You can understand how the political process makes people yawn, become disinterested, or just go flat out postal in frustration. Not a day has gone by over the past few weeks, that I don’t come home to find anywhere from 3-7 glossy 9″ x 12″ mailers from all the candidates up for election in my area. The common thread is that everyone is, and I mean every document, craps on the opposition. If you are going to send me so much glossy paper, tell me why I should vote for you, not why I shouldn’t vote for the guy you are running against. Stop with the lesser of two evils, of making me hold my nose while I fill out the ballot.If you get the gig, what are you going to do.
Regardless if it is a local, state, or federal election, the vitriol is directed at what a crappy person his or her opponent is. And pundits have the nerve to wonder why people don’t vote. I make it to the polling place because you are supposed to, but you can understand how people can become disengaged because the bulk of the candidates are.
It comes as no surprise to this independent that we are not sending choir boys to Washington, Albany or even County and City Hall. I long suspected there is something in the water at the State Capitol where Caribbean junkets are written off as “economic development” and 20 years in other public offices makes you an “outsider” in Albany.
I don’t care that two candidates for the same office hate each other and everything they stand for, don’t particularly care if they speak of each other with affection either. Stop polluting my mailbox with laminated crap!
The masses are cynical, if ill-informed for a reason. There was an almost throwaway bit of dialogue on The West Wing that I think is pretty on the nose: “Politicians are always running for something. When one campaign finishes, the next one begins.” Okay, it sounded better when Stockard Channing said it, but you get the idea.
Just once, I’d like to open the inbox and be greeted with something telling me what you are going to do if I vote for you. Not in blank platitudes, no pronoun-laden propositions, just tell me your plan. You want my vote? Fine, what is in it for me? Can my kids schools be safe from funding foolishness? Are you going to do something to improve the jobs situation? Can you help make the government work for the people? (And don’t say run it like a business). Can you quit spending on stuff for you when cutting programs that improve the quality of life here? Can you just quit spending what you ain’t got?
But I’m not counting on those questions getting answered anytime soon.
I’ll queue up on Election Day, but I’m tired of picking between “Who gives a rat’s ass?” and the “lesser of the established evils.”
I want it to be a case of why I should back somebody other than he or she isn’t the other guy.
Yet, that seems to be the reason to go this year. Decisions are made by those who show up.
Hopefully, that means everybody.