November 2015

Everything, it seems, is beginning earlier than it used to. The Christmas shopping/advertising season starts November 1st, right after Halloween, which, planning, shopping and decorating for that now starts around mid-September. I don’t recall that happening when I was a kid. And what I certainly don’t recall is how early kids are dating these days. I have a daughter in her early teens and she and her friends are all dating boys who are also in their early teens. No one back in the 1970s, when I was an early teen, was dating anyone; that didn’t start until about 9th grade.

Another equally aggravating thing that starts early now are the presidential election campaigns; this began back in the spring when most candidates announced their intention to run and the money and news coverage soon started to pour out daily. The 24-hour news outlets then began doing daily tracking polls, both for the states that have early primaries and national — national? So if there’s a particular candidate that I like and he or she is leading by two points in the national poll in August 2015 and the actual election is in November 2016, I’m supposed to feel happy about the fact that person is leading then? Ridiculous.

This is not a basketball game; if a team is up 2-0, we can be pretty certain the game won’t end that way. Same applies here: too early to start keeping score. We need an engaged electorate and already I’m hearing from people that they’re burnt out from all this coverage and conversation about something that isn’t even going to ramp up until next spring. And this way-too-early campaigning isn’t good for our country because now, more than ever in the past, it’ll take even more money, perhaps billions, to mount a successful campaign, which eliminates virtually all but a handful of potential candidates. Not good for our democracy and our sanity.

Lastly, thank you for all who attended and exhibited at the N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo in Syracuse. Look for coverage in the next issue.

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.