Today I had the privilege of voting in my first Howell "Howl" County election in over thirty years. My precinct voted in a church. Clearly none of that church-state-wall crap exists down in these parts!
This was primary election day in Missouri, and though there were no state-wide races to gin up the number of people going to the polls, there were five constitutional amendments on the ballot - almost all of them frivolous and meaningless - and local races. Well, there was actually only one local race on the ballot in my precinct, and that was for a Republican committee position. There were several unopposed candidates for various offices on the Republican ballot - but only two, count 'em - two, candidates on the entire Democratic ballot - one for Congress and the other for an associate circuit judge position. The Democrats could not even muster candidates for their local party committee!
I voted for one of the constitutional amendments - the one that would keep electronic communications and data secure and free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The others were all no-brainers - written by people with no brains. One was a bill protecting Missourians' right to farm, empty verbiage that was obviously penned by a legislator or two who were pandering to their local farm vote. Another amendment would have created a pool of money to fix Missouri's roads and bridges - something that desperately needs to be accomplished. I opposed that amendment because the money for the repairs would have come from a sales tax - the most regressive kind of tax and one that is very popular among the "haves," because it affects them less than it does the poor. If the state wants to fund this with a sales tax, then it should put the tax solely on gasoline. That way anyone who uses the roads would pay a share in their upkeep - even out-of-state truckers whose vehicles are responsible for much of our infrastructure damage.
Another amendment would create a fund solely for veteran's issues - to be generated by a special "veterans" lottery ticket. Again, taxing the poor to pay a debt that we all should shoulder. I would prefer seeing income or property taxed, something which would get into every one's pockets - and not just the pockets of the poor dreamers and schemers hoping to suddenly get rich on the lottery.
And there was, of course, the obligatory nut-ball guns' amendment. It said something to the effect that the state constitution would be amended to guarantee the right of all Missourians to keep and bear arms. It was written for the yokels who believe that Obama or Hillary or the Pope will someday come walking down the lane and take their guns away. When the American constitution fails them, they will be protected by the constitution of the great state of Missouri.
Unfortunately for society, nobody is waiting in the wings to take the guns of nincompoops who are barely able to chew tobacco and walk at the same time. That's the truth - no matter what the NRA and Fox News are trying to make you believe. Amendments like this are just about piling stupid on top of stupid - and ultimately selling more guns and ammo.
That's the situation here in Howl County. I'm Pa Rock, and I voted!