Wednesday, August 27, 2008

That's a tough one...

The McCain camp is seriously asking Americans to answer the question "Are you better off now than 8 years ago?".

If I had the political hack who came up with that question in front of me, I'd punch him in the throat. What the hell kind of question is that? It's a bullshit one is what it is. I heard this one the other day and I stopped to actually consider it, and for a monet, I was suprised at the answer.

For myself, I might have to say "Yes, my life is better in some ways than 8 years ago".

  • I have a home.
  • I own my own business and it is profitable.
  • I own a vehicle that isn't at constant risk of falling apart.
By those criteria, I should be happy to vote for McCain. Because my life is better now, isn't it? Of course, none of those things came to me as a result of George Bush's policies. If I am better off in some ways today it's because of hard work, perseverance, a great wife and a crapload of luck. And my business? I can only imagine how much better I'd be doing if the economy wasn't in the shitter. Seriously. I don't sell food or medicine, I sell a luxury item. You don't need my product to live, like say, gasoline. The question being asked completely ignores that fact that people struggle and work hard to better themselves and their lives. It ignores things that have nothing to do with who is president. It is a complete bullshit question.

And yet they get away with asking it. Look how the question is crafted. "Are YOU better off?".
It's almost clever. And it might work on some people. Dumb people, sure, but it might work. Joe Blow might just look at his life and say 'Hey, I have a wife and a kid now, I got a promotion and we live in a nice new house. Things ARE better for me now. I should vote to keep the status quo!".

The tactic might have worked if things weren't so monumentally fucked up now. Because even though I and others might be doing okay, most Americans aren't. I haven't had my job shipped overseas. I don't have a kid fighting in a pointless war. I can still afford gas and food. Does that mean my overall life is better?

But I can't really ask "Could my life be significantly better if someone else had been President for 8 years?" That's just wild speculation, isn't it? But if I may, hell yes I think my life would be much better, and so would the lives of many other people. Yes, it's hypothetical, but I don't think I'd lose much money of that bet.

The real question to ask (and the one the Republicans sure as hell aren't asking) is:

"Do you think the country is better off than 8 years ago?" I bet I know the answer to that question.