Roundabout: Vote ... or else!

By John Toth
The Bulletin

Did you catch the primary elections last week? Most of us didn’t.
I voted absentee the Friday before the elections, but it looks like I was in the minority. Only 14 percent of registered voters turned out for the Republican Primary, while only 3 percent turned out for the Democratic Primary in Brazoria County.
I was born in a country where the voter turnout for every election was close to 100 percent, even though you could only vote for one party.
As a child, I remember my parents rushing to the polls, although the outcome was a foregone conclusion. If they didn’t vote, they were fined.
So, I take real voting very seriously.
How did I vote? That’s a secret. But I’ll tell you that in Texas it’s really hard not to vote in the Republican Primary, especially when there is a chance that the governor’s race might go into a runoff. If you want to vote in the runoff election, you also have to vote in that party’s primary.
A lot of my conservative friends call me a liberal. A lot of my liberal friends call me a conservative. So, I’m right there in the middle somewhere. I enjoy getting into debates and conversations with both sides, sometimes pushing buttons on purpose.
There are some dangers to doing this, though.
Some people have such strong political viewpoints that they cannot enter into a discussion without getting angry or emotional. With others, you can go back and forth and have a great debate.
For example, if at the mention of the name Obama the person you’re conversing with says, “that commie socialist Kenyan needs to be deported,” it’s time to change the subject to the weather, as long as it’s not about global warming.
Or, if a friend hears the name Bush or Cheney and responds, “those war criminals need to be arrested and tried,” it’s time to talk about who you liked last night on American Idol.
We can all agree that Simon is mean.
Irritating commercials
We can also agree that HDTV is so much better than regular TV, but the anchors we’ve been watching for years on regular TV look really old on HDTV.
Talking about TV, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a column about irritating commercials. Here is another one that goes over as well as fingernails on a blackboard. commercials make me want to take those morons’ computers and smash them to the floor.
“Now it’s even slower, isn’t it?”
We actually received reader email after the irritating commercials column ran. Here is the opinion of Becky Gaconnet of Sweeny, who also authors our pet training columns:
“I think you missed some of the worst commercials ever in your commentary last week.
“First, the ads that feature animated mucous are my biggest motive for only watching recorded television! Being able to fast forward through those green blob images is worth the monthly fee for DVR.
“Then there are the Charmin bears. Yes, “bears DO $#%$ in the woods,” as the saying goes, and watching a cartoon bear with toilet paper stuck to his behind simply serves to remind me of that fact. And that’s not why I watch TV. The Discovery channel might make me watch bears eating their prey, but they don’t subject me to bears squatting behind bushes. And I appreciate that.”

A big welcome back to the U.S. and the NHL to all the players on the Canadian National Hockey Team that won gold in the Winter Olympics. That was an exciting game, though, but I felt like I was watching an all-star game.
I liked it better when a bunch of U.S. amateur players 30 years ago beat the mean and grisly Soviet Union.