Roy Exum: Are You Fed Up? Then Vote!

Monday, November 5, 2012 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

If I were among the 2.5 million people who are still without power following Hurricane Sandy’s mauling of the northeast one week ago, I would be livid over the reports that some emergency utility trucks – eager to help – were turned away at a staging area in Virginia because the crews were non-union workers. In America, we should never turn away anyone willing to help but a spokesman for Decatur (Ala.) Utilities confirmed his crews returned home rather than join the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers.

I was also be appalled that FEMA, which promised to a “lean forward” strategy long before the storm hit, has run out of water and other emergency supplies at least “until Monday.” I will guarantee you I could have called around and had bottled water there within 24 hours in this day and age. Are you kidding me? Four convoys of military trucks could have solved the problem with just one phone call from The Oval Office but I fear we have unprecedented incompetence throughout our entire political realm.

This is why it is both imperative and urgent that every American cast a vote tomorrow. Don’t be so naïve to think you single vote doesn’t matter; in the 2000 election, the margin of victory in the race for President came down to 537 votes in the state of Florida. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for on the national, state or local level but ask you think with your mind and pray with your heart before going to the polls tomorrow.

We’ve got to get a better grip on this country’s handle. In 2010 a state dinner in Washington for Mexican president Felipe Calderon cost nearly $1 million. That’s $4,700 per person and is inexcusable. We’ve got to demand our politicians return decency, responsibility and accountability to the American people. We’ve got too many morons on the very threshold of taking office.

Here’s an example. Tomorrow the voters in Oregon, Colorado and Washington (state) will decide if marijuana should be legalized. If one or two states approve it, there are some who believe other states will quickly follow. Is it time to legalize the stuff? Compute this: One in every three adults alive in the U.S. has used it, three-quarters of a million people were arrested for possession last year, and our nation spends $7.7 billion a year in a fruitless effort to police it.

On the state level Tennessee four largest cities have emissions control centers. Logic tells me if people over the age of 18 vote, the great majority also drives cars and trucks. An overwhelming percentage of voters who own vehicles believe the emission centers are nothing but a money-grab, a sham. If we elect the right leaders, who are dedicated to the people, those centers should be out of business by next week. Your vote matters!

Want to talk traffic cameras? With the forthcoming city elections, citizens of Chattanooga can force away another money-grab where some pirates from entirely another state are giggling over the hefty harvest Chattanooga motorists cough up every day. Traffic cameras darn near killed Red Bank and any potential City Council members should recognize the loathsome devices are catastrophic in building good relationships.

Here’s a new one. A car was parked in a loading zone near Fifth and Broad Street in Chattanooga late Sunday morning while the handicapped driver stopped to pick up lunch-to-go. The handicapped placard was clearly visible, hanging from the rear-view mirror. When he returned, there was a $36 ticket under the windshield wiper from the latest bandits to invade us – our new “Chattanooga Parking Authority.”

True story – a $36 parking ticket on Sunday morning in the city where we live! If the ticket is not paid within ten days, the fee becomes $66.50 and if not within 30 days, “additional penalties, fees and court costs” will be added. And, get this, these loving hearts have a “boot” to impound a car! Who allows this tom-foolery to ruin a city? I’ll answer -- the very ones who seek your vote. Open your eyes and behold the jackals among those who deserve your trust.

That’s my whole point. If we as a nation are going to allow some union to block rescue efforts to restore power –  and heat – to 2.5 million Americans who still suffer in sub-freezing temperatures, and if we the people are going to overcome the “red tape” and morons who are in charge of our woefully inadequate FEMA offices, you must vote tomorrow.

If we are going to stop the inexcusable money grabs that seem to perpetuate in our state – from emissions centers to traffic cameras – each voter must recognize the culprits responsible and defeat them. And if we are ever going to rid our city of a new group of no-good, low-down, disgusting thieves who would write a $36 parking ticket to a handicapped vehicle on a Sunday morning, the best way to terminate those jerks forever is to vote for a principled leader who will whip the Chattanooga Parking Authority into a sensible, efficient and respectable branch of municipal service.

Lordy, we have a lot of work to do but the first step – the most crucial – is to vote with your head and your heart tomorrow in a way that you believe will make all of our lives better. There is an entire nation counting on you.

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