AP NEWS

Dave Peyton: Results mixed for ‘non-politicians’ taking office

July 29, 2018

“If you voted for Trump because he is not a politician then I hope your next colonoscopy is done by a plumber.”

I found this humorous quote on Facebook. I laughed, then I pondered it.

It’s not always true when voters cast their ballots for non-politicians, particularly old white businessmen who want to be office holders. That describes President Trump to my way of thinking and I’m not a big fan of his.

A Facebook friend pointed out that he voted for Trump because he urgently wanted to vote against Hillary Clinton, a real politician. Many felt the same way, I suspect. “Anyone but Hillary” became a battle cry from a politician-weary country who saw a stagnation in government. They wanted a change, and Clinton would only provide more of the same, they said.

I’ve seen a few non-politicians who became good at running the government, but only a few. One of them was Gaston Caperton, a millionaire insurance executive who was proud of the fact he wasn’t a politician when he ran for governor of West Virginia in the late 1980s.

His wife at the time was Dee Caperton, who came from a political family. She led him into the rather scary political arena in the state and he won over Gov. Arch A. Moore in 1987. I suspect part of his success was the fact folks were tired of Moore, the total politician.

Caperton vowed while taking office in 1988 he’d never become a politician. But half way through his first term, he sold his insurance business and became the politician he said he’d never be. That didn’t stop him from winning a second term.

So, in my opinion, a rich old white businessman became a pretty good governor. He entered the governor’s office not as a politician but put on the politician’s hat in a year or two.

The year, we have another rich old white businessman who wants to bend, even break, the rules to become a politician. His name is Don Blankenship. He came in third in the primary race for the Republican nomination for West Virginia’s U.S. Senator.

Blankenship has always been in the political background, boosting this or that politician into office with money. But he had never run for political office himself. This year, after having served a year in federal prison for a misdemeanor, he decided to run. But, alas, he lost.

That didn’t stop him. He decided to run for the same office in the general election under the banner of the Constitution Party.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner turned thumbs down on the idea, citing a West Virginia law that says no one losing a primary election can switch parties and run for the same office in the general election.

Blankenship says he may challenge the law in court. So be it. It’s clear the rich old white businessman (1) has very little to do and (2) wants to be a politician in the worst way.

Heck, he wants to be a politician so badly, he has been seen on the TV actually smiling, shaking babies and kissing hands, or something like that.

And in this case I think a plumber would be better for this particular political colonoscopy.

Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is davepeyton@comcast.net.

AP RADIO
Update hourly