Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Exhaustion With Negative Campaigns

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Politics

Everyone hates them.  Everyone complains about them.  Everyone demands that the candidates don’t go negative.  But the statistics are very clear – negative campaigning works and is effective.  And negative campaigning has worked since the birth of our democracy.

You think things are bad now.  You should have seen them in 1800.  Check out this video of what, if commercial air time was a possibility in 1800, the candidates would be saying about each other:


See Part 1 here and Part 2 here

“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to Farce or Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”  James Madison 1788

I want to go back to the mayor’s address to the school board and suggest one more thing the mayor should do:  PUSH FOR A PARTIALLY-APPOINTED SCHOOL BOARD!!!  I know this is controversial, but I’ve lost my hope and trust in the voting electorate to select school board members who are qualified (or even smart).

Recent turmoil on the school board bears that out.  For further proof…note Roseland’s town council.  I believe in Democracy, but in local elections for school board candidates, the voting public has no clue what the candidate stands for or if they are even qualified to lead the city’s school system.  Whenever forums are offered to meet the candidate about a dozen people or less show up.  The candidates don’t have the finances for commercial spots, mass mailings, or other means to get their message out.

David Snyder

So…a voter enters the booth and chooses a name that rings most familiar (and hopefully the name isn’t familiar because of the charges that were filed against them) or one that sounds nice.  “Spivey…that sounds nice.”  “Stephanie Spivey…oooo…two ‘s’ words.  I like it.  I’ll vote for her!

And then…we get what we get.  Except, it usually means inept leadership.

If the city’s well-being is intertwined with the school system’s well-being (which I believe that it is) then the Mayor has a huge stake in what happens within our school system.  All of his attempts at city growth will be undermined by a defunct school system.  There should be at least 2-3 school board members who are directly appointed by, and are accountable to, the mayor.  I know this places a lot of trust and control in the hands of the mayor.  But he has a vested interest and his voice (via his appointees) are critical.  Further, it expedites communication between the mayor’s office and the school board.  And I don’t mean just communication that occurs at their Monday night board meetings, but probably more important, the communication that goes on outside of it.

A sign in the front yard of a house on the South Side of South Bend! 🙂  Obviously they don’t think much of Republicans.  Of course I feel the sign isn’t as descriptive as it needs to be.  My question is – end of what?  End of the world?  Western Civilization?  America?  Obamacare?  Hip hop?

Because of all the news coverage of the Iowa caucuses my son, Isaac, has mockingly claimed that he is the most “consistent conservative.”  Seems to be a big theme in the Republican party right now.  Apparently there is no greater vice than being someone who has changed their position on an issue.  They are labeled a “flip-flopper” or “inconsistent” when it comes to their conservative values.

But at least from my perspective I’ll tell you this –

If you tell me you’ve maintained the same thoughts, perspective, views, and assumptions since 1972 and you haven’t changed your mind on a single thing in your life than I’m going to say:  YOU’RE AN IDIOT!

And you’re no leader I want to be following.  Really?!  Your life experience hasn’t taught you anything new?  It hasn’t given you a new perspective on anything?!  You haven’t been challenged in your life assumptions by anyone?  Not a teacher?  Not a book?  You haven’t entered into a single meaningful dialogue with anyone and in so doing encounter a viewpoint you had never considered before and it moved your thoughts to a different place?!  Well…then…you’re a moron and I wouldn’t vote for you. 🙂

I get if a candidate changes his position all the time based on who his audience is.  But I’m not hearing that in this race.  What I’m hearing is at one time in my life I believed this, but now, I believe that.  And that is no vice.

[Sam I Am does not endorse any candidate of the Republican party, nor the Republican party in general.  It does endorse, however, the free expression of political pet peeves on either side of the aisle]

Does Anyone Care About the Groping

Posted: November 9, 2011 in Politics

Herman Cain has been accused by several women of groping them.  And yet, his poll numbers and campaign contributions have risen since these stories surfaced.  I find that fascinating and it leads me to wonder if the reasons behind it are any of the following:

  • After what everyone goes through at airport security and the TSA we no longer consider groping to be that big of a deal.
  • We have grown suspicious of women who out of no where shows up on the scene when fame and notoriety are possibilities.
  • Gloria Allred is now involved. *increase cynicism and media circus*
  • No one knows how to adjudicate a “he said” / “she said” situation so we just ignore it in exasperation.
  • The economy is so bad that if a candidate can get us out of this crisis, we don’t care if he groped a few women 15 years ago.
We were talking about it at lunch and I joked that I wonder what would happen to this story if Herman Cain would have responded to these allegations with:  “H*#% yes I groped her!  15 years ago she was hot.  So, I saw something I wanted,  I went for it, and I took a chance.  And that’s the same kind of go-get-em leadership you can expect from Herman Cain in the White House!”
This blog post was not brought to you by the committee to elect Herman Cain.
Don’t worry, I’m not making Public Relations business cards just yet.

Dear God Please Help Us

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Politics

This is a good example of why theologically I am very uncomfortable with involvement in “the Kingdoms of this World” (politics) as much as I am interested in it.  I think I’ve decided, at least politically, I’m an extreme libertarian (does that mean I have to vote for Ron Paul *sigh*?).  Anyhow…when I watched this video, I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

South Bend GOP Stinks

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Politics, South Bend

First – you have to understand that I consider myself to be a fierce Independent when it comes to politics.  In fact, I’m more Contrarian than I am Independent – meaning I root against whatever party seems to have all the power (I’m rebellious like that).  But one thing I do believe – a city dominated by a single party (like South Bend) is TERRIBLE for the city.  And unfortunately, South Bend has been dominated by the Democratic party forever (slight hyperbole…but almost true).

Then, after being the longest-serving mayor in South Bend, Steven Luecke decides to retire.  What an opportunity!!  This is it!!  A chance for maybe another party (like the Republicans) to stage a campaign that might actually address the issues of South Bend and put forth a worthy candidate whose record, message, and ability would win the chance for an alternative party to lead the executive wing of South Bend governance.

What does the St. Joseph Republican Party do?  Well…to start, the chairman, Chris Riley resigns in February.  Probably because under his leadership he failed to put forth a single viable candidate.  Has anyone been reading in the Tribune the comments and coverage of the three Republican candidates:  Will Taylor, Wayne Curry, and William Davis!!!???  I’ll give Wayne Curry props for at least showing up last night at a GOP forum at IUSB (the only Republican to do so).  But come on!!!

This entire scene is a practical joke on South Bend fitting only for a candid camera episode.

Thanks a lot GOP for insuring we get more single party rule in South Bend!!!