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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Voting, a noble exercise in blind faith.

Personally, I love politics, hate voting, but love politics.  There is something primal, powerful, and primitive in a campaign for public office.  Watching the news in the morning is a stroll through the dirty laundry of any number of strangers.  You will be exposed to the most indecent things about a person, a person who thinks they should be in charge of a state, or it's treasury, or departments of justice.  And it will strike you, that, maybe even if these ads contain a small amount of truth, and they probably do, none of these candidates can be that awful.  Nobody would put themselves in a position to be publicly criticized so venomously unless they thought they could do something to help.

"So, why do you hate to vote so much, Tim?'  I'm glad you asked.

Voting a candidate into office is a long term commitment, 2, 4, 6 years, depending on the office.  And that seems like a lot of trust to put into a person based solely on his self proclaimed abilities.  Maybe, after all of the claims by both sides, all of the accusations, and all of the aggrandizement, the candidate is not evil, but not particularly special.    Maybe he is just an average guy, who as State Auditor is in over his head.

Now, though, he is in that job for... however long State Auditors serve, and in a way it is partly your fault, you voted for him.  How could you know?

That is more responsibility than I can handle.  When I vote for somebody, and they end up being mediocre, or even worse, slightly below average, I know people start to stare at me, and I can feel their disappointment. When I stop to fill my car with gas, I can feel their disapproving glance, at the grocery store, people look, and whisper, restaurants are filled with people who were counting on me, and I let them down.  It is too much to bear.

There is a very simple solution, though.  We should allow voting every day.  If your elected official does something less than savory, something that makes you cringe, you have a chance to let him know, a little microwave political justice.  It will be time to give someone else a shot.  Don't worry, if you like a politico, and he is voted out, just tune in tomorrow,

Better still, do we need all of those elected officials?  Maybe a couple of guys to open the mail, formulate bills, and submit them to us, we the people, to vote on.  Just think how cool that would be, having lobbyists call you, "hey Bob, we think you should vote yes on the Alaskan Salmon Cod Liver Oil Subsidies Bill, why don't we get together over a some 'Dunkin' Donuts' coffee, and a few of the  glazed to discuss the virtues of this particular piece of legislative artwork."

Think of the possibilities, corporations trying to win your favor.  You could have your own PAC!  Sure, it would not be super at first.  It would start out as a little pupal PAC, kind of a side kick PAC, but after a while, a few contributions later, it would grow, an apprentice PAC.  Before long you would be the proud custodian of a full fledged, bona fide Super PAC!  Powerful, rich and beyond the reach of campaign laws, and good intentions.

Maybe some day, but until then, I will vote, if I can handle the shame, or not vote, comfortable in the conviction that "choosing not to decide" maybe the best choice.  In either case the country will muddle along in the grip of partisan strife and misplaced party loyalties, feeding the loud, and extreme, while the rest us pay the ticket.  Not much will change, one way or the other, and that is probably good enough