Vail Valley Voices: I’m voting against all incumbents |

Vail Valley Voices: I’m voting against all incumbents

Sal Bommarito
Vail, CO, Colorado

On Tuesday, Americans will vote in the elections of governors, one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, too many Americans don’t vote, a vast number vote based on one issue, and a huge group will vote for one party without researching the qualifications of the candidates.

I’m particularly energized because of what’s going on in Washington and the impact this election will have on politics in the future.

So I thought it would be useful to try to stimulate my readers. As an aside, it’s unimportant whether you agree with my opinions, just vote and be thoughtful about your choices.

My first comment is a general one and emblematic of how I feel about our current crop of leaders and legislators. If I could, I would unseat every incumbent candidate, regardless of whether he or she is a Republican or a Democrat.

Why, you ask?

Our government is populated with elected officials and their advisers who are incapable of getting the job done. They are either extremely partisan, meaning that compromise for our country’s sake is not a viable option, or they don’t care about their constituencies and are totally caught up in the power of office. This could lead me into a discussion about the need for term limits, but I will resist the urge.

I can’t vote against every incumbent, only the ones on my ballot, and I intend to do it. These officials have made poor choices over the past two years and, fittingly, their approval ratings could not be lower. They deserve to be driven out of our government.

The tea party has energized the electorate, as has Sarah Palin. However, we must be careful and not elect any of the crazies in this group seeking office. And I hope that conservatives don’t become too smitten by Palin’s charm. She’s a personality and doesn’t have the qualities to be president.

There are a number of tea party candidates who say very strange things. One of the wackiest is running for governor in New York. Carl Paladino is tempestuous and belligerent. He would be a terrible choice to manage the already dysfunctional state government in Albany.

And then there’s Christine O’Donnell, one-time witch, who is running for senator in Delaware.

The importance of this election can’t be overstated. If Republicans wrest control from the Democrats in the Senate or in the House, our government will come to a complete standstill. Every initiative proposed by President Obama will be stymied by gridlock. Is this good? I don’t believe it is.

But the cloud may have a silver lining. If the Democrats are trounced in the upcoming elections, they will look for a fall guy (as politicians do when they lose), and that will be Obama.

The expected electoral losses, coupled with two years of congressional paralysis, will make Obama’s re-election a long shot at best.

Moreover, the populist wave overwhelming Washington will subside along with Obama’s influence. Taxes will be lower, government will be smaller and interference with business will be less.

I hope that new blood in Congress will have the wisdom to expedite the U.S. exit from both Iraq and Afghanistan. We have lost enough brave soldiers and spent too much money nation-building. Interestingly, the wars have gotten very little play in the current campaigns.

So vote everybody! Select candidates who are real Americans, educated people, honest citizens. Dump the laggards who are dragging our country down.

Sal Bommarito is a novelist and frequent visitor to Vail over the past 20 years.

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