Open Mike

Election night headache

In case you didn't know, yesterday was perhaps the most important election to take place in recent memory, at least since the Franklin D. Roosevelt days.

Like many, I woke up this morning trying to figure out what went on.

I am trying to figure out if we should still have faith in Democracy. Do we really know what is best for us as a society or should we have all voted for Ralph Nader. I spent the night asking myself how difficult is it to count a vote? It is not rocket science.

The biggest issue this morning is that there is still not officially a president of the United States. I mean, President Bush all but has the election in the bag, but the little state of Ohio is keeping us hanging. Votes are still being counted in Ohio, where over 200,000 jobs were lost during Bush's first term. It may be days before those votes are officially tabulated and a president is named, as both Bush and Kerry strive to get the necessary 270 electoral votes.

I don't understand American voters.

Why re-elect Bush? The economy is in the toilet. We are at war in a foreign country that doesn't really want us there and our national debt is only getting larger as we speak. In another year, we could all be collecting welfare and hoping we can pay our light bill because Bush just doesn't have a plan to get us back on track. To better illustrate what I am trying to say is that the light bulb is just not on for Bush and it is only going to get worse over the next four years. Remember this, I told you so.

Let's look at some other election day issues.

One Washington state issue that I found interesting was Initiative 884, which had to do with the creation of an education trust fund that would have pumped more money into education. I voted against this issue and I am glad the measure failed at the polls. The reason I am against this issue is that schools aren't putting out smarter kids. It doesn't matter how much money we throw at the schools, the job isn't getting done. School districts complain there isn't enough money to better the education for our children. Teachers complain they aren't getting paid enough money, but yet these are people who have one of the most desirable work schedules you will find. Who wouldn't want to work a six-hour day, only work 180 days out of each year and get to work with children? As a parent, I am not getting the bang for my buck from the educational system and I won't support any more initiatives, taxes or anything else that allocates more money until school districts start performing.

I also voted against charter schools. Do we really need more oars in the water. School districts have a hard enough time adequately teaching our children now. Why add more confusion to the process?

I didn't know anything about Initiative 297 heading to the polls, but who can really argue with a matter that allows for hazardous waste to be cleaned up.

I was disappointed to see the issue with slot machines fail. I wanted something to do with my spare change. There is something all these people who are against gambling haven't realized. People who want to gamble are going to gamble. Why not put it close to home, instead of making me travel to Toppenish or Pendleton. Wait, I guess I can go to Rob and Sue Rice's new establishment out by the golf course and support Yakima County with my money while having a fantastic steak dinner.

Well, people, we really screwed up this election. I can hardly wait until next year when the City Council seats are up for grabs.

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at


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