Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jury Duty



When I turned 18, we had just gotten the vote. The argument was, if you’re old enough to get drafted and die for your country, you're old enough to be part of the decision making process. What a joke that turned out to be. Without corporate money you might as well hang it up.
When I was young and idealistic I really wanted to part of the process. I knew my vote threw me into the jury pool and I saw it as my civic responsibility.
My first vote was for an independent and I prided myself on never having picked a winner.
I had friends who voted for Nader. At the time I thought both parties were so bought and paid for, it didn’t matter who you voted for. People who voted for Nader were derided for giving votes to the Republicans.
I now know, if Gore had won we wouldn’t be at war or be facing our current deficit. It really does matter.
Valerie, my son and I visited our friends Uncle Bill and Martha Rose last night. They were shocked to learn how much I hated Obama.
He gave the banks Bush’s TARP with no strings. They refuse to lend so small businesses and home buyers are screwed. One third of his stimulus was in the form of tax cuts. This was to make the Republicans happy. Not only will they not acknowledge it, but it watered down the stimulus so much they can say, “See, it didn’t work!” He said, “Single payer is off the table.” So we lost the public option.
His “pragmatism” has set the Democratic party back 20 years.
The American public is convinced he’s socialist. By that logic, the right are Nazi’s and Fascists. The ignorance scares me. Big money is rewriting history. A guy I work with learned that Nazi is an acronym for National Socialist Worker’s Party. “Socialist, that proves they were lefties!”
My son has been doing research on presidential candidates and found someone in the Green party he liked. Uncle Bill and I looked at each other and said, “There’s a vote for the republicans.” In his defense, Dylan pointed out I was idealistic in my youth and never picked a winner. “It’s my turn now,” he said.
Uncle Bill said, “If you don’t vote for the lesser of 2 evils, you vote for the greater of 2 evils.”
This is all long winded back story for my real story; I had jury duty this week. Needless to say, I’m a lot more cynical now.
I get picked every cycle. I even get picked as a juror.
Last time I told them I was a self employed courier, living paycheck to paycheck. It would be a financial hardship for my kids and me. They bumped it back 6 months to Christmas and it was even worse.
A friend of mine at work said that excuse works for her every time. I guess they only believe women have to raise kids.
I been worried about covering bills for months. What if a trial drags on and on. Last time I was in one that dragged on for a week and a half before they settled out of court. That was after sitting for 3 days.
I think things have changed a little. Last Wednesday we sat until 3:00 in the afternoon before they started calling jurors. There weren’t really very many of us. They kept calling numbers and I was convinced I’d be called. They must have picked 2 thirds of the crowd. They didn’t get me. I was kinda hoping they would so we get get it over with.
One woman didn’t respond. They kept repeating her name over the intercom and she never responded. Finally they marked her absent and picked some other schmoe.
About 30 minute later she came in. She’s been on her cell phone out front. Everyone in there was on a smart phone or lap top. They scolded her, told her to sit down and unmarked her absent.
They then told us we were excused from jury duty. It was all over. We were told that in spite of the fact that we sat there all day doing nothing, we could take pride in the fact that we did our civic duty and participated in the process.

2 comments:

Tony Patti said...

Thank god you didn't get picked!

Dominic said...

you won't be picked again for a while. i like to think that if i were on trial i'd have a jurist like myself. it's a drag sometimes 'cause it seems like a waist of time but it's not.