The election is over. Based on preliminary results, I understand that the Newark Valley town proposition to change elections such as the Newark Valley Town Highway Superintendent to an appointed position by the town council was defeated. Prior to the election, I remained silent. Perhaps I should have spoken out because, once again, I observed that emotions from the loudest mouths who were opposed to such a change swayed the herd mentality so as to convince people to vote on the measure based on what angry people say with a loud mouth than to consider logic and reasoning of the situation. “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”(A statement in a Star Trek movie by Mr. Spock character played by Leonard Nimoy, at the point Mr. Spock was about to die). How sad for Newark Valley. How sad for New York. How sad for the USA. Logic thrown out the window.
It is a shame that the ballots could not have contained information as to the REASONS behind the thought about changing it. As a result, only the loud mouths who blistered this notion were heard.
For instance,some of what I heard in the repetitive forces were as follows.
(1) “Political appointments remove the opportunity for the people to speak.”
(2) “Political appointments mean that those unqualified would be appointed, due to patronage.” (3) “Political appointments give opportunities for the ‘good old boy’ network to operate.”
Logic is thrown out the window in favor of false ideas about our life and politics. Let us take a closer look at this tripe.
Number 1. Political appointments remove the opportunity for the people to speak.
Really? In the election which just passed, I had no opportunity to speak through the ballot box. While I am not in disagreement with the person chosen, why was I not able to have a choice? Because I am a registered Democrat and the choices were made in a Republican primary. There are independent voters who don’t want to be affiliated with either political party. At times, I wish I were independent and it is frustrating that there are no Democratic Party primaries. Yet, a stupid Republican once called those of us here who are Democrats as “Dumicrats.” To that person, I could say Republidumbheads.” I can also think of a very nasty word for Republicans, but I won’t offer it. There are Green Party and Libertarians, etc., etc., etc.No such people are able to vote in a Republican primary. Where is the “voice of the people?” At least when someone is considered for appointment to an office, people may be given a chance to attend a town council meeting and voice approval. Otherwise, there is a segment of the population which is screwed.
In this case, perhaps Republicans would say the simple solution for me would have been to register as a Republican, right? So, let’s create a one-party state. Oh, that’s right. A one-party state in Newark Valley is not a new thing at all. In fact, I knew people who moved here as Democrats and, in order to become involved in the politics here, dumped their Democratic Party affiliation and became Republicans. Excuse me. But one-party states existed in Hitler’s Germany and the Bolsheviks and Marxist/communists of Russia and the Soviet Union.
One possible solution would be for New York State, rather than putting a stupid thing on the ballot about New York City judicial funding, put a proposition on the ballot to allow people to go to the polls on election day and simply declare one party as the designated party to vote in a primary. That would give more voices. I have heard of states which do this and have other similar processes as solutions to such a problem. I might add that in the state where I spent nearly 40 years, they do not have such a solution, but some people spoke up in favor of such solutions for primaries. But alas, Republicans of Florida don’t want people to vote and are putting forth adverse laws to restrict voting. Why would such a state even consider such when it works to discourage voters since the Republicans created a one-party state, beginning with Jeb Bush.
“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
Number 2. Political appointments mean that those unqualified would be appointed, due to patronage.
What about the unqualified who can run for a job and are not qualified to be highway superintendent, clerk, or what ever? What about the example of a relative of mine who was very qualified for an office, due to bookkeeping skills possessed by this person and appointed by both Republicans AND Democrats to a job? No patronage there. So it is possible, with the right people elected to leadership roles in the government councils and executive offices. Perhaps the “voice” of the people should spend more time investigating those who are elected into the town, village, city, or county councils of government. I don’t argue that it is not possible for the existence of patronage. I am sure it does happen all the time. But to cast a pessimistic aspersion on something which might be a good solution is absurd. With herd mentality spreading potentially false information is a stereotypical tarnishing of ideas.
Number 3. Political appointments give opportunities for the “good old boy network” to operate.
False. This statement is like taking offense of anything we do as humans with human institutions always results in a “godd old boy network.” Such networks exist, but there is proof that sometimes they do not exist. The man appointed to supervise operations of a village lawn, street, sidewalk maintenance and garbage collection service, with only an 8th grade education and not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, might NOT be acceptable to accountants, lawyers, business people and others who are in positions of responsibility, but just might do a good job. One such example did exist one time. I do know a thing or two from history.
My mantra has become this. Human beings and human institutions cannot possibly be perfect. If people knew Christian values, they should realize this. Yet, how many people continue to consider humans or human institutions in whom they have a “beef” as not living up to expectations in terms of perfection. With the president prior to our current one, I spent time TRYING to find things which demonstrated a leader. In contrast to his paranoid views that “everyone was out to get him” in terms of a “witchhunt,” I knew a number of people who tried to turn around some of his bad. Each time I became disappointed. However, I did not hold an expectation of perfection when going into consideration of the man. On the same token, I can say the same about a former governor. There were some things I may have disagreed, but there also may have been some things I disagreed. I did not wish to tarnish his image ONLY on the things in which I disagreed. And this governor had some factors which were the same as the former president for whom the religious right swept under the rug.
Main point. Making appointments by the Newark Valley Town Council is not a bad idea when the village of Newark Valley haas been doing it for many years and has been successful in its endeavors. It was the people’s voice in the village which voted against a sewage system and natural gas lines within the village limits. It was the village which first introduced cable television to the area and regulated the cable television. It was the FCC, including many Republicans at a higher level, and other agencies which removed local control of cable television and endorsed the huge corporate conglomerates, through deregulation, which destroyed local business. It would behoove local people to take on these issues at the local level than to be concerned about whether or not we cannot possibly handle the appointment of positions within the town government. Ignorance, as opposed to stupidity, of the issue, without thinking and looking into details, which means such ignorance, with humility an open mind, would enable learning and wisdom. Critical thinking skills are very handy in such situations.