I went to the fair today, and saw the usual booths for the Democrats and Republicans, and stayed away from them.
But I stopped to chat at the American Party booth, because one of the founders of the party was there — Jim Rex.
Jim invited me to sign the petition to get a recall power onto the ballot — a measure that would allow voters to dump politicians who have broken the law.
I told him no, I don’t hold with recall petitions. I think elections come soon enough. Although I admit that allowing recall only in cases of illegality is a lot less objectionable than the kind they have in California and other places, which allow voters to dump pols between election on a whim if they choose (thereby eliminating even the rare glimpses of political courage that we occasionally see in non-election years).
Then, we segued into a polite argument about term limits, with me getting on a rhetorical high horse and saying I just have more simple faith in politics than he does. I trust the voters to decide for themselves whether they want somebody for one term, two terms, three terms or 20 terms.
I said that if he wanted to do something about cynical incumbents, noncompetitive elections and apathy, then go to work on a federal constitutional amendment that would end the way we apportion districts in this country. THAT is the cause of all the ills he deplores.
Anyway, looking at the picture I took above of the Rexes causes me to check myself — I shouldn’t have said I have more faith in politics.
There is no greater faith in our system than stepping out and starting a new party, and sticking to it and working as hard at it as the Rexes have, along with Oscar Lovelace and others.
Frankly, I find it inspiring, even when I disagree on policy proposals…
“I trust the voters to decide for themselves whether they want somebody for one term, two terms, three terms or 20 terms.”
If Bobby Harrell is re-elected in a few weeks, your trust is invalid. Would you, as opinion editor of The State, endorse Harrell this year? Yes, I know that is not a race The State would normally cover.
You’re right; we would NOT endorse in a Charleston House race. If we DID… I’d love to just give a resounding “no,” but I’d need to see his opponent to be completely sure. But even if we had major problems with the opponent, we might just not endorse, and explain why. That would be a very unusual move, though, and one that would break my rule of not copping out…
And I really, really hate doing that. How much do I hate it? Offhand, I only remember doing it once, back in the 90s, on lieutenant governor. And I’ve always sort of regretted it…
Seriously, when I look at that picture of the Rexes, all ready to do battle against the evils of our two-party system, I do feel inspired. Like watching “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I hear, in the background, that fife that always played “Yankee Doodle” when Oliver Wendell Douglas got to riffing on what made America great, on “Green Acres”…