Oxymoronic as it sounds, it’s probably familiar to most folks when they think about their typical day.
We go to work, see our kids off to school, workout, run errands, etc. After dinner and homework, how many of us gather around the T.V. to watch politicians, analysts, et al spar with each other?
Probably not a lot.
If that’s what it takes to make an informed vote, to many, it’s just not worth it. It’s entirely possible that this phenomenon is what contributes to low voter turnout.
Naturally, that’s unfortunate. Political junkies however, seem to take the wrong message from this, and actually may be exacerbating the problem.
I’ve been solicited dozens of times by offers to market my campaign. Text bombs, banner ads, robo-calls, physical mailers, etc.
As a voter, I reflexively recoil every time I’m on the receiving end of this stuff. Why would I want to be on the firing end?
I was warming to using doorknob hangers, until I was reminded that might run afoul of some neighborhoods’ “no solicitation” warnings. I’m not going to disrespect that any more than I would property owners’ rights by planting campaign signs on their land without consent.
Having secured the permission of some, I do have a few of those out.
Aside from that, you can find me where I’ve always been; amongst you. Grocery shopping, on runs around the area, dining out, ferrying my daughters to/from school and extracurricular activities, etc.
If you see someone wearing my campaign shirt, that’s me. Or, you may see campaign magnets on my mobile HQ parked somewhere. In any case, stop me, like a fireman did recently, and let’s chat.
It would be the most important part of my job interview.
Too often, candidates beseeching citizens to “get out and vote” is self-serving. You hear phrases like “when you’re the last one to the table, all you get is crumbs,” but that carries a horrible connotation.
Some of those “crumbs” no doubt have legitimate purposes, like sidewalk repair, pothole-filling, or erecting a park. But others are more likely to comprise a wasteful trough full of pork.
If prospective voters want a stereotypical, smooth-talking, fake-smiling politician promising to bring home some of that bacon, I’m not the guy for the job (I’d ‘tax’ the pig less, but that’s another story).
To imply however, that I’m therefore not working for it is misplaced at best. I’ve arguably been working for this the entire 21st century that I’ve lived in this great city.
The backbone has been a career in the Texas energy industry, the last thirteen years of which have been riding the booms and busts of the oil services sector. Over nearly all of it, I’ve been putting in overtime.
I’ve raised four daughters, the oldest of whom is poised to be one of the top ten graduates from Warren High School this June. She’s blazed a trail for her sisters, who also rank at the very top of their respective classes.
Perhaps as importantly, their mother and I have taught them to be independent thinkers, immune to the slanted nonsense that reigns in the mainstream media, and the herd mentality of social media.
I’ve strived to do the same in the classroom.
Shortly before my oldest was born, I started graduate school at U.T.S.A., eventually earning a master’s in economics. After becoming regularly disenchanted with election outcomes, I started teaching in 2014.
I typically teach one class in the spring, and two in the fall at Northwest Vista College here in district six. That I’ve garnered support for my campaign from several former students is a testament to my success.
Outside of all that, I spend time trying to extend those lessons by writing for various economic/market-based publications.
If that’s “couch-potato-ish,” then my vernacular is more out of date than my girls think!
Back in 1999, Reese Witherspoon portrayed a goody-goody, student body presidential candidate in Alexander Payne’s “Election.”
After declaring to them that she cares about “each and every one of” her classmates, one of her opponents asks “who cares about this stupid election? The same pathetic charade happens every year.”
A standing ovation ensued.
No election, whether local, state or national, is stupid. They are our opportunity to register our approval or disapproval with the direction of our community. But the point is taken on the “charade.”
Thoughtful citizens are tired of, and desensitized to political platitudes. Their mere utterance diminishes every one that came before, and every one that will come after it.
So you won’t see me spouting such meaningless cliches, interrupting your yardwork, or rapping at your door doing the same to dinner. It would go against the whole premise of my message; to get the government to leave you alone.
This is about YOU, not me.