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TGB Elders and the 2012 Election

category_bug_politics.gif Did you watch the third and last debate Monday evening between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney?

I thought assigning foreign policy as the topic was a bad idea. More so than in elections past when the nation had not been going through such hard economic times, what voters most care about now are pocketbook and social issues.

The two candidates apparently agreed as they veered into domestic policy no matter what questions moderator Bob Sheiffer asked. For us – elders – what has most been missing from the debates was a good and thorough discussion of Social Security and Medicare and I'm ticked off about that.

My favorite moment of the Boca Raton debate took place when, after Romney suggested he had been out somewhere counting Navy ships and found the total, in his estimation, to be wanting, Obama schooled him in how the modern military works:

“We also have fewer horses and bayonets,” said Obama, “because the nature of our military’s changed…the question is not a game of Battleship.”

Without question that was more snark than is presidential, but I liked it anyway.

There are only 13 days until the official election day, 6 November. Of course, millions have already voted, me included. Oregon, as it has done for more than 20 years, votes entirely by postal mail.

Although Mr. Romney has been trying to make himself appear more moderate, I don't think his flip-flopping on issues helps him in that regard; it just makes us even more aware that we can't believe him about anything, especially when he straight out lies about what everyone saw him say earlier on video tape.

Kinda makes you want to repeatedly bang your head on the television screen when he does that.

Mr. Obama seems to have found his mojo again but I agree with someone who recently noted that voting for Obama this time doesn't give voters the same thrill of being part of history as electing the first black president in 2008.

That worries me. It worries me that people who would never vote for Mr. Romney might stay home from voting for Obama because he has turned out to be a flawed human being instead of Superman.

It worries me that there are way too many people in the United States who will vote for Romney not because they believe he would be a better president but because they hate black people. (Ooooh, we're not supposed to say that out loud, are we.)

It worries me that Romney and his running mate are so tuned in, to and with the rabid right on their intention to control women's bodies and that the media has stopped talking about those outrages in these final days of the campaign.

What worries me most about a possible Romney/Ryan victory is the appointment of Supreme Court justices of whom there will definitely be one and possibly two in the next four years.

Such appointment(s) have the potential to make the U.S. into a vastly different country from what it is now – and not one I look forward to or would be good for 99 percent.

And so on and so forth. Those are a few of my more publicly acceptable ruminations on this endless campaign.

I would like to say that I will be so happy on 7 November when this is all over, but I recall that on the morning of 4 November 2008, one of the first things I heard on the news was a discussion of who would run against Obama in 2012. And already, for the past month or two, there has been speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president.

So, I'm sure that on Wednesday after the election, the 2014 mid-term campaign will begin while others will start positioning themselves for the 2016 presidential race.

Aside from a game-changing revelation about one candidate or the other – which I doubt is forthcoming – I think the campaign is all over but the vote counting. So today, I'm wondering about your thoughts on the campaign and what the results may or may not bode the future of our nation and of elders within it.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Memories of Qingdao


We 'swing staters' are mightily sick of the unbelievable barrage of ads, radio and tv and print. Fortunately we have a good source of facts and a great fact checker in you, Ronni. As a woman, I find it incomprehensible that any other woman could vote for Romney/Ryan - and also as a senior. Makes me want to put a sign in my car "Women! Vote for Obama! He's got your back (and all your other parts too).

You're absolutely correct about the race issue.

It's been handled like a family gathering, where everyone rolls their eyes and winces when Uncle Bill belches and farts at the dinner table, but no one bothers to say anything for fear of embarassing the good old fella.

I've received numerous emails over the past months that have run the gamut from not-so-subtle to flagrant racism concerning Obama ansd his wife. It makes me ashamed to be an American.

On the other social issues, I lump the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-elderly and other anti-stands with the same fanaticism exemplified by today's suicide bombers, and 80 years ago, by the fascistic criminels whose excesses resulted in the horrors of World War II and the death of milions.

Totalitarianism begins to win when decent people shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes and turn away from the early evidence of injustice. It ends in enslavement.

I too will be glad when it is over. The media treat these elections as if they were another spectator sport, like a football match. But this is about how we will live!

The campaign I've working on to end death sentences in California has lumbered to its end stage. We've won almost all the newspaper endorsements, have a ton of supportive officials and celebrities, and our ads are running in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Just because we're not a swing state doesn't mean we entirely escape the ad wars.

All we have left to do is to remind about 100000 more people to vote all the way down a very crowded ballot to Prop. 34. By election day, 30-40 percent of Californians will have voted already. I have.

When it is over, I will sleep ...

I'm expecting the Obama Landslide he almost won in 2008, because MOST of US AMERICANS are NOT racists, and Our First Black President obviously deserves a his second term to validate Our Peaceful Legacies.
Keeping the Faith, Sage

I, too, will be so glad when this is over. I feel like we're reliving the decline of the Roman empire. It's all bread and circuses.

I'm right in tune with all you said, except the last statement. It's far from over. A strong showing for President Obama depends heavily on getting out the vote in key areas. That is a big task that remains to be done right up to and including Nov. 6.

I am worried Obama may not win. I cannot fathom women voting Republican, or anyone except the wealthy. I fear a Republican win because of the power it will give the tea party (nobody knows where Romney is on the political spectrum). My hope is a landslide totally in the other direction, seen as a rejection of tea party ideology. Wishful thinking I guess.

Like you, Ronni, my greatest fear about Romney/Ryan has to do with who they would appoint to the Supreme Court. If they are elected, we will be stuck with a conservative court for the rest of our lives! Look how much damage has been done, thanks to George W's appointments.

I too will be glad when the election is over, but I'll certainly be gladder if Obama is elected. I'll never forget how awful I felt the day after the 2004 election.

I second everything you said. We all need to get out and vote.

I voted yesterday. The Democrats will sweep Hawaii.

Watching Obama, I am moved and strengthened by his courage: nastiness toward him and Michele seems to have come very easily from his opponents. How I long to have his skill with humor in the face of stupidity. Of course the folks you describe hate black people while also loving God. If that does not spin one's head around! This election does feel like a rewind of the mid-20th century--and earlier.

Of course Tagg owns the voting machines in Ohio now so that's one state we can't count on. If Obama does not get re-elected I wonder if his supporters will be well enough to get out and vote in four years. I'm going to be without tv during the election and that's a blessing.

I'm not certain that racist Americans actually hate people of color; more like they believe nonwhites are inferior. Racists are incensed that a half-black man presumes to lead them. This drives them insane and makes them noisy, which of course gets them lots of attention. I'm just hoping that all the apocalypticism (spellcheck says that's not a word, but I'm keeping it)the news media (as usual) are pimping evaporates on Election Day, as it did in 2008. And I'm hoping that young people, who seem less racist than their elders, will see the absolute need to vote.

Women need to remember at the voting booth with the Romney/Ryan plans: "Being a woman is a pre-existing condition".

I voted yesterday and in all of the years I have been voting early I have never seen the polls so busy. This is a goos sign though. Most of the people who were there were elderly, some of them being wheeled in by a care-taker (adult child?) and some getting on with walkers and canes.

Texas is a red-state with many religious fundamentalists that make up a large part of the elder population. And though some would cut their nose off to spite their face, I think they know that safety net benefits are at risk if they vote for Romney/Ryan.

The Dems usually poll about 40% here in Texas on a good turnout, so if we see a greater percentage than this then it will, I think, be indicative of support for the President.

I haven't seen as much racism in the current election as I saw in 2008. I hope that means that people have accepted that Obama is a smart, well-educated, articulate, polite and able man now that they know him better and have seen how he has handled the situations he has encountered while in office.

If Romney wins I believe that we are doomed to live in perpetual war and economic turmoil worse than this country has ever seen before.

If Obama wins we at least have a chance of getting out of Afghanistan, and a movement toward rebuilding our infrastructure and job-building in an attempt to bolster our economy and to put more Americans back to work.

Watched some of the third debate. I kept getting up and walking around it agitated me so. I voted yesterday for Obama/Biden. And all the other dems I could too.

I too will be glad when this political chrade is over. And I pray to God that race nor religion have anything to do with this event.
Many comments sound paniced about Romney, but lest you forget, we have no idea what Obama is going to do about entitlements, staggering debt or immigration. He's got to do something or must we be happy with speaches and inaction for another four years?

Gosh, I sure am glad I don't know any of you rabid Dems who seem to feel that all nastiness is coming from the Republicans. As a lifelong Democrat it seems to me we are definitely getting in our digs.
Yes, I voted for Obama last time BUT I won't be voting for him again. Where is HIS plan? What is his explanation for the HUGE debt--nevermind, I know blame it on Bush.
AND what is with Bengazi? Our Ambassador has been murdered and no one is giving a satisfactory answer why the COVERUP. Scary and disgraceful! Take off the blinders--no one is perfect sadly but we need a change!

We may need a change, but Mitt Romney isn't it. It's one thing to change to improve - another to backwards.

I too can't wait until this election is over, but if our state is any indication, the divisiveness will not be.

Just get out and vote your choice. Then you can complain if things don't go your way.

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have cost approximately 286,006 lives, which includes an estimated 181,362 civilians. The United States war bills already paid and obligated to be paid as of June 2011 are $3.2 trillion. This is the economy our government creates.

On the issues ( I agree with Jill Stein 96%, Obama 88% and Romney 7%. I will vote against Romney.

I cannot imagine any woman in her right mind voting for Rom/Ry, but unfortunately some (I just hope not too many) will. I've already voted for President Obama and other progressives. I fear for the nation and especially for the middle and working classes, if the Rom/Ry ticket prevails.

Although Romney APPEARS to have made a strategic swing towards the center, we forget at our peril that he is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. If the Repubs win, we can wave goodbye to Roe v. Wade, to Social Security and Medicare as we know it, and to most of the social progress made since FDR. We will not have a fairly balanced Supreme Court for decades.

Please VOTE and vote wisely! Especially if you're a woman, your life may depend on it and your future most certainly will.

Obama's sobering Presidential stat's:

— 23 Million Unemployed or Underemployed
— 47 Million on Food Stamps
— 5.5 Million Homes in Crisis/Foreclosure
— $4500 Drop in Household Income
— $5.5 Trillion of New Debt
— $716 Billion in Medicare Cuts
— $2.6 Trillion for Obamacare
— $1.9 Trillion in New Taxes in Obama’s Budget
— 100% Increase in Gas Prices

4 more years of this?

Vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

Good job Ronni, you've convinced and I have now decided will vote for Obama on Wednesday even though my heart isn't completely in it the way it was in 2008. Obama has been a great disappointment these past four years and the 3rd debate certainly didn't get me "fired up and ready to got" the way me and my fellow Texas campaign workers were when we canvassed in Ohio the last time. Since I am a resident of "the Great State of Texas" my vote will have little effect (strike that-"no effect") on the outcome of the national elections but I might as well add my 2 cents along with my choices for local representatives.
And by the way, you said it loud and clear, it is the closet racist block who are opposing Obama so vehemently. Somebody commented that "We're all not racists" which is true but the number of bigots hiding in the closet is huge (especially here in the South)
Clinton '16? I wonder if she'll have the strength to pull it off and will Bill still be around to campaign for her?
Stay tuned...

Hmmm, where does "anonymouse" get these "stats"? 100% increase in gas prices??!!!

My thrill in voting for Mr. Obama in this election is not because I want to participate in an historical event of helping to elect the first Black president of the US ... it's in being able to help re-elect Mr. Obama for a second turn and being able to help make sure the many faces of Mitt Romney do not show up in our revered Oval Office|!!

Anonymous, the Rom/Ry fan: I, too, wonder where you got your stats. I and nearly everyone I know agree that a lot of work remains to be done. However, what escapes me entirely is how returning to the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place will help us get out of it.

If I'm not way off base, it took 10 years and mobilizing the country for World War II to finally break the grip of the Great Depression. Thanks to President Obama, we didn't go there again in 2008, but we did have something called the "Great Recession". If Republican policies are so great, we should have a booming economy with plenty of jobs and money in the bank from the Clinton years. Obviously, that's not the case.

Getting the economy moving again will be a challenge, especially since global economies that buy our exports are shaky. Greece and some other European nations have tried "austerity" only to see their economies continue to sink. Why would we want to put ourselves in a similar situation? It will take a slow, steady and reasonable approach--and above all time--to overcome what the recession left behind. President Obama can do the job--if only the Republicans will meet him half-way and stop blocking everything he proposes.

Rom/Ry would only make things worse for those who are not already wealthy. After all, they've already written us off!

We're all talking about the predicted storm headed our way here in the NE. We cannot stop the storm, but can stop the Rom/Ry by getting out to vote the Obama/Biden ticket.

I see Ronni's comments are absolutely spot-on, and elegant as well, and so I'm surprised that only a handful of folks have clicked on the LIKE button.

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