This vote of mine

Well, it’s November. That means elections, football, and Thanksgiving. Off-year elections like this one tend to be tax-oriented. Of course the schools need more money. The schools always need more money. They ran out of the can-do spirit years ago, when the teachers’ union became powerful enough to lobby politicians into submission and they empowered themselves to control the purse strings. The truth, painful as it may be, is that public schools are a dying institution. The education industry is very selective when it comes to transparency over their financial matters. Artificial Intelligent robots are going to revolutionize the work force and teaching, as it currently exists, will be relegated to the dust bin of history.

Elections are where we decide who we give power to, who we trust enough to ensure our rights are protected. Most of us are familiar with Linda Ronstadt’s powerful vocal cords belting out her hit song, “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” I have been humming that song, substituting the word vote for love in the refrain. You can’t buy my vote with money, ’cause I never was that kind. Silver threads and golden needles cannot bend this vote of mine. Who knows? Maybe it will catch on.

I have a bedrock Republican friend who is openly voicing the idea that she might vote for John Hickenlooper over Cory Gardner next year, as she felt Hick had done a decent job as governor. That should send chills down Gardner’s spine. My friend and I have been known to talk for hours when she calls, with the dominant factor revolving around politics. Both of us are disgusted with the national political parties and question the wisdom of constantly voting for the lesser of two evils. With that being said, I do not think Hickenlooper would be a game-changer. Should he prevail against Gardner, he too will toe his party’s line once he is elected. I recently read in the news where Hickenlooper was the beneficiary of a fundraiser hosted by an ex-Goldman Sachs executive in Aspen. The Denver Post ran a story that reported that Hickenlooper had eight billionaires backing his campaign. Hick might want to reprise that commercial he used in his campaign for governor, the one where he is taking a shower.

I can remember when Scott Tipton campaigned on not being a career politician and a fiscal conservative. On a personal level, I like Scott. He grew up here, so he does have a home-court advantage. He has been lucky in that the Democrats tend to nominate pathetic candidates, but luck can run out. Walker Stapleton, the Republican candidate for governor in 2018, serves as a clear example. Stapleton took it for granted that voters would turn out for him, plus he ran an abysmal campaign. Not very smart, and we wound up with Jared Polis as governor.

Governor Polis and his allies have been making comments about the failure of a recall against him. Seriously? The recall-Polis petition drive gathered just under 400,000 signatures in less than 60 days. Given the widely successful petition drive to place the issue of the Electoral College to the vote of the people. I would think a prudent person would be more circumspect. I know firsthand that all types of demographic groups signed both petitions. Republicans, Democrats, independents, young, old, black, Asian, Native American, and Hispanics signed those petitions. Not exactly the narrative that some media outlets portrayed. The people who signed those petitions may be a sign of hope that this country finds a way out of gridlock and our dysfunctional political parties.

This country has serious problems and the politicians are not the solution. They, along with their respective media corporations, are the problem. They have completely shirked their responsibilities to us. To steal a line from Bruce Springsteen’s song Youngstown, “we made them rich, rich enough to forget our names.”

Edward Snowden, in his recently released biography, Permanent Record, makes the case that the government is not the entity that is running the country. He writes, “sincerity of public service had given way to the greed of the private sector” and that government became the “client instead of the authority.” He goes on to say that surveillance capitalism has replaced the original intent of the Internet.

I, for one, believe this to be true.

All levels of government have formed public/private partnerships that have essentially created a subset of unelected, almost invisible networks that implement policies that tear at the heart of a Constitutional republic. Corporations, non-profits, and nongovernmental organizations are the de facto government, while the public is served up nominal choices of figureheads to choose from on election day.

Colorado author Tom DeWeese posted a speech he delivered to The American Constitutional Party’s annual dinner, titled “Growing Government Tyranny-Democrats Empower It. Republicans are Clueless.”

Zach Vorhies, Google whistleblower, has been instrumental in detailing the dangers that Google poses.

Peter Thiel in his Aug. 1, 2019, op-ed in the New York Times titled “Good for Google, Bad for America” provided another knowledgeable person weighing in on the dark side of omnipotent technology.

Individuals like Snowden, DeWeese, Vorhies, and Thiel are ringing the bell as loud as they can. Perhaps we should pay more attention.

Valerie Maez writes from Lewis, Colo.

From Valerie Maez.