KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Voters can help cull bad politicians from the herd early

Feb 19, 2024, 8:29 AM

Image: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, is seen on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2023. (Photo: Alex Brand...

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, is seen on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2023. (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)

(Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)

There have been so many complaints about the two old men who will be running for President, and the chaos in Congress. And yes, there is plenty to complain about.

But let’s remember that just about every occupant of a higher office once occupied a lower office, and was put there by us.

That is why I think we have an obligation – as voters – to weed out the bad ones as early in their careers as possible.

And the way to do that is by voting, every single time you get a ballot and voting on every single race on that ballot. I’m not asking you to sit up all night researching candidates, but I am suggesting that you do just enough to make sure you vote against anyone who panders to the angriest among us.

Even at the local level. Because there are no minor elections.

Those local elections are how politicians start climbing the ladder.

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I have to say in this area we’ve done pretty well at electing people who run for the right reasons. We’ve never elected a George Santos (New York) or a Lauren Boebert (Colorado). But I don’t take it for granted.

Because voter turnout rates remain terrible, even here. In the elections that give politicians their start – off-year local elections – turnout in 2023 in Washington was about 37%.

Other elections are somewhat better, but there are still too many voters who throw away their chance to weed out the next wave of bomb throwers.

I worry about any candidate who equates negotiation with surrender.

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And when you add low turnout to the growing influence of social media – you see how we could be saddled with yet another generation of politics focused on fear, instead of focused on fixing problems. Do we need another Congress that warns us about a wave of invading aliens and then votes no to deliberately keep the crisis alive as an election issue?

I think politicians like that need to be culled from the herd early – before they set their sights on higher office.

As voters, we have that power. And it’s up to us to pick up that pen, and make it count–every time, in every race.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Voters can help cull bad politicians from the herd early