The best thing about this week is that, after tomorrow, Election Frenzy will be over. For better or worse, the reins of power will be handed over to new stewards - as always, for the time being. Until the next election.
The right to vote is one of the precious treasures we, in our Representative Democracy, tend to take for granted. Fewer and fewer people, it seems, exercise that right; and that is a shame, for so many men and women died to protect that particular freedom.
The tone of many campaigns, however, seems to have taken on an especially vicious and nasty air. Some years ago, candidates and their political machinery discovered that negative campaigning - depite people’s halfhearted protests against it - is extremely effective. And so it has become an ever-growing feature of the political landscape. Rather than sell themselves, candidates more and more often resport to slinging mud at their opponents. It’s reminiscent of the old joke in which a Russian peasant, given a magical chance to have whatever his heart desires, wishes that his neighbor’s mule drop dead. In Georgia, gubernatorial candidates Sonny Perdue and Mark Taylor have both put out reprehensible campaign materials - Taylor probably more than Perdue, as he lacks the warm, golden patina of the incumbent. But the dirt flies at all levels, and frankly, I find it more than tiresome.
And so, I announce the Elisson Policy of Voter Responsibility.
If you, or any organization that supports your candidacy, put forth even a single negative campaign advertisement, I will not vote for you.
Whether or not I vote for your opponent, of course, will depend on his or her capabilities, past performance, and positions on the issues. If necessary, I will write in a candidate.
It looks like I’ll be voting Libertarian in the Georgia governor’s race, since both major party candidates have shown themselves to be churlish assholes of questionable honesty. Fuck ’em. Fuck ’em both.
Going negative may be effective, but not with me. No longer. And though I represent but a single vote, it is my vote, and my conscience. And - who knows? - perhaps others will follow my example.
Go negative and lose my vote. It’s that simple.