“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Commentary

A Daily Kos reader responded to a recent Around the Block about voter suppression lamenting “sarcastic diaries*” like mine, I guess, while “…still waiting for someone who has an ingenious solution.” I believe it will take more than “ingenuity.”

(*”Diary” is the Daily Kos term for a story.)

I frequently re-post Around the Block in the Daily Kos. A reader there responded to my recent column, “If you can’t ‘beat em,’ ‘cheat em'”. https://around-the-block.com/2021/05/08/if-you-cant-beat-em-cheat-em/.

Here’s that comment:

“When the only way we seem to be able to fight these outrageous laws is with sarcastic diaries and comments and irony on political message boards, we’ve got a huge f*****g problem. I’m sick of and disgusted by all these voter suppressions, but sending nasty messages to Manchin to fight them seems to have zero effect as well. Still waiting for someone who has an ingenious solution.”

I started to write a reply which began: “I couldn’t agree more. And I’m sorry that you’re fed up. But I’m not sure ingenuity is the answer. Not when you’re fighting years and years of gerrymandered districts that have given Republicans control of so many states, even when they’re in the minority.”

Then I remembered an analysis I did of statewide voting in the three swing states considered vital to a 2020 presidential win: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Here’s what I found (statistics based on the most recent state election prior to 2020):

Michigan

Democrats captured all statewide executive offices with an average majority of 51.7% of the vote to 44.7% for Republicans. (Third-party candidates accounted for the remainder).

On the basis of popular votes, Democrats garnered more votes in both the State Senate and State Assembly races, 51.1% vs. 48.9% in the Senate; 52.4% vs. 47.6% in the Assembly.

But, Republicans won six more seats in both the Senate and the Assembly despite losing the popular vote.

The reason: Gerrymandering!

Pennsylvania

The situation in Pennsylvania was largely the same except that the margins of victory were even greater: 54.7% vs 45.3% for statewide offices; 54.2% vs. 45.8% in the Senate; 55.3% vs. 44.7% in the Assembly.

Did I hear someone say “Gerrymandering?”

Wisconsin

The situation in Wisconsin was slightly different. In the statewide elections, Democrats averaged 51.2% of the vote against 48.8% for Republicans. In the Assembly, Democrats won 53.0% vs. 44.8%. But in the Senate, the vote was 52.7% GOP, 47.7% Democratic. Interestingly, in the Assembly, despite that eight percentage point popular vote advantage, Democrats only took 36% of the seats versus 64% for the GOP.

Gerry, who?

So back to my Daily Kos correspondent’s comment – I’m sick and disgusted as well. As Howard Bealle screamed in the great film, “Network”: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” But it will take more than ingenuity. It will take hard work. Hard work on the part of Democratic committees and organizers locally and nationally. It will take massive get out the vote campaigns that can overcome the insidious voter suppression laws sprouting like weeds across the country. It will require, particularly in the 2022 mid-terms, an election in which voter turn-out is typically low, people like you, my readers, and I to energize like-minded folks to vote as if their life depended on it. Because, both literally and figuratively, their lives do depend on it. Their lives depend on upending this undemocratic Republican control of state legislatures and, indeed, the U.S. Congress.

Regular Around the Block readers know that I love to quote lyrics from show tunes to help make my point. Here’s one that I believe is particularly relevant from “Les Miserables:”

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Remember folks, “tomorrow” isn’t November 8, 2022. “Tomorrow” is now! If we want to end being “miserable,” let’s just do it!

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

4 thoughts on ““I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

  1. ‘Hard Work’ indeed! A few things:

    ● Let’s press the repuglicans to hold the Cheney / Stefanik vote out in the open. Make them stand up and be counted re what they believe in
    … and BTW, let’s not forget that Lizzie is no real friend of ours …and she is standing up for ‘democracy’. Got to give her that. ‘The enemy of your enemy…!’

    ● Need to generate a ‘war chest’ of (literally) hundreds of millions of dollars, and get all our creative Madison Avenue and Hollywood friends to start blasting the airwaves, newsprint and digital space with information about all those repuglican candidates and their enablers … outlining what they’re doing, what they’re for and against, and particularly, what ‘they’ve said in their own words

    Are we (Democrats) smart enough, and organized enough to do that? Will Rogers said ” I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Can we finally prove him wrong?

    And BTW … I recall coming out of the theatre in The West End many years ago, at intermission of ‘Les Mis’ … and was totally energized, and exhausted (if that’s possible). A bit like I’m feeling now. Seems like “the song of angry men” is essential to getting things done … democracy ain’t for sissies.

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  2. Gerrymandering is a political art limited by abstractly constructed legislative prohibitions and jurisprudence. I’m all in favor of joining certain democrat enclaves with other identified democrat enclaves to bring the Intersectional Coalitions together. That way these districts can enact the social “change and justice” they clamour for. When certain voting blocs vote the same way and share the same targets contempts and pathologies, what a wonderful thing it is to give them the same district and thereby the same electoral slate of candidates…Better schools, lower taxes, competent civil servants, reduced crime and zoning infractions, and let’s not forget the business they’ll attract. Nothing screams Progressive Utopianism like government mandated associations, Section 8 housing and roads named “Che Ave”, Nat Turner Lane” and my favorite “Pelosi Place”…and whoTF confuses Willie Mays with Willie McCovey? Now reimagine that, Batman!

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  3. Love your “diary” today! I don’t see that person you quoted having any solutions other than passing the buck. Get out of your chair and join a democratic club or committee and try to make a difference. I also don’t see anything wrong with reminding Joe Manchin that he is on the wrong side if he thinks the Republicans are going to compromise. Start signing petitions, donating, and knocking on doors.

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  4. Thanks Ted, this is a kick in the pants to get out and continuing the work we did in the past election. We can not relax!!!! The otherside never does!!!!

    >

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