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The Madera Tribune

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Thoughts on upcoming elections

November 7, 2016

A lot of folks remain unsure about whom they should choose for president, and you can’t blame them. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump represent the best their respective parties can offer. Yet, each won their party’s nomination decisively against men and women who most observers believed to be more capable than the winners of leading the most influential nation on earth.


How do you explain that?


It’s probably because both Trump and Clinton are celebrities, and it is apparently celebrity that attracts voters these days. 


They also are targets of negative campaigning unlike most of us can ever remember seeing, and somehow the American people fall for that, too.


In Madera and Madera County, we are far more fortunate, with local candidates seeking local jobs on local governing bodies, and all the candidates bringing qualifications to the lecterns that seem to insure they will be able to do the jobs if they are elected.


You may not be too interested in choosing a candidate for president, but you should be eager to cast ballots in the local elections. 


But here’s something else that creeps in a little more each year, and that is that voters tend to be less and less informed about why they are voting or whom they should vote for. These voters should stay home, and leave the voting to individuals who have taken the trouble to inform themselves.


Educate yourself and vote, because if you don’t, you risk being governed by the votes of barely-informed idiots who do bother to vote. 


Probably the best hope for the long-term future of the country are the fringe parties, such as the Libertarians and the Greens. They are the ones that come up with ideas that the Republicans and Democrats don’t dare advance because they are afraid they might be punished by voters who don’t want to consider any new ideas.


Yet, the bigger parties wind up adopting the salient proposals from the smaller parties and eventually introducing them into public policy. Over the years, for example, the Libertarians have fostered free-market notions that have turned into mainstream policy for the larger parties, and the Greens have pushed changes that have brought environmental causes into the main stream of American political thought.


A vote for one of the small-party candidates is a vote for the future — the future sometimes being two or three election cycles away.

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