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Column: A few observations

Posted: June 11, 2018 3:02 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Today is an election day. For what it’s worth, I have already voted. That means I feel free to screech, caterwaul and criticize to my heart’s content. I do realize anyone can do such, whether they vote or not, but I am probably going to take you slightly seriously if you actually voted.

I don’t generally give a whole lot of unsolicited advice, simply because I hate it when others give me unsolicited advice. It doesn’t matter what the topic is -- religion, politics, finances, the fact that my pants are on fire at that very moment -- if I didn’t ask, I’m not interested.

So it is in that spirit that I refrain from giving any advice. My name’s Jim, not Abby. However, I will make a few random and general observations.

First, in any given election, be it for president or dog catcher, anyone who promises they can do something about situations clearly out of their purview are probably not to be taken too seriously. For example, a gubernatorial candidate talking about “taking on Washington” is largely full of bull spit -- particularly a gubernatorial candidate in this state, where the presence and opinion of the governor matters almost not at all.

To put it another way, noisy, insubstantial statements can make an impressive sound, but so can a really good, resonant burp after a hearty meal.

Another general observation: anyone -- especially down here in the trenches -- who says they’re going to never raise taxes because they’re going to find new and exciting ways of raising funds by cutting budgets, well, let’s be charitable and just say that newbies first trying to get into the sandbox may be well-intentioned, but they are nearly always naive and uninformed. On the other hand, those who have been around awhile who still honk such noises should probably stop what they’re doing before we all go blind.

Yet another general observation: it seems to me the candidate who actually has come up with a plan and is willing to discuss it is going to be a bit more valuable to the rest of us than someone who does not and will not, if for no other reason than taking the time to come up with a plan, no matter how hair-brained or unrealistic, at least shows a certain willingness to actually work toward a goal rather than just tossing a few word salads.

Here’s another question no one seems to ask certain candidates these days: if you are so anti-government, then why are you running for government office?

Here’s the thing -- I don’t know about you, but I want someone who can fix the machine -- it actually works fairly well when it’s tuned up properly -- but I don’t need anyone to tear it down and leave the pieces all over the garage or worse, try to remake it in their own image. What if your mirror consistently reflects an image that bears uncanny resemblance to the southernmost end of a dyspeptic northbound angora goat?

The government is already ugly and dispeptic enough, thank you.

Finally, like everyone else around here, I generally don’t care what you believe or for whom you vote, provided you don’t disagree with me.

No, wait! I meant, I don’t care what you believe or for whom you vote provided you come by those decisions through careful thought and logical analysis.

Indeed, if you do that, then there will be no doubt that you will never disagree with me.

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