Trust your gut when voting Aug. 7
July 27, 2012 · Updated 12:42 PM
On my very lengthy 2012 primary ballot, due Aug. 7, I voted for very few incumbents — only three in the first three columns of state and county candidates seeking 16 offices. And those three were lower-level or non-partisan state officials who hold specialized offices.
My five decades of experience as a voter have taught me one thing: if you want change in Olympia, don’t keep voting for the powers that be! That’s the definition of insanity: doing what you have always done, even though you are unhappy with the outcome. What do you think will change in this state after 28 years of one-party rule?
I lived in another one-party state, the Czech Socialist Republic in 1976. They had no other choices; we do. Things did not change there until the Berlin Wall fell and they had the Velvet Revolution, led by Vaclav Havel. It took five decades of their citizens being unsatisfied with government, as resentments built up.
May I remind you that Washington, the only state named for a president, the one who led the American Revolution, has a tradition of split voting? Every time then-Gov. Al Rosellini ran, his vote ran counter to the presidential outcome in this state; check the records. When he was 95, I asked him why he thought that happened; he said, “I don’t know, Fred. I guess that’s the idea of democracy: the people know best they want to be governed!” He smiled. God bless the late governor, the last progressive who balanced our state budget.
The last column on the four-column primary ballot lists judicial offices: 19 lawyers running for five well-paid court seats. This column almost stopped me cold and required the most delicate choices. Look at it this way: if you have to wind up in court, which candidate would you trust the most to grant you justice? It may come down to that. Not easy to know!
I did vote for one incumbent there and for Richard Sanders, a former Supreme Court justice. Elsewhere, I followed my instinctual gut. Don’t swallow all these legal establishment endorsements; they live to serve one-party rule. Let’s have some judicial runoffs!
(Springsteel, a retired professor at University of Missouri, ran for Poulsbo City Council as a write-in candidates in 2011, and for school board in Columbia, Mo., in 1998. He won the primary election for Missoula, Mont., City Council in 1975 but lost the general election 56-44 percent.)