* Imagine the title in the voice of Mel Brooks as the Stand-up Philosopher in The History of the World Part I. Watch it (8:36)
Did you watch it? Okay. Now that we’re in the right frame of mind…
I’m going to make a prediction. I predict that Mary Fallin will be the next governor of Oklahoma. Those of you who live in Oklahoma know, of course, that I cannot claim any special talent for predicting the future. This is an easy one. There’s a commercial that has been running every night during the local news that says Jari Askins is “too liberal for Oklahoma” and that she is (Gasp! Horrors!) “just like Barak Obama.” That’s all it takes in this state. Whoever shouts “Liberal!” the loudest wins.
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Oklahoma’s State Question 744 has been getting a lot of attention. It would require the state legislature to fund education at the average spent in surrounding states. I am about 98% certain that I oppose it. While I think spending more on education is a good idea, money does not necessarily guarantee better education. The measure seems incomplete somehow. Where will the money come from? One pro-744 ad says we can fund it by reducing the amount of money that goes to “special interest groups” but the Question itself does not require that and I have noticed that no matter what anyone promises, “special interest groups” always get their money first. (In fact, “special interest groups” is probably just shorthand for “groups I’m not a member of”.) It is also rather vague on how the extra money is to be spent and it does not include any requirements that directly affect the quality of education.
On the other hand, I have to say that I really hate the anti-744 commercials and if I was a knee-jerk kind of voter those would make me vote for it. I am an adult. Obviously. I don’t appreciate being lectured at and told “The answer is always no,” in that smug, superior tone.
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Christine O’Donnell – It would be too easy to make fun of this woman and her supporters. A republican candidate, who “dabbled in witchcraft”? Oh the hypocrisy! I sort of expected her to be this year’s Sarah Palin but the media seems to have moved on. We still hear about her but the coverage has been surprisingly non-circus-like. That’s probably because she’s behind in the polls. If she had a better chance of winning they would be all over it.
I don’t think the media really gets conservative voters. Or maybe they just don’t want to get the average voters on either side. The wackos are more entertaining. I’m not really a conservative but I think I understand conservatives and the appeal of the Tea Party. Now I’m talking about average, everyday folks, not the sign carrying lunatics they show on TV.
What most conservatives want is lower taxes and less government interference in our lives. Most believe in God but religion is more of a habit than a conviction. I could definitely get on board with the lower taxes and less government thing if that was as far as it went. Most people who are smart enough to get elected though, are smart enough to realize that things are never as simple as we would like for them to be, or if not, they soon find out. But the average voter does not care that things are not that simple. They want what they want and when the people they elect fail to make it happen they feel betrayed. Thus we have the Tea Party.
Republicans talk about lower taxes but the two driving issues in every election are anti-abortion and anti-gay but these are not real conservatism. It is interfering in people’s private lives which is the opposite of conservatism. When left alone most people, including conservatives, are surprisingly tolerant and are willing to look the other way – to live and let live – when things they don’t like are going on but it is easy to manipulate the strength of opinion on these issues and whip up more opposition than actually exists. And of course Liberals do their part in creating stronger opposition to their own pet issues. Simple tolerance is not enough.
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I’ve been seeing some of these Sorry yet? bumper stickers. I have to say, no, I’m not sorry. But then I never took all that “Hope and Change” hoopla as anything more than campaign hype. He’s just another president, not that different from most of the others. He’s certainly not a great president, merely average-good. Like most people, I always hope for great but, unlike most people, I’m relieved when we get merely average instead of really bad.
I was in favor of health care reform. I’m not sure if I’m going to like the health care reform that we actually got but I’m going to wait and see. I think some kind of health care reform was badly needed and I think Obama did the right thing to tackle it head on. However, politically, I think he might have made a mistake taking it on in his first term. It might have been better if he had made an all out effort on the economy and job creation and saved health care for early in his second term. There is no guarantee, of course, that he will even have a second term but I think it would have been more likely if he had done more to show people that the economy is his top issue. The people who hate him would still hate him no matter what but he might have kept more of the moderates on his side. I don’t know though… He would have alienated his supporters who were counting on health care reform. It’s not easy being President.
Oklahoma’s State Question 756 is an apparent attempt to “opt out” of the federal health care system but it cannot be anything more than just for show. I expect that this bit of stupidity will pass and I really hope someone will sue the State of Oklahoma over it immediately.
I’ve said this before – I like Oklahoma. I like my little piece of it and I like that, on a personal level, people generally tend to live and let live. But there are some things about Oklahoma that I hate and the big one is the knee-jerk anti-liberalism. There are, in fact, Liberals in Oklahoma. About a third of voters in this state voted for Obama but most Oklahoma liberals are afraid to speak out. What liberalism there is in Oklahoma is rather cowardly and that disappoints me because it seems to me that we have the potential to lead the way in reasonable, non-wacko liberalism.