Due to a deal we got with the cable guy, we have cable despite my unemployment. I've taken to watching MSNBC over breakfast in the morning. As a result, I'm far more aware of politics than I have been in years. All these hours of watching talking heads has led me to the conclusion that we need more commonsense and less crazy on both sides. And that the Ivory Tower needs to pay more attention to the larger world, as evidenced by the war on education.
The really dumb and obvious stuff aside, people actually voted against the Ledbetter Act. For those who don't want to google that one, it's the Fair Pay act that says women should get paid as much as men. Women still on average make only 77 cents to a man's dollar. So if a man makes $50k a year for a job, a women on average would make $38,500 doing the same job. Let's say they both do this job for 20 more years with a 3% raise every year. That comes out to $87,675 for the last year for the man and $67,509 for the woman with earnings over that time totaling $1,343,518 for the man and 1,034,509 for the woman - a total difference of $309,009. I don't know about you, but I'm sure I could use that $300k just as much as a man could. Yet another reason why women should definitely be negotiating job offers! Congresspeople voted against this act (yes, most if not all were Republicans). Seriously?!
To be frank, the Republican party scares me. Heading full tilt into a totalitarian dystopia scary. I'm not against traditional Republican values. I don't want big government. I think there should be fiscal responsibility in government. But these are not what Republicans are running on today. They are running on extremism and insanity. Why are Republicans more interested in regulating my body than fixing the economy? Why do they think defunding education is going to improve anything? That a trickle-down economy will work when it never has in history? Saving Medicare for one generation while bankrupting it for the next will somehow work? No one can be so dense as to think these things will help down the road. So what game are they playing? Or are they really that thick? And no, I don't think the Democrats have all the right answers but theirs don't scare me nearly as much as the Republicans' answers do.
But where are the intellectuals here? Where are the academics, public or otherwise, to explain the facts? To reveal the truth? There are ads on TV (again Republican but Democrats have done this too) that are clearly false and the candidates have said so. Where is the intelligentsia to declare these falsehoods and lead the charge for more integrity and accountability in politics? Oh yeah, they've lost of both of those in the Ivory Tower too. Guess it's time to find the brilliant, creative people outside the Ivory Tower and try to stop this madness.