Today was the big day: mid-term elections. This season strikes me as a little humorous every time it comes along. Maybe it’s because all the local guys campaign so hard for their position as county commissioner, or farmer’s general advocate or whatever. They work so hard, spend so much time and money to win a position that most people have no idea about. Myself included. I readily admit I voted for people I had never heard of for positions which influence entirely unknown parts of my life.
Scoff if you will, but you probably did it, too. When it comes down to voting, it’s a great privilege. A gift, one which we should all take seriously, but the way the whole mess is setup, it’s difficult not to step back and laugh just a little. First of all, in the year 2010, I cannot update my voter registration electronically. I must submit a piece of dead, crushed, dried tree via hand-delivered means some 3 weeks in advance, or I can’t vote close to my neighborhood. Instead, I have to drive to the next city over, where I used to live, and vote in the sanctuary of a volunteering church. Whereupon, I must, because I failed to complete one piece of dead tree, fill out a different piece of dead tSree, which will then move my polling location to my new residence.
But, I logged into the TXDOT website a few weeks ago, entered some identifying information, and received a new drivers license about 2 weeks later. Sure, my licensure to hurtle myself around a one-ton piece of metal at 70 miles an hour can be updated with a few clicks, but not my polling location. What’s up with that? Heck, even the banks, which are notorious for requiring valid ID, proof of address, hair, urine, and sperm samples will let you open up a new bank account online, in just 10 short minutes!
But, rest assured: when I arrive at my polling location, they have the most state-of-the-art voting equipment! Touch-screens, big electronic keys to input the correct data to make sure the vote is accurate and legitimate. But only after I had to drive a town over and put some marks on some dead trees. Holy anachronisms, Batman!
In any event, the whole election process seems less about choosing the best candidate for any given job. Here in Texas, every single one of the candidates for governor were terrible. I mean, absolutely every one of them. There was a libertarian, and a green party candidate, both of whom were pretty much running for governor of the twilight zone. Then there were to two major parties: the incumbent republican, who has already served two useless terms, and a Democratic former mayor of Houston. Of the two, the choice largely seemed to be akin to choosing which bump on a log might prove more useful in bludgeoning someone.
One the one hand, we have a comfortable, lazy man who has done next to nothing in the last 10 (T-E-N) years to improve the state of Texas education, which languishes far behind most of the rest of the country. On the other, we have a guy who promises to increase education funding. Maybe. A little. Maybe. You know, we’ll just see how it goes. And maybe something about more law enforcement at the border? I don’t know. We’ll just play it by ear.
So there you have it. Your choices for Texas governor. You get to choose not who will be good at the job, but who will be less bad. Being unable to decide, I must admit I found myself in quite the quandary. Who to choose? The old guy who’s had 10 years but done nothing, or the other old guy who can’t even commit to strong rhetoric in his campaign? In the end, I went for a write-in. Please hold your applause until he’s sworn into office, but I think my vote may have finally put Justin Bieber into political office.