I have been involved with electoral politics at some level since 1972, when I was just 14 years old. And I used to look forward to it. Every election year, I would get phone calls (now emails) from local politicians asking me to write campaign copy for them, including position papers, white papers, speeches and the like, and I liked forward to them.
It may seem strange these days, but the candidates who called me have been both Democrats and Republicans, but since I will never do anything in service of a crook or someone who isn’t willing to give their all for the people of their district, I started refusing service to Republicans starting about 1980 or so. Even if they themselves were decent people, I just could not support anyone who lined up with the current version of the GOP.
These days, the calls have slowed down significantly, in part because I put out the word years ago that I wanted to slow down, and I haven’t written anything for a Republican since about 1998. That’s more than two decades, strangely, and right now, if a Republican contacted me, I would probably delete their email without reading it.
Unfortunately, right now, I am being bombarded with reminders of why I despise what the GOP has become, and I’m sick of it. I have the TV and radio on a lot during the workday, and I am being bombarded with political ads, probably at least 3-4 per hour. The ads aren’t just about Biden and Trump, although the tenor of those ads is getting tiresome as hell. There is also a very critical Senate race happening here in Arizona right now, between Republican Martha McSally, whose people have apparently decided that echoing Trump is her best chance, and former astronaut Mark Kelly, a Democrat and the Husband of Gabby Giffords, who has largely stuck to the issues that matter most to voters.
Republican McSally’s entire campaign consists of attacks on Kelly as somehow corrupt. Her ads largely crack me up because they center on nonsense. If you were to believe them, you would think Kelly was a pro-Chinese crook who has been stealing taxpayer money for years. The irony is, McSally supports Donald Trump, whose main accomplishment as “president” is to funnel hundreds of million in taxes into the coffers of the Trump Organization. In one “scandal,” Kelly helped found a company that launches sub-orbital balloons, and that company received a $15 million investment from Pima County, allegedly based on their predictions of job creation. However, as the McSally ads point out, instead of creating hundreds of jobs, they laid off hundreds. Of course, what the ad doesn’t tell you is, the job losses were due to the Coronavirus shutdowns ordered by… Pima County.
In another case, McSally points out the hair ambulance company that Kelly invested in. The ads claim the air ambulance company was guilty of “surprise billing” and sending a bill of more than $500,000 to a patient. As usual, these claims are suspect as hell, and have been called “false” by many fact checking organizations and journalists. For one thing, Kelly never ran the company; he was hired as a consultant for $20,000. Yet, the ads claim Kelly “got rich,” while patients were screwed; that’s another irony, since McSally voted for every GOP attempt to kill Obamacare and for a bill to deny protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
One of Kelly’s ads actually puts her in her place. In it, he holds up a medical bill and decries “surprise billing” and promises to help fix the health care access gap in this country. He decries “Washington” for their inaction in the face of the current pandemic and promises to do what he can to protect the interests of Arizona residents.
It’s almost as pathetic as the Trump campaign’s ads, one of which praises his prowess as an economic genius. In it, he promises to fix the economy and he cites me specious stats t back his claim that he “saved the economy” before and he’ll “do it again.” Those are all lies, of course. He did nothing for the economy before, except to screw things up enough to stop the Obama recovery, until he screwed up the pandemic response. And let’s be real; the stock market is ONE indicator of the direction of the economy, it is not THE indicator. Unemployment is double what it was when he took over. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are both up significantly. And debt has kept on piling up. Now, we can’t blame all of that on Trump, but if he’s going to claim to be an economic genius, that has to be based on some sort of fact. At the same time, they attack Biden as being a fear left shit-stirrer who will blow up the economy that Trump claims he rose from ruin.
I’m tired of the lies, and I’m tired of Republican politics, which is all about depressing the vote, to make it harder for Democrats to win. The election just can’t come fast enough. The strategy to win couldn’t be simpler. Just show up at the polls and vote for Biden. Period. Nothing else matters, except getting Trump out of the White House and the GOP out of government at all levels.
Also published on Medium.