American Election Year

Hi all,
I haven’t been on here near as much, or nearly enough since coming back to the US. I do miss you guys, and miss ZA in general. I was at a pro baseball game here last week and saw a guy with a Springbok cap on, so I caught up with him and his friend. They were South Africans, and have been here for a little while. It was kinda cool.
But to the point and the subject of the post. I know it is not ZA, but I also know from my time there that many still follow the US elections (and indeed the results will affect ZA if not in major ways).
My take on it is that I could not possibly vote for any Republican (excepting only 1 or 2). Sensible, rational Republicans have fled the party who shift further to the right and work harder to rabble rouse with strawmen of terrorists and christian persecution.
The Republican party has waged a war on women’s rights by not only shoving abortion laws back to the forefront, but even health care coverage for birth control and defunding of Planned Parenthood which saves thousands of lives each year by providing reproductive healthcare for low income women.
Denial of climate change is often part of their platform to “drill baby drill” which Sarah Palin started in the previous cycle.
The main push for Republican support comes in the fact that the economy is still hurting, and people believe the GOP would be better able create jobs and the country back on it’s feet. However, this is an incredible deception from my point of view. The tax breaks they want to allow coupled with existing tax codes that suck, really make the incredibly wealthy obcenely wealthy, and will keep middle class and poor working families under tax burdens that will keep them in their place.
To be clear, I am disappointed with Obama. I was still in ZA when the last elections took place, and was very optimistic about the future, but there are some things (especially some Bush era policies that I expected struck down in short order) that have continued. However, there is still not even a choice of how to vote this cycle if one is rational and looks even only slightly at the platforms.
But there is lots of hysterics on Facebook, and other media including the film making the circuit titled “2016” and supposedly about Obama, which is so full of bullshit that it makes my head hurt, and there are lots of people who are just eating it up.
Of course, Romney and Ryan have screwed up enough, that they have probably jeopordized any outside chance they had of taking the election, but it is still a little scary to me. Especially when the GOP actively seeks to reduce the number of brown people vote (including mainly hispanics and African Americans here, but also affects the elderly which is strange since they often skew Republican) by putting in State “voter fraud prevention” laws.
On the good side, many polls point to the GOP ticket saying enough stupid things, that it could actually put control of the House of Representatives back in play (Republican controlled currently, and expected to stay that way).
There are so many dynamics to the election here, and I know I have just kind of “brain-vomitted” some that were there at the forefront for me, but it is definitely getting crazy here… or at least lots saying crazy things.
I am no expert or pundit or anything, and with the availability of information on the inter-tubes, I bet some folks here such as Mefiante probably know more about the specifics of certain aspects of this round of elections here, but if there is anything that you want to ask from the perspective I have here in a very red state… throw it in the comments, and I’ll have a look.

Why do the Americans insist on voting only for the Republicans or Democrats? Perhaps, in lieu of the ‘none of the above’ box, they voted for someone else–Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party springs to mind–they might give the two big parties (between whom there is no important difference) a wake-up call.

..also know from my time there that many still follow the US elections

I try to watch “The Colbert Report” and “John Stewart” as often as possible, mostly because they make US politicians look stupid in a hilarious sort of way. (not that it appears to be that difficult, re-reporting the news often does the trick). As an aside: FOX should be re-labelled “comedy”.

I could not possibly vote for any Republican (excepting only 1 or 2).

Only one I would ever consider is Ron Paul, but I’m not always sure he’s as sane as I seem to think he is. For one, he claims to be “Tea Party” but doesn’t seem nearly as insane as that crowd. Then again anybody gets to call themselves “Tea Party” as it’s a “grass roots” movement and claiming to be a part of it, makes you a part of it. Maybe he’s just “Tea Party like a FOX!” …riding the bandwagon for some press.

Sensible, rational Republicans have fled the party who shift further to the right and work harder to rabble rouse with strawmen of terrorists and christian persecution.

I dunno man, the 'mericans seem to be prematurely calling an Obama re-election. A couple of percentage points difference in preliminary polls do not a president make. Especially not if Republicans once again rig the election and get away with it (and you seem to hint that they are indeed already trying). To me it seems scary clear that the Republicans have a weirdly strong support base. Given Romney’s litany of recent screwups I’m a bit stunned by how strong his support remains. Maybe a commentary on US education.

I follow any news report with the word “republican” in it for the hilarity factor. Romney and co’s gaffe about “legitimate rape” and the “fact” that a woman’s body will reject a rapist sperm and thus cannot fall pregnant from “rape” was a gobsmacking facedesk moment for me. And Romney’s yellow face when he spoke to a crowd of Latino’s also caused a raised eyebrow. Romney’s (hopefully in jest, but one does not know) comment about all the good that science does but aeroplanes still does not have windows that can open - “what happens when there is a fire on the flight, you cannot even open a window?” - huh? You’re at 40 000 feet dude? I sincerely hope he was joking.

I am curious though, what are the average woman’s opinion of the Republican party in your woods? I cannot fathom that women in our time would stand for this type of thing? (I’m not referring to the religious lot, but rather the general population)

Actually, an enterprising rich person could exploit this “deficiency” to rid the world of the Romney problem… >:D

Those who don’t agree with him probably write him off as a harmless buffoon — which is a dangerous thing to do, of course.


An American acquaintance of mine tells me that the American system is such that at any one time, only two parties stand any chance of winning an election. However, there is nothing that ensures that those two parties must be the Democrats and Republicans.

The Republicans, he informs me, have basically purged their party of all sane members, and have in effect collectively committed suicide. He thinks they are on their way out and will soon be replaced by some other party. Perhaps the Libertarians, perhaps someone else.

Had I been an American, I would most surely not voted for ether candidate this election, and would either have withheld my vote altogether, or voted for the Libertarians. If enough people followed suit it would indeed send a wake-up call to at least the Republicans. Just as voters voting for anyone at all except the ruling party in South Africa, might just possibly serve as enough of a wake-up call to get the bunch of incompetent, corrupt fools to actually start delivering instead of just talking about it.

@St0nes: There are some smaller independent parties, though not like in ZA. Occasionally, they do pull enough of the vote to deny one of the major parties a victory while not nearly enough to win for themselves. It does affect the political landscape though, and sometimes does bring some changes.

@BoogieMonster: The Tea Party is a very bad joke who only wanted to get support so that NOTHING got done in the last cycle. That is not hyperbole, they said that they were there to make sure there were no votes or no affirmative votes for anything the democrats tried to do. I was enraged. Everyone should be with all the work that needs to be done, I would be having words with my rep if they said publicly that their goal was to ensure nothing got done.
Ron Paul is a moron and one who would probably prefer a theocratic nation. He is from my state, but a loon, no doubt.
Regarding the polls: for here, Obama has a very strong lead, currently. One must keep in mind that it is not neccessarily the total numbers, but which states those numbers belong to, because all electoral votes from each state go to one candidate. So, in a populous “swing” state such as Florida, even though Romney may have support from almost half the voting population, ALL of Florida’s electoral votes will go to Obama (hypothetically of course, though the polls are showing that state be further in favor of Obama, hence the voter suppression attempts there). Most of these voter “fraud” (read “suppression”) laws are being struck down in the courts, so hopefully will not have a huge impact on the election.

Regarding women and the election, IDK!! I just can’t fathom any woman voting for the Republican party with the crap they have been trying to ramrod through Congress and at state levels. Make no mistake, the woman vote is hugely in Obama’s favor, but I just don’t see how it is not worse for the Republicans. But being from rural “red state” America, many of my Facebook friends who are female get on there and spew crap about Democrats and specifically how Obama is “un-American”, etc…
I agree with Samuel L. Jackson, America: “Wake the f*ck up!!!” (obviously NTSFW)
Wake the F**K Up (NSFW)

@Faerie: As I mentioned above, I am from a rural part of a very red state, so religious and Republican IS the general population, even among women. I am also a teacher, and my kind skew much more Democratic (though I believe a lot is due to the Republicans trying to screw up public education at the state level here and in other states).
On the good side, since returning over three years ago now, I can see a marked difference with things such as the influence and attendance of the many churches. But, there is still a long way to go as I can’t scroll through my Facebook newsfeed (just as one example) without seeing calls for prayer for people or thanking God for this or that. It’s still better I think than when I was a child, though, so I’m optimistic.

Since I’m on a roll, here is another NSFW video of someone I like very much, Sarah Silverman on the voter suppression laws. One thing that is a little misleading is that the elderly have almost always skewed heavily Republican, but the trend is reversed in most places here because the Romney/ Ryan platform guts medicare/ medicaid which will be harsh for retirees.
Sarah Silverman | Let My People Vote 2012 - Get Nana A Gun

I read stuff like the below and cringe. Being popular sure don’t make you right.

[My emphasis added] Representative Paul Broun (Georgia Republican) said that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are 'lies straight from the pit of hell' meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. It would not be quite as shocking if Broun did not sit on [b]the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.[/b]


You look at the above and you realise that countries work (some better than others) not because of their governments but despite their governments.

Here is a new podcast about USA politics that I like