Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


November 27, 2012

WE THE PEOPLE: Hope springs eternal…

CROSSVILLE — Finally, we can pick up the telephone without fearing a political pitch. We’ve enduring clueless pundits, endless negative political ads and an unprecedented attempt to rig the system. Even so, we heard ABC, CNN and Fox declare Romney a loser before the clock struck midnight on Election Day.

A Romney voter, perhaps, saw no immediate reason to give thanks. But, consider the following abuses that could now come to an end:

First, advertising money could diminish. Telling the rich that they can’t corrupt our politics, apparently, hinders their ‘free speech.’ And, yet, all that money couldn’t sway the election. This is not to say that plutocratic propaganda was rendered harmless, since money certainly had an effect. But, at least the “Super PACs” couldn’t dictate the Presidential outcome. Maybe the billionaires will be less inclined to pony up next time around.

Secondly, the recent level of reality-free discourse might rise. The nonsense about Obama being an un-American Muslim from Africa may end. After all, he won’t be the next Democratic Party candidate, so perhaps we can hope to be spared four more years of irrelevant baloney.

Finally, vote suppression might end. I saw two American citizens denied the right to vote, and two more who gave up trying because it they couldn’t stand in line during their lunch break. Today’s burdensome voting paperwork is not only unnecessary (almost no cases of voter identity fraud can be found), but slows down the process and discourages working people. In our county alone, dozens of citizens, or more, were kept from voting in order to guard against an almost non-existent crime.

But, in the "swing states" of Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio, matters were much worse. Registration lists were "purged" and registration forms (Democratic) were thrown in dumpsters. Misleading notices were sent telling Spanish speakers that voting day was Wednesday. (Spanish speakers were also mailed the wrong information in Arizona… an odd coincidence?) Legions of partisan "poll watchers" were deployed to intimidate and make sure the newly-installed unnecessary red tape fouled the process. Early voting days were cut and “certain” polling places were purposely understaffed. People in the “wrong neighborhoods” had to wait in line until one in the morning to cast their vote after standing in line for nine hours. And, contrary to the expectations of people like Carl Rove, they DID wait in line.

“Dark money” billionaires and their lackeys gave it their best shot. They promoted vote suppression and filled the media with lies and veiled “dog whistle” ethnic and religious slurs. They lost. They not only lost the presidency but they dropped seats in both the House and Senate. Liberals took seats that could easily have been won by moderate Republicans (had they been nominated). Fox News ratings took a nosedive after the election. More people are beginning to peek behind the curtain.

So, maybe, just maybe, we’ll demand restrictions on campaign spending. Maybe we’ll start to identify and ignore racial and religious fear mongers. Maybe we’ll demand a reality-based discussion of meaningful issues. Maybe we’ll demand laws making it easier for citizens to vote instead of harder. If we can strike while the iron is hot, our children will be very thankful.

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014