cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Election season always brings out the worst in some candidates, and, once in a while, the best in a few. The ‘worst’ is not always a matter of someone lying about another candidate. It often is simply that one candidate takes something out of context and then runs with it as if it were said or written as that candidate would have us believe. The reality is usually not at all like the purported rendition in the campaign’s commercials and press releases.
Among those occurrences is the matter of one candidate not specifically stating that he wouldn’t drill for oil in Lake Michigan. The incumbent’s campaign team has been giving us that mischaracterization for a couple of weeks. Even though the abused person in this instance has clarified his actual response to the question that is being used to smear him, the opponent has benefitted in some way from the distortion.
In another case, the record of budgets generated without tax increases has been blurred by the recitation that the actual budgets passed contained tax increases. We are supposed to be gullible enough to not recognize that the voting body overruled the recommendation of the budget drafter when it voted to pass an increased budget that included tax increases. And some of us are that gullible.
Politicians wonder why they are, in general, typically viewed with so much distrust but seem to forget that each election season gives us ample reason to re-form that opinion.
The opinion of Congress has been at a virtually all time low in public polls, and yet the majority of incumbents will be re-elected; and, that has happened almost since the beginning of the last century or earlier. We want to “throw the bums out” and yet we seem to think our particular elected official is okay.
So we wait for the fall elections. Some would tell us that the party currently out of power will take over the Governor’s position and the majority in both our Assembly and Senate. If that comes to pass, then the new party in power will have carte blanche in re-forming the voting districts based upon the 2010 census. That is a plum for whichever group has the votes since the re-districting will go a long way to determining which party will hold the power for the coming decade.
Beyond all this hoopla lies the question of voter ID. We are to believe that there is no abuse at the polls, or at least not sufficient abuse as to require people to carry ID when they go to the polls. Yet, we are required to produce ID for many things already and no one seems disenfranchised as the result. The party that decries this abuse of elderly and minorities has hidden behind that façade for years. If the opposition party gains the Governorship and the majority in both state chambers, I suspect we’ll see an effort to require voter ID.
We live in a state where there are fewer shenanigans during elections than is the case in other states. It would not hurt us, however, to need to remember our ID when we go to the polls. And it would not hurt the elderly or the minorities either. That old plaint has no merit.