Tomorrow is primary day for CT Democrats, but the mailings make it seem more like a high school class president election. I made the mistake of registering as a Democrat in 2006 when I felt strongly that we should oust Joe Lieberman (see how that turned out). My punishment now seems to be that I will receive stacks of Democratic campaign materials. How many Gerry Garcia card stock rectangles can I get before it stops being amusing? Three.
While the materials seem to be mostly union made, and Recycle Bank gives me some direct material benefit from all this redundant paper, I’d much prefer so much stuff to not get produced in the first place. Then, no energy is expended making it and no energy is expended transporting it and no energy is expended recycling it. All this paper, yet in the 2008 primary less than 5100 registered Hartford Democrats actually voted in the primary. That’s 16.1%, which remarkably is better than the statewide average of 13.7%.
I wasn’t sure if I would even vote in the primary, but now I think I may just vote for the candidates who have sent me the least stuff. That seems as good a reason as any to vote for a candidate. After all, the campaign postcards do very little to actually distinguish a candidate’s ideas, platform, or issues. Instead they are placards for rhetoric, fancy graphics, bright glossy colors, gimmicks, and an apparent flood of finances, but a drought of substance. It would be refreshing if the politicians learned from the evangelists in my neighborhood – get thee to Barnard park, with a band and megaphone and speak directly to the people. Register new voters, rather than saturate the ones you already have. Call me crazy, but I would like to see John Fonfara sing a gospel tune about how he intends to help balance the state budget. That would be worthy of my vote.
Admittedly, I have lost count of this and today was recycle day, so here is a fuzzy list of these campaign literature offenders this primary season:
- Gerry Garcia – at least 3
- John Fonfara – at least 2 (which are twice as big as the other candidates’)
- Kelvin Roldan – no fewer than 7
- Edwin Vargas – at least 3
- Honorable mentions to Ned Lamont and Angel Morales for their late surge!
I have not seen one of these candidates in person this primary season. But from the postcards, I know what they look like: shiny, flat and paper thin.