Less than a week to the election. I haven’t talked about it much, I suppose. That’s because other MT blogs do an excellent job already. My contribution is unlikely to be original. Oh well.
I have to confess, I often vote against candidates rather than for them. I would rather not do this, but I’m apparently somewhat lazy. I have to say, though, I’m not worried about doing that in the Senate race this year. Burns is awful. There’s simply nothing to make me even consider voting for him. It’s not even ideology. He trades votes for money in the Senate and on the campaign trail. The man claims to be a conservative, but is running on pork. I’m not a conservative and my blood doesn’t boil when we get federal money, but come on. The man can’t even stick to a fundamental tenet of his claimed ideology. He then completely fails to realize that we have to pay for his pork and supports tax cuts for the rich. Say what you want about “tax and spend” Democrats, they at least realize they need to pay for their spending. Burns continues to support failed policies in Iraq and defend the Patriot Act. He claims he and the President has some secret plan for Iraq. The list goes on and on. There’s a impressive case just for voting against Burns. Actively against, not just abstaining.
The second reason is that Tester is actually a good candidate. He strikes me as smart and honest. I actually like him. I don’t honestly like many politicians, including Democrats. I try not to let that influence me and judge the candidates on their ideas and positions, but I’m not perfect. Tester’s against the Patriot Act, which while I’m not as against it as he is, we need people to push back and get it fixed. My position on what to do in Iraq is as on the fence as ever, but I think Tester’s assessment of the situation is basically correct and I can respect his position. He’s pro-choice and pro-stem cell research. He’s solid on health care issues. He’s not in favor on gun control, which I’ve become increasingly opposed to. Which is sort of odd, I guess, since I don’t own a gun nor do I ever plan to and I despise stereotypical “gun nuts” (and don’t understand non-stereotypical ones). Of course, he’s taken a hard line on meth, which I find ridiculous. Perhaps oddly, as I’ve never done a drug (other than alcohol, of course) in my entire life and generally despise drug use. I like to think I’m rising above my biases, but perhaps that’s just my ego. I’m not a fan of single issue voting, so I look past that. Tester says good things about the separation of church and state, but that’s a very muddled issue to some, so I’m always wary. I can’t find any actual positions he’s taken on the issue.
So that’s that. The other races are less interesting. I will probably vote for Lindeen, but I’m hardly enthusiastic about it. Rehberg makes my skin crawl, but Lindeen is a pretty bad candidate. Why oh why can’t we find someone good to run against Rehberg? The local races are not my cup of tea, but I like Lynea Seher and Mike Phillips. I wish I lived in HD 70 so I could vote for Vincent and get Koopman out of office. Actually, it’d be embarrassing to have Koopman as a rep, so maybe I don’t wish that.
So, make sure to get out and vote. Encourage others to do so. It’s an important election.