Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The 2014 Midterm Election

I understand that there’s an election coming up. For me the races are to find a replacement for Eric Cantor, and a U.S. Senate race between the incumbent Mark Warner and his challenger, Ed Gillespie. Decisions, decisions…

The Congressional race is between two Randolph Macon professors, which sounds like the punch line of a joke. Actually it’s kind of nice in a way since neither of them are career politicians…yet. I don’t know enough about either of the two gentlemen to have formed an opinion, although generally speaking, it doesn’t look like a good year for the party of government. So unless the Democratic professor is running with the slogan, “I’m not like the rest of my incompetent Party,” I think I’ll probably pass.

The Senate contest is more difficult for me. On the one hand there’s Mr. Warner, the Democrat, who has largely kept his nose clean so far, seldom making the news which is a good thing. I like the fact that he followed the Founders vision of going into government only after making something of himself, in his case starting and running a very successful business. I can’t think of anything the Senate needs more than someone with some actually real world experience in the business world, the kind of business that has to make a product and sell it at a profit, not the other kind of business which brings me to Mr. Gillespie.

Ed Gillespie probably is closer to me on the large issues of the day, but represents everything that I loathe about our political system. In his campaign ads he is fond of pointing out the fact that he has “started two successful businesses.” What he doesn’t tell you is that one was a lobbying firm that traded on his own lifelong connections in DC to sell influence. The fact that he formed that business with a Democrat only means that he was a bipartisan influence peddler. The other business was something called “Ed Gillespie Strategies,” a consulting firm also devoted to politics. In fact, it would seem that Mr. Gillespie has never held any meaningful employment outside the bubble of Washington in his entire life. Now, there are two ways to look at this. One, you could view this as a plus, demonstrating as it does a keen understanding of how Washington works, a nice skill to have in the toolbox of a freshman Senator. On the other hand you could see this insular political resume as an indictment, proof that Mr. Gillespie is about as far removed from real world problems as Harry Reid, and conclude that the last thing we need in DC is another careerist.
So, it looks like once again I will enter the ballot box with my brain tied in knots.