Mid-term elections 2010 are taking place in the U.S. tomorrow, Tuesday November 2, and the outcome will decide who will take control of Congress for the next two years, the Democrats or the Republicans.
Although it’s common for the current party of control to lose some seats in the mid-terms, the economic crisis has been severely damaging for President Obama and the Democratic Party and it looks quite possible at the moment that the Democrats could lose their command of the House of Representatives leading to a divided government.
Stranger things have happened before though, so it's quite possible that Social Media networks will once again trump Corporate Media, and the people's voices will be heard louder on Twitter & Facebook than corporates & big-business's voices on CNN & Fox News.
We live in truly exciting times, and I think tomorrow's elections in America may prove definitively the power shift from newspapers and television to social media networks.
With 225 million registered voters eligible to vote, it's certainly going to be interesting.
Quite frankly I don't know who the better of the two evils are, the Democrats or the Republicans, as I'm not informed enough to make a judgement. What I do know however is that the Republicans are knobs.
Ok so here's a small lesson in politics courtesy of myself.
Remember that my area's of expertise does include politics, but not the kind of politics which involve governments and politicians. Now that I've cleared that up, let's move on.
Some common phrases you may hear during the course of these elections, and possibly future elections in other countries as well:
Registered Voter : These are usually the guys you want on your side, unless you are George Bush's cousin and you live in Florida; in which case you'll probably want to sieve through these registered voters very carefully and remove Mexicans, Chinese and all prisoners.
Bipartisan : This can best be described as two parties being undecided about what to do with a drunken hooker they found upstairs during a house-party, and end up shagging her and agreeing not to tell anybody. Or in political terms, it's when two parties share a common goal. eg: Democrats and Republicans are hoping for a Bipartisan foreign policy.
Foreign Policy : A common word sprinkled about like tenders at an ANC conference, all politicians want to sound intelligent by talking about Foreign Policy. Locally, the term refers to the origin of a politicians suit or shoes. eg : Julius Malema has a very strong Italian Foreign Policy.
In American terms, Foreign Policy refers largely to which countries will be attacked/ colonized for the illegal acquisition of their natural resources, and also to which countries America will hop into bed with and turn a blind eye to regarding their Human Rights violations; with a view to strengthening trade agreements. In common terms, these would be countries America has a very flexible and relaxed Foreign Policy accord with, so relaxed in fact that the policy documents are in fact written by the bed-partner instead of America! eg: America's foreign policy with dictatorships and occupying nations may best be described as a case of "You sleep with my sister, & I'll sleep with yours. Heck I'll even sleep with mine. But if anyone asks, we're just friends, ok." Foreign Policy, like a loaf of bread, can be bought at a price.
Foreign Affairs : Not to be confused with Foreign Policy. Bill Clinton had no Foreign Policy on Monica Lewinsky, but he definitely did have a Foreign Affair with her. In a nutshell, this encompasses all affairs not conducted at home. Any affair which falls under the category of "Mistress", and not condoned by the wife, is deemed to be a Foreign Affair. In local politics, our ingenious leader Jacob Zuma chose to convert his Foreign Affairs departments into Home Affairs. Not a common solution, as too many Home Affairs taking place under one roof could ultimately lead to a Bipartisan Foreign Policy. (See above)
Trade Agreements : Usually one would need a very clear understanding of Capitalism in order to fully grasp the depth of this term. Basically, a Trade Agreement takes the place of either a unilateral or a bilateral format. Iraq for example would have a Unilateral Trade Agreement with America which in essence translates to "We shall steal your oil and sell it to our friends and cohorts, and you shall say Thank You." China on the other hand, having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council coupled with sufficient military clout and a dash of unstable madness, is in a Bilateral Trade Agreement with America. The crux of this agreement is simply "Dear America. We will sell you our products and materials since we already make everything sold in the world, and once every ten years we will buy MacDonalds burgers from you. Furthermore, you shall not question our Human Rights track record or policy, or else we will stop selling you the paper to make the boxes to put your MacDonalds burgers in. Let's not go into the issue of threatening us, because we will kick your arse. Ni Hao and Zai Jian."
Left Wing : Also referred to as the Leftists, this group supports social change and their goal is to create an egalitarian society.(Wikipedia: adj. asserting, resulting from or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, esp. in political, economic or social life)Think Greenpeace, Tree-Huggers and pretty much anyone who boycotted BP during the recent oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico. If you're not sure which oil spill I'm referring to, close this page and click on Hannah Montana's Homepage. In local politics, your Leftists would be the Labour Unions headed by Zwelinzima Vavi and his sidekicks. Anyone wearing an ANC badge or who lives within 3 blocks of Julius Malema, Tokyo Sexwale or Cyril Ramaphosa would be the extreme opposite of a Leftist, and stands the risk of being mistaken for an investigative reporter and consequently shot.
Right Wing : Also referred to as Rightists, this group supports a free market system and worships Capitalism in all its forms. Synonymous with monarchs, aristocrats, nationalization and wanton greed. If the collective taxes of the people and corporations were put into a huge pile and converted into a mountain of food, these guys would be head of the Pig Trough gouging themselves until their gluttonous feasting resulted in "Fat Pig" syndrome. Then they would wake up and ask where the beer and alcohol was. In the meanwhile, the Leftists would be at the back of the queue trying to organize the line into women and children, then the poor and destitute, and finally the men. Remember the movie Titanic? The Rightist were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats, while the Leftists were trapped in the lower decks fighting for survival, or staying on board and playing the violin. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Capitalism. I love money more than most guys I know, and I love making money more than I love making love. (Ask my wife, she'll tell you!) It's your social responsibility and conscience that ultimately defines your position in front of the Pig Trough.
In it's most extreme form, the Right Wing consider themselves elitists and above all other classes and creeds. Think German skinheads and Russian Moscovite gangs, and of course the most Right Wing of all Right Wing groups, the Nazis.
West Wing : A television series not to be taken seriously, especially since it stars Rob Lowe.
That's todays episode of "Politics For Dummies."
Watch this space for updates and more educational posts on the subject.