Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Herd Closes Ranks in Garland County

I had written earlier about how activists in Garland County were trying a magnificent experiment- they were reverting to self-government!  Instead of accepting whatever candidates they are offered from either half of the one party with two-faces (and here) that has so mismanaged the country, they picked their own candidates.   Then they helped them get on the ballot as independents.   One of those candidates went down to defeat, but the other, Mike McCormack, is in a run-off with Republican Fred Hawthorne for Sheriff of Garland County.

McCormack is the former Chief of Police for the city of Hot Springs, by far the largest in Garland County.   Hawthorne is a corporal in the Sheriff's Department.   While both seem to be good men, qualification gap in the two is as wide as the Grand Canyon.  McCormick is running on his qualifications.  Hawthorne seems to be putting his chips on herd-identification.

Look at that list of Republican office holders who have endorsed Hawthorne.  Tom Cotton, Bruce Westerman, Asa Hutchinson, Tim Griffin, Leslie Rutledge, Dennis Milligan, John Thurston, and then some local ones.  Maybe he used their names without permission.  That is not all that unlikely considering Hawthorne ran an ad in the paper right before voting began that claimed he had a poll showing him with 68% of the vote.  His actual vote was 43%,

Why did the Hawthorne campaign spend good money to propagate this falsehood about his support levels?  There is a certain weak-minded segment of the voters who will vote for whoever they perceive is winning.  These people are losers, a drag on good government, who somehow feel that  it will make them into "winners" if they vote for the one who wins.  In what looks to be an effort to fool such herd-thinkers, Hawthorne ran an ad claiming he levels of support over 50% greater than the support he actually had.

If those candidates did give permission for their names to be used, then it is pretty clear what their priorities are.  It would mean that each would rather their political tribe win one local election than see the citizens of Garland County have a well-qualified Sheriff.  That's party over principle, and party over people even.  At least people outside their clique.  

This is the problem with party spirit.  It can't admit the truth.  It forces even the good ones to take up for the bad ones.   That is why it is so morally corrosive.  Not only can they not admit to the simple fact that McCormick is the better candidate, the worse their candidate is relative to the competition, the harder they must work to prop him up.   You don't see the good candidates for Sheriff around the state advertise the list of state-wide and federal politicians who endorse them.  They can stand on their own feet.  When one can't, the party rallies to support them, and thus actively works against good government.

I hope that the citizens of Garland county can see past "celebrity endorsements" from just-elected politicians who have done nothing for them, representing the interests of a political party which has done nothing for them, and simply vote for the best candidate on the ballot regardless of labels.   I applaud the activists in Garland county who decided to try reverting to self-government.  We at Neighbors of Arkansas believe there should be more of us who are sick of the way the two parties are destroying America (or if you like, one destroys America and the other pretends to be the opposition to it but never really does anything about it) and are willing to do something about it.



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