Monday, October 31, 2005

Endorsements Mean Nothing, Really. But They Can Be Fun

Recently Kilo wondered why some of us place so much importance on endorsements by area newspapers.

Your local fish wrap (thanks Norm) endorses Billy Bob for School Board (or State Senate, doesn't matter) and you immediately decide "hey, they think he's the best choice, so that's who I'll vote for" or "that cuts it, if they endorse her, I know I need to vote for the other guy". Party doesn't matter here, it cuts both ways.

That's how those of us who spend some time actually considering the politics of a race consider endorsements. So that endorsement was a complete waste of ink for some voters.

The majority of the voters in your District can't tell you who Billy Bob defeated to get that position of incumbency. Probably can't even tell you who the current Lt. Governor is. Almost certainly can't tell you who the Secretary of State is or what his or her position is in the line of succession. These people generally do not read the editorial page where the endorsement is found. They will probably vote a party line, because "Daddy always voted that way, by cracky, and I ain't gonna change". The endorsement was again a total waste of ink for some more voters.

There may be some voters who actually look for the local editors to tell them how they should vote. But a strong argument could be made that these people should not even be allowed to vote.

That basically means that endorsements are waste of ink to us all. In essence, just an exercise in vanity on the part of your local editorial board.

Some of you have noticed, I'm sure, that I have been having some fun with The Roanoke Times' endorsement policy. I'm not so concerned with who Wendy, Tommy and crew choose to endorse as I am with the pompousness with which they present it.

Wendy Zomparelli went to great pains here in an attempt at making the process seem so pure and non-idealogical. Of course it was pure horse hockey, but she and Tommy would never admit it. I decided to graphically point out the "horse hockeyness" of it by commenting on and even predicting their endorsements over the course of the next few days as those "well thought out" and "seriously debated" endorsements are presented.

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