Caution: Mise en garde, as they say in French. Warning! A frustrated person wrote this.
Election 2012! This year, I am finding the whole process, right down to the very last moment, sickening.
I get recorded calls daily from candidates, both Republican and Democrat. “We want your vote! No corruption in Olympia/D.C./Atlantis anymore!” Sharing gossip: “Did you know Mr. X missed the vote for the school levy?” And what of the robocall with barking dogs in the background?! Vote for Rover, endorsed by all Washingtonian canines! Suffice it to say that I hang up if a live person doesn’t answer right away.
Today, I got six mailers. They were biased, vicious, hateful (did I mention spiteful?) interpretations of candidates and possible new laws. Referendum 74, allowing marriage for same-sex couples, had a flier from a Christian couple who owned a wedding cake business. “One thing Approving R74 will do is give us more wedding cakes to bake for loving and committed couples”. Cause it’s all about you and your business, eh? Another one – “The Griffey Grift” opposing Dan Griffey. Okay, at first I thought it was about Ken Griffey, baseball phenom. But no. And I have no idea what position Mr. Grifffey is even gunning, I mean running, for. “Political Hack Drew MacEwen Should Have Left His Trash in Washington!” Drew and his family attended our church a couple of Sundays back. We prayed for him and his competitor, Linda Ring-Erickson, as a time to bless and encourage both candidates; it was not to take sides. I applaud our pastor for that. It was a nice break in the rhetoric. I got another mean-spirited one about Mr. MacEwen’s backing of Wall Street banks, insurance companies, foreign corporations and right-wing groups which will leave nurses, teachers, police and sheriffs bereft of support!
The last two were rah-rah for a couple of County Commissioner positions. Those are…okay. But still, mildly annoying.
Can I be frank? I *never* look at any of them. Except today, for this particular blog. What a waste of glossy colored cardstock! All of them will get recycled.
Because, it’s annoying. And petty, self-aggrandizing and wrong. Did I mention annoying?
I get it. I understand in this day and age it’s all about sell, sell, sell yourself, or be left behind as an unknown. I support free speech, too. And yet, it’s incredibly obnoxious, like the kid on your block who comes to your house every. Week. To sell. Something – pepperoni, magazine subscriptions, candy, floor wax…
You just want them to go away. You want to close the blinds, turn off the lights and lock the door. You will make up an errand, heck a vacation, to get away from them.
And what about the toxic ads on TV? You know, it’s an even bigger arena there. Presidential candidates get into the act. You have to be rich to pursue the presidency. It’s a given. So advertising on national television is no biggie, right? Pony up the cash and get ‘er done. “Obama isn’t really a U.S. citizen!” “Romney has a love child!” They lie freely about each other, and after a while, we start to believe the lies because we’ve heard them so often. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”
Jonathon told me about a story recently on NPR about two men running for mayor in a town populated by 12 people. That’s (12) twelve total. The incumbent mayor had been elected “mayor for life” and has served 30 or so years. A twenty-something young man, a resident of said town, didn’t think that was realistic, so he decided to run against him. Did I mention the two candidates are friends and they dine together on a regular basis? Each upholds the integrity and value of the other, while still espousing his particular vision for their small burg. Why can’t all elections be like this?
I admit I don’t know much about politics. I was, long ago, a registered Republican. I voted the way I thought my fellow Christians would want me to vote. I guess it amounted to submitting to perceived cultural peer pressure. But not anymore. I try to pray individually about the issues and vote Biblically, as best I can. Period. I will go through the voter’s pamphlet and review the issues. I will sift through the detritus to get to the nuts and bolts. I will vote. I will need no fanfare or mailer campaign to exercise my right to free speech. Because, at the end of the day, to quote one of my old bosses, that’s what it’s about. But November 6 can’t get here fast enough.