Sad Commentary: Voters Pick Prison Inmate For President
By James Donahue
The media’s talking heads and of course some Republican voices
have been making light over the fact that Keith Judd, a federal prison inmate, won 41 percent of the vote in West Virginia’s
Democratic presidential primary April 8.
Judd, a virtual unknown who had paid the $2,500 filing fee and
submitted a notarized certificate of announcement of his candidacy to get his name on the ballot, now is locked up at the
Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He is reportedly serving a 210-month sentence on a charge of extortion.
So why would that many West Virginia voters cast their votes for
a man they knew nothing about or if they knew did not seem to mind that he is locked up in a federal prison?
For one thing, it was a primary election. The voters knew it was
not a decisive election. And it also was an opportunity to express their anger over the current presidential election campaign
and the apparent lack of choices among candidates for that high office.
I remember back about 1972 when I cast an angry primary vote for
George Wallace, a racist governor of Alabama, rather than give support to incumbent President Richard Nixon or the Democratic
contender, George McGovern. I don’t remember why I disliked McGovern. Looking back I think the country might have been
better off if McGovern had won the office that year.
The way a lot of voters in West Virginia apparently feel right
now, they are so disillusioned by the crooked goings-on in Washington, and the inability of President Barack Obama to get
any cooperation from an obviously racist House and Senate, that they think a man sitting in prison might do a better job of
running the nation.
They may be right.
The way the courts are behaving these days, a lot of innocent Americans
are being incarcerated for alleged crimes they have been “convicted” of. The trick has been to level charges that
threaten long prison terms then coax them into accepting a plea bargain for a reduced sentence rather than go through the
agony of a long trial and a chance that they might get convicted and sentenced to the long term.
The United States currently has over 7 million people under incarceration.
That means one out of every 32 adults is either in jail or serving a probationary term. We have the highest ratio of jailed
inmates per capita of any nation in the world.
With that many Americans having been arrested and charged with
crimes . . . many of them being held in corporate-owned prisons that are gutting the nation’s bankroll by nearly $10,000
a year per inmate every year, it is not hard to see why a lot of voters might not worry about electing a prison inmate to
be their leader.
For all we know, they might have been deadly serious when they
cast their votes for Judd. With so many of our elected officials on the obvious “take” of billions of dollars
from big corporations and lobbyists representing special interest groups, are they any better than a guy doing time for extortion?