I have to say that the longer I live and vote, the more questions come to my mind. No, not about one candidate over another — that seems to change based on personalities and times — but some things seem to live on and on. Here is what is bugging me right now.
I don’t get signs. I just don’t get the money being spent when it might go toward another actual debate or candidates being in places that I might get to know them. In a world of social media (I confess I don’t participate in Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat etc.), I marvel that candidates spend our donated bucks on such old technology. I have never voted because of a sign in my life. Give me substance or forget it.
I don’t understand why all voting is not done on a Saturday when the largest number of people can come and not take a hit at work or school. It seems designed to make voting a trial for many. Is it designed to keep people away? Why not a Saturday vote?
Now it has recently become a trend to mention one’s faith. I am very happy to have a faith active in my life, and I am happy to have others have an active faith. I am understanding of those who may not see faith as something they can embrace at this time. There is really room for everyone on this issue. It is, it seems to me, between you and that Higher Power or God and between no one else.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” So the Constitution takes no stand on which faith, if any, one cleaves to. But recently candidates proclaim that they are “Christian” as if that were a factor in how well they will perform in a government position. It is in no way informative of their behavior in office.
It would be so much easier if proclaiming one’s faith made it abundantly clear that they will be hardworking and honest, but history has taught us that is usually not the case. I daresay some of the political scoundrels both now and in the past have been of the Christian faith and that did not stop the behavior.
I have pondered how receptive the citizens would be if one candidate proudly said he or she was a Muslim, a Hindi or a Jew. Does the mention of one’s faith cut evenly for all? And if those designations would make you think twice, think about why you hold that bias.
The thing that keeps getting buried deeper and deeper in all the overly financed hoopla is actually meeting and talking with citizens to be honestly questioned and say what is reasonable to achieve and how we pay for it.
My dearest wish would be to shorten the electioneering cycle from months to weeks, limit the money each candidate gets to spend and insist that they actually talk sense and real world ideas. I know this will not happen in my lifetime.
Each group has been drinking the Kool Aid of too much spending and not enough actual meeting of folks. They don’t talk about issues in a way that we can understand their hopes and desires along with the numbers that would get the job done. They should be answering more questions with specificity.
The branches of government are there to slow down rash thinking, or at least that is what they should be doing. So if you like a nominee, don’t expect all their ideas to come to fruition.
I think the government needs some stern first-grade teachers to rap some knuckles and get them to buckle down, play well together, talk and consult with one another on our behalf. They need, on the federal level, to dine and play together more because it is harder to hate and block someone with whom you break bread.
Our best times are when we are more cooperative, more supportive, more kind and open to all sides. We are a nation of great diversity and, like any group, we should not assume that the other side has nothing to offer. Let’s stop the nonsense of blinkered loyalty and dangerous assumptions. Let us ask real questions and hear real answers because we are adults and can listen and learn.
The longer we cleave to assumptions, the sooner our country stumbles.
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.