Winning Elections

Steve Himmer talks about expressing his political viewpoints, especially after a gubernatorial debate:

It also makes me wonder, though, with all of the hegemonic masculinities and femininities and political opinions we encounter everyday, how many of us actually agree with the party line–with any party line–and how many of us are just too tired or too lazy or too inadvertantly threatened (or feel threatened based on past experience) to say so? If we could gauge the quiet minds of our neighbors, would they be so different from ourselves? Would we, in fact, all be the same in our difference, keeping our non-compliance to ourselves? Or am I really the only lefty in town? The Green Party is having a standout in the city center tomorrow… maybe I’ll go and find out.

Only lefty. In Massachusetts?!? I shouldn’t think there’s a problem on that one, Steve.

Tis the season: I watched a senate debate yesterday: Jean Carnahan (Democrat/Incumbant), Jim Talent (Republican), Tamara Millay (Libertarian), and Daniel “digger” Romano, Green Party. Before I give you my impression, I want to give you some second hand impressions that my roommate brought home from work today.


Jean Carnahan and Jim Talent — spent the entire time squabbling and pointing fingers at each other over patriotism and homeland security.

Tamara Millay — smart, good speaker, projected confidence. However, after a listing of party platforms and objectives the concensus was that a vote for Millay is a vote for anarchy. However, she was the most impressive speaker.

Daniel Romano — looked like a Berkely Professor. What’s with the hair? The clothes? Is he stoned?


Now for my viewpoint:

Carnahan and Talent have run the worst campaign I have ever been unfortunate to witness. Spiteful, petty, vicious, ugly. I can’t stand either of them, as neither seems to care a fig about the people of Missouri. An interesting thing in Carnahan’s favor though is the plane crash today of Senator Wellstone: Carnahan’s own husband, Mel Carnahan was himself killed in a plane crash two years ago as he ran against John Ashcroft, our current Attorney General of the United States. This might re-generate a sympathy vote for her this term.

Tamara Millay — The Libertarian Party picked a winner here. Smart, presentable, quick on her feet, and knows how to play the game. However, as with Steve, I also draw the line at arming airplane passengers, and removing all social structure and services.

Daniel Romano — What an absolute and unmitigated disaster. One has to ask if Mr. Romano and the Green Party truly want to win. When you’re in California, you can wear dreadlocks and “Berkely Professor” attire, and win. Not in the midwest, in the middle of the bible belt.

I respect the Green Party, and before today’s plane crash, had planned on voting Green Party, but not now, and for two reasons: I can’t stomach the fact of a Republican controlled Senate and House, and I have no patience for people who care about issues, but not to the point of getting a bloody haircut if it will make him more consumable to the voters.

Now before you jump all over my case for this ‘shallow’ viewpoint, hear me out. The Green Party has some important platform issues, such as total equality regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, and so on. And they have a very progressive viewpoint about the environment, as well as genetic experimentation. They’re also against unilateral action against Iraq (as are the Libertarians). They have good things to say, and are worth hearing.

All of which goes for naught because their candidate shows up for a mid-west, bible belt, relatively conservative debate with dreadlocks and dressed like a Berkeley professor, to borrow the popular impression. He then proceeds to look with seeming disdain on the whole affair as if he couldn’t quite figure out why he’s there wasting his time, when he should be at a peace rally somewhere.

Combine everything, and whatever Digger was going to say wasn’t heard.

Voting for a person’s attire and mannerisms is shallow, but it is also a major reason why many people get elected. People vote for people they’re comfortable with. Someone like Jean Carnahan, the Democratic candidate, wouldn’t have a chance in California, because she doesn’t fit in as a Californian. She wouldn’t be “bad”, but she would be different.

Digger is native Missouri, but he’s outside the bell curve, so to speak. This doesn’t make him “bad”, but it does make him different. And when people perceive you as too different, they’re not going to listen to what you have to say.

Hasn’t this mess in the world taught us that one by now?

Now I’m faced with two unhappy options: throwing away my vote on Digger, because I like many of the Green Party plaform ideas, but the man hasn’t a chance; or voting for Carnahan and hopefully keep Talent out of a Senate seat, and helping to prevent a Republican owned Congress.

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