Thursday, March 25, 2010

Political Pot Pourri

My request for an absentee ballot arrived in yesterday's mail, asking for a minimum amount of information, so that I could be sent an absentee ballot. They asked my party affiliation, and my birthdate and my address. I was pleased they did not ask for anything extraneous, but I thought they could have used much cheaper paper instead of this "card stock."

 That same mail also brought the reminder census post card, the THIRD piece of mail I had received from the census bureau.  First, a notice that the form was going to arrive, as if I hadn't read that in the papers and seen it on TV for the last six months; the form, itself, followed in two days. I returned it immediately, only to receive the reminder card. How many millions of dollars was wasted on that foolish process?

Hearing constantly about waste in government,  we think of "pork" and  "bridges to nowhere" and special deals for Nebraska. That is millions in waste; I am talking pennies, or maybe even dollars. I am a child of the depression years, not really affected personally, but I saw those men selling apples on street corners, in freezing weather and no gloves! That such poverty could exist, and still does, taught me that  savings, large and small, can make the difference between comfortable and miserable. So I want the lights turned off when they aren't needed; don't let the refrigerator door stay open longer than necessary. I was an energy saver before Al Gore told me why it is so important. (My husband, Bob, told me.)

On the absentee ballot, I marked Democrat with a bold, black check mark. My voting record is pretty consistent. I cast my very first vote, as a senior, at Wellesley, for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, continuing to vote for him until he died. When Eisenhower ran, I didn't care whether he was an R or a D. Like so many voters, I just liked Ike. That slipped me in to the Republican camp, and before I knew it, I was a Rockefeller Republican. He had the credentials and the values of the Democrats, which, I think is why he lost his place in line, and here I was, stuck with Nixon. I came back to the more liberal side of the fence as soon as I could, and have been there ever since.

In the winters we spent on Longboat Key, I am sure most of my friends were Republicans. An air of civility prevailed, and one just didn't discuss politics at dinner tables or cocktail parties. From 1980 until 1998, I only once declared, "I am an L". I think they were somewhat surprised, but Bob was born and bred an R, so all was well.

It has taken me a lot of words to get to the point: political civility has completely disappeared. I am appalled at what I see on the internet and in comments to columns and news articles.

I am overjoyed that Obama's health care plan has passed, even though now we are back to the ugly infighting. God bless the United States of America, land that I love.


  1. I listened to a call-in show on WOSU about the census. The rep said that they got a higher degree of compliance when they sent out a letter/card before and after the form. Whatever the cost, I would think it's got to be less than what it would cost to send people out to each house.

  2. Sending people door to door, or to cardboard boxes under bridges is going to be prohibitively expensive, too. But how else are we going to get counted? Thanks for paying attention to my ramblings.

  3. Oh, Phyllis, what you're writing here is as far removed from ramblings as I am from the moon. I love a long view, and that's exactly what you're sharing here.