Here’s the bottom line on this election. We have the government we have, because we are the people we are. If we want a better government, a time when the idea of someone like Clinton or Trump being on the ballot for president would be just simply impossible, then we, each of us, must do all we can to become better people.
Here are my best recommendations for the upcoming election. I hope it will be useful.
But first, a little music curated for Election Day. Listen while you read!
SQ 776, Death Penalty. No, no, a thousand times no! This proposal is a significant culture of death initiative that should be rejected by all who love life and good governance.
SQ 777, the Right to Harm Farms. Another No, No, a thousand times no! It was instigated here by out of state ideological special interests who do not have the common good of the people of Oklahoma at heart. No good will come from this if it passes, and much harm may result.
SQ 779, Sales Tax Increase for Schools. The state legislature has utterly failed to properly fund the public education system, while at the same time continuing to hand out phat welfare checks to big corporations. The cities are opposed to 779, because typically cities rely on sales tax. Alas, that argument at least where Oklahoma City is concerned is not at all persuasive to me, given the massive misallocation of OKC sales tax funds over the years.
Ed Shadid, whom I greatly respect, believes that passing this would be a problem for future funding of mass transit options, but I continue to think that Salyer, Cornett, and the rest of the voting majority on the City Council wouldn’t know what a decent transit system was if it rose up and bit them on the ass. It will be a cold day in hell with pigs flying over downtown when those people vote to finance a decent bus system. Judging from the recently released ACOG transit plan, I think their plan is to go with some lite rail and other trendy upscale things like their downtown streetcar to nowhere that the Chamber of Commerce and tourist people would like, but they will not finance a decent bus system that will get the poor and working class to work and to shop. There’s not one damn thing in the recently published ACOG transportation plan that proposes a decent bus system. If it’s not in the plan, it’s not going to happen.
And while I’m ranting, let’s go on and talk about the rest of their Oklahoma City sins against justice which are legion. They are financing their court system on the backs of people too poor to pay bail. They never pass up an opportunity to kick low income people where it hurts. OKC government operates on a “leave the poor behind for the wolves of life to devour” principle. The problems in the schools just exacerbate their social darwinist ethos. So I am voting FOR 779, not only to fund education but to spit in the eye of Mick Cornett and his jock friends at the OKC Chamber of Commerce and the editorial page of the Daily Oklahoman. After all, looking at who is FOR and AGAINST an issue is one way to parse the decision. The smartest and best thing for any lower income worker to do is to LEAVE OKLAHOMA. It would not be hard to find a better deal in another state. Sometimes I think I should start a charity to help people escape Oklahoma. That’s not a joke.
SQ 780, Reducing Penalties for Simple Possession of Intoxicating Drugs. This one is YES, YES, a THOUSAND TIMES YES. It is one of the most important good governance proposals in the history of this state. It reduces simple penalties for intoxicating drugs from felony status to misdemeanor. It doesn’t change the rules for dealers.
SQ 781. Fund for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. This one is also YES. It sets up a mechanism to increase funds available for substance abuse treatment. In the current fiscal climate, there is likely to be less there instead of more, but every bit helps.
SQ 790. Repeals Oklahoma’s Blaine Amendment prohibiting state funds to religious organizations. I know a lot of my friends are appalled by this, but personally I think Catholic Charities does a great job at what it does and if the state contracted with it for more services, the common good would truly benefit. So I am voting yes. The evident anti-religion bias of many of those opposing this hasn’t made their case any more persuasive.
SQ 792. Make Wal Mart Richer and Destroy Oklahoma Businesses. And so I’m agin it! I like my locally owned liquor store system JUST FINE. I know SQ 792 does some good things for local brewers and wineries, but hitching their wagon to the Wal Mart train was a bad strategic move. Throwing one group under the bus to benefit yourself just doesn’t work for me. The propaganda about “modernizing” liquor laws is just code words for “drive the locally owned liquor stores out of bidness and turn it all over to WalMart, Cost Co, and etc.” It won’t increase employment. People will lose jobs in droves as locally owned stores close down. It won’t increase choice. No Wal Mart Manager is going to put as much care into deciding inventory questions as a local store owner. No Wal Mart manager is going to do a special order for you, like local store owners do all the time.
BOND ISSUES FOR SCHOOLS. I am voting FOR all of the bond issues for the schools. The public schools are in a desperate situation and voting down these bond issues would do nothing other than increase misery, of which we have a plenitude already.
FOR PRESIDENT I am voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, the only choice other than “Crook versus Crook”. I simply refuse to vote for people like Clinton and Trump. I don’t agree with everything that Gary Johnson espouses, but he is the only peace candidate on the presidential ballot in Oklahoma. Sure, he won’t get elected, but a vote for him sends a principled message.
If you want to waste your vote in Oklahoma, vote for the noted war criminal Hillary Clinton. Trump will certainly carry the state, but if the libertarians get 2.5% of the vote, they will automatically be on the ballot two years hence. One of our primary problems here is a lack of political diversity. The Democrats can’t manage to contest that many races, and appear to have no strategy or clues about how to cope with the present political situation. All too often, the best they can offer is “we’re moderate Republicans in Democratic disguise”. So increasing political diversity would be a step in the right direction. Maybe the the Libertarians manage to stay on the ballot, the Greens will be cheered by that and get themselves on two years hence. All of you who oppose Trump in Oklahoma, don’t waste your vote on Hillary Clinton, invest it in a more diverse Oklahoma political system by voting for Gary Johnson for Prez.
FOR US SENATOR I am voting for my long time friend ROBERT MURPHY, the Libertarian candidate. I have known him since, hmmm, probably 1978, and I think he is a good man, honest, trustworthy. The kind of man (or woman) that you would want in such a responsible position.
FOR US CONGRESS, 5th DISTRICT, I am voting for ZACHARY KNIGHT. I am not personally acquainted with him, but I will go for him because he is the ONLY PEACE CANDIDATE in this particular congressional race.
CORPORATION COMMISSIONER, I am not voting. The only candidate is a Republican. The fact that there is no Democrat in this race is more evidence of the problems in the Democratic party. With all these earthquakes, this would have been a great year to challenge Republican dominance of the Corporation Commission, but alas, that was not to be.
STATE LEG DISTRICT 88, I am not voting. The current incumbent is unopposed, and he doesn’t bother to answer my letters or emails so I’m not going to bother voting for him.
OKLAHOMA COUNTY SHERIFF — I am not voting. The jail is an utter mess, and our best hope there is for a federal government takeover.
JUDGES — I am following the recommendation of the Oklahoma Policy folks and voting to retain the judges on the ballot.
FOR OKLAHOMA COUNTY CLERK I am voting for my cyber-friend Chris Powell. He should get elected, because his Republican opponent is somewhat a shady character and not someone you would want in such a responsible role.