Su Lum: Slumming
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Although we had an exceptionally long spring, it is always a shock when the leaves start to turn and the dancers, actors and musicians pack up their gear and go home. Labor Day comes in two weeks, and after that, the great toilet flushes, sweeping away the last of the visitors, and it’s time – ta-da! – to turn our attention to the election.
Are you ready?
As a “swing state,” Coloradans have already been inundated with presidential political ads ad nauseam, and it will get even worse in the next two months. I don’t get it. How could Colorado be a swing state when a department-store mannequin is running against a rational, intelligent incumbent whose misfortune was to have been born brown and to have entered the arena at the nadir of the Republican-induced state of our economy?
I watched Mitt Romney when he was running for senator in Massachusetts as the good guy. In his first attempt, he claimed to be to the left of Teddy Kennedy. He lost that, then won for governor on a pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-mandated-health care candidate, and I thought he was a pretty good guy until he entered the presidential race in 2008, when he pretended to be a conservative and was unimpressive in the debates and lost out to loser John McCain.
Now Romney is back, trying to transmogrify himself into a real conservative. After the most ludicrous Republican debates in television history, faced with the dubious alternatives of wing nuts such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, the Republicans have been forced to rally around Mitt Romney, the last man standing, and his save-the-embryo/kill Medicare cohort, Paul Ryan.
If I had to define my choice in two words, they would be “Supreme Court.” If Romney and Ryan win this election, you can kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye and say hello to a return to 50 years ago, when gays were safely out of sight in the closet and abortions were performed with coat hangers.
You can say goodbye to evolution and global warming, goodbye to your nest egg, goodbye to national health care, goodbye to medical marijuana, goodbye to public schools.
You can say hello to fewer taxes on the billionaires and more taxes on the working stiffs, and think of the wars that can be waged in four years. Have we forgotten George W.?
I can think of better uses for all the millions of dollars spent on advertising to citizens who haven’t been paying attention. Why should even more money be spent on the Republican (Aug. 27 to 30) and Democratic (Sept. 3 to 6) conventions when the candidates have already been chosen?
Our Pitkin County commissioners have the right idea: A board is elected, and every year, it rotates which one will be chair. We should do that in the city as well – no mayor, just a board with rotating chairpeople.
Take it a step further: Other countries govern by committee – why can’t we?
It is ridiculous for our local, state and national officials to spend half their time in office running for the next election.
Anyway, here we are, and the choice is clear: Obama.
Su Lum is a longtime local who isn’t proud of being white these days. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at email@example.com.
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Aspen School District is not the only district in the country facing teacher shortages as schools across the nation are struggling to find available staff to fill gaps in teacher positions, writes Teen Spotlight columnist Beau Toepfer. Still, the district has faced challenges with teacher retention and replacement this year.