Monday, March 24, 2008

More Poet's Political Questions

Some more political questions from a poet's point of view:

1. Because reporters don't seem to ask good questions anymore, why don't they ask candidates who their favorite poets are? Sure, it's irrelevant to the election, but so are most of the other questions. I figure Obama would answer straight-up. I think there's a 35% chance he'd say Langston Hughes, chiefyy for the sense of humor, not necessarily for the ethnicity. I figure the Clintons (plural) would stall, consult their team, do some polling, and then (if it were today) name a poet from Pennsylvania. I figure John McCain would get angry and hell at the reporter, "What kind of question is that?! Shut up!"

2. Why doesn't Ralph Nader run for mayor of a city first? Why does he always have to start at the top? How about mayor of Toledo? What if we made Ralph activist-poet-laureate?

3. Will the Dems manage to lose what most political scientists view as the easiest election to win in decades? Or should I ask, How will the Dems lose . . . .?

4. If "gay marriage" is, as some allege, a "threat" to heterosexual marriages [I still don't get how it could be a threat, and I'm still in search of one good example of such a threat], does it then follow, logically, that gay divorce would be a threat to traditional divorce and therefore an aid to traditional marriage, meaning we should make gay marriage legal so that gay divorce would be legal?

5. In the 2004 election, the GOPers allegedly used ballot initiatives on gay marriage to get out (so to speak) the vote on their behalf, in Ohio, for example. What ballot initiatives are they planning this Fall?

6. Instead of sending all taxpayers (in certain brackets) a $600 refund, why doesn't the government "bundle" that money and give it to the people who can't make their house payments?

7. What is one success Bush has had? I thought about this question hard, and I came up with the following: he has given a lot of money for AIDS relief in Africa (even though he insists on so-called abstinence programs). That's a good thing. I'm even willing to take the Iraq war off the table and say that people can agree to disagree about that. But leaving that off the table, what remains? Economy = bad. Environment = bad. Eroded civil liberties = bad (in my opinion). Foreign policy [even excepting Iraq] = bad. Support for veterans = bad. Energy = bad. Response to disasters [Katrina] = bad. Speeches = bad. Appointments = bad (strictly from a competence-angle). Polar bears = bad. Immigration = no policy one way or the other; a zero. Closing gap between rich and poor = bad. But I suppose some people want that gap to widen--I mean, seriously, from some kind of effed up philosophical point of view.

8. Would anyone be in favor of electing Obama, Clinton, and McCain and giving them each roughly 16 months in office? I guess we'd simply draw straws to see who started first. Or we could give each one 8 months and then hold a referendum to see if we wanted that person to continue. Why wait four years to see how bad things can get? Society moves at a much faster pace than it did in, say, 1808, so should we speed up the presidential cycle?

9. Did you get the sense, as I did when I watched Obama giving his speech on race, that he was thinking, "I can't believe I have to explain such simple things to [white] people"? I thought it was a great speech, but I did sense an understandable weariness on his part. A kind of "I thought we covered this already in high school history" feeling.

10. Is Obama essentially doing to the Clintons what Bill Clinton did to Bush I and Bob Dole? Hoisted on his [Bill's] own . . . ?

11. Who would be in favor of a heavy tax on presidential campaigns? Not on the people who give money, mind you, but on the candidates' campaign-machines. I'd put the money directly into Medicare, Social Security, and/or homeless programs. That way, society would benefit from each campaign, no matter what. And we'd take the money from them right away, before they spent it on attack-ads or whatever. Right off the top.

12. Does Congress matter anymore? Is it even logistically possible for any Congress to say No to any president at this point? Are we pretty much working with elected dictators at this point?
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