While the selection of candidates may not be all that appealing here this year, at least we have a few choices, and I am at least proud of the work I’ve done as a voter.
With my sample ballot as a guide, I’ve been taking trips to each candidate’s website, determined this year to vote for people, not parties, substance, not style. It takes a little work to get past the bluster and the BS, but you can find a few people worth voting for this cycle.
I wish I could be as proud of the political process, but Americans seem to remain firmly entrenched in their respective Partisanvilles, and as the big day approaches, things just get uglier. And weirder.
For instance, I’m sure everyone by now has seen the horrifying video of Rand Paul supporter Tim Proffit stomping on the head of MoveOn.org activist Lauren Valle in Kentucky. Now I’m no fan of the MoveOn group, but I believe we’re taking our zeal a bit too far when we start stomping on the heads of young women.
In Ohio, meet Rich Iott, candidate for Congress. Iott used to like to get together occasionally with a few of his buddies and dress up in Nazi SS uniforms. They did it out of admiration for the German soldier and because they were history buffs, they said.
I love history, that of World War II in particular. Most history buffs usually enjoy studying the history of warfare. But I’ve never gotten re-enactments. When I was 10, we used to dress up in old surplus uniforms and pretend to shoot each other, when we weren’t playing cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. Kids don’t understand the realities of what they’re mimicking.
Grown men are different, and the purpose of grown men re-enacting the horrors of war, no matter what the historic significance, is lost on me. And to create an entire club dedicated to donning a uniform of such evil is ludicrous.
You would think Nazis would be the one thing we could all agree on, that a candidate who expresses even the tiniest admiration of the SS soldier should be universally rejected. But nope, no less of a big gun than John Boehner is going to campaign for Iott on Saturday. That’s soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner, if you believe the polls.
Republicans aren’t having all the fun, however. In Florida, incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson can lay claim to one of the most misleading, underhanded political ads in this or any election.
Grayson’s ad took the words of Republican opponent Daniel Webster and gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “taken out of context.” According to the ad, Webster is a misogynistic ally of no less than the Taliban. Clips of Webster seemingly saying, “Submit to me” to women are actually a sleazy edit job on a speech Webster gave in which he was talking about Bible verses. He actually said, “Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’” But I guess the Grayson campaign overlooked that little detail.
And in Delaware, of course, resides the largest nut in the bowl, Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who dabbled in witchcraft, thinks scientists have cross-bred humans and animals and may have missed the question on her high school civics test about what’s in the First Amendment.
I am rarely at a loss for words, but I can’t seem to find one to describe the feeling I get when I think of this goofball being elected to the world’s most deliberative body.
With all these clowns in other states, I guess we should be thankful all we have is Roy and Nathan slinging arrows at each other. I have no idea what either one will do for the state that will be positive. But if I believe the relentless ads by both camps, tons of terrible things will happen if either one of them wins.
Looks like I’ve got a little more work to do on that sample ballot.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.