With the totally anticlimactic presidential conventions behind us we turned our attention to the business of state level politics and the voters have, as they say, spoken. Everyone is an expert when it comes to reading the tea leaves that reveal the real reasons why the public voted this way or that, and a terrific industry has been built around telling us, the voter, why we voted the way we did. Interesting….and so imprecise that any opinion will do for now…..so bear with me as I join the ranks of those who pretend to make sense of the latest vote.
Whether you like him or not, the “Trump Effect” is alive and well. Folks are are fed up with being fed up and the primary results are reflecting this uneasiness. We have our own fish to fry in Missouri, but the voters in our neighboring state to the west showed an easily discerned shift to a moderate preference. Good for you Kansas, as the polarization in our country has reached a level that tests credibility. A moderate approach to virtually everything, other than hand to hand combat, is in the best interests of our country. In our own gubernatorial race, we have a transformed Republican running against a transformed Democrat, one of which touts his lack of political experience. Surely both of these candidates crossed the moderate line in finding their respective political orientation. One can only hope.
Locally, two incumbent sheriffs have been tossed from office by experienced lawmen who are promising the “change” thing, ever popular these days. Rick Fajen, the Benton County Sheriff, was defeated by one of his former deputies as was Dwight Franklin, here in Camden County. Their opponents ran positive campaigns and represent a change to something, maybe not easily defined, but welcomed by the voters. The “Trump Effect” is in the air…….believe it.
The President has escalated the nastiness associated with national campaigns with his sharp attacks on Mr. Trump. Again, whether you like him or not, when you throw a punch at the Republican nominee, you should expect a flurry of counter punches. The President is desperate to protect his legacy, and knows full well he must have Hillary to accomplish this nefarious objective. Many years ago, I attended a presentation by James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, at Jesse Auditorium on the Mizzou campus. The take away from this presentation by these two political operatives was that, in America, we are escalating the the nastiness in our political world to the point where only Saints can escape the viciousness of the campaigns. This husband and wife team got it back in the mid 90s and were, indeed, prophetic. You may not, but I prefer leadership that has had it’s skirts or coat-tails in the mud……perfection is the province of one that I am aware of, and he is much smarter than to run for something.
A final thought. The voter turnout in this primary season was low, very low. While you may think of your vote as insignificant, it is not. If we are to respond to the pulse of America, our state and our county, we must have the opinion of as many folks as we can. If you sat this one out…………you handed the decision making responsibility to your goofy neighbor up the street. The next round, in November, is critical to each of the political subdivisions we exist within. Don’t pass on this opportunity to add to the collective wisdom that is America.