I still plan to post a few more questions in the weeks ahead (I’m hard at work on the next one), but since the election primary date is rapidly approaching, and honestly since a majority of the candidates are not responding (though I can see them reading the website), I wanted to go ahead and thank the candidates that did respond.
Given what good sports they’ve been the past few weeks, I hope you will give Donnie Kemp (R) and Linda Hayes (D) extra consideration for the time they spent here when you vote in the primary on August 2, and Rick Wilson (as an independent) in the general on November 9.
I originally decided to conduct my little experiment in participatory democracy after Leadership Cheatham County’s candidate forum was canceled due to lack of candidate participation (sadly that does not appear to be an isolated incident).
I wanted to get inside candidate’s heads a bit. Resumes and degrees tell you little about the character and wisdom of the candidate. Given the duties of a politician, *how* they think is often as important as *what* they think. And with the uncertainty of the times, character and wisdom are more vital than ever.
You are never going to find a candidate you agree with 100% of the time (even if *you* are the candidate). So rather than apply up-or-down tests on positions, I try to gauge the whole person.
It is in a weak candidate’s best interest to avoid calling undue attention to themselves lest the public realize the emperor has no clothes. They try to skate through on the basis of a smile, a name, and who has the best campaign signs. Opening yourself to scrutiny means taking a chance, and requires confidence and conviction.
And even strong candidates face brutal time constraints. Handing out fliers, putting up signs, raising funds, organizing volunteers, going to events to meet voters, not to mention the more mundane work like making sure the tables they borrowed for their booth get back and ensuring the volunteers get fed. All that, and they juggle their regular job and trying to find time for their family.
I thank the candidates who took time to respond to my little invitation to parley. Like all candidates they are busy as bees, but they choose to make talking to little folks like myself a priority, for which I am grateful.