How Can Politicians Earn My Vote?

January 20, 2012

- See all 1 of my articles

Today’s article comes to us from Elizabeth West of Graphomaniac.  Elizabeth is a writer who prefers not to get involved in politics but sometimes can’t help it. She is working on a police procedural series, along with a novel about ghost hunters.  Her blog covers writing, work and assorted ranty stuff.   Elizabeth also enjoys chocolate and wasting time on the intertubes. 

While you’re on her site, be sure to check out the first two chapters of her crime novel, Rose’s Hostage.  (What, no direct link?  Nah, dig around on the site until you find it – you might stumble across other interesting content in the process).  OK, time for me to leave the stage.  Elizabeth, take it away!

(Photo courtesy of Jill Barlow photography).


This may sound ranty, but you need to hear it. I’m sick of your crap. You lie, cheat, steal and break the law, and no one holds you accountable. Yet every few years, you stump like crazy for my vote. Why should I bother?

This year, I’m not voting for ANYONE. Yep, you heard me. If you want me to support you (and I’m pretty sure at this point you don’t care), you’re going to have to work a lot harder than you are right now.

Here are six things you can do to get my vote back:

#1-Stop robocalling me

I have to work all day to pay the bills that keep getting higher because you’re in bed with Big Business. If I have to listen to your automated earworm in the evening when I’m tired, we’re through forever.

I get it–robocalls mean you don’t have to pay staffers. But I can’t ask a machine questions about your platform. I can’t opt out, either. Political telemarketing is exempt from Do Not Call.

If you want my vote, don’t bother me with an unsolicited sales pitch.

#2-Shut up with the muckraking and get busy

Good leaders get things done. They know how to delegate so workers pull together for the common good. Your efforts to further your own interests are getting nothing done.

Don’t waste time dissing your opponent, or telling me what you’ll do once you’re elected, or re-elected. I’m from Missouri. Show me.

If you want my vote, shut up and get busy. You’re already in a position to reverse some of the damage you’ve already caused.

#3-Take a pay cut like the rest of us

From the peon’s point of view, there is nothing worse than management who makes workers do things they’re not willing to do themselves. If I have to take a pay cut because of the crappy economy, you should too.

If you want my vote, stop rewarding yourself for sitting on your ass. We’re tired of not seeing our families because we have to work two or three jobs. And I’m tired of driving on cheap bald tires in the snow.

#4-Get religion out of legislature

Whatever happened to separation of church and state? This country may have a Christian majority, but the basic laws that govern how we behave are universally moral, not denominational.

I’m tired of being told my friends who are gay can’t get married “because God says so.” You want to promote marriage and family? Let all adults who love each other marry, and take away tax penalties for people who do.

If you want my vote, stop using God to oppress people and knowledge. Stop trying to force intelligent design into schools. Leave Planned Parenthood alone. They do far more to help low-income women stay healthy than your stupid healthcare reform ever could.

#5-Break up with your corporate bedfellows

Our food supply is tainted. Companies are getting a slap on the wrist instead of someone in charge going to prison for theft, murder, environmental destruction and extortion. Regulatory agencies have no power to protect us anymore.

Give your agencies back the power to punish companies that do us wrong. Make them pay big to clean up their messes.

If you want my vote, quit bending over for Big Business. Your relationship is over. They don’t really care about you; you’re only being used.

#6-Quit cockblocking progress

The Digital Age is here, but we’re going backward because we can’t keep up. We don’t spend money on technological improvements that would make life both easier and better for all. And what the hell is this SOPA / PIPA crap? Do you really think you can censor our content, speech and livelihoods?

If you want my vote, make the Internet a public utility and regulate it. Get rid of backscatter machines at airports and use that money to keep us healthy and upgrade our infrastructure. Kill SOPA and PIPA dead right this minute. Look ahead, not into your wallet.

Dear Politicians, if you can’t do any of these things, you won’t get my vote. And you don’t deserve it.


Fed Up in America

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 08:17:26

    I agree with nearly everything you’re saying here.

    The robocalls bother me for a couple of reasons. First, as you point out, it’s impossible to opt out. That’s just wrong. I understand the whole issue of ensuring that people have access to information about candidates, but if I want to actively opt out of receiving this information, I should be allowed to. This isn’t 1950 – there are a lot of ways to find less-biased information than a call from a candidate. This thing called the internet, for example.

    Also, the campaigns could reduce unemployment by using actual people instead of robocalls. More expensive? Sure. But it would put people back to work, and the PACs would be footing the bill anyway (and I’m OK with making the process more expensive for PACs).


  2. Zarberg
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 10:30:15

    I love it, but then we seem to see eye-to-eye politically. The one thing that will change politics the most (and in my humble opinion for the better) is the one thing that won’t happen easily: getting money out of politics. What’s the downside of a job where you get lifetime healthcare and retirement benefits no matter how long you work? With a perk like that why wouldn’t a politician take all the corporate money he/she’s offered?


  3. Crunchy Conservative
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 10:43:47

    Very interesting. As someone involved in politics, writing and a ghost hunter, I think we might have a lot to talk about. I agree that I hate the robo-calls and the negativity. However, negative ads work. (As much as I hate to say it, it’s true.)

    Also, the whole separation of church and state is a touchy subject. You do know that the Judicial building has the 10 commandments on it, right? Adams, Jefferson, Washington…they were all very based in their religion. And when your core is religion, everything else you do will follow.

    It’s not to much breaking up with corporate bedfellows but limiting lobbyists. The good thing about the internet is that the Govt had virtually nothing to do with it…which is why it is so successful—well, except Al Gore inventing it. 🙂


  4. Martin Kelly
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 12:03:48

    Elizabeth, welcome to the SoapBoxers! I have to comment on the regulatory comments you made. The agencies have plenty of authority, they are just applying it to individuals rather than corporations. Just ask the rancher in Colorado who has to maintain the wetland that was created when his cattle pond dam broke. It will only cost him $50,000 per year to comply or pay $100,000 a year in fines.

    Although I agree that it is not the responsibility of the government to tell us who can marry who, there is no separation of church and state. The constitution prohibits the establishment of a religion, nor infringe on the free exercise thereof. Having laws that are based on religious percepts should not be automatically dismissed. What that does is substitute secular humanism for judeo-christian or islamic or budhist beliefs. Each is a valid basis, we should not limit ourselves to the the ethical beliefs of the a specific group.

    I agree with all of the rest of your points. We need to stop the robocalling, the negative ads and the pay increases for people who are not doing their jobs (congress). We need to stop SOPA / PIPA and lift the ban on drilling in the gulf and let the canadians build another pipe line so that America can recover from this recession regardless of who you blame for it.


  5. kosmo
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 14:35:29

    Good points on the topic of religion, but I’d ask this question:

    Is the core responsibility of a legislator to legislate or to preach?

    Should it be more important that a candidate is Catholic/Lutheran/Jewish/Muslim/Atheist or that the candidate shares your view of many issues.

    If your religion helps form your core beliefs, that’s fine. But it’s the resultant beliefs that I care about. I’m a Catholic, but I’d vote for an atheist who shares a majority of my opinions before I vote for a Catholic who opposes them.

    Here are some thoughts about the inclusion of religion in some of the art and architecture of DC:


  6. Elizabeth West
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 17:57:30

    Thanks, Kosmo, for asking me to guest post. You’re my first. Awww. 🙂

    Martin–I’ve been concerned lately that faith-based legislation ignores progress and decimates knowledge. Why? Because of lawmakers pushing intelligent design in schools (which, while kind of my personal belief, is NOT science) and because of the backlash against gays, which is also religion-based. Not one of those people seems to have said “Gee, I don’t know much about these subjects; why don’t I try to find out more before I arbitrarily use my personal beliefs to bludgeon the rights of others / their education!”

    Kosmo – your question sums up my point exactly. It is NOT lawmakers’ responsibility to give us religious education. That is each person’s own choice whether they seek it out or not.

    Crunchy – As far as religion in art, it’s been there for hundreds of years, but art isn’t religion. It’s an expression of creativity. In the days of the Old Masters, they painted what their patrons wanted them to paint. That would have been commissioned portraits and art that was meant to be seen in churches. If Leonardo da Vinci were alive today, he’d probably paint celebrities and fantasy stuff or something.

    I don’t want fundamentalist legislators to take over the way they have in Iran and other places. The majority of Muslims aren’t like that, nor are the majority of Christians. We’re very lucky we can even speak out when we disagree with them.


  7. James Allder
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 19:10:40

    Good points all. As usual. Keep ’em coming, Liz.


  8. Arlee Bird
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 20:08:16

    You make some good points here. I haven’t been robocalled lately though. I guess it would get annoying if it happened. The calls will probably pick up as we get nearer to election day.

    A Faraway View


  9. Martin Kelly
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 22:12:54

    Elizabeth, I actually agree with both you and Kosmo on the religion of the politicians. It should not matter one way or the other. There are a number of candidates who have lost my vote because they basically say “vote for me, I am morally superior to you”. I would claim that this attitude is not limited to the overtly christian candidate, although they taut it the most. The whole idea of forcing beliefs down other peoples throats goes for the religious and the reportedly un-religious. We have legislation that prevents the Catholic church from providing adoption services in some states because the refuse to work with gay clients. To me that is going beyond giving everyone the same opportunities (gays can go to other adoption agencies in those state) and forces another group to embrace lifestyles they disagree with. I do not think that a gay activist minister should be forced to perform a marriage for a straight couple nor should a conservative christian minister be forced to perform a marriage for a gay couple.

    I wish that presidential candidates (and presidents for that matter) would stop promising things they cannot do as president (i.e. create legislation) and that congressmen would do their jobs (such as – pass a stinking budget two and a half years late).

    On your discussion of intelligent design, you are right that it is not science and should not be taught as such. I have never understood why there has to be a black and white response to this issue. I feel that the biblical account actually works well with the scientific theory. To quote and old Bloom Count cartoon – “God said, ‘let there be light’ – BANG!”

    Arlee, you must not live in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina. Your turn is coming!


  10. kosmo
    Jan 20, 2012 @ 22:28:40

    @ Martin
    “I do not think that a gay activist minister should be forced to perform a marriage for a straight couple nor should a conservative christian minister be forced to perform a marriage for a gay couple.”

    I actually agree with you here. While I believe everyone, gay or straight, has the right to have their marriage officially recognized by the government, I don’t believe that the government should have the right to compel a private citizen (non-government employee) to perform a ceremony. I believe that a justice of the peace SHOULD be compelled, but not a priest, minister, or other non-government employee.

    As you know, catholic priests often opt not to perform a ceremony for reasons that might seem trivial to outsider. To give a pretty basic example, I don’t think a Buddhist and Hindu could be married in a Catholic ceremony.

    Essentially, I don’t think ANYONE should have a right to a particular type of religious wedding ceremony. Basically, I’m separately the official act from the blessing.

    I must admit that I’ve jut become aware of the adoption thing. I’d need to look into that more before having an opinion. This probably sounds odd, since we’re talking about kids, but I wonder if Catholic Charities ran afoul of some antitrust issues. I heard Mittens mention that CC provided more than half of adoptions in Massachusetts, which suggest a monopoly to me. Admittedly, that’s a very strange way to look at the issue.

    On the topic of creation and evolution, I wrote an article on the topic about 18 months ago:


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