Sounds Like a Nice Name

We voted yesterday, Sandra and I. We did our civic duty. Sort of.

To tell the truth, we didn’t know who we were voting for. I searched the web and found little or nothing about the local candidates. And the local paper no longer offers recommendations. The New York Times sold the paper to a group in South Carolina in January, and the new owners think it would seem partisan to offer recommendations. (It might also turn off advertisers.)

We knew who Charlie Crist was, of course. He used to be our governor. He used to be a Republican. Now he’s a Democrat. From what we know of him, he is a reasonable guy. But he might be “pro-life.” That’s what a telephone robocall assured me. It was a recording that sounded a lot like Crist, and it warned me not to believe the stuff people were saying about him, that he was a staunch conservative anti-abortionist still, so I wasn’t to worry.

Of course, it could have been fake. The Republicans could have doctored the tape. They do that kind of thing. Creepy, isn’t it?

Is Crist against gun control? Nan Rich said so. Who is Nan Rich? She is the lady who ran against Crist in the Democratic primary. She was definitely for gun control and against Rick Scott. We didn’t vote for her although we agree with her and might disagree with Crist (if the robocall was genuine). But why waste our vote? She didn’t have a chance against Scott. Nobody knows her name.

A few of the names seeking my vote for positions like circuit judge and school board member sounded familiar. I thought I’d read something favorable about a candidate named Christine Thornhill so I filled in the oval next to her name. And the name Randy Wilkinson rang a bell. Wasn’t he the crazy guy who used to cause so much trouble on the County Commission, or was it some other guy with a similar name? Anyway, just in case it was the same guy, I voted for his opponent. I didn’t want some nut on the school board.

Sandra had commented that “Taylor Davidson” sounded like a good name, so Ifigured she would vote for him. He was running for a circuit judge seat. So I voted for his opponent. If he turned out to be a horror, I would be canceling Sandra’s vote. No harm done.

I know, we were … confused. But at least we voted. More than 80 percent of our fellow-citizens in Polk County didn’t even bother.

Was the exercise useful? Democracy in action? I doubt it.

It seems to me the same results could have been achieved by casting lots, as they used to do back in Biblical days.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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