Let’s Get Political

On the state level, anyway.

And, I’m sorry, but when I go back and read that title, I’m hearing Olivia Newton-John singing it in my head. Anyone else having that issue? I hope it’s just me.

I hate politics. Mostly, I hate politicians. Most of that hatred stems from a personal view of how they do their jobs. Or don’t, in most cases.

The way I see things (and, please, feel free to try and change my mind), the people we elect to public office are chosen by us, the people, to serve us, the people. However, that’s not really how it works, is it?

I mean, sure, we still elect these public officials and they assume the roles of delegate, representative, senator, etc. But once they’re in office, who are they really serving? You’d have a hard time convincing me that the answer isn’t either themselves or the political party with which they are affiliated.

Running an election campaign is ridiculously expensive. It shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t allow it to be. However, that is the way it is. You can’t really run a successful campaign, unless you are already independently wealthy, or you have incredible donations coming in from individuals and/or corporations. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. Right?

The problem I see with these donations is that the people donating their money tend to want something in return. Because that’s how the world works. I give you money, I receive goods and/or services. Since politician aren’t producing a tangible object that they can hand out to their constituents, they’re expected to provide certain services.

I really don’t have a full grasp on how it all works. Are organizations outside of a certain candidate’s jurisdiction able to make donations? If so, I feel like that’s a completely different can of worms.

Ugh… This was meant to be a post about the upcoming election in November. I got off track because I hate politics. Hence, the rant.

Anyway, since I moved and changed my voter registration, I haven’t really heard what’s going on this November. I mean, I know Election Day is coming. I have it marked on my calendar. Because it’s a non-student day at school, so I don’t have to work that day. Very exciting.

I know I’m registered. I know where I’ll need to go to vote. I just don’t know what my ballot is gonna look like.

Who is running for what?

I knew it wouldn’t be anything national. So I Googled. Turns out, the only elections happening for where I now live are for my district’s state senator and representative to the Virginia House of Delegates.

The delegate who is up for re-election is running unopposed. So I guess he’s got my vote.

The current state senator is another story. Senator John Edwards is a democrat from Roanoke who has served in his office since 1996. He has been elected and re-elected to the same seat seven times.

Let that sink in. SEVEN.

Here’s something you may not realize about me. I believe that term limits should be a thing. We limit how long a president can chill in the White House, but we let the actual lawmakers in this country keep on running for the same office over and over, potentially until the day they die. It’s like giving them infinite lives. It’s cheating.

You know how I said earlier that I feel like politicians serve themselves and/or their political party? When they run, they say whatever they need to say to get themselves elected. Once they’re there, they don’t give a crap about you or me. All they care about is holding on to their specific office. Either for themselves the next they need to run, or for the next person coming along in their party.

That’s why nothing ever really changes in this country. Because we have had the same representatives in the house and the same senators for. e. ver.

I know that’s not 100% true. That’s an exaggeration. But not really much of one.

Judging by how long Roanoke’s Senator Edwards has been in office, things don’t seem that different in the Commonwealth, either.

He is not running unopposed this time. There’s an independent named Steven Nelson who has thrown his hat in the ring. When I first came across his name, I thought, “Great! But what do you stand for Steven?”

I found an article from The Roanoke Times from June 12 that gives us a little more background on Mr. Nelson. But not much, really. Reading through the article, I don’t get much in regards to Nelson’s political beliefs. What’s he for? What’s he against?

Basically, he said he’s running because he thinks Edwards has been in his position for far too long and it’s time for a change. Looking at it that way, Nelson’s not wrong. He pointed out that in the two decades since Edwards was first elected, he’s done very little to improve Interstate-81, the worst stretch of road in the world, running through the Roanoke Valley.

My temptation is to vote for him solely for the reason of putting someone new in the senate.

But then I read this quote: “…I vow to make southwest Virginia great again.” Ugh. Come on, Steven. You have to know the connotations that will come with making a statement like that.

Look, I have no political loyalties. If a democrat makes the most sense in an election and I think that’s the right person for the job, that’s who I’ll vote for. If a republican makes the most sense in an election and I think that’s the right person for the job, that’s who I’ll vote for. If an independent makes the most sense… you get it.

I don’t necessarily have anything against Senator Edwards. I’m pretty sure I went to high school with his daughter. But I agree with Nelson in believing he’s been in office for too long. Even if he has managed to change the face of southwest Virginia for the better, 20 years is just too long. But I don’t want to just hand my vote to this unknown independent candidate without knowing what he really stands for. For all I know, he could get his jollies by tossing puppies off the roof of his house. I’m sure he doesn’t do that, but how would I know… he just wants to make southwest Virginia great again.

So I guess I have some thinking to do and I have a decision to make when November 5 rolls around. Do I have to vote for the guy who’s running unopposed? Can I just leave that one blank? He’s gonna win anyway.

Feature Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Let’s Get Political

  1. The guy that’s going unopposed will have empty fill-in boxes probably where you can write in a candidate, but no, you don’t have to vote for him. Legally, you can vote for one candidate or initiative only and it still counts. I am sure there is more to what Johnson or whoever stands for. You just need to find it. His slogan leads me to believe he is a Trump supporter. I also vote like you. For, whom I believe will do the best job regardless of Party. By doing so, I discovered I was mainly voting Independent; so I am now Registered as one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Dropping Out | The Confusing Middle

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