Maybe it’s because I was so disenchanted with partisanship that I changed my voting registration a few years ago to nonaffiliated after years of being a Republican. I saw this mess coming.
Or maybe it’s because, in Carroll County the primary is the election, because the Democrats have trouble recruiting smart people to serve in public office. The best candidates are too smart to get into politics.
Anyway, I looked at the choices open to us on primary election day and found that there weren’t many candidate choices that address things that I really care about.
Another possibility is that because of the party-line smoke in all the pre-election campaign literature, it’s hard to know for sure what any candidate for office really can do, let alone wants to do, to keep the legislative processes in Maryland on track. I look at the usual blather and see nothing ahead but delays, derailments and train wrecks.
Try as I might I didn’t see a single suggestion from any potential office-holder on how to sort out priorities and work with those with different ideas to raise and spend my tax dollars to make it easier to get to Baltimore or Washington, for instance.
The Republicans are adamant that they won’t raise taxes. They signed the pledge. OK, that’s wonderful, but how are we going to pay the bills when prices keep going up and the interest on unpaid debt escalates?
I won’t vote for a candidate whose whole pitch is that they signed the pledge to not raise taxes. The Rabid Right tried to get me to sign that pledge when I ran for office and I told them to take a hike.
But then the Loony Left wouldn’t back a rational alternative to hauling trash from a local landfill that has a very finite lifespan and recycling it into clean electricity like they do in Europe and we are still without a long-term vision of how to deal with the waste that is collected from your garbage cans each week.
News item this week: China won’t take our trash any more. They have moved on to more advanced processes to curb pollution, so no more foisting off our plastic bottles and paper wrappings.
The conservatives watch the world in the rear-view mirror and the liberals can’t see beyond their slogans. Slogans do not make pragmatic policy.
But issues of infrastructure and the environment are not what people are talking about as this election season boils. What most people are looking for is someone who will promise to bring a stop to the scourge of modern life — the political robocall.
The money spent on campaign literature and signs could better be donated to community recreation or the library system.
Forums are useful, but the sheer numbers of candidates in some races makes them little more than an introduction and an opportunity for more platitudes.
Marketing and public relations and image are gold, and substance is pocket change. Ask any professional campaign consultant. It’s all about fooling most of the people most of the time. Why is that? Because it works.
Watching politics these days is like reviewing a course in retail or real estate sales. If the clients aren’t paying attention, say something outrageous. If your opponent scores a point of logic, seed doubt by attacking their credibility. If the customer raises a question about the hole in the roof, redirect their attention to the nice crown molding in the living room.
No answers to the real problem? Create chaos and blame it on the opposition.
Challenged to provide more answers and less puffery? Blame it on the media, or the opposition, or the previous administration.
The real fake news, meanwhile, is accepted by you via your Twitter, Facebook, TV ads and junk mail.
American democracy is broken.