Earlier today, I wrote about the front page news article in The Tennessean today. Looking back to the weekend, I swore I would never mention the front page article on Sunday.
But then, I heard from some of my Democratic friends and when they did not try to mask their disgust at its contents, I have to stand up and speak out. I have been meaning to say something about Democrats for a quite awhile and now, it seems to be an appropriate time.
The subject of the article had to do with the Democratic party's self proclaimed, "redneck hillbilly". who will be our candidate for Governor in November. There are no words to properly define the low to which the Democratic party has fallen. Especially, when the Republicans are offering one of their best candidates for public office in years. You can etch it in stone, he will be the one replacing Lamar Alexander in 2020.
When I moved here twenty years ago, I met Nashville's Mayor and realized that he was a politician on the move. It did not surprise me that he would go on to become Governor and Tennessee prospered as a result. But then, the roof seems to have caved in. I still do not understand what happened, nor can I find anyone who can properly explain why we have such an ineffective Legislature while people like Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam have occupied the Governor's office.
My introduction to politics dates back to my college days in Georgia. I was just out of the Air Force, and I had yet to vote for a President. We had a "grand old man" in the Senate in Washington and I was prepared to vote for him to stay in office. Along comes a friend and tells me he wants to introduce me to politics, Georgia style. The Senator had to go and there was a reason for his departure; he had helped himself to the largesse available to politicians with influence in Washington. The facts were obvious and so I joined the other side. Remember, there was only one political party in the South in those days. I wound up being elected to a position in the collegiate effort to support Herman Talmadge and would learn, merely being elected to office was not enough. There were 159 counties in Georgia, the goal was to win every one - and we did.
Later I moved to California and was living in Los Angeles when the Democratic party chose LA for their national convention in 1960. Thanks to fiends I had made in college, I was hired to help Lyndon Johnson get the nomination. My job was to call and talk with the Judges and political figures I had known in Georgia and report my finding to the Committee I did not have good news. The Kennedy forces had done their homework throughout the South and as the record demonstrates, they overwhelmed one of the most powerful political figures ever to serve our nation.
That association did not impress the California Democrats. You earned your political stripes by getting involved with local elections and - winning. So, when an opportunity came to unseat a State representative who had made enemies with a local Chamber of Commerce, we used the lessons I had learned in Georgia to end his tenure. That was heady stuff. One of those who noticed was "Pat" Brown (the former Governor) who became a good friend.
A divorce would end my interest in local politics and I have had no real interest in several years.
Somehow, over the years, it seems to me, that money has become the essential element in elections these days and those with access to it have done an excellent of confusing the electorate. I have seen money, big money, try to influence a local election and lose because they have yet to print a dollar pill that can pull the lever in a voting machine. People vote. They are the only ones who are eligible. And people will vote for anyone who can relate the "real" problems that we have in terms that activate the individual's eagerness to get to the polls on election day.
We waste away too much time listening to consultants and commentators who are - quite often, paid well to express their opinions.
We are missing the greatest opportunity this nation has ever had by simply ignoring the fact that almost everyone carries a electronic device that serves to notify the holder that something REALLY important is happening in their neighborhood.
We should be embarrassed by the FACT that an actual "hillbilly" will be speaking for us in November.
It is too late to do anything about that now, but 2016 is right around the corner.