June 5, 2012 10:02:51 AM
Party affiliation irrelevant in local races
For years I have wondered just what political party affiliation had to do with a candidate's ability to be a good sheriff, judge, coroner, school superintendent, DA or any other elected position that has nothing to do with politics. I think that school superintendents should be hired by local school boards, with qualifications established by a state board.
In some counties a candidate must qualify as a Democrat or Republican, no matter which way he/she leans, just to get on the ballot. In more than one county, party affiliation and skin color must be "right" before a candidate has a snowball's chance of getting elected.
So why do we still require people to qualify as one or the other or another in order to run for offices that shouldn't be influenced by politics, or anything else for that matter? The only answer I've gotten so far is that because Mississippi has such a terrible history of racial problems, Jim Crow, etc., that any changes in the political election process must be approved by the US Dept. of (in)Justice before they can be implemented.
We are still under Reconstruction from the 1860's, where a bunch of people who have never set foot in Mississippi, let alone lived here long enough to understand us today, have usurped the authority to tell us how we can and cannot conduct our own business.
I personally don't care if, for instance, a sheriff is Democrat or Republican, male or female, black or white, or anything else, as long as he/she can and will do the job competently, equally applying the law to all the citizens, whether they are kinfolk or not.
As far as politicians deserting one party to join another, I've noticed that when Republicans exit stage left to join the Democrat party, they are called "heroes" and other positive adjectives by the mainstream media. But, when a Democrat exits stage right and joins the Republican party, they are called deserters and other negative adjectives by the same pundits who call themselves "reporters."
If a politician really feels like he/she is in the wrong party, they should say so loud and clear. Then, when the next election comes around, the voters will have their say in whether or not to put them back in office. Ultimately it is a public servant's actions in office, the way he/she votes on different issues, that should matter to the people/voters, not whether they have a "D", "R", or "I" behind their name.
1. Our View: Muscle Shoals: There's still a message in the music DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Our View: An open and fair discussion? Don't count on it. DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. The Bard: 450 years old today NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Froma Harrop: Better care can also cost less NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Charlie Mitchell: A case for doing nothing LOCAL COLUMNS