No, I did not vote today. Not because I had to work, or was too busy, or too tired, to go to the polls. The polls are not yet closed, I’m home, Sammy the Puppy is fed and his messes are cleaned up, and I’m feeling pretty good. The polling place isn’t far- I could still hit a hanging curve ball from my front yard onto the roof of the polling place. I did not, and am not, voting today by choice. And I have a reason…
My reason is that I am tired of having to choose from the same motley collection of lesser evils. There isn’t one candidate- from governor down to dog catcher- running this year worthy of my vote. After studying their records and positions, I am convinced that they will all do the same amount of damage to our state- it’s just a question of how they will do so. We have 1,273 people running for governor. Well, really there are only six, but it seems like thousands judging by all the robo-calls and spam I’m getting. I have figured out the genius of the robo-call. It is the way the candidates can blather at you and not have to answer any pesky questions, like:
“I’m the pro-life candidate- vote for me!” Why? You’re running for governor- you can’t change the law. That’s up to the Supreme Court, and right now it’s A. considered settled law, B. will take a change in view of both precedent and constitutional interpretation by the Supreme Court, and C. we are hemmoraging jobs at a ghastly rate (we just jumped ahead of Nevada for 49th place in unemployment- wahoo! Look out, Mississippi, you’re next!). Wouldn’t it be better if you focused on that?
“I’m the union’s biggest supporter!” Great- does that mean you can get them to make some concessions so that unskilled and semi-skilled workers don’t make more than those college graduates you say we need to produce? Maybe then we can be more competitive in the world market and attract more business and jobs to our state.
“I’ve brokered compromises in the State legislature!” Yeah, I saw them. We twice had to shut down government services for at least hours while you “brokered” compromises consisting of emergency spending bills and budgetary decisions made off the top of your heads, decisions which could have been avoided if you had spent the time working on the situation instead of partisan bickering.
“I promise I’ll cut your taxes!” Great! What services are you going to slash in order to do so? (I’ve been asking that question to the Tea Party Nation lately. The answer I get is some variation of, “Any service that I don’t use.” Nice…)
The latest came from the Right to Life crowd. They asked, “Can we count on you to support our position on abortion?” I would have loved to heard their response to my answer, which would have been, “I’ll be happy to support your position on abortion if you’ll support mine of raising taxes so we can fully fund foster care, child care, birth control education, and adoption services, for the increased number of unwanted kids we’ll have.”
But the candidates don’t want to hear those questions, because they don’t have any answers. And they don’t care about the answers. They just care about getting elected. How hard are these questions, anyway? Everyone wants to cite the Founding Fathers, but have no idea of what those men actually did. They built a country. They successfully rebelled against the strongest power on Earth at the time. They knew the risks- that, if they failed, it was their necks. Not their political necks, but their actual lives. They did not have any cushy lobbying job or a gig on FOX or MSNBC waiting for them if it didn’t work. They would lose their lives, their families would lose their wealth, their world would crash down upon them and their loved ones. But they succeeded- how? By recognizing that not one of them had all the answers, but they all had part of the answer. By acknowledging that, if they worked together, they could synthesize solutions much better than what any of them could have created by themselves. They knew that they were countrymen, they were Americans, regardless of their personal differences. That’s what a patriot is- someone who is willing to work with their neighbors, not against them. Tell me any politiican today who fits that description and I’ll not only vote for them, but I will lend them my not inconsiderable talents to helping them get elected.
That’s why I am not voting today- because I am tired of politicians expecting me to stoop down to their level. It’s time for them to raise themselves up to mine.