Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My New Column

So I write this column for Skunk magazine out of Canada. It's called Drug War Follies, and normally it is about the horror of the war on drugs. I generally wade through a lot of really ugly stories about everything from headless bodies in Mexico to people dying when police raid a wrong home or how the private prison industry pushes for harsher and harsher laws against non-violent drug users. This time I decided to skip that stuff and write something about the upcoming election season here in the USA. This is what I wrote:

Drug War Follies

It’s an election year and there is a lot of important shit going down, so sit up, drop the bong and pay fucking attention!

By Peter Gorman

There’s an election coming up in November, 2012. And it’s an important election. In 2008 the United States voted for a man who had a black dad. That makes him a “nig..r” in a lot of people’s books and here in the good old US of A, that just is not possible to accept for those people. No black man, no matter who, “is going to tell me what to do!” is the feeling. And it is a deeply seeded feeling. So deep that in the first days after the election, the opposition party leadership, the Republican party leadership, got together and decided that the first and most important measure of business for them was to get that “boy”, President Barack Obama, out of office. How important was it? Well, important enough that despite Obama having been left with the worst plate of slop any president has been left with in 80 years, getting rid of him was more important. That slop included—in a nutshell—everything from an exploding housing bubble that would cost millions their homes to foreclosure to a recession that would finally cost several million their jobs. Among the causes were tax breaks for the rich, two unfunded wars and a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry that was costing the US federal government $1/2 trillion a year. Add to that a Veteran’s Administration that was so critically underfunded it was unable to even pretend it could take care of the needs of our returning servicemen and women and voila! A fucking mess.

Given that, this November’s election is very important. It’s time for those of us who still have a vote to go exercise it. And here’s how this New York kid living out in the boonies in Texas sees it.

If you think that some other man’s hand belongs up your girl’s skirt with a transvaginal probe, then you might think of voting republican. If you think that people ought to have to buy a government issued identification card for the right to vote, then you ought to think of voting republican. If you think new wars, lower taxes for the rich, the end of public television being partially financed by the federal US government, the end of Planned Parenthood, the end of women’s rights to equal pay, the end of the right of gays to serve publicly in the US armed forces, the end of basic grants to college kids to help get them over the hump, the end of federal funds for the arts, the end of a woman’s right to choose, the end of the new banking regulations, the end of a way for kids brought into the US illegally to become citizens, the end of social security that you’ve been paying into weekly, the end of medicare that you’ve been paying into weekly, the end of the new Obamacare with all it’s warts but which does not allow insurance companies to deny people care for pre-existing conditions, the end of super special tax cuts for the very very wealthy, the end of unions and the end of protected public pension funds are all good things, then you ought to think about voting Republican.

And if you think that evolution is a myth and that the whole world was created 6,000 years ago, yup, vote Republican. If you believe that a fertilized human egg is a person with all rights of a human being but that society’s responsibility to that egg ends at birth, vote Republican. If you believe that women should have to carry the fetus of a rapist to term, well, vote Republican. If you believe that corporations are people, my friend, and that they deserve special cuts and tax breaks, and if you believe that giving billionaires more tax cuts will create more jobs, vote Republican. If you believe that unlimited amounts of money should be allowed to be donated anonymously to things called SuperPacs to buy elections, well, vote Republican. If you believe that trickle down economics was anything more than the rich pissing on your head for the last 30 years or if you believe in personal responsibility except for those people corporations; if you believe in eliminating work safety rules, the minimum wage, the environmental protection administration and that green house gasses are good because they help keep us warm; if you believe that the founding fathers were thinking of fully automatic assault rifles with clips of 50 rounds when they devised the second amendment; if you believe that the words “in god we trust” were engraved in US money bills before the 1950s or that the Pledge of Allegiance was written with the words “one nation, under God” in its original form, then you ought to vote republican.

And if what you want from a presidential candidate is one who has said he cannot tell the populace what his plans are because if he did he would not get elected, then Mitt Romney is your man. If you want a presidential candidate who wants smaller government but then used a $1.3 billion bailout to mount the Salt Lake City Olympics while claiming he personally rescued them, well, Mitt Romney is your man. If you want a presidential candidate who developed the health care bill for a state, Massachusetts—which was adopted by President Obama for the entire country—and now claims it is a bad idea, yeah, Romney is your fella. And if you want a presidential candidate whose leading advisor described his campaign as an Etch-a-Sketch that can be shaken up as needed, well then, it’s settled, Romney is your man. Oh, and if you want a presidential candidate who suggested, in print, that Detroit be allowed to go bankrupt, and now that General Motors has been saved claims he is largely responsible for that, uh-huh, Romney’s the one.

And we’re not even touching on vulture capitalism, or Bain Capital and it’s sister companies that had a habit of buying up companies, loading them with debt, taking their cut, then selling them off piecemeal or watching them sink into bankruptcy, costing a lot of workers their jobs. And no, we’re not hardly gonna touch on the idea that while Mitt Romney’s dad, George W. Romney, was running in the 1968 presidential primary against Richard Nixon, released 12 years worth of personal tax records but that Mitt has—as of this writing—not released a single complete year of tax returns and has promised to release no more than two years in total. And we’re gonna stay pretty much away from the fact that Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on nearly everything he has ever stood for politically, sometimes during the same day.

If what’s above is what you think will make a better USA, then Republican is the only way to go.

Which does not mean I am thrilled with President Obama. What he has allowed to happen, what he probably pushed to have happen with medical marijuana in California and elsewhere would normally be enough to get me to vote against him. But given what we’re faced with, given what the Republicans stand for, well, even Obama’s unfuckingreal medical marijuana stance is not enough to get rid of him.

And I’m not happy that Obama has not been left-leaning at all. I did not expect him to be a slightly right-of-center—at least old style slightly right-of-center—president. On some issues he’s been great. On others his compromises have looked like complete collapse.

But I still have faith. I have faith that if the president had a Congress that had any interest in helping the US rather than eliminating that black guy from the white house, well, he’d be able to show more of his true colors.

And he and the Democrats still have some things going for them. Like, if you want equal pay for women, if you don’t want transvaginal probes shoved up your girl’s privates, if you think a human baby is more important than a zygote or even a fetus, if you believe that the wealthy should pay a higher percentage of taxes than the middle class, or that schools should teach science, not religion-as-science, or that it’s vital that the arts are funded and that Public Television exists; if you think environmental protections should be in place to protect yourself and your kids or that everyone deserves basic healthcare and that the banks and Wall Street ought to have some regulation to prevent them from running roughshod on na├»ve clients and that alternative energy sources ought to be investigated and promoted, if you think everyone is important, not just a special color or class or those who are straight and white and define themselves as Christians, well, if any of that’s important to you, then the Democrats, with all their flaws, are the way you need to go.

See how easy that was? Okay, now get back to those bongs and have a great big fat hit! Enjoy.

It would all be funny if people weren’t dying and the prisons weren’t full.


Unknown said...

I really like the new column! Its too bad that people don't want to talk about the issues, because Mitt could never win if the truth was clearly stated in the national media as well as it is in your column.

Seattlesauce said...

Fantastic article! With it being for Skunk magazine and all....
If you want you grandpa to get arrested for trying to take his cancer medication, then yeah, vote Republican. At least with the donkeys there's a chance of legalization.

Keep em coming.