This is another new segment we are trying out and something that I have wanted to do for a long time. As with everything new, comment or message me your general thoughts on the format.
Political season is heating up, soon you will find the major media outlets in the state dropping their support for one candidate or the other in the general election. (Spoiler alert: The Dem-Gaz will support the Republican Candidates, the Arkansas Times will support the Democratic ones). As the new kid on the block we are not solicited as much for endorsements, but it actually has happened.
The big problem we have, especially with regards to the top two offices up for grabs, is that we are mostly casting a vote for who is not quite as bad as the other. Depending on where you sit, you likely make this decision differently, but there is certainly few people out there really looking forward to either Asa or Ross as the next Governor.
In fact, it is eerie how similar the Governor and Senate races are to each other. In both races you have a long-term US legislator against one who briefly served the state (Asa served 4 years, and while elected to a 3rd term took a position with the DEA before serving any of the term).
The most telling alignment, however, is the candidates themselves. On the Democratic side for each race you have a candidate lacking any form of a backbone whatsoever. Who will sell out and change previous positions for whatever the way they wind is blowing that day and they think will get them elected.
The Senate race here is particularly extreme. While I firmly believe in today’s US Congress with heavily loaded bills you will always be forced to vote against something you do not like. When someone like Pryor flips their vote at the last second once they see a bill they support will pass just to gain a tiny speck of goodwill from opposition… well that is a bit more than being forced to vote for something on a loaded bill.
On the opposite side of the tickets you have a pair of Republican candidates who are the exact opposite. Neither Cotton or Asa have ever appeared to give a damn about the state. Most of their fundraising comes from out-of-state, coincidentally most of their time spent is out-of-state as well.
he senate race here appears to be the worst of the worst. Cotton is a special kind of snake. In his 2 years he has managed to vote against Arkansas interest more than I thought humanly possible. The real gem is his hard stance against disaster relief funding, especially considering how often Arkansas is hit with natural disasters. I wonder how the people in Mayflower and Vilonia feel about completely removing federal disaster relief and severely limiting funding to cleanup and recovery efforts.
The point is Arkansas, we can do better than this. Name me one sitting Senator, US Representative candidate, or Gubernatorial candidate that truly inspires you to band with your neighbor and do what is needed to pull this state up. Chances are you can’t. It is not that those people do not exist in the state, it is that for whatever reason they are not running for office. Or maybe it is that they are being shut out by idiots with money. Either way we must do better if we want the state to do better.
Now all this is not to say that there are not some promising candidates out there. Nate Steel who is running for Attorney General, for example, comes across as a bright spot in this year’s races. Nate does not have the booming personality of say a former Baptist preacher who inspired the other candidate in the race, but he also thinks decisions through far better than said personalities. Plus he looks a bit like Kenneth from 30 Rock, which is a big plus in our book.
So this is my parting call. Find the good ones. Encourage them to run. Put your support behind them. Donate to them, and if they don’t exist throw your money into a savings account until they come along. If you find them, drag them out of their houses and force them to run for office. If that doesn’t work hold draft campaigns in their honor. The future of our state depends on it, because there is no way we can move forward with options like this.