Will voting booth cure label fever?

By: Tom Rupp
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It’s here. It is time to vote. Aren’t you going to be so happy when these ads cease airing on television and radio? Note to future candidates – what we want to know is your positives, not the other candidate’s negatives.

First, here are a couple of other random notes from my recent trip. What is a “state bed tax” and a “special use bed tax?” They totaled $10 a night, but what are they? What use or benefit do they procure? What representation do they represent? And then they snuck in a “RM-TID” for $2 a night. And this is…..?

GPS can be a good thing. However, too many people rely totally on it and therefore have no map-reading skills. Isn’t GPS intended to enhance knowledge, but not replace it?

These days it seems as if everyone is so cult-like. If you do not repeat and agree with everything your cult leader dictates, you will be ostracized, demonized and excommunicated from the cult/group.

If you dare to think for yourself, you will be slapped with derogatory labels, shut off and shut out by your own side, not to mention “the other side.” Why are there so many sides? I guess labels may be a social necessity, but I do not like them, and certainly do not like too many of them.

It’s like when you meet a tall person and ask them if they play basketball, or a black person and you ask them who their favorite rapper is. The tall guy doesn’t like sports at all and the black guy is a classical violinist. And yet, we cling to our labels.

Selective anger is a thing these days, as is selective righteousness. It’s the old “plank in my eye vs. speck in your eye” of Matthew 7:3 that Jesus talked about.

Whatever happened to nuance? Is everything an all-or-nothing proposition? What about thinking, and thinking for yourself? Does such a skill still exist?

A position or conviction is not necessarily like set up dominoes in which one automatically knocks down all of the others.

An opinion is not like a Jenga piece that, if you pull, brings the whole thing down by default. An “A” is not automatically “B.” Yet this is the fever going around.

Well, Tuesday may give us a brief respite from the fever. Who am I kidding? Oh well.

Tom Rupp is a resident of Folsom and a weekly columnist in the Folsom Telegraph. You can reach him at