Bill Clinton, why don't you call anymore? How about you Governor Tim Kaine? It's election day in Virginia and the silence is deafening. For over two months, I have been bothered morning through evening by a ringing phone. Sometimes it was a live person asking who I was planning to vote for in the election for governor or attorney general or delegate. Sometimes it was a person asking which issues were foremost in my mind as I decided which candidates to vote for. More frequently, there would be a slight pause on the other end of the line and then a recording of Clinton or someone else would start talking. I'm not sure what they said because I always hung up as quickly as possible. There wasn't a "Do Not Call" registry for calls related to the election, and the season seemed to stretch on forever.
I take local politics very seriously; in fact I rarely miss voting in an election. I also know that this particular gubernatorial election has implications that go beyond our state. But why does it have to go on endlessly and why does my telephone have to be involved? Additionally, yard signs and signage lining every road in my part of Arlington, Virginia obscure any flowers or autumn foliage that would provide a bright spot for commuters.
At this point, I hardly care who wins. Both candidates spent more time slinging arrows at each other than giving voters a sense of their plans for our state. During my short wait to vote this morning, all the voters around me were discussing how they would spend their time now that annoying election-related phone calls were going to end. We may each gain an extra five minutes a day not spent answering the phone, and can now enjoy commercials about cars and erectile dysfunction instead of candidates calling each other names.
In case Mr. Clinton is still interested in talking to me, I should be home tonight not watching the election returns. And for the market research companies that were so interested in my views on abortion and transportation, I'd be happy to discuss with you my most pressing issue: shortening the length of time during which candidates can campaign for office in Virginia. Just give me a call.