It’s hard to be a progressive in Portland, Oregon during election time. Not nearly as hard as it is to be a conservative, though.
There’s always a cacophony of candidates for every office. You’ve probably only heard of one or two of them, but civic duty requires you to peruse them all. It’s daunting, but there are tricks to it. First skim the Voter’s Pamphlet profiles for language such as the following, from a local candidate for governor: she will “error on the side of Freedom” and “protect the Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness for all Oregonians born and unborn” and “organize the state Militia.” There’s a vow to “resist communist business infiltration” and, in the public schools, to “bring back constitutional patriotism. Teach basic reading, writing arithmetic, pure science and American history, Vigorous physical education…No psycho social engineering.” This kind of sludge precipitates out readily and can be easily scooped off the bottom of the pamphlet.
Next, take a Sharpie to the ones with poor language skills.
By now you will have neatly sieved out most of the Republicans, and can tidy up the rest by doing a word search for “life.” A number of candidates will have noted their approval of life. The non-Republicans, while not yearning to be on record as opposing animate existence, tend to remain mute on the subject, although there might be a rogue who proposes a city directive stating that it should be a policy to consider it impolite to inquire into one’s opinion about being alive.
What we have left bobbing along at the top of the froth would be your Democrats, your Greens, your Rainbows, and some seldom-seen outlier from the ultra-violet spectrum. Now the going gets a little harder.
This one wants to institute a minimum wage of $15 an hour. But the other one is going for $15.23. Is it a wash?
This one wants to fund childhood education through a tax on people leaving the state for lower taxes. His opponent agrees with that, and furthermore wants to put aside money for a college fund for every means-tested applicant. The third agrees with that, and also wants to distribute the first payments in coin purses made of CEO scrotums.
All have sworn to uphold Oregon’s ban on self-service gas stations. One believes strongly enough in the merit of service-station jobs that she will also insist on reinstating mandatory windshield-cleaning and jumpstart the local uniform industry by requiring the little milkman-style hats. Made of hemp.
Everyone’s in favor of more greenspaces. Even the Republicans voice their approval for acquiring greenspaces as long as none of their constituents is eyeing the location for an industrial park, a condo development, a parking structure, a toxic metals dump, a mansion, or anything else. Among the Democrats, one insists on a dedicated tax on automobile tires (progressive per radial inch) to fund greenspace maintenance and restoration. A second wants to forgo restoration efforts and instead dedicate that income stream to purchasing more greenspaces and leaving it all the hell alone until it recovers on its own. A third would set aside a small portion for frog and turtle road crossing guards in the springtime.
Everyone’s for gay marriage, which is now legal, of course. Even the conservatives only ask that wedding cake bakers be allowed to slip a copy of John 3:16 inside the box, and pray for the couple as hard as they want in the privacy of their own homes without fear of ridicule.
Doesn’t really matter who you vote for around here. It’s all good.
Fair and Balanced!
In Jersey we fight for our gas station attendants also.
That's right! Everywhere else I have to get out and stare at the pump and eventually ask someone to give me a hand.
I like the idea of change purses made of CEO scrotums. Has real appeal to me, so you know where I stand on the issues. 🙂
Eww! You said "stand on the issues."
My word. It should be this easy everywhere.
Yah, we're in a bit of a bubble here.
Next, take a Sharpie to the ones with poor language skills. By now you will have neatly sieved out most of the Republicans
Funny how that works, isn't it? I read right-wing sites regularly, to keep up with what's on their minds, and the quality of the English in a lot of cases is just painful. My own writing skills have suffered from seeing so much of that stuff.
Not so that anyone would notice, though.
And with the time you've got left after a quick weeding and coin toss, you've been having entirely too much fun – AGAIN – making outfits for Pootie and dressing him up, and writing some more wit … fortunately 🙂
Pootie has two entire drawers full of clothes and accoutrements. Already. I forget about some of it.
It seems your political clowns dress funnier than ours in Minnesota. Of course, we still have Michelle Bachman. Wanna trade?
Why did I think you lived on the tippy top of Greenland?
Cloning (or plagiarism) has crossed the world. I have read one or six of those Voter Pamphlets myself. Sadly there is a small industry over here which DOES make coin purses from kangaroo scrotums. I would much prefer the CEOs to be nervous. Very nervous.
Please don't tell me the kangaroo purses have a cutesy name. They don't, do they? Roosax?
I am green (hah hah, get it?) with envy. No progressives running for anything in Georgia. Even though some of the Dems are vilified as progressives by the right wing.
I love our little bubble. It reduces aggravation. Then we read about the wider world and go, uh-oh.
Sadly our pinko socialist candidate would be one of Murr's right wingers.
I believe I read that our current Republican candidate for US Senate is in favor of a $15 minimum wage. It was something like that, anyway.
If only we could vote for the ideals, the promises, instead of, or as well as, the candidate.
We could choose this promise from so-and-so, that one from him-over-there, another good promise from that red-headed one and so on. All of the most voted for promises would have to be kept by whichever party gets in.
I do like the idea of voting for your top two candidates so that you get to vote for the one you really want without being a spoiler. Parliamentary systems sound interesting. There has to be a better way than our "safe-seat" way.
I am pro-life and pro-Democrat, which makes absolutely everyone uncomfortable around me. I sort of enjoy it.
I get that! I am not especially doctrinaire myself and hold a few views outside of the standard dogma. It makes me feel sneaky and a little righteous.
I love our vote-by-mail system. I found my ballot under the car seat today. Usually it works better than that.
CEO scrotum coin purses? Great idea. They don't need them because have any balls anyway.
Vote by mail should be universal. I didn't vote for it, but I've totally come around.
We're in election frenzy in Ontario right now too. It would be funny if it weren't so depressing. The right wing conservative candidate wants to eliminate 100,000 jobs and promises to create a million jobs in their stead. The left wing candidate has half of her party mad at her because she's moved past the middle to the right, trying to garner votes. The liberal incumbent is a lame duck who hopes we'll all hold our noses to vote for her because the other two are so bad (which we probably will, because the other two ARE so bad). Portland, don't change.
I think Douglas Adams had it right:
“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
The Bible covers get thumped a lot in my neighborhood and everyone is for the environment as long as it doesn't interfer with building highly explosive liquid natural gas tanks within shouting distance of homes.