Vail Valley locals feel extra disdain for D.C. politicians
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Politicians – especially those who travel to Washington D.C. – have been the subject of scorn and ridicule throughout the nation’s history. This year, though, the usual disdain for politicians seems to have been kicked up several notches.
An unscientific sample of local voters showed that most are at least somewhat unhappy with the state of the national government. The good news, at least for local candidates, is that this small group of voters is willing to judge local candidates on their merits.
“There’s no connection at all,” George Feinman said outside the Edwards post office last week. “But (in Washington), one’s about as bad as another.”
Outside the Eagle post office, longtime local Paul Gregg echoed that sentiment using an old shooting term, in which a space of one inch between bullet holes 100 yards away is called a “quarter-minute angle.”
“There’s not a quarter-minute’s angle between any of them,” Gregg said.
“I don’t think the mood of the country is angry enough,” he added, “The lack of righteous indignation is absurd.”
Arleen Montag is a self-confessed “radical” from the 1960s. “I’ve always been angry and frustrated,” she said.
Montag said she doesn’t regret her vote for President Barack Obama, but added “It didn’t make much difference that the Democrats have been in control the last couple of years.”
Frances Rolater said she’s frustrated, too, but not just at Congress.
“It’s all of us,” she said. “We can’t seem to get a reasonable dialog going. There’s so much disinformation and misinformation out there and people just seem to accept it.”
In Edwards, Dawn King said she’s tired of the constant attacks between office holders and candidates.
“No matter who’s in there, there’s just no unity,” King said. “Instead of working together, they’re working apart.”
Like Feinman, Rolater said she doesn’t tie local candidates to the national scene.
“There’s no real connection between them,” she said. “I’m looking for someone of high integrity, who’s rigorous in their thinking.”
At Larkburger in Edwards, Matt Cummings said he looks at the person, not the party.
“You need to look at the individual and see what they stand for,” Cummings said. “All that party-line thinking is what’s hurting us today.”
Rolater said that today’s hyper-partisanship makes holding office “incredibly difficult.”
“It’s difficult to see a clear path, and we expect our elected officials to have the answers,” she added.
While people may be frustrated with the nation’s government, Phil Onofrio said he has an answer.
“I’ve got too many problems of my own to be angry at anyone,” Onofrio said. “I think the best cure for somebody’s else’s problems are problems of your own.”