Let me start by apologizing for my extended absence... I had to sort out some things and clear my head (translation: I was watching the NCAA March Madness tournament).
But, let me make it clear that I have not cleared my head of March 31's special election. That's right, folks, I'm deeply troubled by the whole convoluted mess. If there was ever a time when upstate New York could ill-afford to lack a representative in Congress, it's right now...
And now what do we have? A back-and-forth vote count hinged on absentee ballots? Wonderful.
I've come to grips with the fact that the future of 20- and 30-somethings across America (and any younger generations for that matter) is going to be mortgaged in this mess that is the American economy. I think we can all agree that's the worst-case scenario.
Best-case scenario? This massive spending plan works, and we pull through this thing, returning to our status as the world's economic super power.
So, why not embrace this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?
Your answer to that question might be some sort of rephrased statement you hear on the news. But let's face it; we basically hear two trains of thought on the stimulus plan: 1.) We must take drastic action now or 2.) The last thing we can do is take too much action too soon.
That sort of rhetoric is a microcosm to what's going on in this country right now. The most vocal people in our nation are either very conservative, or very liberal. We hear a lot from Nancy Pelosi, Keith Oberman, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc. -- but we never hear enough from folks like Michael Bloomberg or John McCain (now that his campaign is over)...
In fact, some of the most middle-of-the-road politicians come from our neck of the woods -- Kirsten Gillibrand, John McHugh, Jim Douglas, Bernie Sanders, heck, even David Paterson (don't believe me? I bet you can get a million Democrats and Republicans to sign a petition to have him fired).
And that is exactly why this special election needs to end sooner than later.
Our voice - the moderate one - needs to be heard, because it is a logical one. It is the bridge between the divide that exists in this country. Everything in moderation. This country cannot continue on into the future as a right-wing, conservative nation or an entity jam-packed with bleeding-heart liberals.
And as I write this I see a press release from Jim Tedisco's camp requesting an extension for overseas, absentee ballots. The conundrum, here, is that those people have a right to have their vote counted. But at what cost does that come?
The Associated Press is reporting that the special election is delaying the arrival of stimulus funds to the 20th Congressional, and no matter what stance you take on Obama's stimulus plan, we can all agree that the money is coming whether we want it to or not.
Unfortunately, I can't offer a solution, so my griping essentially lumps me in the category of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and the folks who lob grenades at our elected officials but never back it up with any alternate solution.
But I do have one idea. The true politician in this special election should understand the impact of our district going too long without real representation. The true politician would concede and let the political wheels start turning again. Sure, some people would be upset, but what is it they say about taxation without representation?
Well, I'm not exactly sure what they do say about taxation without representation, but I imagine there are a few four-letter words involved, and this is, after all, a family publication.
Chris Morris is a contributing writer for Denton Publications. He lives in Saranac Lake.