By Georgie Bright Kunkel
Considering that we see ourselves as part of the more intelligent species on the planet, it seems rather strange that only males are supported for the office of president of this so-called democratic country. Yes, I know that we have had a female governor and two female senators. In my estimation that doesn’t make up for never having a female president or equal representation of women in Congress and in corporate board rooms. All this must have been rattling around in my mind when I decided to watch the first presidential debate. I was soon feeling like I would feel watching two bull elks squaring off for a power struggle. The two candidates might as well have faced each other with weapons drawn since they both came loaded for bear as the saying goes.
It was fascinating to watch each candidate begin a verbal attack while the camera panned upon the other candidate pondering what ammunition he could mount in the counter attack. The focus appeared to be upon the middle class which is only in the middle because the rich have cornered so much wealth and the lower classes have not been able to maintain a standard of living considered sufficient to live the good life.
Those who are against taxing the one-percenters keep telling us that if we taxed them at the same percentage as we peons are taxed they wouldn’t be able to provide so many jobs. However, those wealthy companies that outsourced jobs to save production costs took jobs away from workers in this country. Those jobs that are now offered are becoming increasingly less lucrative and without union protection to assure benefits and decent retirement plans.
Yes, unions used to protect workers but today it is a whole new ball game, as they say. Corporations now have all the rights of persons under our constitution. Just watch the moneybags who are now allowed to pour millions into any campaign they want to win. Multi-media corporations have used their power to brainwash the public against unions and government itself. The government is run by the people but one would think that the government is a big ogre that can overpower the very people who run government--us.
And the move to siphon public funds for public schools into charter schools is another ploy to use public funds for special schools. Charter schools are not easily defined as they grew up like Topsy, as they say. At present the public schools are funded and run by the citizens. If the citizens want a special kind of school, it can be mounted within the present school system at the will of the voters in any school district.
I can hardly face the weeks of media posturing that takes place before any election. If I had my way we would vote tomorrow and skip the millions of dollars spent on media whitewashing of one candidate and mud throwing at the other. Most of the issues on the ballot would require a Philadelphia lawyer, as they say, to understand. So best to rely on research done by a group that you trust to provide information on the difficult ballot choices.
Maybe now is the time to do what a lot of stressed out people say they want to do—retreat to the wilderness where life is much simpler—at least in theory. Since I am not an avid camper I think I will stick with my plan to stay informed and vote my conscience, even as I live in the big bad polluted city.
Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-935-8663.