Friday, October 01, 2010

What Springfield Wants ...

It's that time again ... time for those ubiquitous campaign ads. While you can't tell much about someone from a 30 second advertisement, you can tell none of the candidates are coming across as Mensa candidates. If you look like you aren't smart enough to balance your own checking account, why should I trust you to balance the State's?

I've seen the ad that shows a candidate repairing farm equipment ... and I can't tell you how relieved I am. Small engine repair should really come in handy up at the State House. I've also seen the ad with a candidate bragging that he coaches a high school baseball team. That guy went so far as to film a group of angry looking teens behind him. What's the underlying message there? Are they going to show up at my door and whack my knee caps with a baseball bat if I don't support him? Shame those kids can't vote for him ... because I'm sure not going to.

But you know what my number one pet peeve is? Ads where the candidates rail against "Springfield." You know the ones I mean ...

"Springfield doesn't pay it's bills!"
"We need to show Springfield that we're angry!"

I live in Springfield ... and I vote. Want to know a secret? SPRINGFIELD'S POPULATION IS NOT MADE UP ENTIRELY OF POLITICIANS. The majority of us don't work at the Capitol. The majority of us are hard-working citizens and it's insulting when you make a campaign ad that disparages "Springfield."

I understand this is a common turn of phrase ... such as "Washington is corrupt." There are thousands of good people who live in Washington, D.C. and those statements are in reference to the political body housed in Washington. I get that. And I get that's what the corn pone politicians around here are trying to do ... but Springfield isn't Washington.

We're a state capital ... with a small-town feel. No one is more than two or three degrees removed from someone else. All of us have had the experience of meeting someone for the first time and finding out they graduated from the same school you graduated from ... or went to the same church ... or their uncle married your aunt years ago ... or your grandparents were friends back in the day.

I wasn't born here ... but I've lived here long enough that it feels like a hometown to me. And it's insulting to be cooking dinner and hear politicians in the background bad-mouthing Springfield ... as if we're all in on the scam. Guess what? We couldn't get Blagojevich to come down here unless we paid an Elvis impersonator and a hairdresser to meet him at Capital Airport.

We aren't in on it ... Springfield wants good, trustworthy representation just like everyone else. Springfield works hard and wants our politicians to work as hard as we do. Springfield ... votes. Something you aspiring politicians might want to keep in mind next time you're filming your next campaign masterpiece.

Now I know there's trouble in the Middle East
I'll spend all my money when I stop the arms race
All my brothers in the desert
Gonna have themselves a feast
When that's done then we'll start on
World Peace

Extreme - When I'm President

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