Saturday, November 06, 2010


Thursday. in my favorite comic strip PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, rat, goat and pig were discussing Tuesday’s election results. Now pig, along with Larry the crock, is the really stupid character in the strip. Accordingly, rat asked goat ‘How does it feel to know his vote counts the same as yours?’ The way I see it, rat made a really good point.
Too many people in this country do not cast intelligent votes. Just look at how Obama got elected in spite of McCain’s far superior qualifications. Americans do not vote for the most qualified candidates, be they Democrats or Republicans. More often than not, they vote for candidates they can personally identify with. Blacks vote for black candidates, Latinos vote for Hispanic candidates, Jews vote for Jewish candidates, etc. even when their opponents are obviously more qualified.
If it’s not an identity vote, dumb voters will base their vote on the TV and radio ads which flood the airwaves or they will blindly follow the recommendations of their local newspapers without knowing anything else about the candidates. Others vote strictly along party lines even when some candidates are out and out kooks.
How do I feel that these stupid and ignorant votes count the same as those cast by intelligent voters? It really pisses me off!
A case in point. In Texas, each county is governed by the County Judge who presides over a County Commissioners Court which consists of four commissioners, each serving one of four county precincts. For the past eight years, Sylvia Garcia has served as the commissioner in my precinct and she has done a mighty fine job serving the people in her precinct. No incumbent Harris County (Houston) commissioner had lost an election since 1974, yet Garcia got booted out of office by an unknown first-time candidate.
Sylvia Garcia is a Democrat who had a huge name recognition advantage over her Republican challenger and she had a $1 million campaign chest to boot. Her opponent is a lawyer who no one ever heard of and who raised less than $20,000 for his campaign. His wife ran around with a homemade sign which read ‘Please vote for my husband.’ So how could an unknown candidate with hardly any campaign funds beat a well-known candidate with a huge war chest?
In EVERYTHING IN TEXAS IS BIGGER (10-19-10), I noted that the election ballot for Harris County had 175 candidates and propositions on it, including 70 judges. I wrote that such a jungle ballot prevents most voters from making intelligent choices in selecting many of the candidates. And I predicted that many voters would just vote a straight party ticket so they wouldn’t have to bother with making so many choices.

And that’s exactly what happened. Garcia, whose precinct is predominantly Republican, fell victim to a straight party-line vote.
And that’s why I’m pissed off that the ignorant vote of someone who doesn’t bother to take the time to make an intelligent choice counts the same as that of an intelligent voter.

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