Election Day now bears down on us with all the force of a runaway locomotive hijacked by bandana-wearing train robbers.
I’m still waiting for the Calvary to arrive.
The odds of clean, honest elections are slim. The chances of candidates who don’t morph into stodgy caricatures of trusted public servants don’t exist for me anymore. My jaded cynicism is alive and well and growing. With good reason, I simply don’t trust most politicians anymore.
Abusive relationships leave scars that sometimes never heal. Even when emotional health has returned, sometimes bright people refuse to walk down another dark street where the hustlers live in the shadows of the polls.
Some of us would rather go it alone.
Despite my primitive survival instincts, I’m still willing to trust. But I’m becoming very, very selective. For that reason I will no longer vote to retain any sitting judge in the Commonwealth. Political principle must survive above and beyond individual candidates – no matter how good at public service they are.
County judges get a decade in office – a million dollar job that is long enough to accomplish good or evil. Then it should be off to the law firm where you can continue your do-good work or your damage – whichever rocks your law school degree. After 10 years in office you’ve made your connections, hustled your political relationships and have more than enough money to get the kids into a prep school or buy a condo in Florida.
Actually you might want to consider a condo in the Poconos. If you recall, the Gold Coast didn’t bode well for some former judges in Luzerne County.
I’m also refusing to settle for candidates presented to me by either of the two major political parties that rule our lives.
Four candidates are vying for three seats as Lackawanna County commissioners. Two majority commissioners and one minority commissioner will rule for the next four years.
None deserve the job.
For a variety of reasons, not one of the candidates from either party is truly deserving of the power or glory or ego boosting that comes with such important political office.
And even though I realize that three of the four will win and I will help pay their salaries and health benefits, I refuse to take part in the charade that nowadays comes with most public service.
I will not settle for less than what I believe I deserve. Nor should you settle. I am strongly suggesting that you vote for no candidate for these jobs.
That does not mean that I am unwilling to compromise or am searching for the perfect candidate. No such perfection exists in politics. By the time even a sincere a man or woman is ready to take the oath of office, too much has happened behind the scenes that voters will never know.
The public service stain starts long before the inauguration. Then the co-optation begins. Stealth politics casts its dark shadow across the genuine concerns of even the best candidates. They play party politics because they know they’ll need party officials when re-election rolls by.
The people who elected them are largely forgotten. Elected officials and candidates will deny that they will be used and abused by special interests – in turn using and abusing their constituents. Elected officials will swear that they are honest, decent and true to serving the cause of liberty. Elected officials are either lying or delusional.
If two candidates vie for a spot on the ballot, choose the one you believe might do the best job. But if you hesitate as you decide, if your concerns that a candidate will do more harm than good or has doe more harm than good, pass on the choice.
Write in your mother’s name – unless, of course, your mother held or holds public office, got indicted, plead guilty or works for St. Rob Mericle.
If I voted in Luzerne County, I’d vote for only two of the seven candidates for the six available judicial seats. In a race where the public trust will supposedly be restored, some of the candidates are as scary as a subpoena.
For me, Jennifer Rogers and Molly Hanlon Mirabito are the only candidates worth the risk.
That doesn’t mean other candidates are not nice people, bright people or beautiful people. It just means that I’m cautious to a fault nowadays and advise you to do likewise.
When it comes to judges, Luzerne County is particularly toxic, especially when the odds of at least one of these candidates one day getting indicted is more than a long shot. If you don’t believe me, write and ask any of the three currently incarcerated former county judges. Even some sitting judges are not above suspicion. That goes for Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
The 28 candidates for 11 brand new Luzerne County Council seats is a whole other problem of democracy. I won’t be surprised if one day half of them go to jail.
At least I’m still willing to vote.
I’m more willing to sit on a federal criminal grand jury. Then I’d wield some real people power. When it comes to politics, there’s nothing better than voting to indict somebody I refused to vote for in the first place.