By FRED KRONER
This is a political column.
When I told my buddies about this idea, they shook their heads.
Almost in unison, they responded, “Don’t go there.”
This is not a typical political column, however.
After a half-century of involvement working in the media, I continue to have a problem with one aspect of the election coverage.
Newspaper editorial boards seem to think they should endorse a candidate in just about every race.
These are the same newspapers whose management always insists on being impartial with coverage, not showing favoritism and declining gifts from grateful readers.
Does it seem like they are saying one thing and doing another?
How fair and balanced is it if they are siding with one candidate over all the others?
Is it any wonder more and more folks don’t trust the media?
When folks see a newspaper endorsement of candidates, it’s logical to think the view reflects the opinion of the majority who are employed there.
I can tell you from first-hand experience this is not the case.
There has never been a poll conducted, asking only staff members who they support in particular races. Or, if such a poll was done, they managed to miss me every single time in the past half-century.
That news is not fake.
Editorial boards represent only a small minority of any newspaper’s staff. Depending on the size of the paper, it could be just a handful of people. One handful.
I want my newspaper to tell me about the candidates, their beliefs, their backgrounds, their views, their goals.
I have never made up my mind on which candidate to vote for based on an endorsement from a newspaper, or any other group for that matter.
With Election 2018 just days away, I’m still undecided on some races. One, in particular, has what I consider no good candidates and I might well not make a mark in that race.
There is one point I am sure of. I’m quite certain a few folks will agree and many will not.
I am convinced there has never been an election in this country where the best candidate in every race was a Democrat. Or a Republican. Or a Libertarian. Or from the Green Party. Or a Tea Partier. Or an Independent. Or a Whig.
Or any of the others.
One side doesn’t have — and never has had — a monopoly on greatness.
I became eligible to vote in 1976. I can guarantee that in the ensuing years, there have always been some representatives from each major political party who have received my support.
Sometimes, I am elated at the results. Other times, I am bitterly disappointed.
Often I feel like my vote didn’t make a difference. On the national level, where the turnout is in the millions, that perspective may well be accurate.
On the local and regional scene, individuals can have a tremendous effect, whether they are advocating for change or the status quo.
When some races are decided by less than a hundred votes, think of how few people would have needed to flip their votes to change the outcome.
Or how many people could have produced a different result had they voted.
As much as I hate making political statements, there is one that comes out without hesitation.
It’s one of the four-letter words I use frequently in early November and around the time of the Spring Primaries.
You don’t need me — or anyone else in the media — trying to influence your decision, except for one area.
If you’re undecided about whether to vote, just do it.
All opinions matter and, quite possibly, they can help lead to a collective consensus.