Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why vote?

"If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ~Mark Twain
royalty free photo

Election day: when they vote out the old batch of crooks and vote in the new batch of crooks.
Two years ago, everyone was sure that the Republicans were the problem, and the Democrats were the solution. Today, according to most of the polls I’ve seen, the majority are sure the problem is the Democrats, and folks are voting the bums out.

We are going to get some real change this time, yessiree!

Pardon me if I don’t share your enthusiasm.

Michigan had a vote on a proposed amendment to their state constitution. “The proposed constitutional amendment would make a person ineligible for election or appointment to any state or local elective office or to hold a position in public employment in this state that is policy-making or has discretionary authority over public assets, if:
  • within the preceding 20 years, the person was convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust; and
  • the conviction was related to the person’s official capacity while holding any elective office or position of employment in local, state or federal government.”
You mean, they didn’t already have a law against crooks running for office? Apparently not.
Let’s recap:
  • Richard Nixon; 
  • John Edwards; 
  • Rod Blagojevich; 
  • Eliot Spitzer. And lest we forget:
  • Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) Resigned when confronted with allegations of “financial improprieties.” Seems he ‘forgot’ to declare $75,000 of income, among other things.
  • Mark Kirk (R-IL) apologized for lying about his military record including the claim that he came under fire while over Iraq and received the "Best Intelligence Officer” Award.
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) currently serving as state Attorney General of Connecticut and candidate for the US Senate, was found to have lied about military service in Vietnam. He was never deployed to Vietnam
  • Susan Ralston (R) Special Assistant to President Bush and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff. 
  • Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist with close ties to the Republican administration was found guilty of bribing government officials and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
  • Mark Sanford, (R) Governor of South Carolina, famously lied that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when in fact he was busy misusing state funds to cheat on his wife. His approval rating has gone UP in the aftermath.
Are you familiar with the concept of community responsibility? Everyone wants credit when things go right, but no one wants blame when they go wrong. When the miners were pulled up from that hole in the ground in Chile, there wasn’t one hero; all of the thousands of individuals involved in the rescue can take credit, and well they should. But by that same principle, how many people were responsible for the BP oil spill in the Gulf?
When a politician does something that seems like it might do some good, (I realize this is theoretical; I can’t give you an example of a politician doing anything worthwhile) everyone wants to claim that he’s ‘their man in Washington’ or wherever. But when they mess up, nobody voted for them.

Well, if you vote, you did vote for them. They represent you. Even if you voted against them, if you voted at all, you supported the system. You bear some responsibility for what your politicians do.

To read another of my columns on a similar subject, click here. 
Feel free to leave a polite comment. Comments containing links or derogatory remarks will be deleted. 
 Bill K. Underwood is a columnist and author of several books. You can support this channel by clicking on this link to Amazon.com.

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