My election plea: give me someone to vote for

My Patient Husband asked me, “Have you heard a reason to vote for any of the candidates?”

I said, “No. But I’ve heard plenty of reasons not to vote for any of them.”

Case in point: I received two slick flyers on two consecutive days proclaiming the following:

Congressman Incumbent Is A Scumbag!

The flyer proceeded to give several soundbites proving Congressman Incumbent’s scumbagginess, and it ended with an exhortation to take back our state from the Scumbag.

Lovely, huh? Nowhere on the first flyer was the name of his opponent. I’m supposed to just go into the booth and vote for ANYONE on the grounds that he or she is not Congressman Incumbent.

The same thing has happened in every other local race, and I won’t go into detail, but when my mother asked my husband what he thought of one particular race (a three-way) he said, “There’s no one to vote for. The first person’s campaign stole and released private documents from the second campaign proving that they were doing something illegal. The third person’s not only got no platform on anything, but he’s under investigation for {a specific crime} and the first person’s campaign is actually also under investigation for {a separate legal violation.}”

This is the problem: I won’t tell you the name of the last candidate I voted for, the last person I thought would actually do the things s/he said because that person had core beliefs about what was best for the nation and was willing to make sacrifices and compromises in order to accomplish those goals. But it hasn’t been in the last ten years, and it’s certainly not this year.

Please, please, give me someone to vote for.

I’m tired of choosing “the lesser of two evils.” That still puts me in the position of choosing evil, doesn’t it? I’m still stuck voting for people I can’t stand, whom I don’t believe, and whom I know won’t accomplish anything in their office.

I want to wake up on election morning wishing with all my heart that a certain person will win. I want to love a candidate enough to write him or her a check. I want to plan my whole day around my trip to the voting booth rather than working it in because it’s something I have to do, like visiting the dentist.

Please. Someone to vote for. I don’t want to hear that Congressman Incumbent is a scumbag. I want to hear that an amazing candidate will do his or her very best in representing the country.


  1. Diana

    hear, hear!

  2. cricketB

    In Canada we don’t vote for a candidate, we vote against them, despite what the ballot claims. Sounds like your choices are even worse than ours.

    1. philangelus

      Oh, man, I was hoping you guys had it better in Canada. That makes me sad.

  3. Ken Rolph

    We had a recent federal election in Australia. The campaign was so ridiculout that even the media stopped taking it seriously. They would show evening current affairs programs with long strings of clips of politicians all parroting the same catchphrases they got from their daily briefings. We have two major parties, but the end result of this last election was that neither of them won a clear majority. A whole slab of independents got elected. Not just in the senate where it is easier, but in individual House of Reps electorates, which are local. We didn’t know for a couple of weeks who was going to be our government. Strangely enough the country didn’t fall apart.

    We had those negative flyers not mentioning anything except who not to vote for. Our former prime minister tinkered with the idea of robotic calling with recorded messages. He got voted out of his own seat, only the second prime minister in our history to lose his own seat in an election.

    In NSW we are having an election next year. The current state government is in such a state of disarray that they know they are going down. A report on a current affairs program last week pointed out that 29 current members have decided not to contest their electorates next year. A really annoyed electorate can have a very cleansing effect.

    Of course we have a different system in Australia where everyone is expected to vote. That means that the politicians really do have to face the judgement of the people.

  4. Bystander

    Well, I can tell you who *not* to vote for: the crazy who doesn’t believe that government is there to do a good job. It’s crazy that there’s a whole political movement dedicated to the principle of doing as bad a job as possible yet expecting power. Definitely don’t vote for any anti-government would-be governers.

    As to the rest, politicians are people (which is to say short-sighted, imperfect and often excessively self interested yet able to be motivated to do deeds beyond what they would ever have thought possible) and there are no people problems that a good application of the checks and balances extant won’t cure. Vote for those people.

    Like it or not, politicians create the ecosystem within which we function and we serve ourselves very ill imagining the perfect person or no one. We get the person who razes our environment to the ground then.