Why I Am Seriously Considering a "None of the Above" Vote for US Senate
This race for US Senate has, quite frankly, disgusted me. It has been fully of grandstanding, backroom dealing, vicious personal attacks, rampant trolling, and general idiocy. I can usually manage to find someone worth my vote as the best choice (even if not necessarily a good one), but this particular race has me thinking that “none of the above” may be the best option out there.
First off, there’s Mike Lee. I was immediately distrustful of him from the get-go when he started his “fireside” lectures about the Constitution. Who is this guy? Why is he appearing out of nowhere just as the Senate race is getting some legs? And, more importantly, why does he seem to be acting and talking like someone who has his sights on higher office? Time did not assuage these concerns. I always left with the feeling as if he was saying what people wanted to hear in order to get elected. In addition, the undercurrent of “Mormon values” was always present in his verbiage, right back to those first “firesides”. Given how many fraudsters and hucksters co-opt religious language to perpetrate financial crimes against the members of their faith, I saw even less reason to trust how genuine Lee was being with the voters. The final straws were in his shameless grandstanding, particularly when it came to repealing the recent health care legislation and the 17th Amendment. Given the unlikeliness of accomplishing the former in less than 4 years and the latter even at all, he’s either willfully ignorant of political reality or intentionally blowing smoke. In either case, he’s not fit for Senate.
Sam Granato isn’t exactly doing a lot better in my book. I’ve already taken him to task on several occasions for running a campaign of nothing but smoke and mirrors. Aside from a few scant “mom and apple pie” policy statements, Granato has no positions, no goals, no plans to achieve those non-existent goals, and nothing but endless name-dropping in every single speech that he makes. How on earth that he managed to get 78% at the convention, the same convention where Matheson darn near got tossed on his head, is absolutely incomprehensible. Even now that his opposition is clear, he still isn’t saying a whole lot about what he believes. To be quite honest, waiting to say anything until he knows who his Republican opponent is says a lot about what kind of snake in the grass Granato really is. Instead of running in terms of what he believes, what he will do, and how he will do it, this strategy hints that he will only tear down his opponent in the lead-up to the general election. If you can only define yourself in terms of your opposition, you aren’t fit for Senate.
And not to let Scott Bradley feel too left out, I don’t think he’s a particularly good choice either. His campaign website is full of lofty goals (many of which I support), but no plan to actually enact or achieve any of them. It’s one thing to say “I’m going to drive from New York to Los Angeles” and another thing entirely to have planned the route to do so. In addition to this, his “issues” page is a series of sprawling essays on the finer points of Constitutional law. Scott, that’s not an issues page. An issues page tells me how you would vote on issues such as foreign relations, trade policy, transportation (because, as I’ve pointed out earlier, “post roads” is kind of part of Congress’ job), and so forth. It would also include some of those items I just mentioned are missing. Anyone who has put so little thought into running for office probably isn’t going to do much thinking if/when they arrive in DC. If you can’t articulate what you want to do and how you will do it, you aren’t fit for Senate.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s too terribly hard to fall into my few requirements for federal candidates. Sadly, all of these jokers are falling well outside of it. Unless one of them makes some drastic changes over the following 4-ish months, NOTA will be my choice.