Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Not your momma’s politics

  • By Virginia Walters
  • Saturday, October 15, 2016 12:04pm
  • LifeCommunity

OK, people, just three more weeks, give or take a day or two, and this will all be over. We’ve passed the local elections (which really counted) and the farce of the presidential race will soon be only a bad memory. We still have to elect our representatives to Juneau, and to Washington, D.C., so we can’t just blow it off, as so many have suggested be done, but we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the old saying goes, however, it might be an oncoming train!

The turnout for the local elections was not as good as it should have been, considering the entire peninsula had major issues to vote on. I’m always a little surprised we don’t get at least a 50 percent turnout when big things are on the ballot, but what I think is important probably is not what others want to cast their ballots for.

This time around, however, Kenai got a new mayor and two new council members. Soldotna will be home rule. The borough tax cap stays the same; seniors maintain the additional tax break and the borough assembly got some new members. I’m sure not everyone is happy with all the results but that is the way of “by the people, for the people” — you win some and you don’t win some.

The best thing about local politics, at least here, is that they are polite. No back-biting, no name-calling. No one trashed anyone’s family, or tore down their signs. Questions were answered honestly, and with candor in some cases and when candidates were together at functions, they smiled and shook hands and spoke civilly to each other. A lot of adulting (that is a new word I’ve just learned) going on. We didn’t even learn who they sat with on the bus in first grade, or where they went when they skipped school, or what they gave their moms for Mother’s Day when they were ten. Obviously, whoever wrote the questions was too focused on what’s significant to the people of the Peninsula and didn’t care about really important stuff.

But now we’re back to the trash and burn politics. I don’t even want to turn on TV or the radio, and only glace at the papers to see the headlines. If I don’t see a T or an H, I take a second look. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate race is getting a little heated, and we can always count on Don Young to entertain us during election year but, thank heaven, neither is anything like the two vying for president.

We now know Hillary spent a couple of days on the slime line in Valdez, until she couldn’t stomach it anymore then went to (then) Mt. McKinley to wash dishes for a short period. That interval has been good for her resume to claim a summer with the common people in the hinterlands. We’ve learned Donald Trump can use the tax rules to his advantage and climb out of whatever financial hole he digs for himself. Now, if either of them could do for the country what they have done for themselves, we’d have someone worth voting for.

Unfortunately, politics being what it is, we can’t stick to the issues long enough to learn a legitimate position, but have to verge off onto personality disorders and former misdeeds. Hillary once said that if she didn’t like what was on the front page, all she had to do was change her hair style, or this year, her pants suit. Frivolity gets much more play from today’s journalists than hard news. I think I miss Paul Harvey!

The media is no longer made up of journalists who can simply report and go on. They are determined to make up our minds for us as to who to vote for. They apparently believe the public — their readers/viewers/listeners — aren’t capable of making an intelligent decision. If we had an evenly biased bunch, it probably wouldn’t make so much difference, but today’s media is distinctly liberal, bordering on radical, so we have no balance in “reporting.” One almost has to watch Fox News (or as a friend of mine says ‘Faux news’) to even hear the so-called other-side.

So the next three weeks will be painful for us. I am always a little skeptical of “stuff” dug up from the archives from years back. If damning material exists for one it’s a sure bet it’s there for the other. However, the bias being what it is, it’s a cinch we won’t see it unless someone is really mad at Hillary. (Umm? On second thought, that could happen.)

It’s is going to be a sobering three weeks. We are probably going to find out more than we want to know about a lot of things that have nothing to do with the good of the country. I guess we could pray for the Zombie Apocalypse!


Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email her at

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