I was complaining about lack of volatility in Delaware’s General Assembly, and someone from a Midwestern state asked me a question I had never thought of before….

“What do you do when you see an office that you have no idea who either candidate is or what they stand for…?”

Now that is a fair question. As one who considers themselves somewhat informed, that doesn’t happen to me too often….. now.

But in the days before the internet, it happened quite a lot. Armed only with the News Journal voter’s election guide, I would invaribly forget some of the lower offices, which for some reason, I had forgotten about. You know, those offices like State Senator, State Representative, County Whatever’s? I knew my choice for President though…

Back in those days, with people waiting in line for me to finish, two blank names would stare back at me…. What to do?….. Oh, well, he’s the incumbent, so it can’t get worse… I’ll vote for him…. Ok, the next….same thing….

So I told them: “If I don’t know, I vote for the incumbent, usually.”

“Exactly”,  they laughed among themselves and made me feel that Delawareans sort of ranked below the average national level of wisdom…..

“Out here, if a guy has been in for a full term and we still haven’t heard of him, we give a new guy a chance…. As soon as he gets in, he starts getting his name out along with constituent services, so next time, everyone would have heard of him and he get’s re-elected…”

The wisdom of what they said did not sink in until I came back home and looked at my political landscape….

If someone like Bill Bell, who is running for county council, has not been heard of for four years, why vote for him? If he is not willing to try…. why not take a chance on someone who is? They could also not try, and the result would likewise be the same… Ok, no loss, we have the same results we would have had with the incumbent.  However, they could….. be much better…. Taking the chance on a better draw when you have bad cards, will usually yield a better hand…  (No wonder no Delawarean has ever advanced to the national level poker competition)

Which could be why that Midwestern state does not have our issue with an incumbent party …. We can’t even get a bill out of a desk drawer……

So this year, if I have not had a personal dealing with a politician, or do not know someone who has, his opponent is getting my vote……

It makes a world of sense when you think about it…..

For if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got……

Amazing.  This perspective at least makes me “hopeful…..”