by Sean Chercover
I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican; I’ve always been a registered Independent voter. I’ve voted for Democratic candidates, Republican candidates, and even Natural Law Party candidates (it seemed like the funniest option at the time).
I worked briefly as a volunteer on H. Ross Perot’s campaign, partly because it was a funny thing to do, but mostly because I was sick of the Republicrat either/or con game.
I’m still sick of the con game. I’m more convinced than ever that Washington is corrupt to its core, and that our brand of two-party politics is a scam. I seriously doubt that it is fixable, and all evidence suggests that the majority of Americans don’t even want it fixed.
But in this next federal election, I’m backing a candidate anyway. Not because I believe that he will make everything better, but simply because things have gone way too far and we are in danger of slipping off the deep end into our own Orwellian nightmare (if we haven’t already passed the point of no return).
Illinois senator Barack Obama is my candidate. I don’t agree with all of his positions, but that’s neither here nor there; I don’t agree with all of the positions of any of the candidates, from either party. And there’s still plenty of time for Obama to do or say something that will make me regret my choice. But unless and until that happens, I’m an Obama girl. I even have an Obama baseball cap and t-shirt and bumper sticker on my aging Chevy Malibu.
The good news is that both the baseball cap and the t-shirt are union made in the USA. The bad news is, they suck. I mean, they really and truly suck. The seams are all over the goddamn place, there are loose threads and haphazard stitching, the cap’s button is way off-center . . . etc.
I have ball caps and t-shirts made by exploited children in Bangladesh, others made by slave prison labor in China. And by far, the worst quality cap and shirt I now own are Union Made in the USA. And this distresses the hell out of me.
I do not expect American-made products to compete on price. I’m happy to pay a couple bucks more for a cap made in the USA by a union member making a fair living wage. In fact, I actively seek out such products.
No, I don’t expect us to compete on price. But if we can’t compete on quality, we are totally screwed.
Jesus, I’m a cheery bastard today. If anyone has anything optimistic to say about American manufacturing or politics, I’d love to hear it.
In the meantime: Go Cubs! Go Bears! Go Obama!