Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vote for Me Because He's No Good

Okay, Dear Readers, I know you're tired of listening to me pontificate about the sad state of politics in America, my complete and utter loss of faith in both major parties, and the empty-headed bloviation of tea party wingnuts and other ass-clowns on both fringes of the political spectrum. About the only hole bigger than the crater where my retirement savings used to be is the monumental, slime-bedewed sinkhole of electoral politics.

There's an adage that says when you've hit bottom, you should stop digging. The Democrats have obviously not heard this adage or, if they have, they've chosen to grandly ignore it in classic Republican fashion. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you saw that I posted a link to this article yesterday: Democrats to Voters: You May Hate Us, but the Republicans Are Worse.

As ringing endorsements of a political position go, that one's a true classic worthy of study by future analysts of hard-fought political campaigns. It certainly makes me want to run right out and vote for my favorite candidate ...

One of the things that drives me absolutely crazy is the "attack ad," in which a political candidate wastes 60 seconds of your time with a campaign ad which explains in great detail (with appropriate special effects and musical accompaniment) what a drunken, spouse-beating, non-church-going, inept, useless, all-around waste of skin his (or her) opponent is ... but somehow manages to tell you absolutely nothing about what he (or she) stands for, supports, opposes, or would do if elected. At the end of an ad like that, all you know about this candidate is that that candidate is a useless slimeball.

Closely related to the attack ad is the door-to-door campaign visit, generally conducted by earnest young people who believe their candidate is the only thing standing between civilization as we know it and the utter ruin represented by (insert name of opposing candidate here). My experience has been that most of these door-to-door pests know nothing about their candidate that isn't in their script. They have no clue what positions she (or he) takes on issues other than the very broadest ones, and can't tell you what policies he (or she) would pursue or support if elected. They can't discuss budget priorities, fiscal trade-offs, or much of anything else. All they do is soak up oxygen that could be better used by my plants.

So ...

If you are a political campaign worker in the Northern Virginia area and are planning to either call me or appear on my doorstep to flack for your candidate, don't waste your time unless you are ready to answer these five minimum questions:

1. What does your candidate bring to office that the opponent doesn't? What are his/her qualifications that would convince me to vote for him/her? No credit for "we need change," "I can do better," or "my opponent is a bum" - tell me exactly why I should believe your guy is worth my vote.

2. What specific projects and programs does your candidate support? No credit for "stop illegal immigration" or "put Americans back to work." What - specifically - does your guy propose to do to achieve those ends?

3. What items in the current budget does your candidate support cutting in order to pay for them? No credit for any non-specific answer ... "cutting fat" and "getting rid of fraud and waste" are meaningless and simply tell me your guy doesn't have any original ideas.

4. Does your candidate believe the answer to every problem is cutting taxes? Good-bye, try next door. Taxes are how the government raises the money to operate, and the Constitution specifically grants the power to impose taxes (see Section 8 and the Sixteenth Amendment). Instead, tell me about the spending programs you'd be willing to cut to help balance tax income with spending outlays. See #3 above.

5. Does your candidate believe the answer to every problem is a new government spending program? Good-bye, try next door. If you can't tell me exactly how you propose to pay for it, or why it's better than doing nothing, you have no clue. See #3 above.

If you are going to call or visit me on behalf of a candidate and you can't intelligently address these five questions for starters, don't waste my time and yours. Oh, and I hang up on robo-calls, so don't bother.

Unlike corporations or political action committees, I don't have the money to buy an election. I have one vote, and I need to make the best decision I can on how to invest it. If you can't convince me to invest it in you, you need to stay in your current line of work ... or, if you're the incumbent, you need to start polishing your resume.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I did my Things That Annoy: The Political Edition over at Wenches a few days ago....

Chrissy said...

Great Post. I am currently trying to etch some of these questions into my brain - for when someone knocks on my door. I'd like to hear some of these questions answered as well.

On a side note - i used to work for a HUGE corporation...and i quit shortly after the ceo sent out a company-wide email urging people to vote for Bush...because it would help Honestly.

KathyA said...

I don't think I can stand another two months of the sticking pins in little animals ads -- EVERYONE has a right to his/her own opinion HOWEVER, no one has the right to make up facts. Even worse is the taken out of context statement.

And another thing... I hate it when people manning the polls approach me as I'm going to vote. If I haven't made up my mind by that time, I shouldn't be there.

Mike said...

I would like to see a law passed to where at least you couldn't use pictures of your opponent in your campaign ad.

John A Hill said...

re Mike's comment: Fox News is suing Missouri's Democratic Nominee for the Senate, Robin Carnahan, for using a clip of an interview with her opponent (Roy Blunt) in one of her ads.

The clip from Fox News doesn't portray their Republican candidate in a very good light.