Voters are to Blame for Bad Politics

Written by Terry Mitchell

When I was growing up, I actually considered a career in politics. I quickly changed my mind, though, when I discovered that there was way too much politics involved in it. Obviously, that's a play on words, but I get funny looks from people when I tell them that. However, I am completely serious. The politics of running for and holding elective office is influenced too much byrepparttar politics of power, influence, and money. But whose fault is it that such a condition exists? I believe voters have no one to blame but themselves. As a voting public, we have become entirely too sophisticated for our own good. Many of us have made a habit of voting pragmatically, i.e., voting forrepparttar 125868 person we think hasrepparttar 125869 best chance to win instead ofrepparttar 125870 person we most agree with. We complain about wishy-washy politicians who won't give us straight answers, yet when people who say what they really think run for office, we dismiss them as being "loose cannons." When any candidate makes a statement that's evenly slightly out ofrepparttar 125871 mainstream, it is considered such an egregious act that he or she either becomes marginalized or is forced to drop out ofrepparttar 125872 race. What's left is a bunch of cautious and robotic weenies with their fingers inrepparttar 125873 wind - people who form their decisions based on polls and focus groups. We say we want candidates who are different, but not too different. We say we want new ideas but we shun candidates that seemrepparttar 125874 least bit precocious. Therefore, we end up withrepparttar 125875 kinds of candidates we've always had. I've often heard voters comment on candidates by making statements like "I couldn't imagine her being elected" or "he sends shivers down my spine." Most people will automatically exclude any candidate who would fit those kinds of descriptions. But should they? Sometimes good candidates come in packages that might be a little different or even a bit scary. By disqualifying those types of candidates, we could be missing out on some potentially great leaders. I wonder how many of today's sophisticated voters would consider someone like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, or Teddy Roosevelt too much of a "nut" to be elected. We like to sayrepparttar 125876 issues arerepparttar 125877 important things to us. However, many of us vote based on personalities. For example, we will decide on a presidential candidate based on who seemsrepparttar 125878 most "presidential" (whatever that means). We are also too concerned about meaningless ceremonial issues. For example, I bet some people wouldn't vote for an unmarried man for president because of their concern aboutrepparttar 125879 absence of a first lady. We also put too great of an emphasis on superficial issues such as aesthetics, i.e., how someone looks. Richard Nixon may have lostrepparttar 125880 1960 election because he didn't look as good on TV as John F. Kennedy during their debate. We also stress a candidate's education a little too much. Education is important, but it's not everything. Some of smartest people inrepparttar 125881 world never attended college. However, many of us wouldn't consider someone for any office higher than dog catcher unless he or she had at least a Bachelor's degree.

Obvious often means overlooked

Written by by Kurt St. Angelo

by Kurt St. Angelo Libertarian Writers' Bureau

My favorite childhood story was about a herd of hippos that played hide n' seek. The baby hippo's best hiding place was on a ledge just above though in plain view of repparttar herd's elders, who never foundrepparttar 125867 baby because they never looked up. Obvious often means overlooked.

And so it is with jail overcrowding inrepparttar 125868 Circle City. County jails lack space for everyone who's been arrested. Last year there were almost 2,000 emergency releases to free space.

Led by a group of mostly Republicans, including Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and Superior Court judges Cale Bradford and William Young, there 's a move to greatly expandrepparttar 125869 county's criminal justice budget, build another jail facility, expand or build a new juvenile center, elect more judges, and if they get their way build a brand new criminal-justice center with even more capacity to turn suspects into government prospects.

The more prospects they can harness and herd,repparttar 125870 more money taxpayers will give them.

Anyone who has watched Brizzi, Bradford or Young recently on Indianapolis television knows how callous they are towardrepparttar 125871 accused. Young, who presides overrepparttar 125872 county's drug court, saysrepparttar 125873 defendants are from 'a sludge pool." By his own count, he has personally released at least six people who have then murdered others.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Bradford chairsrepparttar 125874 Marion County Criminal Justice Planning Council, which also includes Brizzi and Mayor Bart Peterson. The Council is preparing an expensive criminal justice wish list to present torepparttar 125875 City-County Council. At its January meeting, Bradford noted thatrepparttar 125876 county's newest jail facility, built in 1997 to handlerepparttar 125877 main jail's overcrowding, was itself overcrowded.

This latest situation showsrepparttar 125878 obvious, which again won't be discussed atrepparttar 125879 next planning council meeting that a new jail is notrepparttar 125880 solution torepparttar 125881 latest bout of jail overcrowding. As experience shows us, a new jail will only be a standing invitation for politicians and judges to fill it.

Money is notrepparttar 125882 solution, either. Since 2001,repparttar 125883 county's criminal justice budget has almost single-handedly been responsible forrepparttar 125884 county's whopping 40 percent budget increase, from $126 million to $176 million.

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