I watched the debate between Bob Corker and Harold Ford on Saturday night. Nothing was going on and nothing else was on TV, so I figured I could sit and listen for an hour. My mind was more or less made up that I was voting for Ford, but I thought I’d watch the debate just to see if anything exciting would happen (cage match, name calling, streakers).
The debate was boring and of course, everything seemed rehearsed. The highlight was Chris Clark interrupting and enforcing the law as moderator. If there were an election for moderator, I’d have no problem voting for Clark.
As I watched the debate, I got a sick feeling that both of these candidates are pretty worthless. I don’t hate elections because of political ads (I rarely believe anything I see or hear on TV). I hate elections, especially in America, because nowhere else in a democracy is the lack of choice so prevalent.
Both candidates seem so close to the middle that I understand why lifelong Democrats and Republicans aren’t thrilled with the man representing their party. While this does highlight the idea that our country is becoming so fragmented that a certain party cannot represent the majority of the people, it makes me hopeful that viable alternatives are soon around the corner.
I don’t think that what we need is a new party to replace either the donkeys or the elephants. What we need is a multitude of options so that we can vote our values, hearts and wallets and not excuse our selections with the ‘lesser of two evils’ excuse. Coalition politics in Europe seem to work well as compromise is key when seeking to make decisions that effect a very diverse population.
But what about Tennessee next Tuesday? There will be seven names on the ballot next week, but we all know that only two will matter. Will voting for one of the other five be a vote for or against one of the main two?
While I love Chris Lugo (I appreciate the fact that his campaign signs are recycled – both out of necessity and principle), I know the guy has no chance. But, I can dream about a Senate where folks like Chris Lugo have an impact. I would love it if Senators worked across multiple aisles and compromised on health care, social security, national defense and economic growth. I have a feeling that such compromises, policies and budgets would be better than anything else either party could come up with on their own.
Dreams like this make me want to run for something. For a moment while being tortured with a pointless debate on Saturday night, I thought for just a minute that maybe I should throw my hat in the ring – not in this Senate race, but maybe for city council next year, or vice-president of the neighborhood association. And then, one day, when I’m the junior Senator from Tennessee, folks can say they read my blog back when – back when options were limited, when we used to drive gas-powered cars, when we used to think gay couples couldn’t marry, and when we used to pray for someone decent in DC.