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 Fall, 1997


 How political candidates make their silly promises

Oh, Spare us Your Wisdom

By Al Owens

Oh, carry me swiftly to the man who finds sunlight beneath a jagged stone! Allow me to see what he sees and exalt in it. So that my children may seek these stones for the remainder of their years.
Namdor S. Inned From The Fruits of Folate, 1595

The above statement is nonsense. Absolute and utter nonsense! I know it's nonsense. I made the whole thing up. Namdor S. Inned isn't a 16th Century writer, it's Dennis Rodman spelled backwards.
If the book The Fruits of Folate exists I've never read it. Folate is a word I pulled from the list of ingredients on a Fruit and Fiber box.

The year? 1595 is what the cashier rang up the last time I shopped at a Giant Eagle store. 1595 is really $15.95.
I made the whole thing up. If you're reading this past noon, I'll bet by now there are a half dozen people sitting on the banks of the mighty Redstone, thinking about ending it all.

They've found the meaning of life in a few words written by some heretofore unknown philosopher named Namdor. But wait! In the words of another noted philosopher, Susan Powter, "Let's stop the insanity!!!"

For starters, let's say Namdor S. Inned does exist. He'd feel right at home in Fayette County these days. He'd run for office. He, like most of the candidates I've been hearing lately, would dispense his double speak, vague promises, fake sincerity and faux wisdom, all punctuated with the words "PAID FOR BY THE CANDIDATE."
My question. Who else would pay for that gibberish? This isn't a blanket indictment. I'm not a complete cynic. But thanks to this political season, I'm heading that way.

Why do some public officials and people who want to become public officials feel obliged to inform me how messed up my world is, so that's why I should vote for them?

There is one elected official, who shall remain nameless, who inexplicably makes it a point to to publicly announce how poor Fayette County is every time he opens his mouth. I've even heard this guy reveal, "This County is going down the tubes." Well thanks for the death certificate pal. Do you do Funerals?
Fact is, we don't elect our public officials to stand around telling us how close we are to collapse. We cast our votes to prevent that sort of thing from happening.
I've lived in Los Angeles for a total of 5 years. Believe me, Uniontown Pennsylvania is not bad a bad place to live. Next to LA., Calcutta isn't that bad.

But still, I've never heard a single LA. public official stand before a camera and say, "Earthquakes, mud slides, smog, police beatings, drivebys, crack cocaine on just about every street corner and we've lost all of our Pro football teams. "There's no use trying anymore 'cause LA. is just no place worth living."

Even in a city overrun with crime, poverty and hopelessness there's not a single public official talking about how bad things are.

But why then do some of our fine, and some of our not so fine, elected officials always seem on the threshold of announcing how Uniontown is on the verge of having a going out of business sale.

Spare us the bad news buddy. And you, with the eye for elective office, you're even worse. I'm amazed at the abundance of candidates in Fayette County who want to play on people's fears to scare up votes.
"I remember a time when we felt safe in Uniontown. "When Snow White and the 7 dwarfs would make frequent visits to Marshall Park. "Sleepy could catch a nap anywhere. And Grumpy felt lonely because he couldn't find anything about which to be grumpy. "When we didn't have to barricade ourselves in our homes and sit in the basement with semi-automatic weapons."

The only reason I'm sitting here with one now is in case one of these candidates comes knocking on my door. I don't care if you tell me the incumbent you're running against is responsible for everything bad that's ever happened within the County Limits.

You could never get me to believe the rise in crime is because somebody doesn't consistently give the death penalty for parking near a fire hydrants. You’re fibbing to expand your voter base. They oughtta lock you up.

Beware of these scare tactics. Anybody who uses them, doesn't deserve your vote. Republican, Democrat or Independent.

Our town and our County aren't that bad. Don't let some blubbering politician convince you that without their help you're in peril.
"I remember a Uniontown free from crime. "Our children were safe from everything. "It was a time when we never had to lock our doors. "We could party 'till dawn without a single party crasher. "There was no such thing as disease. "You could buy a Buick for ten bucks. "But now thanks to John Smith (Constable, Magistrate, Judge, Dog Catcher) we can't even leave our home without wondering if it'll still be there when we get back."
Do these yahoos think we're all stupid. Crime didn't start mounting right after the last swearing in ceremony.

Crime is a systemic, sociological and legislative problem. And the last time I looked no single elected official anywhere can make a dent in it. If they're selling that line about how they can ride into town put everybody bad guy in North American behind bars and thus make the world safe for democracy, pull some other lever on election day.
If they're a candidate blaming incumbents for everything that's ever gone wrong, or if they're a sitting elected official who seems to blame everything bad on past administrations, let's send them to Calcutta. Worse yet, let's send them to Los Angeles. PAID FOR BY THE CANDIDATE, Namdor S. Inned Committee Chairman.