Monday, December 11

I'm not going to vote for a . . .

I've seen and heard this phrase a few times in articles online and elsewhere. Republicans stating they would never vote for a Democrat as though that was something evil or might cause unrelenting harm or some other unimaginable catastrophe. Ditto the other way: Democrats forswearing the possibility of ever voting for a Republican. Really? How ridiculous.

Granted, I held that point of view when I was younger. I'd vote straight down the party line. Then I got older and a little smarter and started examining what people actually stood for. I read about their messages and I checked on their past work. I realized their campaign promises are really PR statements to put themselves in the best possible light to get elected but that those promises can be hard to keep when faced with the reality of the structure of government and all those other people in government who may have other ideas. Yea, reality bites.

So I have voted for Democrats and I have voted Republicans. As a private citizen I don't have to defend my vote as I might if I represented the party, but I'd hope that ANYONE would vote for whoever is the best person for that constituency.

What I fear is that the challenge for voters remains the quality of the candidates. We saw that in the presidential election. I think many people voted purely along party lines. I think some Republicans who might not have wanted to vote for Trump simply could not vote for Clinton. I get that. Many of my friends and colleagues commented that would, in effect, "hold their noses and vote for one or the other." Not a great commentary of the quality of the candidates.

Alabama seems to face the same situation tomorrow. For Republicans, they can vote Republican and alleged sexual predator or vote for a Democrat, which probably makes them cringe as though it was some horrible disease. Sheesh. Grow up. Is Doug Jones the "better" candidate? The question is who will do the best job for Alabama. Does Moore's record indicate he will do the best job for all of Alabama? What about Jones? Is he interested in serving all of the constituencies in Alabama or he is more interested in his own agenda? My sense is that Moore is about himself and his own agenda.

This election has become about so much more than the Alabama senate slot. It's a referendum on candidate quality, on the way each party tries to manipulate and control the way can vote, and on the way states try to manage the way voters can vote. It is a referendum on how much voters really care and believe their votes matter. After all, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but was slain in the Electoral College. Voters can have a reason to believe that party leadership doesn't care about what their constituents--their employers--think.

Republican or Democrat, in Alabama's senate election or any election, do the right thing and vote the person who will do the best work for all of you. Sure, you want someone who will protect your interests, but what if much of your interests depend on those of others? Think locally, but live globally, especially if that globe is your state.

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