Voters have the lever |

Voters have the lever

Don Rogers

Don’t look now, but the campaign season is picking up. The sprint to election day has begun, and at least some voters are starting to pay attention.Politics is a funny game. For the most serious of jobs – making new rules, spending taxpayers’ billions, holding our country’s very future in hand – the candidates dive for the gutter and we voters don’t pay any attention otherwise.There’s the Swift Boat crap aiming to drive holes in John Kerry’s hero mantel, and the National Guard nonsense we endured four short years ago before the U.S. Supreme Court voted Bush into the presidency.It would sure be nice to move on past Vietnam, considering this other conflagration embroiling the world right now. Any time, boys.Sadly, the higher the office, the more slick the candidates, and the lower they go in their efforts to win. How is this? Well, we voters can probably look in the mirror. When they speechify about wonky stuff – health care, population patterns, government financing, revenue streams, policy prescriptions for this or that, and so on – what do we do? Our eyes glaze over. We tune out. Don’t remember a thing.But get some good soap opera junk going and we’re there. Tell us more. Tell us more.We want better candidates? Well, we’ve got to be more discriminating voters. Don’t like all the negatives in campaigning? We don’t have to respond to it. Make cynical remarks about the infestation of money into politics? You don’t have to vote for the guy or – too rarely – gal with the slickest pamphlets and TV commercials, the one with the most cash backing. Here’s the hard truth: We voters are the ones responsible for politics in the pejorative. And we can change that. All we really have to do is pay a little better attention. Vail, Colorado

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