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All the Rage

by on October 17, 2010

I gave one hint, somewhat obscure, in a blog post with an even more obscure name as to how I am employed.  I work for The Committee to Elect Kevin Van De Wege, a Democrat running for for reelection to the state legislature  in Washington’s 24th legislative district.  I can hardly be fair in referring to myself in non-partisan, and indeed, like most people who have an opinion, I have a partisan one (and those people who claim they belong to no party, I would argue that that too is a partisan position).  But I have as much right to make an argument, to have an opinion, as the next person who wishes to write, and while you may say I’m partisan, I hope to be fair.

Working for Kevin’s campaign, I’ve had the chance to knock on about 1500 doors (I challenge you to do the same for a candidate someday).  And I get to hear all the complaints, all the problems, all the rage (RAGE), that people are expressing.  Complaints and problems, challenges with ordinances and taxes, are ordinary problems.  Rage is not an inherent part of our political system.  People are refusing to vote for any Democrat because Obama is a Democrat, therefore all Democrats are Obama.  And even people that voted for Obama won’t vote for anything Obama-ish because he’s been either too fast, too slow, too hot, or too cold.  So there’s a little bit of RAGE because things aren’t just right.  (Apparently, when reading stories to their children – do people do that anymore? – parents must now add the clarification that Goldie Locks doesn’t always win.)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed – you might have had your head in the sand for a couple years – but people are pissed, and the economy sucks.  If you are one of those people who has had your head in the sand, I congratulate you, and encourage you to put your head back in the earth shortly.  But before you do that, I’d like to quote a Frank Rich article in the NYT:

We don’t know what will happen on Election Day, but one fairly safe bet is this: Paladino will not be the next governor of New York. However tardily, he’s been disowned not only by the state’s extant, if endangered, cadre of mainstream Republicans but even by some of the hard right. No one apparently told him that while bigotry isn’t always a disqualifier for public office, appearing on YouTube vowing to “take out” a reporter from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post can be. As a rule, it’s career suicide to threaten to murder your own political base.

But if New Yorkers may take comfort from the pratfall of this particular barbarian at their gate, the national forecast is not so sunny. Paladino is no anomaly in American politics in 2010. He’s just the most clownish illustration of where things have been heading for two years and are still heading. Like the farcical Christine O’Donnell in another blue Northeastern state, he’s a political loss-leader, if you will, whose near-certain defeat on Nov. 2 allows us to indulge in a bit of denial about the level of rage still coursing, sometimes violently, through our national bloodstream.

The Most Exciting Carl Paladino is, of course running for office in New York, and is a bit of an embarrassment to the human race who views himself, perhaps, as the non-anti-Christ, but I’ll leave my criticisms at the door…. Anyway, he is the embodiment of the American that is all RAGE and no solution. As I say, he’s the embodiment of this idea, and he’s not alone. Lots of people are very excited about all the RAGE, and want you to vote for them so they can continue to RAGE. I could be wrong – a degree in Political Science does not ensure that I understand politics – but I would guess that RAGE alone will not solve our Problems.

From → Politics, US Politics

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