In two days the mid-term elections finally arrive. So much talk, so many mailings, so many candidates. With so many offices up for grabs, how is a person to know who to vote for. Frankly for me, most of the time I have no idea. I have a general idea, but I really don’t know for sure.
Some elections are easier than others for me including President, governor, senators, and city council, but for some of the obscure races it can be like throwing a dart on the wall. I look back on some of the candidates I voted for when I was young, and wonder, what was I thinking.
I remember being captivated in 1952 watching the presidential political conventions. I was only 8 years old but I couldn’t stop watching it on TV. So many people walking around, so many side conversations, people not listening while someone was talking, everybody was from the “great state of wherever” casting their votes for somebody, adding the votes, and then deliberations in a backroom somewhere, and then they’d do another vote. Lots of cigars and cigarette smoke with signs all over the place.
Ultimately it came down to Dwight Eisenhower vs Adlai Stevenson. I would have voted for Stevenson which would have been my first mistake ever in voting, with many more to follow. I once heard if you are in your 20’s and you don’t vote liberal, there is something wrong with you. And if you are in your 40’s and don’t vote conservative, there is something wrong with you. I didn’t really get it until I was in my 40’s.
I also heard “how can you complain, if you don’t vote”. My problem is still not knowing for sure who to vote for in those ‘less than sexy’ races. My dilemma is if I don’t vote for those more obscure contests, then how can I complain, and considering I like to complain, I am compelled to vote.
So over the years I have come up with some voting guidelines that work for me when I’m not sure who to vote for:
- Vote for the new candidate, not for the incumbent. There is always that element of hope with a new person.
- Choose a female over a male. Sounds sexist, that’s because it is. Men seem to screw things up more than women.
- Vote for a name that I can pronounce. Can’t go wrong voting for anyone named ‘Donald’ as in Duck, as long as he is not running against a woman, unless the woman is an incumbent. Yes, it does get tricky at times, but it’s not that difficult.
- Vote for the candidate that is ‘easy on the eyes’. Even if what they are saying makes no sense, it’s more enjoyable watching them say it.
- Choose a non-attorney over an attorney. There is a reason the United States has 10% of the world’s population and 90% of the world’s attorneys, and it’s not because they are effective leaders.
- Never vote to retain judges. When bad guys keep getting back on the streets, there is something wrong with the judicial system, and that something is likely the judges.
Finally, if you have to vote for a goofy-looking, male attorney, incumbent, with a bad haircut, make sure his name is ‘Bob’ because you can never go wrong voting for a guy named Bob.