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News Story
Updated: 10/07/2012 08:00:24AM

Just one more month . . .

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S.L. Frisbie

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Hang on folks; relief is just a month away.

Yes, in one month it will be Election Day, and one day after that, it will all be over.

Assuming no hanging chads, pregnant chads, or other structurally or cosmetically challenged chads, that is.

And that means no more election commercials.

———

Politicians are fond of blaming the press for the low esteem in which they are held, but the press — powerful though we think we are, and we are not that powerful, folks — could not possibly generate the opprobrium for politics and its practitioners that the candidates bring on themselves.

And the more powerful the office and the seekers thereof, the greater the ignominy the world’s second oldest profession brings down upon itself. We are left with the impression that we cannot hope to vote for the best candidate; we can only choose the least awful one.

And that is a disservice of the highest order to those who offer themselves for public office. They have only themselves to blame.

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The highest office on the ballot, of course, is the presidency.

Two reasonably honorable men with distinctly different philosophies and agendas each want to lead the most powerful nation on earth.

Why they want to do so is unclear. In their campaigns, they say little about their aspirations, let alone their ideas. They focus on the perceived failings, or verbal gaffes, of their opponents.

The incumbent has failed to deliver on Hope and Change. The challenger apparently was surreptitiously recorded bizarrely writing off 47 percent of the electorate.

Through the mercies of a largely liberal national press, the incumbent is allowed to shrug off the murder of an American ambassador and members of his staff at an American embassy abroad as “a bump in the road.”

One candidate is excoriated for paying “only” 14 percent of his income in federal income taxes, while nobody seems to care that he donated 30 percent to charity. As a 20-year church treasurer, I would forgive somebody who saved on his taxes if he gave three times the Biblical tithe to charity.

———

Closer to home, there is a remarkable contrast in the race for the U.S. Senate.

In politics, as in life, it typically is the little dog that barks at the big dog, while the latter, having nothing to fear, ignores the yapping.

Clearly, Bill Nelson, the incumbent, is the big dog in this race; Connie Mack, the challenger, is best known for a once famous family name.

But the Nelson campaign says nothing about his own accomplishments or plans, and focuses on the foibles of the challenger, while Mack takes the high road, talking about what he wants to achieve.

Voters say they don’t like negative campaigns, but generally elect the negative campaigner. The outcome of this race will reinforce or refute that notion.

———

On the Gulf Coast, Vern Buchanan and Keith Fitzgerald each accuse the other of being a bigger crook than he himself is. Frankly, I am glad this race is not in our Congressional district.

Forced to make a decision in that race, I think I would decide to change the locks on my doors.

And in South Florida, there is a race between two women running for Congress.

Why one of them sends me three e-mails of every one of her campaign blasts, all encouraging me to send money for her race before it is too late, I do not know. She is not in my district.

My checkbook remains closed.

———

(S. L. Frisbie is retired. He is puzzled by the plethora of proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution on the 2012 ballot. He understands only Amendment 4. It is a nightmare, and he ardently opposes it. As for the other 11, he is reminded of the counsel many years ago of Fred Jones of Auburndale, then dean of the Florida House of Representatives: If you don’t know how to vote on the amendments, vote against all of them. We have gotten along well without them so far. Sound advice.)




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