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Political Things are not the Most Important Things

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Looking back at the last few months, I wonder how my wife has been able to put up with me. With every passing day, as the elections got closer, I became more manic. Every Sunday I religiously set my alarm clock so that I wouldn't miss any of the Sunday morning talk shows. I was constantly on the computer, either writing or reading, or researching. It didn't stop. I was consumed with the situation in Iraq, I was reading the articles about the campaigns, and I was constantly aware of how the machinery of political campaigning moved and pulsed with every poll.

Meanwhile, I wrote article after article. When I had the finished product, I raced into my living room and made my long-suffering wife listen to me read my latest rant aloud to her. I have to give her credit, she seemed to be always interested, always intently listening to every detail and telling me what she thought. Usually she was very supportive, but sometimes she would point out something that I missed, or something she didn't particularly like. She gave me a suggestions on ways to make my articles easier to understand, she pointed out my grammatical errors, and in general, she was my fan, my editor and my critic. I don't know how she managed to stay sane.

When the numbers started to come in, and it appeared that the Democrats were going to actually take the house, she was happy and excited. She thought that I would be as excited as she was, but I was still in my critical thinking mode. I was more than just a little angry that people were so excited over one group of aristocratic millionaires', taking over the reigns of power from another aristocratic group of millionaires', even though I wrote in support of the Democrats, and made sure that I voted for them. Poor Sue thought that I would finally be happy, but I disappointed her with my glum predictions of nothing changing for the better, until we change the way we elect our government representatives. I think I rained on her parade.

I've had a chance to think. I don't believe that all of the people that were voted in are millionaires, not really. Sure there are far too many wealthy people in politics, and it still galls me that money is still the key to power. Either you have to be rich, have rich friends, or sell your soul to the corporations and special interest groups in order to compete on the political playing field. Still, I believe that we are one step closer to changing this system that has spiraled out of control with over 2.8 Billion Dollars spent on the congressional races alone. That's about $250.00 for every citizen that has a pulse in this country. With numbers like that, you can understand that the political campaigns were not financed by donations from the people. I believe that it's safe to say that maybe 15% of that money came from donations from people. The other 85% were donations from Unions, Corporations, Special Interest Groups, and even other governments in other countries. Think about it. Why would a person spend millions of dollars for a position that paid $165,200?

What I'm saying, is that something is better than nothing, so I guess I'm happy we are at least moving in the right direction. During the elections, I had to stay at the college that I work in, and help the election people with the polling. I was there from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM and spent no time with my wife. I went to work early yesterday and came home yesterday afternoon, and it happened to be my birthday. My wife, who had a small stroke last year and can't drive anymore, didn't have a chance to get out and buy me a present. We are not wealthy and have just moved to South Carolina, so she had no way to get out. I didn't expect anything for my birthday, and at 56, I probably would have been just as happy to forget about it. Yet when I came home, she had candles on a strawberry cheesecake, and a picture of an oilskin outback hat, and a shirt that I had said I liked from a catalogue next to the cake with an e-mail that said the items were shipped the day before. She sang happy birthday and made me blow out the candles. The look on her face was priceless. She was so happy she was beaming with pleasure. When I awoke this morning, I watched her sleep before I got up. She did all of that for me. She listened to me spout my political views and never tired of it. She chose to move to a place that she has never been to, and leave everything she's known to be with me. She encourages me in everything that I do. As I drove to work this morning, I thought about those pictures of the hat and the shirt and the cake with two votive candles next to it and the look of happiness on her face and I knew what I was going to write about today. I know why I do the things I do, and where I get the strength that I have from. All of my life, I have been searching for what I finally have. Everyone should have it as good as me.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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