The Key West Mystique

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Vote da bums out — except the other bums are worse

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

10/25/2011

It takes no particular bravery to call the Illinois General Assembly a passel of I-got-mine slackers. They are all that and more. Throw da bums out.

Oh, wouldn’t we wish? The American revolutionary way; no blood; the ballot. Don’t like what one’s elected representative is doing? Why threaten to vote for his (mostly his) opponent.

You wonder why the politicos in (fill in the blank — Springfield, Washington — with your least favorite) don’t give a fig about those threats? Because when election day comes around, the opposition is too often worse than the incumbent. If there even is an opposition.

Can’t tell you how many times a Register Star Editorial Board discussion started with something like this: How can we endorse this guy? We’ve disagreed with pretty much everything he’s done (or hasn’t). Oh, yeah, because the other guy …

Nah, those elected guys know our “vote da bums out” posters are just so much wasted cardboard. We’re not going to vote them out because people who vote are generally smarter and more connected to the world than people who don’t. And when they go into the voting booth, they’re not irresponsibly voting for the opposition just because they’re fed up. They will once again sigh and then vote for the lesser of bad choices, and we get theĀ  do-nothings we had before.

There’s only one solution, and maybe it’s coming. We need candidates with street smarts, book smarts, a lifetime of learning and wisdom. We need candidates with time on their hands, pragmatic determination and a soulful of searching. I’m predicting the flood of retiring boomers and aging Xers will need something to do and endless rounds of golf won’t cut it.

Boomers are rigid, righteous, reactionary and not the least bit prone to the compromising so necessary for getting things done the American way — just look at what they’re doing in Congress as we speak. But, for heaven’s sake, at least I’d have someone to vote FOR rather than having to hold my nose and vote — again — for the better of da bums.

The Springfield State Journal-Register and the Rockford Register Star have good editorials this week that outline the pressing leadership initiatives the Illinois General Assembly needs to get done during veto session.

We can hope da bums will get it done because it’s the right thing to do. They sure won’t do it because they’re worried they’ll get tossed on their collective ears.

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Linda Grist Cunningham

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

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