The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, February 22, 2016

What Kinds of Change Will Be Coming? (#BOTB results)


What Kinds of Change Will Be Coming?  (BOTB results are below my opening statement)


Señalización de lugar de votación en Californi...
Señalización de lugar de votación en California. 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        The presidential primary voting rounds from the week-end are over and most of us know the results which I feel no need to detail here.  There's plenty more ahead and I'll have to admit that I'm watching things with great fascination.   At the end come November, we'll be seeing what change will be in store for us in the United States.  The real question will be whether the change will be significant or just a change in personnel with no real change in the actual operations.

          One note on the Republican side is the nastiness rearing its ugly butt.   When Jeb Bush entered the race I thought he seemed like a nice enough guy, though I wasn't thrilled about seeing another Bush in the White House.  But then he started getting very mean-spirited in his campaigning.  Between him and his PAC's tens of millions of dollars were spent on negative ads against the others in the running.   The ads I saw were very ugly and to me unnecessary.   I think a lot of people felt like I did.  Every time I saw one of those ads or heard Jeb attacking the other candidates I liked Jeb less.  This week-end I was glad to see him go.

         I know that's the way of politics and I'm not saying that Jeb was the only one guilty of doing these things, but he stood out.   The behavior seemed very out of character from the way he initially came across to me and his backers just seemed scary to me.   Good-bye, Jeb.

           Who will be next?

           I know some of you don't particularly like politics, but since it is the season I may mention the topic now and then.  I'm not looking to harangue anybody about the topic, but I might bring up what I think are interesting ideas that set my imagination going and might spark yours as well.  If you do leave a comment on the topic here, please do be respectful and not belittling to any of the other commenters.    Ask questions and engage in discourse if you like.  I'm all for learning, but not so much for making other people mad.

         Bear with me if you can and let me know if I get out of line or tell me if you think I'm wrong.  Try to be nice about it.





The BOTB Results Are In!

      My most recent song pick was the great Sam Cooke civil rights anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come" as performed by Luther Vandross and Al Green.  There was a decent turn-out with 36 of you casting votes.  The outcome was closer than I thought it might be and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

       I've liked Al Green ever since he hit the charts in 1972 with "Let's Stay Together".   You can call me a fan.  Not hardcore, but over the years I've enjoyed his music and bought some of his albums.  I didn't discover Luther Vandross until after he died.  Several years back I heard the song "Dance with My Father" and it really hit me to the point that I immediately went out and purchased the CD.  He has a very smooth listenable style that I can well appreciate.

       My favorite of the two artists would have to be Al Green since I have a longer relationship with his music and over all I find it more distinctive than that of Vandross.   Al Green is in a place of his own in music.  Between the versions of "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Green and Vandross, my favorite is that emotionally charged performance by Al Green.   Luther is outstanding--love the band--but Al Green outshines him just a tad to my ears.

         A good many of you agreed with me on this, but not enough to give Al Green the win in this Battle.  Actually, due to Al Green's higher almost screechy vocals I thought he'd do worse than he did.  But after all, Al Green has a lot of name recognition and a long history of making music.  I'll bet "Let's Stay Together" is a high-ranking favorite with many of you.  However the smoother sounds of Luther Vandross won over the majority giving him the win.


Final Vote Tally:

Luther Vandross                  19 votes

Al Green                              17 votes


And Now The Future      

        So there you have another fairly tight Battle behind us.   What does the future hold?   For one thing my next Battle of the Bands post I think you might find interesting.   It will be a song that relates to some of the things coming up on this blog as well as being a somewhat dark scary song about things to come otherwise.  This song is by a very well known songwriter and singer who very well may be a favorite of many of you.   Be here on Tuesday March 1st to see what song I'll be using.

       The next Battle of the Bands post will be tied in with my March Insecure Writer's Support Group post and as I typically try to do I'll keep that part of the post themed with my song pick for that round of Battle.   This could be interesting.  Could be?  No it will be interesting!   We'll see what the future holds.

         Watch later this week as I address some of the comment discussion that appeared in my previous post A Result Is Gonna Come.   Controversial times call for controversial discussion and while I don't want to turn readers off, I hope you all will come back with an open mind as I present my interpretation of how I think Donald Trump's border wall idea might not actually be as bad as many think it sounds and might be better in a very different way than what the Trump supporters envision.    Keep in mind that what I will be presenting is my speculation--or vision if you will.  If you're a fan of speculative or futurist literature I might have some ideas to get you thinking.   I hope you'll at least hear me out on my thoughts.

          Did the primary voting outcomes of the week-end turn out like you thought they would?   Do you think the method of selecting presidential candidates in the United States is effective?    Can you guess what my next BOTB song choice will be based on some very obvious hints I've given in this post?



61 comments:

  1. I don't think it's very effective at all. I still don't understand the point of the electoral college. We vote for who we want but they decide? I despise Trump but sadly I share his views on illegal immigration. I'm only a 2nd gen American on my mom's side and first on my dad's, so the topic hits home with me. I'm all for building a wall, kicking out the illegals and closing that 'baby born in America is a citizen' loophole. Other than that though, I am a Sanders supporter all the way. So far he's managed to conduct his campaign w/o mudslinging at his opponents.

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    1. JoJo, the electoral college is loopy in my opinion. I don't get it and it doesn't seem fair from what I do get. I've seen some edgy moments between Bernie and Hillary, not from mud being slung, but from him telling the truth about her. She doesn't like the truth.

      Lee

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  2. This might be the first year I don't vote. Although regardless of which of the leading two candidates win, neither will accomplish anything as the House and Senate won't support either.

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    1. Alex, you should vote no matter what in order to add your voice. When I absolutely didn't like mainstream candidates in the past I have voted for another party, usually Libertarian, just to express my disagreement for whatever it's been worth. I wouldn't give up on the system yet though.

      Lee

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  3. The problem with Trump is that he's a divisive force, rather than a unifying one. There's nothing reasonable about him and I can easily imagine even less getting done should he get elected. And while I think Hilary is reasonable and smart, I think she's dishonest and I don't particularly want her in the white house either.

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    1. MsHatch, but is Trump really all that divisive or are the voices opposing him and the media stirring up the divisiveness. I think we need to listen, read between the lines, and judge apart from the judgments provided by media pundits and other politicians.

      Lee

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  4. Hi, Lee!

    Gosh, I'm batting a thousand in this round of the BOTB. I have been on the losing side in every single contest I have checked. I applaud you for getting out the vote and finishing with a close score. Maybe my luck will turn around in November and I will pick the horse than wins. I do not wish to discuss politics in social media because most if not all of the friends in my circle have either stated or implied that they are on the other side of the aisle, so why go there and jeopardize those friendships? It's easy to agree that we will all remain respectful in discussing our views, but anger and bitterness always seem to creep in during these intense election cycles. SDMM is all about fun. Debates over politics and religion are the opposite of fun.

    Thanks for another great band battle, Lee!

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    1. Shady, discussing politics would be more fun if the participants in the debate would be more rational. The undercurrents of politics and religion are the most important aspects of social connection and if we can't reason together we'll never solve the real problems of this world.

      Lee

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  5. A very close battle with a great song well done!

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  6. Boooooo - I voted Al Green. If he had to lose, Luther is a good choice. I never listened to Luther much until I worked with a group of teachers who played his new CD every time we had a meeting. It did not take too much time to be hooked.
    I'm not surprised you fell in love with the tune "Dance With My Father". I had a mischievous kid who I won over in a good way. He loved to sing that song and I would have him sing it to me. He was quite a good singer for an eleven year old.

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    1. Ann, "Dance with My Father" is really a moving song. Vandross was a very good singer. I need to go back and listen to that CD since it's been a while.

      Lee

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  7. The negative ads turn my stomach. I am with you--I am okay with pointing out true position differences, but lying is flat-out wrong and so many of these PACS seem to not be accountable for doing it. I'd prefer we got the money out of politics and penalized anyone who lies. I also really miss the Oregon process where all voters get a booklet with candidate positions on all the important issues and a list of endorsements (so you can look for who you trust and take it into consideration).

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    1. Hart, I'm all for eliminating the PACs--they're dirty with no accountability. In California we get similar booklets that explain positions, endorsements, and other helpful info. It's especially helpful in the local and state races where voters often know little about the candidates.

      Lee

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  8. Lee, all politicians stink. The ones who've made a career out of it aren't really looking out for the people of America. They are only do what they think is popular not what's right. I hate all the mud slinging, but it is part of the game as you pointed out, and it will get worse before it gets better. The good news is I did pick the winner in this installment of BoTB. I have no idea what song you'll feature on March 1st, but I will join in for that round. Have a good week, my friend!

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    1. Cathy, what politicians say they'll do and what they really do when in office are often different things. No wonder the voters get so frustrated. Hopefully the BOTB participants will enjoy my song pick, but it's the future and we'll find out on March 1st.

      Lee

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  9. I detest the mudslinging that occurs in politics. Seeking out the "truth" of other candidates' statements is NOT the job of a candidate. They are supposed to show us their visions and dreams for our country and we, in turn, are supposed to pick the person whose desires (mostly) align with our own.

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    1. Jennifer, I agree with your point. Much of the time we end up voting for the lesser of two evils or voting against a candidate we don't like. That's a pretty negative way to do things. No wonder we seem to be in an eternal state of discontent when it comes to politics.

      Lee

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  10. Is there a song called Politicians Suck? That would be my choice. LOL

    Just as long as Hilary doesn't win. There will be a woman president someday, just please, not her. Besides, she's already been president.

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    1. L.Diane, That's not the song! I'd like to see a woman rise to the presidency, but like you say Hillary is not the one.

      Lee

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  11. I"m glad many of the candidates have dropped out. For the most part they were fine people but not cut out for the presidency. It's still difficult for me to believe that Donald Trump has made it thus far. I know people are frustrated with the current administration and politicians in general, but common sense has to prevail. Does anyone remember those credit card commercials with DT dumpster diving to rescue his credit? I hope things get a little more serious as this election proceeds. Right now I feel like the country is trapped in the midst of a Twilight Zone marathon.

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    1. Walk, maybe common sense is prevailing and the professionals of the worlds of politics and punditry don't realize it yet. I feel like we've been in a governmental Twilight Zone for many years now. I'm waiting for Rod Serling to deliver his punch line.

      Lee

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  12. Seems like you might be going political next week with BOTB. Watergate, Vietnam...I have no idea. When it comes to Trump my stance is "While I wouldn't vote to make him the president. I would vote the hell out of him for mayor." While I don't agree with everything he says I do believe he is indeed a very intelligent man who cares about him country. I'm Jamaican so I can't vote anyway but that's my 5 cents. Hillary does not interest me and I don't appreciate that video where Bernie went out of his way to villainize Trump by telling a black man that Trump was out to get him. That came off as slander to me. Having issues with illegal immigrants does not automatically make you against all races not white. Though I still think some of Trump's thoughts can be unfair and offensive. I voted for Al and I'm glad he almost beat Luther V.

    Will tune in to see more post. I'm open to see what comes next on this blog. :)

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    1. Sheena-kay, I doubt whether I'll be going full scale political on this blog because I'm not smart enough regarding that topic. I'm merely going to comment on the race now and then and offer up some personal interpretations that might be totally outlandish at times or maybe will make perfect sense. I'll let the readers judge. Glad you'll be willing to stick with me on this.

      Too bad our political contests can't be more like the BOTB contests.

      Lee

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  13. I've never been a fan of attack ads. They seem cheap and tend to lower my opinion of any candidate.

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    1. Patricia, the negative ads don't provide insight into what any candidate is for or how they might do things better. I think a lot of people are just turned off by the negativity.

      Lee

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  14. Our Constitution designed a system for electing a President that was bound to fail. Read Article 2 - it's less than a page - and decide for yourself. It is an admirable document, except for that, and subsequent amendments have kept it applicable to most of our governmental situations. There has been only one that affected the election system. After Burr killed Hamilton in a duel, we decided that it might not be a good idea to make the candidate who was second in electoral votes the successor to a dead President. The reason behind this unworkable design was an abhorrence of political parties by the Founding Fathers, based in part on their belief that the Tory Party, in England, was our main enemy in the Revolution.

    We elected only one President, under its design, and we elected him twice. Why? Because he was the only man, universally admired, who could be elected outside a party system. His successor, Adams, was elected after a battle between the too emergent parties as vicious as any we have seen since.

    Until we can find a better system, we need to get back to a version of a parliamentery system, which we had up to 1960, in which knowledgable members and office holders select their party candidates. That system had its defects, but it produced some good, and a few great, Presidents.

    Since 1960, we have experienced the far greater defects of a Presidential party candidate selected by a TV viewing populace, concerned primarily by their private concerns and following the process as if it were a beauty contest or Super Bowl. Each of the candidates, in turn, have a double allegiance. They must get a majority's vote and support its causes while complying with the demands of wealthy donors who they must have to finance their fantastically costly campaigns.

    Is it any wonder that we mistrust them? On the other hand, what else can we expect of them, under these conflicting conditions? Do we elect an otherwise unqualified Trump because he is supplying his own wealth to buy his candidacy?

    We must find a better way to get Presidential party candidates. The American people usually make a good choice in a general election when they are down to 2 men, each qualified to be President, with definite party programs. Think Roosevelt-Wilkie, Truman-Dewey, or Eisenhower-Stevenson. If we do not find it, we will go from democracy to plutocracy under TV-personality Presidents. We haven't far to go,

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    1. Excellent history lesson and analysis of the situation. The whole TV personality president concept has been the norm since I was a child. The celebrity President Kennedy to a great extent won the popularity contest due to television. However he also excited the nation with visions of what we could achieve and dreams of what many deemed impossible. Outside of Kennedy and Reagan I can't think of any other presidents that inspired the people in great ways and sustained much of the inspiration.

      I don't know what the future of our nation holds, but I think one of the biggest problems has been our education of the process and the system. Television and media are our schooling in such things. When I was in school in the 60's I had heard of school courses like Civics, but we never had that class. And I fear that more recent generations are even less knowledgeable about the way government works. They know what they see on television, only half paying attention as it is, and then vote accordingly. If they vote at all.

      Lee

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  15. I am truly glad we (still) have a vote at all and am glad the pack is thinning out - it needs to.

    What a close BOTB that was! I'm still for Al, but not surprised Luther won;-)
    Can't wait to see your next battle song choice.

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    1. Diedre, too many candidates confuse an election (to paraphrase the old saying about cooking).
      I hope folks will enjoy my next BOTB selection. I think it is somewhat an unusual one.

      Lee

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  16. I am not into politics but I hope all the changes are for the better.
    Lost out on this vote.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, you and I both voted for the second place candidate, but he wasn't behind by many votes.

      Lee

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  17. Other than applauding Jack Eiden's comment above, I'm gonna hold off till I see your post. Honestly, I wish Bernie had his head screwed on straight, because we could use his honesty. And Trump doesn't worry me near so much from what he says as what he represents- the electorate today is fit only to vote on American Idol and Survivor.

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    1. CW, in the future we can dispense with polls and absentee ballots and just use a toll free number or vote online. Actually I think it could work and with no more voter fraud than we have now.

      Lee

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  18. I'll guess now, so I'm not obsessing over it:

    "Miami 2017" - Billy Joel

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    1. E-Man, I've never heard of that song, but it's probably a pretty good guess from the sound of the title.

      Actually I went to listen out of curiosity and, yes, I have heard that song, but I didn't know that title. Good song and excellent pick--content wise it is similar to the song I'll be pitting in Battle.

      Lee

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  19. Donald Trump is making headway with "make America great again". No harm standing up giving folks something to believe in and everyone loves a winner. I signed up for April's awesome A to Z Challenge. You can call me No 838.

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    1. Spacerguy, I think you make an important point that many people are overlooking or refusing to acknowledge.

      Welcome to the Challenge. That's your number for now unless some bad links before you get removed which I'm sure they will.

      Lee

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  20. That was a great battle Lee. Nice to have the voting so close. I loved the Luther Vandross version.
    RE: your question regarding our thoughts on the method used to choose the president: I think the Electoral College is so outrageously outdated. I think EVERY vote should count and that the popular vote should win. Forget states only getting a certain number of votes based on population or however they've staged it. We live in an era of fascinating technology and there is no reason that a popular vote method shouldn't be instituted. That's my opinion anyway...

    It is indeed going to be an exciting political season! I hope that people can be civil when discussing the issues on your blog. I for one tend to stay away from discussing politics. I think I told you that I lost a friend over a heated political discussion. Fortunately we got our friendship back but we were lucky. Some folks never come back...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I agree with your opinion about voting and the current method. We can do better in our era. It's sad to have rifts because of ideologies, but the best way to learn is to discuss issues. I think that's why so many people are in the dark about the issues we face. If they aren't discussed then the issues stay in the dark.

      Lee

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    2. Good point. If people are afraid to talk about politics for fear of arguments, then the issues aren't discussed. Never thought of it that way...

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  21. I don't know. Jeb pales in comparison to Trump to Cruz.

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    1. Andrew, Jeb was essentially kind of pitiful as a presidential candidate. I really don't think he wanted to be doing it. At least Trump and Cruz are into the whole campaigning thing and have people fired up.

      Lee

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  22. I've just listened to Vandross 'Dance with my father' - great song. I'm guessing a Leonard Cohen protest song for the next BOTB. Although I live in South Africa, I watch the US race with great interest ... and the comments are interesting. Thanks Arlee.

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    1. Susan Scott, smart guess with Cohen! The Vandross song is so touching that I had tears in my eyes when I heard it on the radio. Problem was that I was on the road driving at the time, but the song really captivated me.

      Lee

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  23. I'm not good with political predictions, but I always go out and vote in November. I enjoy both Vandross and Green.

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    1. Medeia, the pundits have been fooled in this round of the elections. I'm sure more surprises await in the months ahead.

      Lee

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  24. Looking at the US from the outside - well, actually as a legal immigrant wannabe - I find your electoral system lacking in choice. Is there any chance of a real alternative? I know there is a Green candidate - Jill Stein - but I know that she will be squashed by the process.

    However, although we can vote Green more easily here in the UK, our First Past The Post system tends to lead to predominantly safe seats. So we only tend to have either a Conservative/Tory leader OR a Labour/Socialist one. There are exceptions, like the seat I live in is Plaid Cymru = Welsh Nationalist.

    But like the US, we need Electoral Reform so that everyone's vote actually counts. Why vote if your vote isn't going to influence the final result? Ironically, I think Post-War Germany has the best system.. but then I have friends in the Bundestag.

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    1. Roland, I agree with you on this lack of total representation. The system is skewed. We have plenty of choices available come election time on our California ballot, but most are probably symbolic rather than truly viable candidates.

      In a couple of past elections I have voted for the Libertarian candidates, but not really expected my vote to mean much more than my statement of protest.

      There is a real need for reform not just in the way votes are counted and applied, but also in the campaign financing. Now it's little people with little chance of being noticed because of the big monster political machines.

      Lee

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    2. Seems like the US may be further from reform than even the UK. Libertarian seems like a good alternative on many issues, although I'm not sure about their environmental stance - e.g: nuclear issues, climate change, GMO, etc.

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    3. Roland, I think some of the reform has to come to a state level or maybe a party level, but I'm not really sure how it all operates. The environmental issues are important to consider, but they don't rank as the highest concerns for me. Some of those issues can get pretty wacky and lead to lack of progress and deterring economic growth. I agree that research on these issues is important and finding workable solutions is essential.

      Lee

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  25. I'm still scratching my head over this campaign YEAR. And I do mean year. It seems that campaigning has been going on forever with no end in sight. And I'm sick just thinking about how I will vote. I know I'm not alone.

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    1. C.Lee, I think the situation of this election cycle is the statement of much of this nation's citizenry of how displeased they are with the way things are and the direction they seem to be going. A lot of people are upset and want some kind of real change.

      Lee

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  26. You probably already know I love politics, watch every debate and many of the candidate speeches or media appearances. This is the most fascinating and the most fun presidential contest I've experienced in my lifetime, so I don't want to miss a minute of the process. At this point, I think anything can happen. Yes, I have a favorite, but I'll survive just fine if the other party wins the election. I can't wrap my head around the ideological rants some folks feel compelled to put on social media, so I hide their updates. I don't think the U.S. will self-destruct if the "other" candidate gets elected. We'll be fine. Maybe not happy, but fine.

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    1. Patricia, in the past I think the U.S. has survived despite its elected officials. Outside a massive violent overthrow I think our country will survive no matter who is the token head piece.

      Lee

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  27. Interesting battle this time around, even more so I picked the winner.
    Just wondering what you've cooked up for the next battle.

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    1. Jeffrey, I'm anxious for the next Battle as I think it's interesting if not downright cool.

      Lee

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  28. I'm very sorry that we're about to elect a new president. Why do we have to change horses in mid-stream when everything is going so well?

    I must confess that back when Obama was first running for POTUS, I believed all those campaign slogans like "Hope", "Change", "Yes, We Can" were just vague, empty words.

    However, I stand corrected! President Obama has been everything he promised he would be - easily the best president of my lifetime - and as a nation we are so much better for having elected him.

    Like an idiot, in the last two presidential elections, I foolishly cast my vote for THIS guy:

    http://www.unz.com/rpaul/intervention-fail-back-to-libya/

    He ran for POTUS in 2008 and 2012, and what a mistake it would have been had everyone voted like I did and we had been saddled with HIM as a president! Without Obama, we wouldn't have achieved all this Change and acquired all this Hope.

    So, this is my mea culpa for ignorant voting in the past, and my expression of gratitude to all those who utilized their votes more intelligently and productively and allowed us to acquire and retain one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.

    If only we could change the rules this year and allow president Obama to run for a third term. Third time would be a charm for me and I'd vote correctly for once.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, thank you for stepping up to admit your past errors. No one but Obama could have gotten us to where we are now--well actually I can think of a few others that might have, but Obama did it with style and great love for our country.

      Now let us all join hands, plant tongues firmly in cheek, and sing "Oh, Obama, How We Love You".

      Thank you, Mr. Obama. We will miss your solomonic rule and great charm.

      Lee

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    2. I love debating politics. I covered politics for years for Philadelphia newspapers. I detest arguing, name calling, bullying and shaming. I was glad to see Jeb go. His heart was not in it and not many people were interested in another Bush anyway.

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    3. Doreen, I enjoy debating the politics when the discussion stays reasonable. So many people run from such debate and many avoid even thinking about what's going on in the political realm. If things go awry we can blame those who ignored what was going on and let others decide what's best.

      Feel free to comment here anytime especially when I bring up a political topic which seems to scare off most of my regular commenters. I like to hear all sides of the issues.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee