Monday, November 4, 1996

Week of 11/04/1996

Political Trick or… Trick?
For adults, the Halloween season doesn’t end after October 31st.
- by David Matthews 2

Well Halloween may be over, the bags of candy may already be empty, and the costumes may have been put away for another year, but the Halloween season hasn’t ended.. yet…

The bad news for adults is that there are still a bunch of people who want to play Trick or Treat up until November 5th. No, they won’t knock at your door. They don’t have to. They’ll visit you through your TV set, through your radio, from your daily newspaper, and even through your mail. As a matter of fact, they’ve been doing this for a while now…

They’re politicians.

No doubt you’ve heard the tales of ghosts and goblins - like Whitewater, the FBI File-gate, unregulated businesses, unemployment, climbing deficits. And of course the scary stories about how life would be if they don’t get elected. How America’s "morals" will somehow deteriorate if THEY aren’t in charge of things, how the poor and elderly will be hurt, and how crime will rise and the economy will suffer.

And they still wear fancy costumes: Bill Clinton pretending to be a conservative. Bob Dole pretends to be a moderate with a vision. Ross Perot pretends to be a sane and rational alternative. Career politicians pretend to be reformers. Special interest groups pretend to be invisible. And we all know they’re nothing but clever costumes designed to "trick" us.

The "treat" they want is simple - they want your vote. Or barring that they want your non-vote.

Political watchers predict that nation-wide more than half of the registered voters will not vote this Tuesday. Why? Well according to one study it’s because those who don’t vote are disgusted at both Democrats AND Republicans. Incredible, then, to hear both Bill Clinton and Bob Dole talking about reaching out to those people in one hand, and in the other hand tell horror stories about third parties such as reformers or libertarians "stealing" votes from them.

Trick or Treat indeed!

But as an active voter, I still urge those of you who haven’t made up their mind to do so. If you don’t like Bill Clinton or Bob Dole by all means, DON’T STAY HOME! Get your butts out there and VOTE! There ARE other candidates running besides Dole and Clinton!

Don’t listen to the horror stories about "wasting votes," because that’s all they are - stories. And bad stories at that! There is only ONE way to "waste" your vote- and that is NOT voting! Despite the rhetoric of Dole and Clinton, the truth of the matter is both parties DON’T want you to vote if it’s not for them. That’s the reason why they’ve been doing everything in their power to keep third party options in the dark as much as possible. They know it, I know it, and now YOU know it. DON’T prove them right!

Vote for the candidate you feel you would like in office. And be honest with yourself about it. If you would rather see Libertarians in office, vote for them! If you would rather see Reformers or Greens in office, vote for them! If you’re happy with Democrats or Republicans, by all means vote for them! Don’t let the scare tactics of Democrats and Republicans talk you into compromising your principles. Voting is NOT about who wins or choosing between "the lesser of two evils" - if it were we’d still be debating between Federalists and Anti-Federalists like our forefathers did 200 years ago!

Don’t let the political "goblins" scare you away from your one real responsibility as an American. Maybe THEN we could have the Halloween season end after October 31st and not after Election Night.

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