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Texas Agriculture Archive

January 16, 2004

The political season has rolled around again and Mel and I were having a recent discussion about the fact that there are so many candidates running for president.

"Some 'em fellars don't have a snowball's chance o' winnin' thur party's nomination, let alone the election. I don't know why they don't jist bow out now an' save thurselves the embarassment an' a heap o' money," my husband commented.

"What if everyone had that attitude? They'd just give up right off the bat and never aspire to anything," I said. "Quitters never win."

"Yeah, an' some losers never seem to quit," Mel observed.

"I think having a lot of different voices and ideas is good for the electorate," I continued. " The process allows prospective voters to listen to different views, examine the records of those that have previously held public office, and assess the qualifications of many candidates before settling on one they really like or feel will take the country in the direction they want it to go."

"Some of 'em I seen on television are dunderheads," Mel remarked. "Don't know what makes 'em thank they could govern. Cain't eben keep thur tales straight from one speech to the next..."

"Granted, but that's never stopped a politician before. They change their positions—even their stripes—if they think it will help them get elected. Nothing new here."

"I still say too many people jist muddies up the water," Mel suggested. "An' they beat each other up so bad in the primaries that eben the raht decent ones have a hard time recovering."

"Having a large field of candidates changes the dynamics of the race. The competition is really a healthy thing. It's harder for a candidate to get by with erroneous statements or half-truths when he or she is constantly challenged by another person wanting the same job."

"Maybe so, but it's jist hard to watch one nem debates and foller anythang they say fer all the inneruptions, connerdictions, fanger pointin' an' name callin'. You know me, I'm a peace-lovin' guy an' all that conflict don't set too well with me."

"Yeah, right. We both know that's mostly theatrics. The same people that are on the verge of a knock down dragout now will be having a love fest by November," I said. "The ones that are telling you how rotten the top dog is today will be vying for a place on the ticket with him in just a few months. They'll have a change of heart and all will be forgiven."

"Well, the incumbent's got it awful easy, if you ask me. Very seldom does he face an opponent in the primary."

"Might be a good idea if he did," I said. "Competition is the lifeblood of democracy. When you have competition, it keeps you on your toes. It makes you more appreciative of your role, more responsible, more accountable, more attentive, more likely to keep promises, nicer..."

Mel's eyes twinkled. "Well in that case, maybe I oughta git me a girlfriend!"