Confehr: Conventional wisdom can be dumb, so always vote

Friday, July 30, 2010

County residents are enjoying a popular guessing game.

Who's gonna win?

The sheriff's race with five candidates is more popular. Some folks start by naming those who can be discounted to narrow the field.

Experience, demeanor, health, territory and other factors are mentioned. Few want to be quoted on their favorite. That's like why the five declined to participate in a sheriff's debate offered by the Marshall County Tribune.

They're friends. They didn't want to argue, according to a reason stated here on the square.

There were no arguments in the Community Theatre during, before or after the debate between two county mayoral candidates and it's interesting that during guessing games, there's little mention of the mayor's race.

Anyway, there's not much conventional wisdom on who will be the next sheriff. It's like this: "It's between this one and that one, but I've heard it the other way."

Here's an idea: Write the five names, and rank them from winner to last place. Do it on this page. Sign it. Have a witness. Save it for when results are known.

Meanwhile, conventional wisdom indicates Sen. Diane Black will be the GOP nominee to run for the open congressional seat, besting Lou Ann Zelenik and Sen. Jim Tracy. Locally, we heard more of Tracy, but Zelenik has strong supporters here.

Wouldn't it be great if she won and debated one of the two military vets in the Democratic primary? Both men served where, as many soldiers explain: We're fighting to give their country an opportunity to have the freedoms we enjoy.

Still, it is discomforting to consider the prospect of a sleeper cell in Middle Tennessee, as Zelenik seems to warn.

Early conventional wisdom had it that Tracy was likely to win the GOP nomination. Now, will Black and Zelenik split the female vote and leave the field to Tracy? Do women vote as a block?

The Tribune was visited by Democratc gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter and Ron Ramsey, a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor.

Mike's a Budweiser beer distributor with a law license. Ron is an auctioneer elected to the state Senate. Conventional wisdom says Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam will be the GOP nominee.

Mike impressed us as easy going and capable. Ron showed his knowledge of local concerns. When asked if the abortion issue is just red meat thrown to rally a conservative base, Ramsey was offended, as if his faith was questioned. It was a remarkable end to a productive interview.

Zack Wamp's interview was at state National Guard Headquarters. He wants smaller government and a Defense Corridor to grow business and jobs.

Haslam left the county GOP dinner so an interview was lost. He might have been asked how he feels about Dana Carvey, the Saturday Night Live alumni who, according to conventional wisdom, has a remarkable likeness to the man who, also according to conventional wisdom, will be our next governor.

So, regardless of the conventional wisdom: If you haven't voted early, do it today or tomorrow, or make sure you vote six days from now.