Thursday, February 18, 2016

Do You Know Who You Are Voting For?

I am voting today (via absentee ballot) for Elisabeth Gray for US President - in the Texas Republican Primary.

I know almost nothing about Elisabeth Gray, though I have been somewhat obsessively trying to find out anything I can about her. (I call her Liz now.)

How can I vote for someone about whom I know so little?

Ask yourself, how many times have you voted for candidates about whom you know nothing? Have you ever voted for a straight party ticket? Then I dare say there were several candidates on that ballot, especially for so-called "lower offices," about whom you knew nothing. You probably didn't even know their names.

The problem with candidates for "lower offices" is that they eventually ascend to "higher offices." So you (and I and everyone in the country) gets stuck with a slate of flawed candidates for President or Senate, selected by self-appointed power barrons, who have nothing going for them except they held "lower offices" (and lots of campaign cash).

I have seen how candidates are selected in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms (or maybe vape-filled rooms now). I have worked behind-the-scenes in a political campaign, and the way they are funded, the way messages are developed, ain't confidence-inspiring. (My candidate won the primary and lost the general, and that was enough inside politics for me. At least until now.)

I thought at one time of becoming a candidate myself. Just get on the ballot for a lower office no one pays any attention to. Then not campaign at all. Spend no money or time. People might see the name Adams and think they know me ... and trust me.  Maybe they would confuse me with someone else and vote for me by mistake. Maybe my name would appear high on the candidates list, increasing my chances. (There's a candidate for US President who filed under the name AAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAA, apparently presuming candidates are listed alphabetically.)

Some will accuse me of wasting my vote on a candidate who has no chance of being elected. In fact, anyone who does not vote for the eventual winning candidate is "wasting" their vote. And then, regardless of who wins, we all seem to lose.

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