Browsing Tag: politics


    There’s More Than One Party Into Voting Restrictions

    July 10, 2022

    I’d like to think most of us can agree that what the Rs have done to restrict voting in recent years is reprehensible.

    But you might be surprised to learn that the Ds are also into restricting voting, too. This Andrew Yang tweet sums it up pretty well.

    The more complete version of events, along with some really damning videos and audio, are in the article linked at the bottom of the image. Here’s that article. A Charlotte radio station also covers what’s happening, and their article is also good.

    I have a lot of friends who think the Ds are the holy and righteous purveyors of truth, a party that would never do anything wrong, immoral, or corrupt like the Rs. I’ve been trying to convince them that the party they love (“worship” seems like a better word sometimes) is hardly different than the R party. Both are opposite sides of the same coin…namely, that they’re more interested in power than leadership, and more about protecting and expanding their own self-interests than in serving us and our interests.


    2021 General Election Voting Record

    October 17, 2021

    It’s kind of a weird election year this is in our area. All of the positions up for grabs are non-partisan — things like city council, school board, fire commissioners, etc. And I don’t know whether it’s Covid or not, but something seems to have brought out what I would consider a few less-than-ideal candidates. (Easy for me to throw stones when I’m not running for election, yes, I get it.)

    The whole idea when I started posting stuff like this many, many years ago was to be transparent and track whether my moderate tendencies were leaning right or left each year. SO…with nothing but a bunch of non-partisan spots, I thought about not even bothering with this roundup post.

    Then I thought, at least track how you voted when it comes to male vs. candidates. So here it is:

    • Overall, voted for 3 female candidates and 8 males.
    • Most of the races were male vs. male, but in the three where it was male vs. female, I voted for the guy twice and the female once.

    And that’s really about it for this general election. My main thought as I put the seal on my mail-in ballot is just that I wish the choices were better. And wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. 🙂


    Politics Then. Politics Now.

    November 2, 2020

    It’s the eve of what’s commonly being called “the most important election of our lives.” In addition to the non-stop encouragements to vote, the last couple months have also been filled with reminders for all of us to take care of ourselves, protect our mental health, to stay calm and control our emotions no matter the outcome.

    In short, there’s a lot at stake tomorrow. This presidential election matters. A lot.

    It didn’t used to be this way.

    Oh, I know presidential elections always matter. But not like this one. Has there been a presidential election where the fear of domestic violence led to scenes like this?

    I was born in 1968 and grew up in a politically mixed home. My dad leaned conservative, while mom leaned liberal. They never argued about politics. In fact, they rarely spoke about politics — especially presidential politics.

    Much more important back then were state and local politics. I didn’t know much about Jimmy Carter other than what I heard about him during the Iran hostage crisis. I only knew a little more about Ronald Reagan when he became president, but I was pretty familiar with Milton Shapp and Dick Thornburgh. They were our governors in Pennsylvania through most of the 70s and 80s — my childhood, basically. We didn’t live in the city of Philadelphia, but from watching local news I was well aware of mayors Rizzo, Green, and Goode.

    During election years and seasons, dinner conversations in our house were much more likely to be about who was running for the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors or the Bucks County Board of Commissioners. My dad spent his life in real estate, so I also remember conversations about who was running the local housing authority and organizations like that.

    Back then, the federal government wasn’t nearly as big a part of the daily fabric of our lives as it is today. Decisions made (or not made) at the federal level just didn’t have a huge, direct impact on the daily lives of a lot of Americans* — and certainly not on our family.

    (It’s not because we were wealthy and super privileged, either. I had a comfortable, middle-class childhood. For a time in the 70s, we owned a second home at the Jersey shore. That was pretty unusual. But at the same time, there were at least 3-4 periods of my childhood where my mom needed to work a 9-5 job to help pay the bills. In the 1970s/80s, that wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. Most of my friends had a mom waiting at home when they got home from school.)

    State, county, and city politics back then? That’s the stuff that mattered.

    Things are totally different today.

    Government is much bigger. It spends 4-5 times more than it did in the 1980s. As a society, we rely on the federal government to do more than we used to. (see graph below) We have higher expectations of the federal government. We somehow expect it to right (almost) all wrongs and solve (almost) all our problems.

    I think we ask and expect far too much of the federal government. Congressional approval ratings seem to hover in the 20-30% range, yet we keep wanting to let them keep more of our money to do more things that they usually do very poorly.

    In this year’s election, some of the biggest topics involve the idea of the federal government providing health care to all Americans, providing a salary to all American adults, providing education to all students, and so forth. We are asking too much of the federal government.

    Because of how media (traditional and social) functions today, many of us have allowed our identities and self-worth to become embroiled in who’s sitting in the Oval Office. I don’t need to go into much depth about how divided we are, and how tribal life is today in this country. For too many of us, letters like GOP and DEM are more important than USA.

    Because of all this, federal elections matter more than they ever have. As long as we keep pushing for bigger government, for government to play a deeper role in our daily lives, this is going to continue. Not just continue, but it’ll get worse.

    I liked it the old way.

    *Note that I’m not saying federal laws and decisions never had any impact on anyone. That’s clearly not true and I’d never suggest such a thing.

    (stopwatch image by anncapictures from Pixabay)


    2020 General Election Voting Record

    October 17, 2020

    Don’t think I’ve ever voted so quickly in my life! Our ballots arrived in the mail on Thursday (I think), and as soon as I wrapped up my work day, I grabbed the WA state voter’s guide and started going through the ballot to cast my votes. About 30-45 minutes later, I was finished!

    Normally I like to hold on to my ballot before mailing it back, in case there’s anything that happens in the last couple weeks before election day that might influence how I vote. But this year, with me being decided early on how I planned to vote in many races, and with the rumors of many more people voting by mail, I figured it’s best to get it done earlier rather than later. (To be clear, though, WA state has been 100% vote by mail for like 15 years now, so I don’t expect any issues here.)

    As I’ve been doing for many years, when I finished I tallied up how I voted. I’m usually really moderate and tend to vote about 60-40 on the conservative side. But in the primary a couple months ago, I flipped and voted for more liberal candidates/issues.

    In this general election? Here’s how it played out:

    • Republican/conservative candidates or issues: 8
    • Democratic/liberal candidates or issues: 13
    • Independent/other candidates or issues: 0

    So again, I basically flipped how I historically vote. I’m still very much in the middle, but 13 out of 21 is 62% on the liberal/Democratic side.

    I also tallied up gender votes — 17 votes were for male candidates, 10 for female candidates. In the six races where it was male vs. female, I voted for the female five times.

    One more thing, and this speaks to how moderate I am politically. A streak has ended this year. I haven’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004, and I haven’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996. One of those streaks is over. You’ll have to guess which one. 🙂

    So now we sit and wait. In a vote-by-mail stats like ours, it’s often the case that some races aren’t decided for several days or even a week or two. I sure hope we get some clarity on November 3, but I’m ready to be patient.


    2020 Primary Election Voting Record

    August 2, 2020

    I’ve been tracking my own voting record (and publishing it here) for years as a way to make sure I’m not blindly following one party or one person. While I really dislike the existing two-party-dominated system, I generally think there are good ideas on both the conservative and liberal sides of the aisle. (And bad ideas on both, too.)

    Primary ballots in Washington are always interesting because it seems pretty easy to get on the ballot. As I look at my choices for governor today, there are ~36 names listed, some declaring their allegiance to political parties I’ve never heard of. (New-Liberty? Cascadia Labour? American Patriot?)

    Anyhoo, here’s how I voted this year in the primary in the races where party/ideology is stated:

    • Republican/conservative candidates: 3
    • Democrat/liberal candidates: 7
    • Independent/other candidates: 2

    Not sure, but I think this might be the first time I voted for more Democrat/liberal candidates than any other affiliation. I usually tend to vote around 60-40 on the conservative side.

    I don’t like to talk about individual races or candidates, but I’ll say this: I just voted for a certain Democrat in state government that I’ve never voted for before, mainly because I think this candidate has done about as good a job with the pandemic as anyone could’ve done.


    2018 General Election Voting Record

    October 21, 2018

    I’ve been tracking my voting record for many years, mainly as a self-check tool to make sure I’m not blindly supporting one party’s issues and candidates too heavily. I really believe that there are good (and bad) ideas and people in both major parties, and strongly support the growth and development of third-party options (and beyond). We need more choices.

    The 2018 election is a couple weeks away and I just finished filling out my mail-in ballot. Most of the “choices” weren’t really choices at all — it was just one candidate running unopposed. I don’t bother counting those when I track this stuff. But by my count, there were 8 choices on the ballot with legitimate choices. My voting record:

    • Republican candidate/issue: 5
    • Democratic candidate/issue: 3

    That’s pretty consistent with my past voting; I tend to be about 60% conservative and 40% liberal.

    This time, I also counted gender just out of curiosity: In races where there was a gender choice, I voted for the female candidate three out of five times. That said, I would never base my vote on someone’s gender, race, nationality, etc. Identity politics is a Bad Thing and I believe we should all vote for the best candidate regardless of gender, age, skin color, nationality, etc.