicans hold sway. You can thank George W. Bush for that, or more accurately, Carl Rove, his strategist–who after pulling off two of the greatest political upsets in modern history, first (and most importantly), by defeating Ann Richards, a popular Texas governor who made the mistake of not taking the man seriously, and later by clearing the field of a whole pile of candidates in his own party, to challenge Al Gore, who most folks thought was a bit to snooty to their liking, if they managed to get past Good ol Boy Clinton, poor fellow, just couldn’t keep his dick out of the help (even then, it took a little help from daddy’s picks on the Supreme Court to pull that last one off)–but after pulling off those two upsets to become the majority party, they redrew voter precinct maps to effectively ensure there would be no Texas upsets on the political front. Twenty years ago, the Democrats were busy doing the same thing when you couldn’t get elected dog catcher here with a D in front of your name. It ain’t about to change now, simply because its the “most important election ever.”

Yeah, right. Until the next one comes along.

If, after Easter, anyone still remembers who the candidates were in these all important races, that bunny is gonna bring you a whole basket of eggs, if Jack Frost and Santa Claus manage to charge in and save the day, right at the last moment.

Something you’ll undoubtedly hear about to is RECORD VOTER TURNOUTS this election. Given the plummeting age of your average reporter nowadays, which seems to directly parallel a sharp decrease in their ability to conduct research on a topic, this election will probably the largest ever recorded in the history of man, except maybe for that time in the nineties when three candidates were vying for President (Remember Ross Perot?), or that time after the towers fell when everyone was suddenly a New Yorker and patriotism hadn’t reached such heights since we beat back the Nazi’s and bombed the shit out of a tiny island. But since none of that searches well in Twitter hashtags, here’s a piece I wrote a few years back on exactly what those turnout numbers really show us.

Much like now, I’m about sick and tired of seeing these TV anchors throw their shoulders out, patting themselves on the back, and maybe us, too. If we’re lucky. And if we manage to survive this incredibly life altering election we face later today…

 

From an Editorial Posted Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 5:00 pm in The Sealy News

Winner of the Texas Press Association’s 2005 Best Newspaper Editorial, Large Semi-Weekly Category, by Bobby Horecka, Managing Editor at The Sealy News

Record voter turnout shows something else

Like many Americans this election year, Sealy and Austin County voters turned out like never before to perform their civic duties over the last few weeks, both on Election Day and as absentee voters. Nationally, election night media coverage estimated upwards of about a half million more people showed up to cast ballots this year. Locally, about 63 percent of roughly 17,000 registered voters here went to the polls to exercise their Constitutional rights as citizens. To those of you let your voice be heard, we commend you.
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You are the reason so many patriots have fought and died, and in exercising the freedoms those patriots lived and died for, you send out the message that their courageous efforts did not go unnoticed. But as impressive as 63 percent voter turnout may sound, the statistics tell of another group of the population as well. There were at least 37 percent of 17,000 registered voters – nearly 5,200 people who bothered to fill out the little forms with the county clerk’s office – who decided they had better things to do than vote. It wasn’t like they didn’t have the chance. Early voting occurred through much of October. For those away from their homes during that time, mail-in ballots were an option. And for a full 12 hours nationwide, thousands of barely paid, overworked and in today’s times, horribly scrutinized election workers managed lines of people, just so we could exercise our duty. Thirty-seven percent. Five thousand two hundred people. That’s our city population. Particularly when one of our local election – although results may change – was decided by only 37 votes. Keep in mind, that “registered voter” count doesn’t include those who either by criminal or personal conviction choose not to take part in the election process by failing to file their registration cards. All in spite of the millions of people throughout history who have laid life and limb before God to procure and protect a right that even today, millions around the world don’t enjoy. Keep that thought in mind the next time we have the chance to exercise our freedoms, both you who failed to show and those of you who turned out in record numbers this year. Sure, choosing the leader of our country is indeed a noble cause, but so is selecting the man or woman who will make decisions about how our schools or cities are run, weighing in your support behind local policy decisions and ensuring that those young souls who were too little to participate in this year’s election have a reason to do so as they grow into adulthood. It isn’t just your future depending on such decisions made by elections. In many more ways, it’s theirs.

 

 

 

 

 

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