Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Election and Shenanigans 2016

Anyone who knows me knows I hate politics.  Always have, and I suspect it's because this goes back to 1976 election when the person my parents wanted wasn't elected.  Plus, we only got 3 channels, and my favorite shows were often pre-empted because the President was on TV.

I was too young to care about the Iran hostages; I was thankful GF didn't have to deal with it, and I joined in with friends singing,

My peanut has a 1st's J-i-m-m-y
My peanut has a 2nd's C-a-r-t-e-r
I love to hate him every day
And if you'll ask me, why I'll say.....
'Cause Jimmy Carter has a way of messing up the USA!
(Theme of 'My Bologna' commercial)

Of course, now I'm 40 years older and realize he DIDN'T mess up the USA, and I was happy during the Reagan years (hubby wasn't!) and was disappointed when Dukakis lost to Bush, plus the 1st Gulf War didn't end everything once and for all, and it took a 2nd one to finally get rid of 'the bad guy', only to have another one rise up.  But I digress.

I was thrilled during the Clinton years, because gas prices dropped; our income rose, and I dismissed all the 'scandal' due to technology.  After all, our founding fathers hadn't exactly been saints either, yet I still adore hearing about Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.  If things had been different and 24/7 news coverage had been around at the start of our country, would any of THEM had been elected?

My BS degree was in social work, and in 1989, the line was clear:  Republicans were against social service; Democrats were for.  I would no longer vote with my parents.

But in 2000, I couldn't stand Al Gore.  And after 9/11, I was very thankful to have GWB in the White House.  Eight years later, I wanted to vote for John McCain, but felt he'd shot himself in the foot with SP as his running mate, as she made gaffe after gaffe.  WTH had he done?  I felt BO  was unqualified for the job; he needed another 4 years in the senate before trying again. I certainly did NOT want SP as the runner up, in case something happened to JM.  I literally took my absentee ballot (I'd not yet changed my address on my license, so I could not vote in my county yet) and closed my eyes, marked it, then stuffed it in the envelope w/o checking.  To this day, I still have no idea whom I voted for.  In 2012, that decision was clear; it HAD to be Republican, since the economy was tanking, PLUS BHO had reneged on every promise I'd heard him make.  Shelter dog??  HA!  Portuguese Water Dog.  Lower the National Debt?  HA!  More like tripled it.  Health Care?  What a joke!  I can't afford $600 a month.  I'm stuck with Short term that doesn't hardly pay anything.

So when Trump threw his hat in the ring and started saying what I'd heard everyone else saying, but NOT coming out of politician's mouths, I sat up and paid attention.

And liked what I heard.

My KIDS liked what they heard.

What everyone did NOT like was the fact that HRC was dodging the FBI, the CIA, Congress, etc, and was apparently snowing women everywhere with her rhetoric.  I stated to several close friends I will NOT vote for her 'just because she's a woman'.  Yes, we need a female president one day, but she's not that person.

Several close friends were on Bernie Sanders' train.  I think, had HRC not secured the nomination, we'd be looking at a situation similar to 2000, only without the 'hanging chads'.

Hubby became an armchair politician this year, binge-watching FOX News and listening to Patriot radio.  I listened because I had no choice while in the car, and heard about a book about HRC.

Son bought it for me for Christmas, and I just finished it.  Loved it, esp since it validated my memory of sketchy details I'd heard about the Clinton years, and filled in the blanks.  It also validated what I'd seen of what's happened to this country in the past 8 years.

I sincerely hope Trump can turn this country back around and get the economy back on its feet.  I'd also love to see some reforms to social welfare; mainly, the standards which have been in place have not kept up with the times.  People are being penalized for work well done; I have a friend in management who complains every time they reward someone with a raise, they have to quit because they'll lose their food stamps or health care.  We ourselves went through a small crisis several years ago and didn't qualify for assistance since we made $50 too much.

$50.  Surely there's some wiggle room?  I mean, COME ON!

I'll admit, my own income has dropped in the past two years.  In 2015, I was on track to have my best year as an author:  I hit the triple digit mark in MARCH, as opposed to June of the previous year, and had doubled that by August.  But then my publisher folded.....and I didn't get paid again until late November, thankfully, a double-digit deposit.  My cash earnings netted me nearly another triple digit number, though I had to pay out for some booth fees and travel expenses.  This past year, I spent over $1000 in booth fees and travel expenses, while only earning maybe a third of it back.  My last remaining publisher just closed its doors, so now I have to pay people to edit and create covers for me.  In short, I won't be able to do as many signings this year that aren't cheap.  The only three I'll cling to are KABB (Sept); Imaginarium (Oct), and ICTAHS (Nov-already paid half!).  And that's providing gas prices don't rise above $3 a gallon.  Otherwise, I'll be dealing with a spouse screaming about travel expenses.

Anyway, time will tell if we've made a colossal mistake.  I was alarmed when pundits began comparing Trump to Hitler....but then again, making the US a socialist economy wouldn't have done us any good either.

All we can do is pray.

And hope that WW3 isn't just around the corner, or that ISIS hasn't infiltrated past the point of no return.  That scares me more than anything, but I won't give into fear, because then they will have won.