Conversation about politics:
"I voted for him because he was the only choice that I really had. Mostly I went with him because he's a democrat and I didn't want the republican to win.," I said.
"Why didn't you vote for the Green party candidate?," he responded.
"Because I don't know anything about him and I still have scars with the Nader party after Gore lost the election to Dubya.," I said.
He took a long drag of his cigarette, repositioned himself in his leopard print lounge chair. "I recently came to the conclusion that I shouldn't even bother voting in the presidential elections because the electroral college always seems to mess things up. It was established when our country's population wasn't as large and spread out as it is now. Politicians only had to go to the largest states to campaign and would win because it wasn't fairly balanced. That was a couple dozen years ago and we, as a nation, have grown and spread ourselves throughout the states pretty damn well. But now a single vote doesn't count because the electoral college automatically voids any individual response, as we witnessed in the last presidential vote.," he said.
"I know. Gore won. If you look at the popular vote. I'm still irked."
"Irked. Yes... I voted for Nader."
I sighed. "I wanted to vote for Nader, but knew it would be a vote taken away from Gore. I just didn't want Dubya in.," I stated.
"You know why I voted for Nader?"
"I was working at the bar. He was about to have some kind of political party thing there and I was just getting off my shift. Nader showed up early for the rally and ordered a beer. I ordered one as well and we started conversating. He asked me what my thoughts were about the election and I told him flat out that I wanted to vote for him as I see that if you vote with either Democrat or Republican it's really just stating which corporation you like more... oil or whatever (Did you know that Microsoft gave $10 million to both parties? "No." Well now you do..)... I told Nader that I was going to vote for Gore as I didn't want Dubya to win. And he said, 'You know what's sad about the state of our nation at the moment? People are not voting for who they want as their leader, but rather who they don't want as their leader.'"
"Hm. It's true."
"And it just kind of made everything clear to me. I was voting for Gore, who I only agreed partially with on all the major issues... whereas Nader was more along my line of thought. But, like he said, I was choosing Gore because I didn't want Dubya. That's when I decided that I was going to vote for who I wanted as my representative instead of who would be a better opponent to the evil Dubya."
I picked up a Camel from the coffeetable. "This past election is the first time I can remember any sort of vote swapping occuring in an election."
He leaned in with his lighter. "Which is another sad statement on where our nation is headed... the fact that we have to band together as groups in order to make our voices louder.. you know, that's just sad."
And we sat there, mulling over the way our nation has declined since the good ol' days when your choice for political candidates was much clearer--- you voted for the one that wasn't a blatant racist.
Being a born and bred gal from Louisiana, it was always easy to decide who to vote for. Edwin Edwards, who is now serving a 10 year prison sentence for fraud, evil trickery, and voo doo, was governor of my state for about 12 years. (I think.) When I came to Texas, a few people asked me why Louisiana had such fucked up politics. When I stated that they weren't as fucked as the rest of the nation and responded that I voted for Edwards in the first election I was able to vote in, they would be surprised. "Why on earth would you vote for a guy who was a blatant liar, cheat, and fraud?"
"Well," I'd say, "because the other guy was the ex- Grand Dragon of the KKK. I figured that having a fraud, liar, and cheat would be the better choice." And besides, I'd go on, Edwin Edwards was an entertaining guy that would fit right in with the stereotype that goes along with Louisiana politics.
For me, voting has always been choosing between who I see as good and who I see as evil. If there isn't a clear line of who exactly is good and who exactly is evil, I usually vote for the person who's getting bashed for being a liberal.
Another political conversation, different guy, different easy chair.
"Have you seen that political ad bashing Barrientos?" (Barrientos is a candidate for a Texas Senate seat... democrat, hispanic... in my opinon, one of the better senators in the state.)
"That one where it's the police video of his 2000 DWI arrest?," he asked as he leaned back in his chair and placed his arms behind his head.
"Yeah, that's the one," I said as I sipped at my Gin and Tonic.
"Yeah, I've seen it. It's a pity. Poor guy had a couple of drinks and got a DWI. I don't condone drinking while being intoxicated, but shit, Barientos fucking did all the classes and payed all the fines and did what everyone else has to do to clear it off his recored.... at least he didn't try to wiggle his way out of it like most politicians."
I crossed my legs in a more comfortable position and grabbed a pillow for better lumbar support. "Yeah, I agree... but anyway in the ad.. the one where he's all drunk and shit and getting arrested, have you ever listened to the background of it?"
"The background of it?," he asked.
"Yeah, you have the usual sounds of the police radio and the sirens and everything. You hear the cop kind of talking.. BUT-"
"BUT.. they've dubbed in the sounds of a baby crying throughout the entire thing.," I revealed.
"If you listend to the commercial, throughout it... when the sirens are less lound and all of that, you can hear a baby crying throughout the entire commercial."
He didn't believe me. "A crying baby? What? Why? Was there a crying baby in the car with him?"
"Not that I know of. I think they just added it in there for effect."
"To effect what? A baby crying? Oh my God. That's just not right. What are they trying to say with a baby crying in the background?"
"Beats the hell outta me.," I said as I took another sip of my Gin and Tonic.
"I bet it's the Baby Jesus Crying. Barrientos made the Baby Jesus Cry. I'm not voting for him.," he stated matter-of-factly.
At this point my nostrils were burning as I had inhaled my drink in an awkward internal guffawing accident.
"'If you vote for Barrientos, you'll make the Baby Jesus Cry.' That's what his opponents slogan should be.," he said in the void of a response.
I already voted early in the Texan elections. I was pretty educated with the issues and the candidates and thought I had really made a pretty educated choice.
But now that I think about it, I know that my choice was based purely on who I didn't want in office... not necessarily because I was a strong supporter of the other guy (or gal).
I also think that, from now on, I shall only vote for the candidate who makes the Baby Jesus Cry. Unless that candidate is a member of the KKK. In that case, I will vote for the candidate who makes the Baby Jesus Barf.