As the mid-term elections draw near, many disaffected voters are having a hard time deciding how to express their frustration with the current two-party system. Many voters, myself included, cannot find a reason to vote for one party over the other because in many cases they are the same. Both are beholden to special interests. Both make promises they do not keep or claim to be for this or for that but when it comes time to cast a hard vote, a vote that will have consequences, they make their choice based on how it will favor them in the next election rather than keeping their word to the people who sent them to Congress in the first place. Or, voting a particular way because it is simply the right thing to do. I can respect an elected official who I disagree with on a certain issue, as long as he/she can explain, without regard to political favor, why he/she voted that particular way. Reason should always be part of the answer, but more often than not, it is simply to curry favor with one group or another, to keep the farmers happy, to attract more "minorities", to be "tough on crime", continue to fight the failed war on drugs, and so on an so on. The list is endless.
In contrast, there are many who do not wish to curry favor from the government trough but simply ask that government treat EVERYONE fairly so that they can attempt to find the "pursuit of happiness" that mankind has sought for so long. Sigh.
I supported Chris McDaniel in the Miss. Republican Senate primary because I felt he represented a change in the current status quo. I do not agree with his positions on every point, especially his stance on immigration and religion. As I saw it, Chris is something different, if you will, than the current political "industry." A different type of animal. He personally promised he would not stay in Congress longer than two senate terms. I took him at his word on that and expected him to keep his promise. What a concept, eh?
Needless to say, after the alleged "crossover" vote debacle, I will not be supporting Mr. Cochran and the political elitists who run his campaign. Now, I have no issue with the individual voter who voted for Thad. They have a right to vote according to their conscience and for me that is enough. End of discussion.
But wait, if you vote for a 3rd party or don't vote you are only helping the Democrats and they are Satan incarnate, say the political geniuses on talk radio. Well, at least it will be someone different. 40 years is a REALLY long time. If a Democrat had been in Thad's seat for 40 years, I'd be making the same argument. Mr. Childers is not like a Democrat from Maine or Washington state, so could he really be so bad? He actually wants to do something on immigration and not stand around and pretend that the problem is going to fix itself while each side blames the other for causing the problem. But, but, but (insert dramatic pause) if we lose Thad, who is going to make sure Miss gets its "fair share" of federal money? This is a trick question because we all know that is code for someone to make sure Miss. keeps it place in line at the federal soup kitchen. So, if you are persuaded by that loosely defined logic I have some other important revelations that you might want to note: That "free" federal cheese sure is tasty! Two plus two is five. There really is such a thing as a free lunch after all. It's just fine to rob Peter to pay Paul. I could do this all day!
Ah, the Cassandra cries sans cesse!
Back to Travis. Has anyone sat down and wrote out how the two are different, substantively? Has there been a debate? (uh, no). Without a debate, I can't be sure that Travis would be good or bad. I guess the party elite expect us to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, party affiliation. You mother was right when she told you not to judge a book by its cover. So listen to your mother! She is always right!
So, there should always be at least 3 candidates on any statewide or federal election. That way, if you do not like the slop you are being fed from the Donkeys and Elephants, you can express your hope that the "big money pork" at the heads of both parties might actually consider you relevant. Face it folks, you are only relevant to them if they can count on you for your vote. If you start asking them to keep their word, well,. . . . . you see, that's a different animal altogether. Chapeau! to Orwell for the animal metaphors. You really do get the government you deserve.
James P. Tinsley