Will it be November Fools Day?

Published 10:34 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Having been a political observer for years I can say I do not recall a year like 2010.

Yes, both parties tell us every election is the crucial election of our lives and voting for them is our only salvation.

Unfortunately governing never seems to work out to be either quick or easy, and even serious change must plough though archaic congressional rules, lobbyist’s promises and partisan bickering.

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The wonder of it all is that anything ever gets accomplished.

But the voters have, more or less, tried over the years to find highly qualified accomplished citizens who have had a measure of success in life to run for office and lend their strength to the nation.

It has not worked out too badly creating the most prosperous nation in the history of nations.

But this year that formula, the qualified candidate, seems more than ever a highly questionable commodity. A few cases in point:

Alvin Greene is South Carolina Democratic Senator candidate. Greene has been indicted for felony obscenity charges, is jobless, and thinks it a great idea to raise money by asking people to but bobble headed dolls of his face.

In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell is, to the best of my knowledge, the first ever announced anti-masturbation candidate and the first candidate to run a political ad proclaiming she is not a witch. Ms. O’Donnell is also jobless and has various financial clouds in her past too numerous to mention.

In Alaska, Joe Miller is running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate. No, that’s not right; he is running as a Republican Tea Party candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Joe recently confessed to lying about his use of computers at his previous government job, where he was suspended and completed a re-orientation program to return to work.

Joe has said he believes unemployment compensation to be not constitutionally authorized.  Joe has hired militia related bodyguards who handcuffed a pesky reporter for asking annoying questions.

Rand Paul, a U.S. Senate candidate from Kentucky believes there is a secret plot to merge America with Canada and Mexico to form a North American Union. The plot includes construction of a 10-lane north/south highway to connect the countries.

Bill Randall, a congressional candidate from North Carolina believes the U.S. government colluded with BP to create this past summers’ oil spill.

Sharron Angle, Nevada Senatorial candidate has suggested a Second amendment solution if conservatives do not prevail in the electoral process.

Rich Lott, an Ohio congressional candidate is known for wearing a Nazi Storm Trooper uniform on his weekends because he admires the Nazi military efficiency.

Maybe other elections have had their share of the silly, the funny and the truly unqualified as well, but never so many at the same time as this year.

And more importantly, never before have supporters rushed to embrace their silly, insane and incompetent candidates with more enthusiasm.

When confronted with their candidates lamentable shortcomings all too often supporters argue “why not, the smart people have not succeeded.”

True enough, the best and the brightest have found the issues people care about hardly worth their congressional energy, all too often voting for the special interests who fund their campaigns, offer them lucrative jobs when their congressional service ends, and tell their congressional friends why the needs of the people are not worth serving.

Our political system is under great stress, and compromise, needed to govern effectively, seems out of reach right now.

But electing the dumb, the criminal, and the incompetent is not the answer.

Let’s not allow this election to be November Fool’s Day.

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Tribune and a former educator at Ohio University