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Why Are We Voting Next Week?

Last night I watched the local news and then the national news. Both programs carried ads for the state’s race for Governor, which is between the current Attorney General, Maura Healey, and some schmuck GOP guy named Diehl.

Maura’s been a good AG. There hasn’t been a single story out of her office about malfeasance, she helped bring down the Sackler bunch with their opioid mess, her staff does a good job on looking out for internet scams, and she’s still the only state official in the United States who has actually banned assault-style guns.

Of course, whenever the contest is covered by the national media, the only issue they mention is that Maura’s a lesbo, as if that will make any difference at all. But whaddaya want from the lamestream media? An intelligent or relevant report?

Her opponent is running on the only issue that Republicans ever run on - taxes are too high. And if he’s elected Governor, the first thing he’ll do is cut taxes to the bone.

In fact (note the use of the word ‘fact’) my state – Massachusetts – happens to have the lowest state gasoline tax of any Northeast state. The result is that the roads are for sh*t. Every Spring thaw create a gazillion potholes because they use cheap cement. And when they actually repair a road, God forbid they would ever work at night.

The good news is that the last poll showed Maura with a 12-point lead. And where her opponent is particularly vulnerable is on a woman’s right to choose. Typical of GOP politicians who must depend on the Evangelical vote if nothing else, when it comes to this issue, Maura’s opponent is waffling all over the place.

Massachusetts was the first state to pass a law supporting gay marriage. It was also a state which has refused to entertain any public discussion about what is now politely referred to as ‘reproductive rights.’

Don’t ask me how a state founded by Puritans and run by the Boston Archdiocese is considered by AM shock jocks to be America’s foremost ‘communist state.’

Which brings me to the real point of today’s column, which is when it comes to next Tuesday’s results, what’s really up for grabs? The truth is (note the use of the word ‘truth’) that for all the talk about whether Trump will run again in 2024, the person who makes decisions while sitting behind the Resolute desk makes very little difference to me and my daily life.

Over the course of my entire life (I am now 78 y/o), I have had exactly five moments when I had any contact with the Federal Government at all. In 1962, I applied for and received a social security number. I don’t remember actually doing it, but I probably registered for the draft that same year. In 1968 I was drafted and inducted into the USRA. In 1969, I applied for my passport and in 2019 I went down and registered for Medicare.

I guess you can say that I had hundreds of contacts over the years with the Feds whenever I went to a post office to mail out a package or purchase stamps. Guess what? I don’t remember the last time I actually mailed a letter to anyone since I keep in touch with family and friends via Facebook and pay all my bills online.

On the other hand, in addition to the crummy roads, I pay a sales tax on everything I buy, I get stuck behind a school bus every morning on my way to work, and the local Board of Health decides when and where I have to use a mask.

In other words, my daily life is much more defined, organized and enforced by what happens at the State House in Boston than whatever happens in D.C. And yet, when it comes to how the Fake News reports on next week’s election, you would think that whether the Congress will become red or remain blue is the most important news.

It ‘s not. If I still had young children, the only election that would really matter would be to determine who sits on the town’s School Board. For that matter, the makeup of the town’s Board of Overseers is a lot more relevant to my daily life than whether my Democratic Congressman will commute to Washington for another two years.

Back in 2010 or 2011, the Town Council in the next town over voted to send a letter to the Obama Administration saying that Obama could close Gitmo and send all the prisoners to home arrest and detention in that town. In exchange for keeping the former Gitmo prisoner population in clothing and food, the Feds would give the town a chunk of dough which would enable them to avoid imposing a much-needed increase in their real-estate tax.

The putzes in this town not only held this debate in public but voted to send the letter to the White House. To his credit, Obama never bothered to reply.

But that’s what next Tuesday’s vote is really all about.

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