Friday, October 1, 2010

Vote for Me and I'll Fix Everything

Election season is like Trick or Treat for adults, except we registered voters seem to end up with a lot of Mary Janes and salt water taffy and way too few Dove Bars and Reese's Cups. Thirty-two days from now, we'll be knee deep in big muddy hitting levers, blackening circles, chopping chads (sorry, Florida) as the will of some of the people (at party nominating conventions this summer) are transformed into the will of all the people. The miracle of democracy, coming to a ballot box near you.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard ." Sing it, H. L.. I'll hold the hymnal while you turn the page. Of course, in this country for the most part, hardly anyone has an opinion on how well democracy works since we rarely get above thirty percent turnout by registered voters in an 'off-year' (= non-Presidential) election.

Living in one of the thirteen original colonies (I still think we should get silk jackets, have colonial colors and maybe a secret handshake; just to shut up those ba$tards from the West Coast with their nice weather and fresh fruit all year round), I'm watching the wheels as I'll have the opportunity to vote for a Probate Judge, a state representative, a state Senator, a United States Senator, three french hens, two turtle doves and a slew of State Constitutional officers, culminating in a new Governor. Plus, in my town we'll have local referendum questions, though the pygmy pony initiative failed to make the ballot. Again.

You'll have about the same range and scope of choices where you live-but only if you chose to vote. The same folks who'll sit on hold for twenty minutes for a call-in show can't take ten minutes to go vote on Election Day. Maybe we have neighbors who think you have to pay a fee to cast a ballot, or lack a calendar that tells them when Election Day is. The same people who call DWTS or AI hundreds of times to get their favorite to the next round don't think it's appropriate to have an opinion on the direction their state or nation should take.

Maybe if we could get Dick Blumenthal to samba or Linda McMahan to tango, we could entice people in Connecticut to show up at the polls (and you're welcome for those visuals). In this case, we'll elect a US Senator who sits for six years-which can be a VERY long time if you don't like the choice (and it's even longer if you didn't bother to make one). Go through your ballot and you'll find the same situation in almost every contest. Someone, somewhere, gets voted off the island, after an Amazing Race (though 'amazing' isn't the word I use for the robo-calls at the dinner hour, but I was trying to lose weight, so thanks, I guess).

If you don't choose, you lose. And don't tell me you don't have enough information. In this country at this time in our history, if there's one thing we have TOO much of, it's information. The trick is to turn it into knowledge you can use to make an informed decision. Because that's what we're lacking....
-bill kenny

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