Please don’t go back to sleep
Come Tuesday night, this historic and horrendous election will finally be over. I don’t know what the result will be because I do not own a working crystal ball, but there is one prediction that I can make that I hope will turn out to be false: that the American populace will go back to sleep, again, once the election is over.
We seem to wake up every four years in this country, right before the presidential election cycle begins. In New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on how engaged we are with our first in the nation primary.
And I guess we can be proud of that: We are engaged in the primary. People go out to town hall meetings. They ask questions. But how engaged are we when we’re not in the middle of a presidential election?
During the four-year-long nap between presidential elections, other elections happen.
Local ones, where we elect people like mayors and aldermen and members of the board of education. These elections matter, particularly because this is where you can see how elected officials behave. How well these officials represent you and your interests. Your interests – not theirs.
This is why I am so perplexed when people tell me they don’t know who they are going to vote for. How can you be undecided? In this state, we have a governor running against an incumbent senator for senator.
Both of them have been in office for some time. There has been plenty of coverage of what they have said their positions on the issues are – and, even better, there have been votes on some of the issues.
For me, I have to vote for Maggie Hassan because not only has Kelly Ayotte voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, she also supported the Republican leadership’s actions to refuse to even hold a hearing on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Now there are Republican senators saying they won’t approve any Supreme Court justices nominated by Hillary Clinton, if she becomes the first woman president in American history. I think that’s absolutely wrong. It’s certainly not what "advise and consent" is supposed to mean.
I know who I am going to vote for in our state elections, because I have been following their campaigns – or their careers, if they’re incumbents. That’s why I’m voting for Dan Weeks for Executive Council.
I don’t know what reality Dave Wheeler is living in (apparently one where there’s no need for a minimum wage), but Wheeler wants to undo the NH Health Protection Program; he’s against funding Planned Parenthood and commuter rail. I wouldn’t vote for him because of these issues – that he’s also a Trump supporter just puts the icing on the cake.
Bette Lasky has been a fine state senator, and I will keep voting for her, as well as for Cindy Rosenwald and Mariellen MacKay, who are the state representatives for my ward. They have done a great job. I am going to vote for Patricia Klee, too – she’s new, but I like what she has to say in her campaign literature. But I will be watching the way she votes.
I’m going to vote for Paul Bergeron for county commissioner. I have seen him at Board of Public Works meetings, and I think he will bring the enthusiasm and dedication he brings to the Board of Public Works to his work as a county commissioner.
And I think that’s a lot of what we need now. Enthusiasm. Dedication. Willingness to do the work. People who are running for positions so that they can actually serve the public. I, like most of the American electorate, am tired of people getting elected and fulfilling their agendas on my money.
I don’t know what’s going to happen on Tuesday night.
But I’m sure that nap time is over.
June Lemen is a columnist for the Nashua Telegraph. Her column appears the first Sunday of each month.