OPINION COLUMNS

Choices this November leave voters in a quandary

By Roy J. Eaton | Published Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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I have been convinced through columns and letters from my colleague Brian Knox and old friend D.A. Sharpe that I should not skip voting in the Nov. 8 general election.

They have not convinced me, however, that I should not simply ignore the presidential race, and I plan to leave that ballot blank.

Roy J. Eaton

Roy J. Eaton

How on earth did we come to this? We are forced to choose between two of the most flawed, if not despicable, candidates to ever run for president of our great nation. How can we vote for either one?

At least on the Republican side we had many choices, but somehow we chose Donald Trump. He’s even worse than the snarling Ted Cruz who, until recently, refused to endorse his party’s candidate.

I can’t believe the “loyalty to party at all costs” folks who support Trump, or Hillary for that matter. Hillary is a smart candidate, no doubt about that, but she’s a tired political hack who has been around in one way or another for 30 years.

Donald Trump is dangerous. The stories of how he treats others both inside and outside his business enterprise is shocking. His blatant lies about all Mexicans being thieves and rapists are enough to disqualify him, let alone his treatment of women and proposed bans on immigration based on religious beliefs.

For the life of me, I can’t bring myself to vote for either one. And all the fringe candidates are laughable and don’t have a chance to be elected. My friend Richard Flynt and I had this discussion last week, and he said if I didn’t vote, it would in effect be a vote for Hillary – and he may be right. But she may be the lesser of two evils.

I’m going to vote because I care about local government. There are only two contested races in Wise County, one for my precinct commissioner and one for tax collector. While I have disagreed with Tax Assessor-Collector Monte Shaw over tax collection policies, he certainly deserves to be re-elected because he operates his office efficiently, and there’s never been a hint of financial scandal in the office while he has been tax collector.

My commissioner Danny White does a good job. Danny is the perfect example of a “good ol’ boy,” but he takes the time to study issues and often brings a breath of fresh air to county commissioners meetings. I often drive the roads in his precinct, and they seem as good as anywhere in the county.

Precinct 1 and Precinct 2, represented by Kevin Burns, share parts of Decatur, and they work together to assist the city on street projects. Both have been leaders in improving the Wise County Fairgrounds. Once they get the Women’s Building remodeled, the roads fixed and drainage issues handled, the fairgrounds will be even better.

Wise County Republicans, under the leadership of Allen Williamson, are well-organized, while Democrats seem to be in disarray. But I have been around Wise County long enough to remember when the situation was reversed.

Local candidates run as Republicans because that’s how you get elected. Not many years ago it was just the opposite, as Democrats ruled the roost and Republicans, despite the quality of the candidates, couldn’t get elected.

That brings me back to what has always been my voting philosophy: vote for the person, not the party. This year that seems more important than ever.

Roy Eaton is publisher of the Messenger.

2 Responses to “Choices this November leave voters in a quandary”

  1. Trump’s “blatant lies about all Mexicans being rapists and thieves”?
    I’m afraid you’re the one lying, sir.
    He never said that about ALL Mexicans.
    And you either know that and don’t care or you’re quite ignorant.
    I’ll say it’s the former – – and that’s quite typical of corrupt, liberal journalists such as yourself.

  2. I also find it laughable – in light of your lie about Trump – that your publication’s guidelines for commenters demands “truthfulness.”

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