To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, February 26, 2021

Observercast

Election Year Blues

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon-Martin-272x300My husband has been self-employed since his early 20s, first as a commercial artist and then as a fine artist. Here are a few things he has learned:

– Insurance is an issue for self-employed people.

– Business is better during Democratic administrations.

– Election years are always off.

That election-years thing is understandable. Those who believe we are only strong when we’re bombing the hell out of someone fear we’ll get a diplomat in office, or worse yet, a Democratic socialist. Those who know we are safer in times of peace are afraid of sociopaths beating war drums.

It’s that trickle down, my husband says. Business people are uncertain, and that uncertainty trickles down on workers.

Yep, we’re being trickled on again.

Republicans are attacking Republicans. Democrats are ratcheting up the rhetoric. There will another debate … and another. But we learn almost nothing about the candidates’ policies and positions.

Once we had fact checkers who would call out the lies and the myths on both sides. Now, the GOP has hired its own fact checkers.

It’s hard to be the party of change when the current administration steered us through the dangerous waters of recession, unemployment, and homegrown terrorism. Wages are still stagnant, so the GOP has something to rail against, but there’s no chance they’ll raise the minimum wage if they get into office.

Dissatisfaction with insurance is still a good GOP topic thanks to Republican governors who just said no to coverage for the poor.

We have a glut of oil. This has driven the price of gasoline down, good for the consumers but not so good for the industry. Supply and demand is clobbering the stock market, not to mention oil-state job markets.

But even as the GOP makes bleating noises about the weakness of President Obama’s administration, the president and his Secretary of State quietly go about their business. In less than 24 hours after U.S. sailors strayed into Iranian waters, they were released. The jailed journalist whose continued incarceration was being used to bash the Iran nuclear deal has been released. He and others were swapped for Iranians who broke sanctions. Not for terrorists! For white-collar criminals. You know, those people we rarely jail in the U.S.

There is little wonder that we all have the blues. But we can’t give up.

Pray that someone of Obama’s spirit and intellect will be sworn in as our next president. But prayers aren’t enough. Vote. Urge your friends to vote. Drive folks to the polls. Let’s make this the greatest turnout ever for a presidential election.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer