This is it, y’all. The last chance we’ll get to talk before the election Nov. 6. Many newspapers shy away from endorsing political candidates outside of the president, but not this one.
It’s time I tell you who to vote for.
Whether you read this in Oak Grove, Hopkinsville, Pembroke, Fort Campbell or Saskatoon (we have a subscriber there, hey Jim!), you should be able to vote for this candidate, so here goes:
On Nov. 6, vote Nobody. I am confident Nobody will fulfill each campaign promise. Nobody cares about you and your family. Nobody ran a clean campaign and Nobody is the perfect candidate. I mean, ask yourself this question: Does Nobody deserve to be elected from this candidate pool? I can’t answer that for you. I just know, when it comes to endorsing a candidate, Nobody is getting the Small Victories seal of approval.
On a serious note, I can’t tell you who to vote for. It would be stating the obvious to say there are no perfect candidates. Being around many of these candidates and interacting with them leading up to this, I feel like I’ve gotten to know a few.
I guess that makes it all the more disheartening that this election, especially locally, has been so nasty. Not every race, not every candidate, but enough that I think we’re all ready for this to be over.
I want to be clear again that not every race is like this. Some of these races have remained positive and focused on the issues. For these, it’s hard to say any vote cast is the “wrong” one. In some, I want certain candidates to win just because I know they’re good people.
But it’s not just the candidates being jerks to each other. There’s something about an election that brings out the worst in people. Look, it’s absolutely your right to openly mock a sitting mayor during a debate within their earshot. That doesn’t mean you should.
Nor should you think it OK to infer certain candidates (or fellow candidates) are doing things illegally (especially when they aren’t), or trash people or businesses when they aren’t available or allowed to respond.
Some of these candidates used to be friends, some coworkers, some just reasonable people. In some races, with some candidates, it’s hard to see the election as anything other than trying to figure out which toddler gets to sit in the high chair.
Is it any wonder turnout is so low when few candidates seem to be able to inspire confidence — not just in their competence for the office in which they aspire to, but in their ability to be adults? To be clear, yet again, I’m not saying all.
Since we have to look past all that, though, I’ve come up with a solution as to how I’m going to vote, and how I hope you will, too. I think it’s a pretty stellar one:
Vote for someone who gives a damn.
I know, “but they’re running for office, they all care!”
But how much? How many of them are in the community every day doing their best to help others instead of just campaigning? How many of them are volunteering their time and money to projects and organizations that have nothing to do with their run for office?
How many of them are making a difference outside of an elected official’s duty?
You can’t vote for the perfect candidate on Nov. 6. In some races, it’s possible you believe you can’t even vote for a good one.
However, in local politics, just as important as stances on issues and far more important than the color of the party badge is how much the person you’re voting for is invested in the community they want to represent.
The ones that are deserve to represent you at the level that matters most to you because you know they’re putting in the work. You know they’re out making a difference without pandering for votes. You know, ultimately, that they care about the community beyond their ego and what’s in it for them.
Those people deserve your vote, and that’s this week’s small victory.
(JESSE JONES is the editor of The Eagle Post, a member of the Kentucky New Era Media Group. For more Small Victories, find us on Facebook.)