FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

I Can’t Recall a More Exciting Election

As a political humorist (i.e., someone too lazy to pursue gainful employment), I’ve been longing for political turmoil. It didn’t have to be anything earthshaking, like Camryn Manheim doing high-impact aerobics; just something that could compete with that ridiculous Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show on NBC. Well, I believe my prayers have been answered in the form of the California gubernatorial recall election.

Ever since California courts certified the recall effort, the news from Sacramento has gotten weirder and weirder (and it was bizarre to begin with). Within days, hundreds of political unknowns announced their candidacies for governor of the nation’s most populous state. For example, three enterprising men named Gray Davis have filed to have their names placed on the ballot in an apparent attempt to win the governorship through name confusion.

However, perhaps even more strange are the celebrities who have thrown their hats into the ring. For instance, Gallagher has announced his candidacy. This will be a much needed career boost for the comedian who believes that smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer qualifies as humor. In addition, Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, is running under a “pro porn” platform.

As for politicians entering the race, we have former spouses Michael and Arianna Huffington running. Likewise, Gary “I Didn’t Kill That Woman … Ms. Levy” Condit is considering running as a Democrat.

On the Republican side of the aisle, the situation is even more bizarre. Arnold Schwartzenegger and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan are locked in a battle of “You go first. No, you go first.” Apparently, Riordan is interested in running only if the Terminator doesn’t also run. On a side note, Schwartzenegger should be running from the millions of fans who paid $8.50 to see the latest movie in the Terminator series, T3: Rise of Your Popcorn.

So where does this leave California voters? It leaves them with the most interesting election ever. On October 7th, California voters may be faced with a ballot with up to 500 names on it. By comparison, the infamous butterfly ballot used in Florida in 2000 will seem like child’s play. In fact, the instructions for NASA’s Lunar Landing Module will be simple in comparison. In short, chances are excellent that this recall effort will be the greatest political debacle since Admiral Stockdale’s “What am I doing here?” speech at the 1992 Vice Presidential Debate.

This has led many Democrats in California to oppose the recall. They claim that recall is a Republican attempt to “steal” the governorship. Furthermore, they claim that the recall procedure will create chaos. However, I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, I’m saddened that the party that calls itself “Democratic” has a problem with democracy in its purest form.

The simple truth of the matter is California’s recall election closely resembles the Founding Father’s view of an election. In the first presidential election, the electoral vote was split between twelve candidates.

In those days, you didn’t need the endorsement of a major political party to run for President. You simply needed courage, a good family name and a newly-sanded set of wooden teeth. Nowadays, things are not that simple. To even consider running for dog catcher in most counties, you need the endorsement of a major party (and not many other job prospects).

As a result, our political candidates have become as bland as the chicken at a Rotary Club luncheon (only not nearly as tough). This seems particularly true of the Democratic Party, which has nominated such “wild men” as Al Gore, Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale.

However, in the California recall election, we aren’t going to have pre-packaged candidates with years of grooming and training in the art of obfuscation. We are going to have “real” Americans running for office – pornographers, adulterers and basically anyone who can come up with the $3,500 filing fee.

In fact, if there is any drawback to the California recall process, it’s the process for getting on the ballot. To run for governor in this election, a candidate only needs to collect 65 signatures and pay the filing fee. Perhaps, we should increase the signature requirement by a factor of 10. After all, you can get 65 signatures at a single house in some neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

In any event, it wouldn’t take more than an hour to get these signatures by just standing in front of a donut shop. Obviously, it should require more than an hour of preparation to mount a campaign for the second most important elected position in America.

Nevertheless, the recall is going to be great for democracy. We are going to learn that not all candidates need to be boring (or even sane). Furthermore, we will have real choose in this election. And perhaps, most importantly, Arnold Schwartzenegger will be too busy to work on T4: Another $8.50 Down the Drain.

SEAN CARTER is a lawyer, comedian, public speaker and the author of If It Does Not Fit, Must You Acquit? Your Humorous Guide to the Law. He can be reached at www.lawpsided.com.

 

More articles by:

November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail