Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Well I’m pretty sure that even if we can’t agree on the outcome of the various elections, we can just about be certain that we are all glad it is over with.

Since mid-afternoon on Tuesday it seems like we have reclaimed our sense of peace and quiet after a year-long cacophony of political ads. After millions of dollars spent (it is estimated that close to a billion with a ‘B’ went a-wasting on television advertising for the presidential race alone) we are left with little hope and virtually no change. Obama remains president. The Democrats control the Senate, picking up a couple of seats, and Republicans control the House. A perfect prescription for more rancor, distrust and inaction. The say democracy is messy, but this is downright ridiculous.

I must say, however, that I truly did enjoy the actual voting process itself. My polling location is in the Old Snowmass firehouse, and it as friendly a place to vote as you can imagine. There were kids, poll watchers, stickers that say “I voted” and not a hint of intimidation. I was amazed at how many presidential candidates there were on the ballot that I had never heard of. It made me wonder if perhaps any of them may have been a better choice. If they had half a billion dollars, they may have been able to be heard.

I hope your choices for the appellate court worked out. I personally voted to throw the bastards out en masse. I assume they are good people who do a good job, but I have absolutely no way of knowing anything about them. So, because I expected most folks to simply rubber-stamp them, I felt a need to be puckish and vote contrary. Hey, it’s my right.

I was also amazed at all of the folks who voted early or by mail. Not only in Colorado, but across the country. I recognize that we are a nation that honors convenience as a virtue above all others, but it seems to me that early voting is like having Thanksgiving turkey on Tuesday or opening all the Christmas presents on Pearl Harbor Day. But hey, it’s their right.

As far as the passage of Amendment 64, I kind of think it marks the end of an era. Well, at least a step toward the end of an era. No doubt marijuana will be better quality than the backyard Mexican weed that we grew as kids, but I’ll bet it won’t be as much fun. There were few things more harmless that allowed you feel like an outlaw than smoking illegal weed. Anyway, the Feds will now get into the act and we all know much fun they are to deal with. I think Republican and Democrat pot-smokers can all agree that this is one area that we shouldn’t encourage the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms wing of the IRS to get involved in.

But my favorite post Election Day comments came from the folks at the library who were soundly rejected in their plans to expand the current facility. Now I love the library and I really respect those who work there. And I can understand how, in a town where we all want things to be bigger (have you seen the monstrosity that is the new hospital lit up at night?), that the book people might want a larger slice of pie as well. But most folks didn’t feel that it was a need.

Anyway, library director Kathy Chandler said simply, “I think it was a pretty strong message from the electorate.” Barbara Reid, president of the library board of trustees, echoed with “They don’t want the changes we proposed at this point. It’s important for us to listen to the community.” Perfect. No one blamed Chris Christie or the storm. They didn’t complain about the PACs, they just graciously accepted the vote. Leave it to the librarians.

We should have librarians in the House, the Senate and the White House.