Conversation with a voter
Douglas “Dayhorse” Campbell.
“But he’s not one of the choices.”
Yes, he is.
“Oh, that’s right, he’s with the American Constitution Party, whatever that is. But he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning, so why would you waste your vote?”
Because he has not run any negative TV ads claiming his opponent is Satan’s brother-in-law that poisons our drinking water, hates children and senior citizens, and has a seven-figure net worth. And besides, he’s got a really cool name.
“Well, that’s very superficial of you. How about governor?”
Easy. This is the second time we’ve had a local boy’s daddy run for governor, and I can’t imagine not voting for him.
“But the polls say he doesn’t have a prayer.”
So, neither did the other one, but it’s still my choice and my vote. And besides, his son was nice enough to give me a free beer once at Oktoberfest.
“You would vote for someone’s father because they bought you a beer?”
Yes, I would. But I didn’t say he bought me one. I said he gave me one for free, there’s a difference.
“That’s pretty small-minded. What about the issues? Don’t you care about the issues?”
“Any of them!”
Not particularly. But wouldn’t it be neat to have the governor’s son living in the valley? Think of all the free publicity it would bring us.
“But he’s not going to win!”
“What about state representative for District 56?”
“What’s wrong with the incumbent, Miller?”
Lemon is a much better name for a politician, and besides, I’ve met her.
“You make all your voting decisions based upon whether or not the candidate has a neat name or you’ve met them before?”
Of course not. I’ve had to have liked them, too. There are folks running for Avon Town Council that I’ve met but I will not vote for.
“But you don’t live in Avon.”
“Eagle County commissioner?”
I’ve met all of them. One I don’t know, one I sort of know, and one I sort of really know.
“So you’re voting for the one you really know?”
Didn’t say that.
“OK, smart guy. How do you make choices for inanimate objects, like amendments and referendums?”
The person making the sales pitch. If they’re cute, that’s usually enough, but sometimes they can be ugly but sound really sincere. That’s been known to sway me, too.
“What if it’s a guy?”
What if what’s a guy?
“Never mind. Who do you want for Eagle County sheriff?”
Never been arrested, don’t care.
“What about retaining judges Coats, Dailey, and Nieto?”
Never heard of “em, but I like their names.
“Eagle County coroner?”
Never been dead, to the best of my knowledge.
“Congress in District 2?”
Sandy Udall sounds like a minor league baseball player. I met them both once, I think, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll wait till the last minute and see which name jumps out at me first.
“Aren’t you ashamed of your ignorance? I don’t see how anyone could be so shallow when it comes to election choices.”
My shallowness runs deep, I guess.
“But don’t you care? Don’t you understand how the choices you make today can greatly influence the scenarios offered tomorrow?”
I’ll worry about that tomorrow.
“Enough. You are a sick, immature juvenile adult. You act like you don’t give a rat’s peetootie about politics unless it affects you or your pocketbook directly. And you have the nerve to imply most voters make choices based upon superficial images, or at best, name recognition. I’m going to report you to the election authorities. What the hell is your name?”
Public. John Q. Why do you ask?
Richard Carnes of Edwards can be reached at email@example.com