Before getting to tomorrow’s election, I have to touch on the situation in the wake of Sandy. Last week, I slammed Mayor Bloomberg for not cancelling the marathon. We all know that he did, finally, succumb to pressure and cancel it, but it was too little too late. Two huge generators that could have been used to help people had sat in Central Park for days in preparation for the race. Trucks were making food and drink deliveries to the heated tents for the race, trucks and supplies that could have been better used elsewhere. Now there are reports that, even after the race was cancelled, heaters, blankets and other supplies continued to sit along the marathon course instead of being handed out to those folks on Staten Island and elsewhere who needed them.
I wish I could say it gets better. But my opinion of Bloomberg hasn’t changed, not when I see images from Staten Island and other parts of NYC — the non-Manhattan areas. I understand the frustration when folks don’t seen representatives from the Office of Emergency Management or FEMA. It’s worse when they see the reps but no one, not OEM and not FEMA and certainly not the poor folks who have no heat or gas or electricity, seems to know what’s going on. It doesn’t surprise me to read reports that there is no real chain of command when it comes to reporting and coordinating emergency needs. What it does is confirm my suspicions that Bloomberg only cares about Manhattan because that is the part of NYC he frequents and is the part that the world sees.
Here’s hoping the grassroots assistance projects by local churches, businesses and even a few “names” like John Mayer continue. They are getting supplies into the hands of communities that need them — at least until Bloomberg decides to “help”. Who knows, he might decide that such private assistance is a “bad” for us as 32 ounce soft drinks and ban them too.
Then we come to the folks down in Florida who are upset because they are having to stand in line for hours to vote. They have been demanding that the hours for the voting places be extended, days added. Maybe I’m showing my age here — hell, I know I am — but get over yourselves. The ability to early vote without having to prove you were going to be out of town or in the hospital is a fairly new wrinkle in our electoral process. It used to be the norm for the vast majority of voters to go to the polls on election day and stand in line for hours and hours and hours. Did we like it? No, but we also didn’t whine and demand laws be changed because we were inconvenienced a bit.
The only folks who ought to be worried about being able to vote are those in the areas hit by Sandy that are still without power. Florida, get real. Pull on your big boy pants and quit acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. Ask yourselves why you waited until the end of the early voting to go vote. Logic ought to say that the closer to the end of the voting period, the longer the lines might be.
Maybe I’m just grouchy. I’m tired of all the calls to the house, both canned and live. I’m tired of the attack ads by so many of the politicians. I’m tired of seeing stories about how many thousands of people came out to support Obama when he appeared with Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp. Guys, ask yourself this: did they come to see Obama or the “star”? Or ask this, would these people have shown up if it had only been Obama (or any other politician) appearing?
I’m ready for this election season to be over. Unfortunately, we are only entering the final quarter. Even after the polls close tomorrow, we’ll have days of vote counts and recounts. Then, no matter who wins, we will have the challenges on both local and national levels. Depending on how the vote goes, we may also have another controversy concerning the electoral college.
But none of that really matters. What matters is that we each get out and vote. If you don’t, then for the love of all that is holy, keep your mouth shut over the next four years. If you are eligible to vote this year and you fail to do so for any reason other than you wound up in the hospital and were unable to, you abdicate your voice of dissent. At least you do in my book. So quit bitching about how long the lines are and how inconvenient it is to go to the polls or how neither candidate is any good. Vote or keep quiet.
Yeah, I’m definitely grouchy.