Tom Humphrey, writer for The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Nashville
bureau, made an insightful observation in Monday's paper concerning
Tennessee's upcoming elections. After documenting countless acts of
mud-slinging and fraud, he purports that, "for a growing number of voters,
the races become a question of the lesser of available evils."

As citizens, we now require more knowledge of our candidates than we ever
have before. It follows that if one is corrupt in business practices or
leads a scandalous personal life, then more than likely that candidate will
not be emotionally equipped to make key decisions concerning the welfare of
the constituency. Logically, we should hold our candidates in the highest
regard. However, political candidates are people too; no one is
infallible.

But has it become impossible to find a candidate with whom we are at least
satisfied and not just begrudgingly supporting? Maybe we need to take a
harder look at partisan politics to see what kinds of politicians we are
breeding.

In partisan politics, we already have our choices limited. Independent
candidates hardly have a chance in winning elections when pitted against
the money generated by parties. Parties do, however, organize choices and
hopefully reduce our choices to weed out some of the "lesser evils."

Politicians stereotypically come from legal or business backgrounds. A
representative cross-section of our country is not maintained in our
supposedly representative government. Class, gender, or ethnic backgrounds
are not approached.

In a recent opinion piece published in The Chronicle of Higher
Education,
the author wrote that maybe we'd all be better off if
politicians were the academics and scholars in society. Having
intellectuals make governmental decisions might help better ones be made
based on historical record and practiced logic.

At any rate, there is a distinct trend of uneasiness among the American
people toward the election process. As voters, we should re-examine
politics and start generating new ideas on how to get the best quality
people into office, especially if we really don't like the choices we
already have.