"Sept. 27, 2012, at 6:30 p.m., Clay County Chamber of Commerce along with Farm Bureau will be hosting a Political Forum. The forum will take place at the YMCA of Clay County. This will be for State Candidates only. This event is open to the public. Any questions, please contact Molly Tipton." (Clay County Chamber of Commerce September 2012 Chambergram)
It does seem direct mail still works. If it didn't politicians would have to stop sending stuff, and stop sending stuff they do not seem inclined to do. We get stuff -- lots and lots of stuff -- from both folk serving in one office or another, or wanting to be in one office or another. The most intriguing of this, as previously chronicled in these blogs, are the surveys.
Recently we received one of these "surveys" in the mail to complete and return to a particular duly elected personage. As with most of these surveys there is a Hidden Agenda. The "questions" are obviously screwed as to be "leading" at worst, and demeaning or disrespectful of the President of the United States at best.
Obviously the personage doing the sending wanted respondents to agree with what the sender had already decided to accomplish. It's all right to act so partisan, though; the printing and so-forth came out of tax money, anyhow.
I don't do meetings very often, but decided that if I can make it to the announced Political Forum I might hand out a survey of my own for the two guys running for State Legislators, both of whom came by my house asking for my vote. Not being an astute politician myself, I am self-obligated to reveal my own Hidden Agenda, to wit:
Hidden Agenda: We send people to the various legislatures to do one thing -- vote. If they vote for what I want and against what I'm against, they got my vote. However, it seems like they could just send in their votes by e-mail or something and save everybody a lot of hassle.
Question: What exactly is it Legislators DO when they get wherever it is we send them?
Hidden Agenda: According to the State website Indiana Legislators receive a base annual salary of $22,616, plus $155 for each day in session or at a committee hearing and $62 in expense pay every other day. That used to be real money, good pay for a part-time gig; but it costs that much to get elected. There's certainly more profit in other human efforts for people smart enough to be a Legislator.
Question: Why would anybody want the job?
Hidden Agenda: There just isn't a lot of fame or glamour in being a State office holder. Less than half the registered voters voted at all and only half of them for you. Yet 75 percent of those who didn't vote want something -- no two wanting the same thing -- leading to a life of conflicting constituent complaints.
Question: Why should we vote for anybody dumb enough to want the job?
Hidden Agenda: I have voted in every Presidential election since Barry Goldwater and have always considered it my duty and privilege. However, in the past two years or so I, like many Americans, have simply gotten fed-up with politicians. We try putting new people in every so often because they seem so idealist as to want the job; but the general result has been they simply turn themselves into yet another politician who cannot be believed.
Question: Why should anyone bother to vote at all?