COLUMBUS: I just returned from three days in Pennsylvania at their big Ag Progress Days. While three-fourths of the country is drought-stricken, the 40,000 Pennsylvania farmers that gathered on a 1000-acre university research farm were all smiles. Timely rains have given them the best crops I’ve seen all summer. They may not have many acres, but their soybeans and corn would make any farmer from Indiana to Iowa drool.
Both political parties are laying the groundwork for an all-out assault during their conventions. Republicans will be down in Florida and they get the first crack at firing their missiles. Whether their bazookas will knock out any Democrats convening in North Carolina the following week, I got my doubts.
Howard Dean made a suggestion and I agree with him: The Economy is THE campaign topic; forget the other stuff. You know, the unemployed and underemployed roaming the country don’t care what Joe Biden says, or exactly what month and year Paul Ryan’s plan would balance the budget. Show us how to get businesses hiring so the unemployment rate is down to 5 percent, and you won’t hear folks hollering about food stamps or welfare or the price of gasoline.
Leave Joe Biden’s gaffs to us humorists to handle. For example, did you know that when it’s his turn to accept the V-P nomination in Charlotte, he will deliver his speech in Virginia? (He’ll only think he’s in North Carolina.) He will start out, “I’m pleased to accept this nomination for the election on November sixth, nineteen-twelve.”
I close with a plea on behalf of all the citizens of Ohio and the other 3 or 4 swing states: eliminate the Electoral College. We are inundated with so many political ads the TV stations have little time left for the news, programs and ball games. Why should we suffer while folks in forty-some states get to relax with only infrequent reminders of what car to drive or toothpaste to brush with. Eliminate the Electoral College and a Republican vote in California will count the same as a Democrat vote in Texas or Oklahoma. Of course they count the same now, which is zero. Give a voter in New York as much clout as one in Florida. Every television-watching plumber in Ohio will agree: Spread the advertising wealth around all 50 states. Give voters in Wyoming and Maine and Mississippi the same opportunity we have to learn about the minor defects of our esteemed candidates for President. Toss out the Electoral College.
Historic quote by Will Rogers:
“We ought to split this country up. Let the Republicans have the East. And the Democrats the West… If the country split that would naturally do away with the national debt. Both sides would start in owing nothing. And the Republicans would perhaps continue the same way. But the Democrats, it wouldn’t take them long to dig up a deficit… I can’t picture, personally, a more ideal existence all around. The only trouble would be neither one would be happy because they wouldn’t have nobody to lay anything on to. So I doubt if the plan will ever get very far, because this is not a time for common sense.” Radio, June 9, 1935