By the time you read this, the 2012 general election will be over. We will have re-elected the president, or a new one, along with a number of other officials from members of Congress to those who collect water and soil samples. We will also have decided some amendments to the Georgia Constitution, chief among them the highly controversial question of whether the state should control the selection of charter schools. I have offered my opinion on most of these issues over the past several months and do not see the need to rehash those thoughts because it is moot at this point. But like the new face of voter fatigue, little 4-year Abigail Evans of Colorado and many others, one has to be glad this election season is over.Through sobs and tears little Abigail said she was tired of “Bronco Obama and Mitt Romney,” her way of showing her frustration with the constant barrage of information about the election. I agree with the little girl to a point. While tired of the campaign, I am not tired of “Bronco Obama” and pray that voters allowed President Obama four more years to finish the work he started to right this ship that was nearly sunk by his predecessor of eight years. Also, this presidential campaign season must go down in the record books as one of the most blatantly dishonest, ugliest, dirtiest, bigoted races in history, certainly in my memory, which spans 11 presidential elections.Many people have expressed Abigail’s sentiment that they are glad the election season is over. Elections are a wonderful demonstration of our civic responsibility to choose those individuals we believe best serves our interests. We make up our minds about a particular candidate early on. Who wins the debate doesn’t sway us. Expensive television ads don’t sway us. Incessant phone calls and mailers don’t sway us. It is mind-numbing the billions of dollars spent in campaigns for positions that pay a mere pittance in comparison. One has to shake one’s head thinking of all the good all that money could do for so many. But like Christmas, that Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, the meaning and beautiful spirit of the holiday is buried in a barrage of commercials to the point that if another commercial for a “do-everything” gadget is not aired it will not be a moment too soon. Also like the election season, the decorations and commercials for Christmas start earlier and earlier. Perhaps a poor analogy, but in both instances it is all about the money—lots of it. While on this tear about elections, the president of the Kings Ridge Neighborhood Association, Charles Peagler, an unpaid civic servant and volunteer, asked a question about elections that many inquiring minds also want to know. Where do all the candidates go once the election is over, especially on the local level? During the election season they are highly visible—in the local churches waving their hands, at the neighborhood association meetings and cookouts, in the malls, knocking on your doors, jamming mailboxes and phone lines and standing on the street corners waving signs. Peagler wants to know where they go. My friend named some names but I won’t embarrass anyone if that is possible. But after the election, many candidates seem to vaporize from view in the community as mysteriously as they appeared. If you’re reading this and ran for office and lost, send me an email so I can tell Peagler and our readers where you are before the next election. Closing with a true story: A woman told her husband he was no longer the man she married. His response: “I was campaigning; you say anything during the campaign.” So glad it’s over.
Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.