Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Write In and Right On

Here in the State of Concrete Gardens we are extra lucky this fall.  Instead of just one Election Day, we get two.  Today is the first one.  When Frank Lautenberg died this summer in the middle of his term as a United States Senator, Governor Christie decreed that there would be a "Special Election" to fill the remainder of Senator Lautenberg's unexpired term.  Parenthetically (and I say this meaning no disrespect to Senator Lautenberg or any other elected official who dies while in office) but I have always found the marriage of the concepts "election to fill seat left vacant by death" and "unexpired term" to represent the most delightful type of irony:  "You expired! Your term did not! We need to fill your seat!"

Today's contest matches the young(ish) Democratic nominee, Cory Booker, and the flat-out-odd (speaking solely for myself) Republican nominee, Steve Lonegan.  Booker's most noteworthy achievement in the political arena has been his multi-term tenure as the Mayor of Newark, which is our state's largest city.  As far as I know, Lonegan's most noteworthy achievement in the political arena has been serving three terms as the Mayor of Bogota, which is a Borough in Bergen County.  The 2010 Census calculated Bogota's population as 8,187.  No - that is not a misprint. 

I know neither man personally.  I have no reasonable expectation that I ever shall.  People who I have known for a long time - whose counsel I seek regularly and whose opinion I value greatly - and who had experience working with and for Mayor Booker in Newark have all told me (separate and apart from one another and irrespective of their declared political affiliation) that they shall not vote for him.  They simply cannot bring themselves to do so.  They have shared with me the bases for their position.  I shall not disclose it here.  It belongs to them.  It is the by-product of their own personal experience. 

As a registered Republican, had the party of which I am a member selected as its nominee someone for whom I would have felt comfortable then I would do so today.  They did not.  I shall not.  Mr. Lonegan seems to be a very bright man and a man committed to what he believes to be important.  Sadly, at least as far as I am concerned the things he deems important strike me as far less so.  Personally, I do not see how the solution to the problem of ideologues masquerading as statesmen in Congress (Hello Ted Cruz it is to you I am speaking) and doing scant little to advance the interests of the people who elected them is solved by tossing another one into the mix.  There are any number of things I would like never to call Mr. Lonegan.  United States Senator is at the top of that list.

Today I am doing what I need to do.  I am voting my conscience.  I am writing in my name for United States Senate.  Will I win?  Nope.  Should I win?  Of course not.  But since having the chops to do the job appeared to factor not at all into the process by which the "Big Two" political parties arrived at today's menu selections, it should not stand in the way of me garnering one vote. 

My Country 'tis of Thee
The Asshat I'm Voting for is Me
Let Freedom Ring....

-AK 

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