Saturday, September 30, 2023

Political Pandering and Purity Tests.

February 25, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The 2020 election season is already off to a start with candidates announcing their presidential runs in both major parties. Not only that but minor parties have a number of candidates as well. As expected everyone’s discussing these candidates: how genuine is Senator Kamala Harris, what about her previous stances in previous positions, Senator Corey Booker’s difficultly in getting his platform across, Republican challengers to Trump to name a few.

One candidate that raises discussion is Senator Bernie Sanders making another run. In the last election, he was very strong in getting across to voters he was going to pick up anyway. It running as a Democrat, he dropped the ball in picking up the Black vote since he didn’t hit up the South. So we’ll see how 2020 pans out for him.

“They pander for votes”

Something that always pops up is a disdain for candidates who pander to voters. I’ve always found this fun since pandering is a necessary skill for politicians. This isn’t going door to door and talking to folks in favorable districts. That’s what you’re supposed to do. I’m talking the PR things to make a politician relatable to people.

Mind you, a lot of politicians just aren’t relatable for the most part. Sure they come from your hometown but they’re so far removed because their studies, careers, political careers, and the circles they work and play in tend to not be in that hometown. Even state politicians can be far removed from constituents.

That brings us back to “They pander for votes.” When I see this pops up as a reason to cut down a candidate I often think “Really? Really?” That’s what rubs you the wrong way about this person? This politician is working from the early chapters end of Politics 101—a generic title for a book I’m certain exists.

Shaking hands and kissing babies. Taking pictures with voters. Popping up at local eateries. It’s all textbook stuff and roughly every politician who wants a seat or wants to keep their seat do some degree of this. When candidates of both parties swing down here through Alabama, nine out of ten they’re going drop by Dreamland BBQ and snag a plate. Presidents Clinton and Bush 43 hit up the place. President Obama hit up Austin’s Franklin BBQ.

When the election cycle starts, politicians drop by all the places to endear themselves to working class voters. Why? Because everyone eats even when they have five bucks and are doing meal math. It’s to be expected. President Trump aligned himself with evangelical voters and pandered to them even though there’s been the long-lingering question of if he attends church and if he regularly attended church.

Groups of people, their habits and leanings are all easy to read when you have the right team in place. Pandering’s to be expected if those group are deemed valued votes.

A Pure Candidate

Alright, so you’ll tolerate that filthy pandering but this person has to mark all the check boxes. While unrealistic, this is a more valid because you have to look at their track record in Congress, state legislature, business, law—all of that. Then you have to look at your BINGO board and see if they fill it.

The thing is, they never do. What you’re often voting for is someone who comes close enough. A candidate you can personally live with and live with your vote for them. Someone who seems strong enough to carry and represent your party and country internationally or represent you and your state’s interests nationally.

Someone like Harris was taking hits as soon as she announced that she would run for President. There are some concerning criminal justice decisions from her time as Attorney General of California. You have rumors of Booker’s sexual orientation. Every candidate is put to this test. I’m sure even Vermin Supreme will be questioned on if he can actually provide a pony for every citizen as president.

Aim to Be An Educated Voter

Once you’re in the voting booth, at the voting machine, or at the table, you should always use your best educated judgment on candidates. If you’re aiming to vote for Trump, at least refrain from going in as one of the uneducated voters he loves.

Also, remember that as pure as you may feel your candidate is, eventually that office will change them and there will decisions to be made once they actually have the information in front of them. They might say “I will not use drone strikes” but once they’re actually looking at everything, you might want to brace for continued drone strikes. Your candidate might make certain promises but depending on the make up of Congress, if they don’t have the pieces needed on the board, some of that stuff might not get passed.

Be prepared for that.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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