Citizen Wausau

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Why We Do Not Endorse Candidates

by on October 24th, 2014

[If we can, let us just move quickly past the idea that I have not written anything of note on CW for a long, long time.  I am sure I will write something acknowledging that, but just not today.  But, I know, I know.]

It is election season, and for a moment this website was all about impact.  Sure, that slowly fell away when life got in the way, and as a result we have not had much to say about anything, much less candidates.  I thought though, in light of the comments on the Wausau Daily Herald “Why We Endorse” column, I would put fingers to keys.

Let us do this in a list, because, it is the internet and I can do anything.

  1. I trust you dear reader/I do not trust you dear reader.  I am bearing witness to the comments on the internet, and the sort of unfocused human rage that they are.  If the Daily Herald endorses a Republican, they are attacked by democrats as a conservative rag.  If they endorse a Democrat, they are attacked as a liberal rag.  In both cases, Jim Maas points out the libertarian candidate who is registered, but not campaigning, and calls the paper part of the corporate…oh who knows what Jim blathers on about.  But, the interesting thing is that the endorsements are considered, talked about, discussed by a group of people who understand the weight and seriousness of the job that is endorsing.  They are not just picking; they met these people.
  2. The field of challengers candidates, regardless of party, is bad.  I have met every candidate, for every local race, and some of them I forget what their name is.  This is not unique, I do forget names all the time.  I mean, we all know my bias, and honestly I forget my teams.
  3. Politics is changing/Politics never changes.  So, in many places right now there are campaign teams using big data, social media, pushing out big content, engaging, connecting.  Here, see #2.  Even candidates that I am FRIENDS with, they seem absolutely invisible.  They all do the same things, come have a snack with me at a bar and donate some money, come do this, come do that.  Local candidates have TINY internet footprints, and in an era when most of us call our phones our first screen, they are not there.  Politics seems to be powered in our area by a handful of advocates (I am one some times), and a lot of retired people.  And if I know anything about grandparents it is that they do not want you to jump too high, run too fast, or yell too loud.  And in deference to the grandparents, I want my candidates talking loud, running fast, and jumping high.

So, look.  You guys can have at the comment section about endorsements and how it just reflects a media bias.  I would chose to respond with, “Did you read what they wrote, they explained their thought process?”  And we can go round and round about that.

Rather than do that, we are not endorsing.  Most of you think you know who I (personally) am voting for.  But, this year you might see more blanks on my ballot.  Or at least I want to leave blanks.  I won’t, because that is abdicating my role in the electorate.

I hope you take to the comment section and endorse someone.  Tell us why, who, whatever.  Do it up internet style.

Then go vote.

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