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A dose of Dan: We all should have been EDH firefighters and other post-election realizations

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From page A4 | November 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

A funny thing happened to me the day after Election Day this year. As I wallowed in defeat in most races (President: I voted for the pro-business guy) and measures (Proposition 30: I thought California already had enough of our money), I received a call from my dear mother-in-law.

I figured my mother-in-law, as she does from time to time, accidentally dialed my phone instead of my wife’s, so I didn’t pick up. Then I realized she left me a voicemail. Her message to my astonishment: “Dan, it’s a beautiful morning. We’re motorhoming on the coast. I wanted to let you know — the people have spoken! Have a great day!”

That’s right, I was post-election heckled by my own sweet mother-in-law, a staunch Democrat and President Obama fan who apparently felt compelled to interrupt one of her sunshine-filled retirement days to bust my chops.

I thought in a mini-rage about calling her back and letting her know she was forgetting the other 48 percent of voters who didn’t vote to tee up Obama for another four years. Who had spoken for them? But a desire for family peace, which as we all know is more important than any political issue, prevented me from acting.

The amusing incident is undoubtedly similar to ones that most of us with strong opinions have encountered over the past two weeks since the close of the election. Whether it is with family, friends, co-workers or even strangers, we can’t seem to stop talking about the election and what we think it means for our country and California.

With that backdrop, I humbly offer the fine readers of the Mountain Democrat, many of whom are keeping the spirit of post-election debate alive with online comments and letters to the editor, a few of my personal post-election realizations. Whether I agree with your comments or not, many of them have been entertaining and may I hopefully return the favor.

I always chuckle when the winning side of an election calls the other side a sore loser, and the losing side rebuts with sore winner. Of course, the losing side is sore! Their beliefs have just been trounced on. They have just been voted out of touch and unpopular. Lose the political correctness, and call it like it is. And winners can absolutely gloat. This is America. We used to embrace winning big, and for that to happen, someone has to lose.

Many depressed conservatives have been throwing around this famous quote: “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.” They’ve been attributing it to everyone from French author Alexis de Tocqueville of “Democracy in America” acclaim to Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and others. Leave it to bored journalists to come up with the truth. Apparently the quote belongs to Alexander Tytler, a 19th century Scottish professor. The quote doesn’t have the same ring with Tytler’s name attached to it.

Speaking of Proposition 30, friends in public education management report that their districts are still faced with cutting school days despite the passage of the measure. And the state college board is still continuing with rate hike hearings. Looks like that multi-billion dollar Band-Aid we just taxed ourselves won’t be big enough after all. When we will learn to call lawmakers’ bluffs and force them to make responsible decisions when they already have enough of our dollars? Apparently never in California.

Locally, in El Dorado Hills, two incumbent fire board members retained their seats. When incumbents retain their seats, it generally means the citizenry thinks they’re doing a good job. So I suppose it’s acceptable to everyone that, according to news reports, the last six firefighters to retire from the department have walked away with an average of $170,000 in annual compensation. That’s about a $14,000 a month retirement. We all should have been El Dorado Hills firefighters.

While many in the country fret over its future direction given the election, others have applauded America’s splendor by pointing out our presidential race pitted an African-American incumbent against a Mormon businessman. That’s a uniquely American fight card.

America has also frequently been labeled a grand experiment in democracy (although experts debate if any of the Founding Fathers actually publicly stated this). And while many days look and feel like an experiment from a citizen viewpoint, it’s comforting to realize that all the debating means we also haven’t stopped caring about that experiment.

Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry.

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Discussion | 2 comments

  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Mike, I absolutely feel your pain. Let's distract ourselves . . . with . . . mother-in-law jokes. - - - - A patient says: "Doctor, last night I made a Freudian slip, I was having dinner with my mother-in-law and wanted to say: 'Could you please pass the butter.' But instead I said: 'You silly cow, you have completely ruined my life'." - - - - We were having tea with my mother-in-law the other day and out of the blue she said, “I’ve decided I want to be cremated.” I said, “Alright, get your coat.” - - - - HOW many mothers-in-law does it take to change a light bulb? One. She just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around her. - - - - WHAT’S the difference between a mother-in-law and a vulture? The vulture waits until you’re dead before it eats your heart out. - - - - TWO cannibals were sitting down eating lunch. One says to the other: “You know, I just can’t stand my mother-in-law.” The other replies: “Just put her to the side and eat the mash.” - - - - LAST week my wife and I went to buy a car and the salesman asked if I wanted an airbag. I said: “No thanks. I already have a mother-in-law.” - - - - A Bible study group was discussing the unforeseen possibility of their sudden death. The leader of the discussion said, " We will all die some day, and none of us really know when, but if we did we would all do a better job of preparing ourselves for that inevitable event." "Everybody shook their heads in agreement with this comment." Then the leader said to the group, "What would you do if you knew you only had 4 weeks of life remaining before your death, and then the Great Judgment Day?" A gentleman said, "I would go out into my community and minister the Gospel to those that have not yet accepted the Lord into their lives." "Very good!", said the group leader, and all the group members agreed, that would be a very good thing to do. One lady spoke up and said enthusiastically, "I would dedicate all of my remaining time to serving God, my family, my church, and my fellow man with a greater conviction." "That"s wonderful!" the group leader commented, and all the group members agreed, that would be a very good thing to do. But one gentleman in the back finally spoke up loudly and said, "I would go to my mother-in-laws house for the 4 weeks." Everyone was puzzled by this answer, and the group leader ask, "Why your mother-in-law's home?" "Because that will make it the longest 4 weeks of my life!"

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    . . . but seriously . . . LINK - Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia’s and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau. Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government’s new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing. (View the new census data report) The state’s costs are boosted by its environmental and workplace regulations, and by 38 million residents’ competition for housing close to the sea. The new measure, however, also incorporates a controversial calculation of relative equality that demotes states, including California, that have wide gaps between wealthy people and people with less than one-third of state residents’ average income. California snatched the last-place prize from Mississippi, which had the highest poverty rate under the older and simpler measure, which gauged people’s ability to buy basic services and goods. Democratic California Gov. Gerry Brown’s office did not release a comment Nov. 15 about the new ranking, but did note that he would be attending a housing conference, the “Greenbuild International Conference and Expo,” in San Francisco Nov. 16. The new measure, dubbed the “Supplemental Poverty Measure,” revised the California’s poverty rate from 16.3 percent up to 23.5 percent.

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