EDITORíS DESK: Oh, no! Itís about the election
At their best, Democrats stand for world peace, preservation of natural beauty and helping people on the lower end of the totem pole. At their worst, they appease
despots, disrespect the private sector and overly depend on government to solve social and economic problems.
At their best, Republicans seek a strong America, support business as the engine of the economy and create opportunities for people seeking to improve their lot in life. At their worst, they are overzealous about growth, inflexible about new ideas and give business a free rein at the expense of the less privileged.
I've considered the above two paragraphs for a while, so I hope there's some agreement on their being fairly close to the mark. As you might guess, the only reason I'm "extending the geography" for this space this week is because of the impending election Nov. 2. Many of you already have voted, so you might not care. And others may be so sick of the barrage of political ads that another discussion on it is the last thing you want to see.
My thinking is that this is a significant election, with a number of intriguing elements. The old saw that "it doesn't matter who gets elected" just doesn't hold this time. We Westsiders, along with the rest of the nation, will feel a difference. The "big story," of course, is the Tea Party backlash to President Obama's policies. And who would have expected the Colorado governor's race to turn out as it has, with the nominated Republican fading, a late Republican entry showing up (ostensibly as a minor-party candidate) and giving the Democrat candidate such a close run? There's even a serious push this year to oust three Colorado Supreme Court justices who sided with the Ritter administration that his "fees" weren't "taxes." And then there are those marginally insane Propositions 60, 61 and 101 that (wink, wink) Doug Bruce was not involved in. It's one thing to want limited government; it's quite another to make government well-nigh impossible.
If you haven't voted yet, this is not intended as a voting guide. All I can suggest is that you read up as much as possible and when you go to the ballot box you consider the values you cherish most and ask yourself who (or what) comes closest to them. That's how I do it, anyway. One value for me is consistency. If Candidate A's votes have led to budget deficits, for example, why should I believe him when he says on the campaign trail that the deficit is too high? Do you think government or free enterprise is the answer to the economic malaise? The latter seems obvious to me, based on results (current as well as past), but I know some believe otherwise. Another value I appreciate is personal achievement. If government does anything at all, it should encourage that trait, I think, rather than to make it a cynical bullseye for taxes when achievement leads to actual success. Yes, there are people in need, but go too far with generosity - which Colorado Springs learned to its chagrin from last year's homeless problem (and which America the nation never seems to learn from countries that want a piece of us) - and you simply create more people who see handouts as their right.
Somewhere amid all these politics - and I think I speak for the vast majority here - it would be nice to have an America, a Colorado, a Colorado Springs, a Westside that can flourish in freedom, joy and creativity. Too bad we can't just put that on the ballot.