I have been doing some homework for these elections. I always feel like I leave this at the last moment and promise to do better and follow local politics throughout the next post-election period, much like my semi-annual promise to the dentist to floss my teeth every day. I have missed every single debate in the election cycle, mainly because they have appeared more and more like the question and answer session of a beauty pageant. Yes, political cynicism reigns in my thoughts right now.
Arizona has so many propositions on the ballot, it took my husband and I over an hour to go through them all. Some were "no brainers". Some were pretty confusing. There is one proposition that proponents say will help education, but, reading the fine print, it seems that most of the money raised by the increased sales tax goes to tracking education metrics and unspecified education spending. Sounds like a "bait and switch" tactic to me. A couple of propositions make me wonder if the Republicans in this state have developed their own peculiar brand of funny kool-aid. But then again, I am sure that every state has idiosyncracies that provide comedic fodder for any blog.
The one thing that I always feel unqualified to decide is judges. How can you really determine if a judge is good or not? One person I know votes against all incumbent judges, but do we really want all new judges? Arizona has a "Judicial Performance Report" online that helps. It is a summary of evaluations attorneys and sometimes the plaintiffs/defendents on the judge's legal skills, integrity, communication skills, temperment and a couple of other metrics. It helps, especially if there are more than five surveys completed. It also nay help knowing which governor appointed them. I mean, if I were in Illinois, I would be voting all judges appointed by Blagojoveich out of office, especially if they had attorneys questioning their legal abilities or integrity.
Okay, school board people are also a mystery to me because I don't really have a lot to do with public schooling. For that, I might go to my neighbors to help me with their opinions.
My one thought when it comes to the Presidential campaign is actually the result of a conversation I had with my Mormon neighbor that had nothing to do with politics. She was talking to me about how Mormons handle their missionary assignments. If you don't know, young Mormon men are encouraged to become missionaries for a year or two. Two missionaries are assigned as 24/7 partners for several months with absolutely no possibility of "parole," even if they don't like each other. She told me that it teaches a young man how to work with difficult people. They do have roommate changes during their time as missionaries. This works well later in life, when they are assigned a specific meeting house (their version of church) and a specific time to attend based on where they live. I'm sure the system is not perfect, because people aren't perfect, but it might explain how Mitt Romney was able to work with Democrats in Massachusetts and actually get things done. And this character trait is why I will be giving Mitt Romney my vote. It also has something to do with the fact that I believe in being politically conservative and personally liberal. And I will support the next President of the United States and love my country and fight for the republic in which we live with the following in mind (taken from a friend of a friend who posted it on Facebook)
"In two weeks I will vote according to my political convictions. But if the election doesn’t go the way I’d like it to, I’ll be fine. I won’t spend a moment disheartened or depressed. This is because my hope isn’t in any candidate, proposition, or shift in our nation’s political landscape. My hope isn’t found in a political ideology or “ism”. My hope is found in Jesus Christ. The law of his Kingdom supersedes all others: to love the Lord your God with all you’ve got, and love your neighbor as yourself. And no election can change that.