Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Fireside Chat

What really happened:
Deval Patrick left a message on my answering machine, first acknowledging that automated campaign messages are annoying, then encouraging me to vote, and for him if I could. And I probably will.

What I imagined happened:
Half an hour later, the phone rings and it is Grace Ross -- not a recording of Grace Ross, but actually her.

"Good Evening, this is Grace Ross, candidate for Governor."

I pause from stirring the bechamel sauce -- because in my imagination I am cooking a proper dinner instead of eating Cape Cod Cheddar/Jalapeno chips -- take a sip of wine (really, beer), shrug, and say, "Well hello, Miss Ross. This is a surprise."

"Is this Caroline Bender?"

"Let's keep things formal," I say, because I've had a little wine. And it's my fantasy, so we'll do things my way.

"Of course, Miss Bender. Is this a good time to talk?" She doesn't wait for reply. "Our records show you're on the fence."

"It's true. Can you help me out with that?"
"Is it because you can't imagine 2 women in the State House?" she asks.
"Your records are lacking some key information," I say.
"Not because I'm gay?" a pause. "Or my running mate is disabled?"
I sit on the kitchen stool, all Dick Cavett-like. "I really don't worry about that," I say.
"What's holding you back??"

I get what the Green party is, and in spite of the slang meaning of rainbow party, I suppose its political meaning is also obvious. And the "Wildly Left of Most of America" Party is probably too on the nose. But wouldn't it be something if they could make it happen: fully funded education, universal healthcare, protected wetlands, reduced sprawl, not to mention a governor who wrote position papers that don't try to be all things for all people.

I tell Miss Ross that I worry that the legislature won't respect her, that the crony-ism of Massachusetts politics will keep her administration spinning in paperwork for the next four years. I tell her that I trust her activist leadership, but that I think she is better placed in the legislative branch, not the executive.

I am not sure where Deval Patrick is best placed. I don't know that one's first public office should be the Massachusetts state house. I am still looking for the proof that he has any idea how to go about, for example, "stimulating investment in and relocation to Massachusetts." No doubt he will be lead by the senate as well, but toward a place (one hopes) they both want to go.

Christy Mihos should just stay as he is - local entrepreneur annoyed that he is the last native-bawn Bay Stater in politics. I am not sure how long 2 45 year-old Harvard graduates have to be considered "outsiders," but apparently until they learn to say "jimmies." Christy should be happy 2 Harvard graduates decided to stay. But that almost sounded like something nice about Kerry Healy.

Grace is a sensible woman. As we hang up, she tells me she just wanted the ideas raised, and to be taken seriously, and to represent the working people, and I thank her for that. She asks if I have her vote, and I say I don't know.

At 7:12am, I don't know. I have no problem with the symbolic vote, especially in a state where another Deocratic vote carries little weight. I haven't voted for Kennedy in years. I don't vote against him; I just don't vote for him. I resent that he takes my vote for granted. And I voted Green in the last governor's race because Democrat Shannon O'Brien showed her true colors in the end, and that wacky gun-totin' Libertarian candidate whose name I can't even remember gave me the full-on heebie-jeebies. And there are those who say Mitt Romney won the day because I didn't vote Democrat. I say Mitt Romney won the day because Republicans actually vote.

Get out there. And be glad you are not in danger of being inked or shot.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about feeling like your vote is taken for granted. But, every election, I go out and vote anyway. Seems like this time, more people were on my side than the other...


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