The Real Center of American Politics

Robert Reich: The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

I admit that I did not follow the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear much at all, I didn’t pay too much attention to the previous two rallies that seemed to set Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in motion either. Oddly a lot of the reason is because we have gotten too far away from a politics of the center as the late Senator Paul Wellstone would probably talk about.

This center is not what Robert Reich is talking about but rather the politics that is at the center of our lives, those brown bag issues that have an impact on our jobs, our homes, our families. What Robert Reich notes is the need to return to civility when we talk about those issues.

Robert Reich says, “The political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. A central tenet of American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly,” and as people like Jon Stewart have noted, a lot of this responsibility rests at the feet of the media which seems to be more about sensationalism that will drive up ratings rather than contribute to the value of American democracy.

I will probably finish with this, with the nature of the internet comes greater opportunity and responsibility for citizens to not only access media but also to become part of the media in sharing what is out there, but we need to do this in both a vigorous and civil manner. If we can not do this, then our democracy become irrelevant.

I Remember

I usually tune out the political ads on TV and radio, but this one got my attention. I think these Boilermakers get it this election.

I remember a lot of us were frustrated, if not downright angry after eight years of President Bush. While we are certainly frustrated and angry at President Obama after two years, do we really want to go back to where we were?

Watch the video, go vote on Tuesday, and on Wednesday take another step forward.

obscure elected official

If I were to mention that I am some obscure elected official in San Antonio, Texas, I would actually be telling the truth. I am one of five elected Representatives of the Poor sitting on the Community Action Advisory Board. This board advises the city of San Antonio on poverty issues and provides oversight of the Community Action Programs provided by the city’s Department of Community Initiatives.

You can look it up through the City of San Antonio’s website. I represent Area V, which encompasses city council districts 8, 9, and 10 and the adjourning parts of northern Bexar County.

Will a Divided Congress Work?

Will a divided Congress work?

All signs point to no, if you are wondering if a divided Congress can work. I am still hopeful, but reality shows a more liberal Democratic side as conservative Democrats lose to Republicans and with the Republicans purging their ranks of more moderate and liberal Republicans in recent years, in addition to a growing number of Tea Party backed candidates, the Republicans will be even more conservative.

What will be interesting is to see how President Obama will react to the changes in Congress. With former President Bill Clinton high in the news and on the campaign trail, it would seem pragmatic for President Obama to channel the more centrist approaches of President Clinton. However some recent polls on President Obama since he has begun to more aggressively campaign for his policies and for the Democratic Party may show that the people want him to take on the Republicans head on.

I think you will see a little bit of both compromise on some issues such as deficit reduction and job growth and a fight on other issues such as health care and the role of the federal government.

State Board of Education, District 5

It is hard to not be aware of what’s going on in the Texas SBOE and the implications the decisions of this board has on the rest of the nation, especially in regards to the textbooks that will be used by public schools.

The race of SBOE, District 5 perhaps offers the most dramatic choices that voters will be making in Texas. The incumbent is Ken Mercer, a former state legislator who aligns himself with the more socially conservative wing of the state board. His opponent is Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a college professor at Texas State University.

The San Antonio Express-News has written on this race between two candidates who offer vastly differing visions on the role and direction that the state board should take. A link to this article is right here. The Express-News did endorse Rebecca Bell-Metereau in this election.

On a related note, I was approached to run for the Democratic nomination for this seat. I am currently an elected Representative of the Poor in San Antonio, and have made previous (and unsuccessful) runs for seats on boards of the Alamo Colleges and North East School Districts. Rebecca Bell-Metereau (who is the Democratic nominee) is the reason why I never gave it a serious thought to run for state board.

Get Out and Vote

I am not going to write a post on how you should vote. I figure that if you are voting, you are going to vote smart by doing your own research and going to the polls well informed on the many candidates and propositions that are on the ballot. I am going to ask you to vote in this election and I am going to share the process that I will be going through as I get ready to vote early this Friday, October 29th, which is the last day to vote early in Texas before the general election which is on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. That will be November 2nd.

During the next few days I am going to be going through the internet, to various news and campaign sites to learn more about the candidates and propositions that are going to be on the ballot. I am not exactly going to share who I will be voting for, but rather I want people to see how important voting is by taking a look at what is going to be on my ballot and looking at how I come about some of my decisions in voting. Hopefully this may encourage some of you to not only vote, but to make an informed and smart vote this election.

Just so you know, I am a liberal Democrat living in an otherwise conservative Republican voting precinct (#3119) on the northside of San Antonio, Texas. While I tend to vote Democrat, I have been known to vote for Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and none of the above on occasion.