Monday, November 05, 2012

Election time

OK, might as well sum up my thoughts about tomorrow's election. It's no secret by now that I'm deeply disappointed in President Obama, especially his continuation and expansion of the worst of the War On Terror(TM) policies of President Bush. But I have no reason to think Mitt Romney would be any better. And I'm quite sure that he'd be far more beholden to the odious right wing theocrats that seem to have captured control of today's Republican party. So I can't vote for him.

On the other hand, if I vote for a person who is governing with a policy that denies basic rights of due process, I feel that some of that responsibility for this abuse of power would be validated by my vote. So I don't want to do that.

Luckily, as a resident of Maryland, I can vote my conscience without feeling that I'm helping Mitt Romney. I'll probably vote Green, as I think that's the best way of expressing my preferred direction for the country. At least for the Presidential race.

For Congress, I remember a couple years ago telling Chris Van Hollen that if he went with the tax cut deal of the lame duck Congress last time, I would oppose him. He has foiled my intent by redistricting me so I cannot vote against him. Damn you, Chris Van Hollen! My only possible retaliation will be to vote against the re-districting map with the hope that I can vote against him in the future.

On question 7, the motion to allow gambling at the National Harbor, I'm going to vote against it. Why? Because I'm morally opposed to gambling? No, not really. Because I don't care about a new revenue stream for schools? Well, here's my attitude about that. Money is fungible. So, every time the state wants to do something new to please some private special interest, all they need to do is hold education hostage to the promise of more dollars to spend. If the state wants to spend money on schools, they have the power to do so. It's not immediately clear to me that opening casinos will lead to a net gain in tax revenue to the state, or to educational revenue. I really strongly dislike this practice of holding the schools hostage. I suspect the measure will pass easily, even though I haven't seen any polling on it.

Oh wait, just checked. Polling says this is a close call. Also, I'm not saying I would boycott the casino if it opened. I'd be more likely to visit it than I am to go to Charlestown, WV.

Appalachia scares me.

The question about gay marriage rights is a no-brainer for me. I'll always support gay rights on this issue. My Ph.D. advisor is gay man. He and his partner are raising two young boys and are, to all appearances, doing as good as or a better job than most hetero couples that I know. The presumption of hetero superiority has no basis in fact.

Finally, there is the dispute about union powers in the police force. I don't exactly understand the issue. The pro- and anti-sides aren't exactly doing a favor with how they explain it. It seems basically to be this: the union has more power than the county government wants them to have.

I'm inclined to go pro-union here, for a number of reasons

  1. in general, I support public sector unions
  2. I strongly dislike Ike Leggett's usage of county funds to support a ballot measure
  3. PoD lobbies for the union involved.

Aside from that, on other races I'll look for the Apple Ballot and go with that. #mindlessdrone