MOLA:42’s Guide to “*The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
I just got my sample ballot and voter’s pamphlet in the mail.
Sure enough there were all those county positions with only the incumbent running. I said it before (MOLA:42’s Guide To the “Other” County Elections) https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/mola42s-guide-to-the-other-county-elections/
but I think it needs saying again:
Technocrats should not be forced to run election campaigns every four years to keep their jobs. They have the impossible task of appealing to a public that has no real knowledge of what it is the candidates do for a living and therefore have no basis for determining if they are suitable for their jobs.
In my view, those positions, as many other county jobs are, should be appointed by a thoughtful and clearheaded Board of Supervisors (I heard giggling… who did that?) using their collective knowledge and good judgment (No laughing! I mean it, stop laughing! It’s not nice…) in their role as the Representatives of The People of Humboldt County (Now that’s just wrong… get back in your chairs! The floor is no place for hysterical laughing… and… Aw, what the hell).
Believe it or not (when a sentence starts with “believe it or not” it’s a good sign you better not believe it) the first unopposed election in recorded history was held by the Assyrians.
King Migslick the Tricky decided to test his popularity with his people by means of an election where his was the only name on the ballot. On Election Day citizens of the capital city were to put a clay tablet marked with an “X” in either the “Yes” box or in the “No” box.
According to the contemporary report in the Assyrian Times-Typical; the Yes box was placed at the base of the highest Ziggurat in the land while the “I No Longer Have the Will to Live box”… I mean, the No box, was placed at the top.
The Yes box was rapidly filling with clay tablets when Durthsap the Dim climbed the steps of the Ziggurat and placed his tablet in the No box.
Quoting the Assyrian Times-Typical story: “Then Lo! There was then a miracle! As Durthsap did take to the air and Lo! He did fly, and Lo! He was clothed in Heavenly Flames. But Lo! Durthsap did fall from the heavens to the unforgiving earth below despite the brave efforts to save him by the eighteen Royal Guards (and the Royal Sacred Fire Starter) that Lo! Were positioned at the top of the Ziggurat to attend the Royal No box.”
Migslick the Tricky won the election 50,263 to 2 (someone even more misguided than Durthsap the Dim showed up later) which was quite an accomplishment considering only around 15,000 people were eligible to vote.
A final note: The following day Migslick the Tricky sent a message to the Assyrian Times-Typical that the next time someone used the word “Lo!” in a sentence he would personally chase the offender through town with his chariot.
What is the meaning of the story? I haven’t a clue.
There was another inspiration for this article other than what arrived in my mail.
Very recently in the Tuluwat Examiner discussion forum a commenter made the usual observation that when paraphrased goes; “Our leaders are all corrupt bums and you knuckleheads voted them into office and so screw you.” It’s not a rare comment; in one form or another it’s seen a lot here in the TE and even a whole lot more in the LoCO.
It is time to present an informal set of definitions:
To be CRITICAL, which is the style the Tuluwat Examiner typically uses, is to investigate a subject by close examination and describe the findings (often in a negative light but not necessarily).
To be CYNICAL is to take a shallow look at the state of things, observe how intractable the problems are and then wring one’s hands in frustration and proclaim, “Thank God I’m not responsible for how screwed-up things are.” That was the viewpoint of the commenter who wrote the short essay about the corrupt bums.
It really isn’t very useful (but is very cynical) to proclaim to the world the not-so-novel declaration, “Throw the Bums Out,” when you don’t name the “Bums” in particular that require the throwing and don’t suggest
an alternative “Non-Bum” to put in the “Bum’s” place (He’s going on with the quotation marks again! Chase him around town with a chariot; that will teach him!).
There are ways to counter the Bums; that is what democracy is all about. But to give up and proclaim one is powerless to do anything about them is not democratic at all. Doing nothing is acquiescing to tyranny.
I imagine if one were to hold a “Cynic’s Convention” and get all the “Anti-Bummers” (use a whip too when you’re chasing him with the chariot) in one room they would eventually produce two sets of contradictory lists. First, who are the individual Bums in question and second who should replace the Bums (otherwise known as the Bums-in-Waiting).
For you see, there are two kinds of Bums out there; the Bums you agree with and the Bums you don’t (every politician is SOMEBODY’S Bum).
So what is the moral of this not very coherent saga?
Democracy IS the Process, not the people selected to run the Process.
You can reform processes, systems, governments, etc.; you can’t reform people.
They stay the same.
The answer for us locally is we push for and/or enhance what is in the process that prevents the Bums from acting like Bums: Adherence to the Brown Act, open competitive bidding for contracts paid for by the taxpayers and election finance reform are a start.
But only a start.
Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the Staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But I am told the Tuluwat Examiner Staff plan to run their own candidate for the Board of Supervisors; Giggles the Clown.
Unfortunately they have the problem of how to make Giggles stand out from the rest of the candidates.
Giggles for BS!
*The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Gil Scott-Heron