So there I
was Monday evening, at the juncture of Halloween weekend and Election
Day, eating a caramel apple, watching Part 5 of PBS Masterpiece
Theatre's "The Last Enemy," when the phone rang.
hand was covered with caramel, but I managed to turn down the TV and
grab the phone with my left hand and hold it a few inches from my sticky
On the line
was state Sen. Bob Hedlund, inviting me on his WTAD talk show for a
last-minute discussion of the ballot issues. Quick, hit the tape button
to catch the end of the show: The contemporary British hero is having a
hard time evading evil Big Government because of its new national ID
card. Because he can't buy anything or gain access to transportation or
buildings without being spotted, he can't hide or fight back for long!
I lick the
caramel off the clicker. OK, I'm on the air.
George Carney with him, defending dog racing. He thanked me for my
column recommending a "no" vote on ballot Question 3, which would shut
his operation down.
I let him
know what I thought of his paid ad urging a "no" vote on Question 1 —
the effort to shut down corruption and waste on Beacon Hill. Would
kissing up to Beacon Hill get him a taxpayer subsidy for his declining
offered to play peacemaker. I'm not interested in peace.
As the years
of political activism add up, I find myself less polite, less tolerant.
I have stopped making excuses for people, including voters who, when
asked why they vote a certain way, cannot give a coherent, logical
My son was
raised to be rational. He is voting for Obama because he is "calm and
He tells me
he remembers the time when he was 4 and recited for me a little ditty
he'd learned from playground friends: "Eeny meeny miny moe, catch a (bad
racist word) by the toe." I knelt down to his eye level and explained
why he was never to use that word again and why racism is bad.
later, he has apparently decided that I meant he should vote for the
first calm, well-spoken black guy to run for office. Parents, be careful
what you say to your children: They recall the oddest things, and they
do not necessarily get the message you intend to send.
My son is
still a good debater, when he forgoes the "party line," and he does make
me better understand the Obama Phenomenon, even though I do not buy or
like it. Practicing restraint, I have not overwhelmed his e-mail with
educational messages: I started with just one column by economist/author
Thomas Sowell, figuring that since he too is black, calm and
well-spoken, he might get through with his concerns about the liberal
candidate. And I sent just one dramatic video showing that the Fannie
Mae meltdown was the fault of Democrats, including Obama; it ends with
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and a McCain campaign pitch.
always hang up with, "I love you." Blood is thicker than politics.
I have tons
of e-mail messages that I could have shared though. The only item I sent
on to relatives and faraway friends came from The Salem News. You may
have noted the same paragraph in Brian Watson's anti-McCain column last
Saturday that I thought every voter should read:
a POW in Hanoi for 5½ years between 1967 and 1973. Critically for him, I
think, he missed experiencing directly all the learning, dissension,
debate and sea change in public opinion that occurred in the United
States during that period. To this day, he may not quite believe that
force cannot always subdue the ideas of a resistant population or
What's wrong with McCain is that instead of hanging out doing drugs in
Haight-Ashbury, he was being tortured in a communist prison as a
military POW. Then, upon returning home in 1973, he spent over 30 years
ignoring the superior wisdom from the Age of Aquarius about how we
should "share the wealth." Good thing Obama, a child at the time, "got"
the cultural revolution.
Halloween, I always dress as Robin Hood, who, far from being a liberal,
took on Big Government, Big Business and Big Church from Sherwood Forest
on behalf of the overtaxed peasants. He did not take from the rich and
give to the poor; he ran the first taxpayer group and took from those
who enabled and kissed up to Big Government.
WATD bit, I finished eating my apple and watching "The Last Enemy."
Total government control: It couldn't happen here, right?
Well, by the
time you read this you will know — as I do not writing it — who and
which ballot questions won. As a true Aquarian, whose bottom line is
freedom, not income redistribution, I may be writing my next column from
some nearby Sherwood Forest, preparing to battle any attempt to raise
taxes or make us peasants carry a national ID card.
Time to go