A new start, just maybe a new direction

Every four years, the United States either goes into a a frenzy or goes to sleep at the dullness of the situation. These are the days during a presidential campaign. Over the years, I have seen these campaigns go from being absolutely nasty to being the most uninteresting of races. One of the major issues that seem to make them interesting is just how far a candidate will go to cut down his/her opponent. This is one of those years.
You might even say this is a red-letter year. We have two very “interesting” men running for the office of President of these United States. The quotes are deliberate on my part. The reason is that it is very difficult to see how this is true. Our country has become so evenly divided by party affiliation that it seems almost like two countries.
Everyone is aware that there are more than two candidates for President. The other candidates, for the most part, are incidental to the outcome of the election. In every election season there are always other philosophies that wish to make their way of governing come into power. To date, none of these have had much effect on the elections. The Republicans and Democrats, like oil in water, rise to the top.
In fact, oil and water might be a good metaphor for these two parties. One thing is sure – the two do not mix. Their ability to not mix, or is it more a desire, creates huge problems for the public. My memory tells me that there was a time when, after the election, these two parties found a way to work together. Even when this happened, it was not always good for John Q. Public
This year we have a situation that has never risen before. We have an elder statesman and an young African-American as the candidates for the two main parties. Age has not been much of a factor in previous elections. Age was not a problem this time until the elder statesman chose a vice-president candidate much younger with very little experience in such matters as dealing with other countries. The other candidate chose a person with much experience in such matters. The problem arises, if the vice- president must replace the president. This has caused much consternation among the voters.
I have often wondered; do people vote for who is qualified to be president or do they vote on the personality of the candidate? For instance, it has been said that Richard Nixon lost his bid because of the way he looked during one of the presidential debates. Maybe my wife is right when she tells me that appearance is important. For some reason, I continue to believe that voters are not that shallow minded.
The person elected President has a huge effect on our lives, but the election of state officers is much closer to our pocketbooks. In this state, the race for Governor seems a bit lop-sided. The Democrat has a commanding lead at the moment. There are several constitutional items on the ballot.
Two of these have been proposed by the State General Assembly. They are Amendment One and Amendment Four. Amendment One is to make English the legal language of the State of Missouri. Amendment Four has to do with money used for storm water grants. The propositions are on the ballot due to the efforts of citizens that supplied enough citizen signatures on a petition to force the placement on the ballot. Proposition A if carried, will do away with the $500 loss limit at the casinos. This is said to produce several millions of additional tax funds that will go to the state elementary and high school systems. Proposition B if carried, it will put one more department in the Division of Senior Services. This department is said to make the division more responsive to those persons needed to hire and use personal in-home aides. After hearing a presentation from the persons that hope to run this department, it appears to me to be a waste of money, (over $250,000 startup money). This proposition, in my opinion is not a good idea. Proposition C is to mandate that power companies provide power from renewable sources to customers equal to at least 2 percent of their retail sales.
Our state government has been under the control of one party for several years. Some may consider this a good situation. I do not think this is so, regardless of party.
The access to power often leads to excessive use of that power. This has been true in both federal and state legislatures. It appears in this election, the pendulum may swing so far. If it does, can it be hoped that the new electees will not allow their access to the levers of power to distort their values to the extent that they wield their new-found power to the detriment of the general public? After all they, are working for all of us and they must not be allowed to forget what they were sent to do.

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