Sunday, August 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Horsemen of the political apocalypse

kirchubel column sig

By
From page A8 | May 26, 2014 |

Let me ask you a question: What’s the biggest political problem facing America today?

If you ask a right-winger, it may be Benghazi, the national debt, Fast and Furious, “Obamacare,” the Keystone Pipeline extension or Cliven Bundy’s cows.

If you ask a progressive, it may be that the National Security Agency is spying on American citizens, the VA hospitals are waiting people to death, the IRS is letting political groups masquerade as educational organizations and claim nonprofit status, fringe right politicians causing congressional gridlock for years instead of working on solving America’s problems, or the fact that the wealthy now have unprecedented access and control over our elected representatives at all levels of government.

We all have our favorite transitory gripes, changing over time, just as the corporate media flits like a fickle bee, from one problem to another, seeking sweeter ratings. Maybe the Daily Republic would consider making this a question of the week, just before the general elections in November: “What’s the most serious political problem in America today?”

If I were to answer that question today, I’d say, “The Four Horsemen of the voting apocalypse: Republicans locking-down their hold on the House of Representatives by gerrymandering their districts, limiting access to eligible voters, having the wealthy own our media and elections, and the general political malaise that permeates all strata of our society.” We have discussed the first three horsemen many times here before.

Raise your hands if you intend to vote in the June 3 primary elections. I’m guessing that out of about 200,000 registered voters in Solano County, only 60,000 of you, less than one third, would raise your hands and vote June 3. Please, prove me wrong.

I get it. I watch the same news and political entertainment TV shows that you do. I understand why you may not be motivated to go to vote. You might think: “With gerrymandering, increasing voting constraints and the media and politicians owned by the wealthy, what’s the use in voting?”

Well, voting is the only tool we have in the box that we can use to fix those other problems. Fortunately, it is the perfect tool.

As we approach our primary elections here in Fairfield, I would like to take time to thank all of our homegrown candidates, from every party, for having the courage to put themselves “out there” for us voters to stare at, pick apart and criticize endlessly.

These days, it’s really not about the issues as much as the sparkling personalities, well-groomed hair and the “gotchas.” I’ve often thought that I would be extremely likely to vote for a candidate who had the courage to say: “Say any horrible thing you want about me and I’ll agree upfront that it’s true, just so we can move on and discuss the real issues.” A bold statement like that, if followed by a successful vote, could change American politics for the better, forever.

Now, at the unofficial beginning of summer, when most of us normals are caught up in our endless activities of daily living, feeling numbified by the pointless political rhetoric spewing constantly from every communication medium, and thinking politicians are strange visitors from another planet, you local candidates are right here, up close and personal, shaking our hands, reminding us that politicians actually start out as real people, and that all politics is local.

While I may not agree with any of the words coming out of your mouth, I do sincerely thank all of you for your service to our country. I honor you, and our great nation, by voting.

Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at mikirch@comcast.net.

Mike Kirchubel

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 26 comments

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  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 8:35 am

    I don’t want to discourage other people from voting because it is the right thing to do but the reason I am not voting is because it is a waste of time, This state and county has gone so far to the left my views as a libertarian don’t have a chance in he(double hockey sticks) and yes I am out here asap.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 26, 2014 - 8:38 am

    Jag, before you go would you mind answering my question? Thanks.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    sure CD

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  • mike kirchubelMay 26, 2014 - 8:53 am

    Jag, i thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinMay 26, 2014 - 7:55 pm

    @Jag: Please tell me where the country is going left??

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 8:26 pm

    Hi Danny , In my opinion if the democrats still had the house we would have had Immigration reform by now but we do now have the ACA we have legal gay mirage we have legal pot laws and they are trying to take away our guns by making so many laws almost everything will be illegal, When is the last time California put someone to death? And yes we can round up 3 million illegal immigrants and remove them, this is they are going left,

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  • Danny BuntinMay 26, 2014 - 9:12 pm

    ACA is not a plan of the left. It keeps the insurance racket in play, and guarantees them costumers. Gay Marriage, how does that effect you. It is neither taking any rights away from you, or asking for something from you. Pot laws? Let me say that just as many right leaning people like to smoke hippie lettuce as do left leaning people. Who is trying to take away your guns? I have a gun, and I gladly waited for the background check to come through - before picking it up. Well, if someone is trying to take away your guns, they are not doing a very good job. Again, the death penalty does not concern me, I do not know why it causes you distress because enough people have not been put down to satisfy your ideology. This country has moved more right in the last 35 years, it just mystify s me when people talk about socialism and communism or leftest about this country, when the opposite is the reality. A guy like RLW used to be a Republican, from what I have read. He has not changed his position, the party has.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 9:52 pm

    I think we will have to agree to disagree, no matter what the reason of the ACA I think even Mike and CD will say it was because of the democrats is why it passed, and weather gay marriage effects me or not Conservatives are the ones who tried to stop it, so we don't agree that's ok,,,

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  • Danny BuntinMay 26, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Sure we can agree to disagree on the issues. Your statement that the country has gone left is factually inaccurate though.

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  • JagMay 27, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    If you are standing way to the left as you seem to be the yes I can understand how you are saying it is not turning that way, you probably are not happy with the ACA because it did not go far enough and maybe in your view that is turning to the right, but from where I stand the democrats alone passed the ACA and that is a huge LEFT turn at that seems a pretty big fact to me.

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  • PornacMay 26, 2014 - 9:10 am

    Already voted with guns a blazing. Yippee!

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  • patrickMay 26, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    refusing to vote is akin to hunting for food with blanks in your rifle

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 26, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    I have no problem with people not voting who feel they don't have the information to make a decision. They are delegating to the rest of us. But I don't understand the "protest" non-voter. Someone or something is going to win or lose and one side has to be better than the other if not as good as you would like.

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  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Hey RL as for me I am very informed I voted for prop 185 to cut off all medical and public schooling for illegals like 10 years ago and it won guess what happen? Over turned by the courts I recently voted on prop 8 no to gay marriage guess what happen? Over turned by the courts, I know the issues and I know how I would like the country to go but I am clearly not surrounded by people who hold the same thinking as me so better to go where that is,

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 26, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    J: So keep voting. You think my "side" wins all the time? But if what I'm voting for gets overturned by the courts, I would be concerned that I was voting for something unconstitutional. Unfortunately the liberal initiative system we have in this state allows unconstitutional questions to be put before the voters. And to think people take money to do that!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 26, 2014 - 3:39 pm

    J: If you're going to move somewhere where same-sex marriage remains illegal, you'd better hurry. And even then, it probably will be short lived. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and learn to accept change.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    Yes i agree it will be legal everywhere soon but it wont be comfortable in some states for a long time. But main point is the reason voting in this state is a waste of time for me

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  • rlw895May 26, 2014 - 4:14 pm

    I can see how you might think that.

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  • mike kirchubelMay 26, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Jag, try investigating the issues. Voting may not seem such a waste of time. Until then, i applaud your decision to not foul up the process.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 26, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    For sure Mike, I would never want to stop the democratic process we have one of the best in the world I just wish it would go in a different direction ,,, and it is in most other states,

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  • rlw895May 26, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    Good column. They way you've framed the issues, I guess I'm a "progressive."

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  • mike kirchubelMay 26, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    Too blatant?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 27, 2014 - 1:56 am

    No! By now you should know subtlety is not the way to go in these columns;-). The direct, unambiguous approach is best.

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  • rlw895May 27, 2014 - 2:00 am

    Mike: I'm glad you put the VA failings among the "progressive" top concerns. It is, and I hope the other guys realize we don't think it matters who is in charge. We should pull together to get it fixed, because there actually IS something that needs fixing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 27, 2014 - 2:04 am

    Mike: I'm glad you put the VA failings among the top "progressive" concerns. It is, and I hope the other guys realize we don't think it matters who is in charge. We should pull together to get it fixed, because there actually IS something that needs fixing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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