Monday, May 24, 2010

I Tried to Light Candles

I was out of state for most the new brooms sweeping old dust over the weekend in the state I call home (for now), Connecticut. Like the other forty-nine, recent economic times have been unkind to more than a few of us and as we enter election season, it's becoming time for payback. Many of us are descendants of the original settlers and behave as if we were the only ones who are undergoing hardships because we are, after all, the only ones who count. That sort of cracks up the rest of us.

For instance, I'd love to show you my DAR badge but it was lost in the relocation and my wife's hometown in Germany didn't have a local chapter so they couldn't issue her a certificate either. Strangely enough, hard times show up at our door as frequently as they do to the folks up the street whose family settled here three hundred years ago. Turns out it does rain on the just and the unjust alike. Perhaps you can please share my umbrella?

Anyway, this past weekend both major political parties, wading through a talent pool that barely comes to your ankles, offered Us (We?) Nutmeggers more of the same packaged as bold, new and decisive. Based on all those pony rides for my birthday I've not gotten, I'm an expert on what comes out of the back end of a horse and you don't want to step in any of those assertions. This November in the Land of Steady Habits we'll elect a new Governor, upper and lower chamber of the state house, a Senator, an Attorney General, a State Treasurer, a Comptroller and a Secretary of State, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree (among others, I suspect).

Skimming the newspapers Saturday and yesterday morning, I'm practicing my 'gee, Wally!' face when little changes and nothing improves after we make things better by making them different after the polls close on the first Tuesday in November. I was less than surprised when everyone who won, and everyone who qualified for a primary (meaning state nominating conventions are like the NHL regular season, except almost everyone has more teeth) had nothing specific to offer to anyone about anything.

That suggests we'll lead by following. First find out what the electorate's hot buttons are, adopt those buttons as your own and then go for the throat. Lather, rinse, repeat. And watching highlights of both parties' conventions (that's as large an oxymoron as I can use to describe it) on CT-N, I was struck by how Ozzie and Harriet the nominees all seemed to be in comparison to the demographics of the state they all wish to represent and lead.

That said, since for the most part, you can pick any two candidates competing for elected office and stick them in a sack and, by hitting the sack with a bat, you'd hit the right one, that doesn't bode well for an election based on a sober examination of positions on pressing issues but rather, dueling soundbytes and gotcha moments. Lord, I'm sorry to question your wisdom, but my faith has been wavering. Won't you show me a sign and let me know that you're listening?Ah, the electoral process in the nursery of American Democracy. There's magic in every moment.....
-bill kenny

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