YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN DO UNTIL YOU STAND UP AND TRY

Deni Dietz

QUIBBLES & BITS

In the States it’s Election Day, but I bet y’all knew that πŸ™‚

It’s time to forget the nasty j’accuse TV ads, the CNN polls, the radio talk shows, the "experts" telling you who is going to win [or lose] — as if you couldn’t make up your own minds, express your own opinions, vote with your own hearts.

In the USA, voting is both a right and a privilege. [In Australia there’s a fairly hefty fine if you don’t show up at your polling place; you don’t have to vote, just sign in!]

When my first husband and I voted, we’d cancel each other out. So what? We expressed our opinions, we made our voices heard, and that’s what counts.

When I waited tables, I’d wear my little I VOTED sticker with pride—every single year—and the first thing I did when I moved to Canada was make damn certain I was on the [Colorado Springs] mailing list for absentee ballots. This year, like all other years, my absentee ballot arrived in plenty of time. I spent hours on-line, reading about the candidates and issues. Then I filled out my ballot and mailed it in…

Because I can’t bitch about government if I don’t make my voice heard, even if it’s a whisper in a sea of shouts.

So if you haven’t voted yet, please stop reading this blog! Collect your wallets and purses and your strollers and little kids, if you have ’em, and head for your polling place.

I’ll be happy to send you a virtual I VOTED sticker.

Here are two of my favorite novels with a political theme:

*THE MAN by Irving Wallace

*THE TRAYNOR LEGACY by David Stinson

And my favorite movies with a political theme:

1] THE CANDIDATE
Trivia:  Groucho Marx has an uncredited walk-on cameo in what would be his last screen appearance. And a prop campaign button from this film is on display at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in Washington, along with several authentic campaign buttons.

2] A FACE IN THE CROWD
One of my all-time favorite films, I love it when Lonesome Rhodes, who doesn’t know he’s being heard by millions of TV viewers, says: "Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers—everybody that’s got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don’t know it yet, but they’re all gonna be ‘Fighters for Fuller’. They’re mine! I own ’em! They think like I do. Only they’re even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for ’em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I’m gonna be the power behind the president – and you’ll be the power behind me!"

3] DAVE
Dave says: "If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get a job, I’ve had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it’s about respect, it’s about looking in the mirror and knowing that you’ve done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don’t really know how much you can do until you stand up and decide to try."

That last sentence is printed in large block letters and tacked on my bulletin board.

Other favorite political movies:
*ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN
*WAG THE DOG
*DR. STRANGELOVE
*CITIZEN KANE
*THE MOUSE THAT ROARED

and
*THE BEST MAN

What are some of your favorite political novels and movies?

Over and Out and please, please vote,
Deni

7 thoughts on “YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN DO UNTIL YOU STAND UP AND TRY

  1. Jeff Cohen

    I’ll vote, Deni, you can bank on that. But I have to say, one of my favorite political books is Fletcher Knebel’s DARK HORSE, because it’s so unrelentingly stupid, it’s a blast to read. I love it. Favorite political movie? I guess ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, but THE GREAT MAN VOTES is something of an oddity, if only for its last line.

    No, my favorite political movie is 1776. They got a lot of it right, and there’s songs.

    Reply
  2. Deni Dietz

    Joe Tynan…Alan Alda, right? My second book is dedicated to Alda. Thanks for posting, B.G. And wow, you’re up early.

    I remember Dark Horse, Jeff. But I don’t remember Dark Horse. Guess I only read it once πŸ™‚

    Yes, 1776 has songs. But they also have all those weird looking people in long socks and Capri pants. I’ve been told it’s not “in” to wear long socks with Capris. But then, I rarely follow [fashion] rules.

    Reply
  3. Naomi

    I remember when I read de Tocqueville in college–he had written that Americans were so weighed down with the mundane things in life that they failed to participate fully in democracy. So true today. Of course all those skewed political ads and 888/800 recorded calls don’t help the cause, either.

    Reply
  4. pari noskin taichert

    Well, I voted today. In case y’all didn’t know, New Mexico has moved to an entirely paper ballot. Ever since the polls opened for early voting, the griping has been phenomenal.

    After voting, I can understand why. I made sure to read the ballot before going — and knew what and for whom I’d vote — still, just filling out those darn circles with a black pen took me at least 15 minutes. Sheesh. I’ve never missed an election though. It’s just too important — plus, I like being able to complain if my folks and issues don’t win.

    Best political movie or book? Um . . . Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a fave. I also think the Manchurian Candidate might fit the bill . A great political book is THE ANATOMY OF A REVOLUTION — though it’s a more scholarly take on change (or lack thereof).

    Boy, I’ll be glad when those recorded phones calls stop, too.

    Reply
  5. JT Ellison

    I am in heaven. It took me over an hour to vote, they ran out of I VOTED stickers, and it’s raining. HUGE turnout here in Tennessee. Whoo-hoo!Of course there’s the bozo stading in the yellow brick road line (they had us in concentric circles) boo-hooing about how long it was taking. The man in front of me kindly offered to get the man a jar of purple ink for him to stick his forefinger in. That shut him up.Regardless of your side, if you dont’ vote you don’t get to complain. Right on, Deni.

    Reply
  6. Deni Dietz

    The Manchurian Candidate counts as a political thriller, Pari. I didn’t list it because that movie makes me even more uncomfortable today than when it first came out – during the Cold War era.

    Despite great performances, especially by Lawrence Harvey and “Jessica Fletcher” πŸ™‚ – the movie inspired too much FEAR: Communist takeover via psychological and of course political brainwashing.

    When one is fearful, one can be manipulated.

    Yay for Tennessee, J.T. I’ve been following that election very closely on TV and the voter turn-out is gratifying, to say the least. And you’re absolutely right. If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.

    Not even on a blog πŸ™‚

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *