Friday, September 23, 2011

Reader won't vote for Dems, GOP or me

This first appeared in the Tuscarawas County edition of the Bargain Hunter.
Last week’s commentary offered 11 observations in the form of questions, which were rhetorical in nature and not meant to be anything other than conversation starters.
They were the kind of questions that one might have while driving the car through town, or dining alone in a crowded restaurant, or quickly surfing the Web for news updates. They pop into your head, occupying your brain for just a little while. Quick hitters, I call them.

A couple of folks thought that I really wanted answers. One person, Jim, offered his devil’s-advocate “answers” underneath my commentary on the Bargain Hunter’s website.
I couldn’t figure out what would prompt him to take me on point by point until I got to his “answer” to my final question: “Have Republican Ron Paul’s supporters actually read his platform?”

“Again, whatever point you’re trying to make here is lost on me,” Jim wrote. “I’m a staunch Independent; refusing to vote for anyone who is a registered Democratic OR Republican. I believe the two-party system is what allowed corporate interests to hijack our political system. I feel MULTIPLE political parties are our only hope of restoring the country by making it too expensive to buy influence.

“I am also not a single-issue voter. I am wise enough to realize that no single candidate is likely to embody ALL my beliefs.

“That said, of the very disappointing group of Republicans currently in the race, I find Ron Paul the most interesting. I also tend to be pro-choice, neutral on unions, think the TSA is a reactionary, bureaucratic, waste of money that is NOT making our airports any safer, believe there needs to be environmental oversight that is somehow above influence, think home schooling is a pretty BAD idea and feel the Federal Reserve is being run by insiders and amateurs.”

I think Jim is angry. The only point I was trying to make was that Ron Paul, who is considered to be the godfather of the Tea Party movement, articulated a platform that dooms any chance of a successful candidacy.

We are, in fact, a nation of one-issue voters whether that issue is hope, or change, or guns, or abortion. And when half the country considers itself to be pro-choice, well, any candidate who is strongly pro-life has a tough road to the White House. (Paul wants to effectively repeal Roe vs. Wade and establish that life begins at conception.)

The successful candidate has to be in line with the majority on most issues. I’m not sure Paul with his contrarian views on any number of issues meets that test.

I’m also not sure the country needs more political parties. We do need responsible politicians who won’t get us in a pre-emptive war without a plan to pay for it, who will stop hurling rhetoric at opponents, and who worry more about us than their next bid for re-election.


A few weeks ago, a reader posted this comment:

“Farrell’s writing has always been on the mark. But his picture is either too small or the wrong pose; it make him look mean.”

Since then, several other readers commented about the picture that accompanies this commentary.

“It makes you look old,” said one woman. “You’re better looking than that. And you really don’t look that old in person.”

There’s unfortunate truism here. I am not photogenic. In fact, my senior pictures were so bad that even my mother didn’t want any. I destroyed the proofs.

The only evidence that I had any senior photos taken appears in the yearbook. That photo should have gone in the dictionary next to the word “dork.”

A photographer once told me that I look a lot better when the camera has a wide lens. So, I will look for someone who has a camera with a wide lens. I don’t want to look mean. Or like a dork.

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