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October 23, 2014

Politics Love and Hate

Patricia A. Kelly

What really bothers me about politics is politics. It’s a game, like football, and the objective is to win. It has nothing to do with the people, community needs, the state of the world, the environment, or anything that really matters (except the well-being of the winner and his friends).


It’s just about scoring that touchdown, and winning that game.


Politics is not about issues. Sound bites and negative campaign ads can be amusing, but they don’t help anyone learn what’s really going on, or who would best represent them. Maybe that’s the idea.


Occasionally, people manage to figure it out anyway.


This week, our justifiably unpopular president, Nobel Peace Prize winner and half-black person, Barack Obama, ventured out to campaign in Maryland. He, knowing his approval rating is at 40%, took it easy, visiting a school on the campus of the Barack Obama Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, MD, where the population is 90% black and voted overwhelmingly for both him and our present Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley.


President Obama was heckled regarding the hold he has placed on illegal immigrant deportations, and then, during the latter portion of a much uninspired speech, a large number of people got up and left, purportedly to catch the bus. Mr. Obama was right in the middle of telling them that a large black turnout will be necessary to ensure victory for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.


A similar recommendation found online for Mr. Brown is that he focus on downtown Baltimore, and get that largely black population to the polls during the early voting period if he wants to be sure to win.


Don’t black people have brains? I think they do. Some black people have been sold a bill of goods by liberals, who encourage them to remain angry about our country’s history of discrimination, and who tell them the government will give them what they need in life. How racist is that, targeting people because of their color and offering them favors if they vote for you?


In truth, many recognize this, and we, as a people, are at last moving forward into acceptance of diversity.


Using politics to purposely thwart this important societal evolution is an abomination.


Back to the race, if we were looking at the color thing, we would have to give both sides a lot of credit. Mr. Brown has an awesome set of racial credentials. He is half black and half French. His dad was an immigrant.  He has adopted children. He made it into Harvard, and worked with a renowned civil rights attorney. Too bad he didn’t accomplish much as lieutenant governor.


On the other hand, Larry Hogan, in spite of the misfortune of being born Caucasian, has done his share in the racial/gender arena. His running mate, Boyd Rutherford, is at least partially black. His wife is Asian. He has three daughters, whom he appears to love and support, in spite of their gender and ethnicity.


So, both sides win on the race card issue.


Regarding what counts, Maryland is facing a decrease in revenue of $405 million this year and next. Although our Democratic leadership is looking under every rock for a good explanation for this, it might be related to our 45% spending increase since 2006. Needless to say, inflation in these recessionary times has been nowhere near that.


As our candidates debate, we notice lies and sound bites in place of facts, Mr. Brown’s side apparently winning in the lie department.


Larry Hogan, businessman, states that improving the business climate requires decreased taxes and regulations. He states he seeks real environmental protection, calling for conversation with all the players before accepting the presently proposed phosphate reduction rules without asking neighboring states to ante up. He promises to remove as many tax increases as he can, and states he can run government by removing waste.


Mr. Brown supports the phosphate reduction plan, but states he will implement it in a balanced way. He says his take on improving the business climate involves tax credits and tax relief rather than tax reduction. He says that Mr. Hogan is dangerous, and interested in banning abortion even in case of rape or incest. He says that Mr. Hogan wants to give money to businessmen (those horrible, nasty, job creators) rather than paying for kindergarten for all children.


Mr. Hogan says these are lies, and demands an apology. He states that he never took such a position on abortion, and that it has all been decided anyway, so neither it or gun control are even part of his campaign.


$405 million? Even after passing teacher pension expense to the counties? Something funny has been going on in Maryland government.


I’d like a refund.


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