Last fall, the day after the election in which the Republicans on the Wake County Commissioners were booted off by the voters who preferred four members of the Democratic Party, the wife of the chief political writer for The News & Observer was surprised at the election results. Christensen wrote that in his Sunday column this week. It’s in the very first paragraph of his column: …my wife noted with surprise that the Wake County Board of Commissioners had switched from Republican to Democratic control.
For someone who is registered with the Democratic Party and who votes on a regular basis, according to the NC Board of Elections website, Christensen’s wife must have been somewhat unsure of the outcome. That’s puzzling considering the newspaper for which her husband analyzes politics had been pounding at the Republicans for months, telling the electorate just how bad they had been. The Democratic backlash was a feather in the cap of the Democratic Party, led by the news and editorial staffs of The N&O.
What’s even more amazing is discovering that Christensen is an unaffiliated voter who since 2005, has only participated in elections four times and each time was in the Cary NC municipal elections. Here’s a columnist who has written about changes in voter identification laws in North Carolina, expressing disagreement and disbelief with the laws the General Assembly passed which some believe will discourage voters and reduce participation. This comes from someone who doesn’t participate in elections except from the sidelines as a reporter and columnist. Voting is a right and should be a duty, and political writers and journalists are no exception. Christensen is a fine fellow and always engaging when bumping into him at a hardware store, but he seems to be a “do as I say not as I do” type of voter.
On the other hand, his wife needs to be a little more believing in the possibilities of the candidates her political party supports and quit being surprised when Democratic candidates knock out Republicans from positions such as County Commissioner. Let’s bet that when the General Assembly is through with changing how Wake County votes for its commissioners and the Republicans win after redistricting of Wake County, she’ll not be surprised one bit. At the same time, journalists need to quit hiding behind the pen and get out of the closet of trying to be neutral when the readership knows differently. Rob Christensen needs to go the polls every election, vote his conviction and then tell us at the beginning or end of his column his choice of candidates. Full disclosure is better than hiding behind a no-vote. His wife might be surprised at his selections.
Dictionary.com word of the day
collywobbles (noun) [kol-ee-wob-uh lz]: a feeling of fear, apprehension, or nervousness