Strength. You'll need it. Because it's a-gonna be all politics all the time for another 48 hours yet. Alexis de Tocqueville once said watching an American presidential campaign was akin to watching a river rise to flood stage, dominating all discussion and news, and once the flood passed, everything went back to normal. If so, this election has the Arkansas River flowing down Kanis Road.
When it comes to the presidential choices this year, Gentle Reader, we just don't know what to tell you. You makes your vote, you takes your chances. It says something that Thomas Sowell, that political conservative and economic expert, wrote a column suggesting that Donald Trump might be the best choice because he'd be easier to impeach. ("His impeachability may be his most important asset in a year of painful choices.")
Ugh. The American people deserve better choices than that. Unfortunately, the American primary voter didn't give us much else.
One thing remains important come Tuesday: That the Congress be in the hands of the Republican Party. No matter who is elected president, the non-conservative or the other non-conservative.
In 2009-2010, the Democrats held the White House and both houses of Congress. And promptly gave us Obamacare. Did you see the latest on Obamacare last week? The nation has been told to brace for not only bumps in insurance premiums next year but bounces. High bounces. Nobody mentioned that in 2009 when one party held the reins of government and proceeded to shove this down our throats. With Hillary Clinton leading in most polls not featured on Drudge, it's important that We the People keep checks and balances on the next president.
There's not much we can do about Illinois and Florida and New Hampshire and all the other states, but Arkansas has its own congressional delegation, and they should be re-elected.
First, there's John Boozman, the senior U.S. senator and father figure from Arkansas. He might not be the flashiest pol out there, but since when is that a negative? (Answer: since only recently.) If Senator Boozman seems more like the dad next door, he is. But don't do doughnuts in his yard. No matter his demeanor, he can be provoked. Ask another U.S. senator named Ted Cruz who got more than he could handle when Mr. Boozman had it up to here with the Texas senator's insults. Of course, that whole scene supposedly played out behind closed doors. Which is where it should have played out. No sense in yelling in the streets and disturbing the neighbors.
John Boozman also takes a hard line on ISIS and border security, and opposes any expansion of Obamacare, which Hillary Clinton promises her supporters she'll do. It's more than enough reason to re-elect John Boozman, who would remain another check and balance in Washington.
If you look at it from the Republican point of view, the House of Representatives is in better shape. But it's not out of reach for the Democrats. And gets closer and closer to their reach every day, every tweet, every news cycle. Arkies can do their part to provide even more checks and balances by re-electing the four congressmen from Arkansas.
And they'd all deserve it, even if John Kasich or Marco Rubio were leading in the battleground states.
French Hill has been an outstanding businessman and public servant for decades, and is just now winding up a first term in Congress. Which has featured his noisy and important criticism of the Veterans Administration. (When it comes to the VA, we note that important criticism has to be noisy, lest the bureaucrats ignore the rest of us.)
Rick Crawford, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack have drawn opposition from third parties, and they'd be wise not to ignore them, Gentle Voter would be wise to take the races seriously, too. As always, votes have consequences, and Arkansas voters have well-earned reps for being independent.
Now then, which amendments, initiated acts and issues are still on the ballot? Has the state's Supreme Court left us any?
It appears so. No need to worry about casinos and tort reform this time around. But there are still several issues that need your close attention.
We'd recommend voting For Issues 1, 2 and 3.
And Against Issue 6.
Issue 1 would change the rules so that county officials around the state could run for office every four years instead of every two. It seems that county judges and sheriffs and tax collectors are doing nothing but campaigning. They're on the ballot every other year! If Issue No. 1 passes, those county officials--and voters--will be able to catch their breath.
The issue would also save the state money by taking off the ballot those races that are uncontested, and change the definition of an "infamous crime" for office holders. A sheriff in Searcy County was removed from office in 2013 for a 34-year-old misdemeanor conviction. And officials have been trying to narrow the definition since. (The new law would define an infamous crime for really infamous stuff, such as felonies, abuse of office, tampering, fraud and the like.)
Issue No. 2 would allow the governor to remain governor even on fishing trips out of state. Which only makes sense in these days of cell phones and the Internet.
Issue No. 3 would allow the government to borrow more money to lure businesses to the state. Which only seems reasonable.
Issue No. 6 is the medical marijuana project still on the ballot. If dope is a gateway drug, this would be a gateway law to full legalization. Let's not do this. To ourselves or to our kids.
There are many other people and matters on the ballot this coming Tuesday. We the People will soon speak. And the next day, the river will begin to close within its banks again.
Editorial on 11/06/2016