Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Election 08: None of the Above

With the prospects looming once again for me to pick the "best of the worst" in what was becoming a Presidential election filled with vaudevillian players, in late 2007, I decided that I would probably vote for "none of the above."

My decision became final when Duncan Hunter exited the race. Though Congressman Hunter was not the perfect candidate, I was able to resonate with most of his positions and issues. While there is a myriad of reasons as to why Mr. Hunter's campaign failed, ultimately, I was left without a viable candidate to wholeheartedly support. While some have come close, at the end of the day. I would not accept "leftovers."

Some may say that perhaps my criteria are too stringent, or perhaps even unrealistic. I disagree, and suggest that prior to this race, I may have been too forgiving of those who have sought the highest elected office in our country.

It is a fact that the USA is falling quickly in the international education standings, especially in math and science. Despite what the politicians say, especially those still left in the current Presidential race, throwing money alone at this problem is not the principal answer to this problem. First and foremost we must be willing to accept our situation, then, we must be willing to enact serious change. Some of the modifications must include lengthening the school day, expanding the number of days attended per school year, increasing our expectations of students and teachers, and making yearly results of a given school as important as who won the annual homecoming football game.

While we stand on the precipice of this particular crisis, which of the three remaining candidates will propose this needed medicine to the American Federation of Teachers, related ancillary unions, and the taxpayers? If you know, of a viable candidate who is not purblind to this, please let me know so that I can actively campaign for this candidate!

While improving education is not the panacea to all of our problems, it is clearly a huge slice, and the key to our insuring that our children have the skills needed to compete in a global economy.

Candidates for office focus on issues of the moment. As of now, this primarily includes the economy, gas prices, food costs, Iraq, and healthcare. Of course, all of these things are fervid challenges, but should not the person seeking to be the leader of The Free World be talking about big picture issues as well? As an example, if somehow, someway we actually won back all of the factory jobs exported to, and currently being done in Asia for far less money, would this really sustain the next generation? As a business owner, I can say wholeheartedly and without reservation, no!

As a result of all this, if I could wave my magic wand, there would be a ballot choice on every voting machine in this Country for every race that would provide an option for me to vote for "none of the above." This change would certainly diminish the conversation regarding red and blue states. It would also make it crystal clear to the winner of a given race that not only don't you have a mandate over your rival, a huge "no confidence vote" has been cast, and that you can not wait until your second, and final term to possibly take on more systemic and far reaching problems.

Can we elevate this past a casual conversation and move it into reality? As a baby-boomer, who is an American first, a conservative second, a republican third, and always votes for the candidate without regard to party, I believe so.

Until there is a significant bouleversement to the current system, voters like myself will not abrogate our most important civic duty, but instead, will write-in a candidate this coming November, for better or worse.



Sara said...

I'm writing in Ron Paul.

Walter said...

If this gets any more bizarre, I'm with you!