resolutions: I will eat only healthy foods — blueberries for breakfast,
and homemade yogurt. I'll exercise and meditate.
about me and my delusions. Just to make some points, I'll presume to
offer some resolutions for Massachusetts' registered voters:
1. If you
don't take time to know the candidates or understand the ballot issues,
League of Women Voters' "get out and vote" campaigns. Instead follow the
physicians' maxim: First, do no harm.
If you don't
know what you are doing, stay home and watch reality TV. Not only will
this save you a trip to the polls, but it gives you an excuse not to
complain about the way things are going in your state or country since
you couldn't be bothered to become informed enough to address them.
(Yes, I realize that, by definition, these people are not reading this
newspaper, so they're not likely to read my resolutions. But thought I'd
throw out the idea anyhow, for those who might encourage such people to
vote as a "civic duty.")
"Representative government" means choosing someone who will represent
you — as much as another person can — on the issues. It does not mean
choosing someone who is a physical representative of your sex, race or
ethnic background, no matter whether you agree or disagree on very
important matters. Resolve to do the former, not the latter.
people mean by "diversity" anyhow? Minority citizens like oneself, or
people who look different than you? People who think different thoughts
and believe different things than you? Or do they mean those whose
character varies from a desirable norm?
If you are
honest, real and open-minded, do you want to vote for a dishonest,
phony, rigid person who shares your gender or ethnic background? If you
are a woman answering yes to that, consider choosing Martha Coakley, who
when she is not avoiding debate is saying whatever she thinks will get
Of course by
behaving thusly, Coakley places herself in the basic "politician" mold.
So what happens then to diversity in the Senate?
you who would be a diverse senator: Sarah Palin. I got her book for
Christmas and find it fascinating. I'm not prepared to support her for
president, but she'd be a delightfully diverse presence in the
legislative branch. (Do you think most of the people who want more women
as role models there would support her? No? Well then, I'm still
confused about the diversity concept.)
probably missing something important about our American political
system, but I really don't get the party thing. I was raised by
Democrats in a Democratically inclined union town; originally registered
Republican because of reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at an impressionable
age; and finally found myself as an independent voter who presently
identifies with Tea Partiers. I considered myself a populist until the
last election, when the voters I once admired chose Barack Obama because
of "diversity" and, in Massachusetts, voted to end greyhound racing
without asking what would happen to the dogs (continued below).
Resolution 3: Don't blindly follow the party of your parents, which is
probably not the same party it was when they registered anyhow. (Mine
became Reagan Democrats so we eventually voted together. I'm working on
my son, but I'd be embarrassed if he had blindly followed my decision
without taking a moment to think for himself).
voting on ballot questions, pay attention, read the Secretary of State's
voter information booklet, ask questions when something doesn't make
sense (like, why would dog owners mistreat dogs who must be in top shape
to win?), and consider "the law of unintended results." I bring this up,
again, because WBZ-TV News just did a piece on the dozens of greyhounds
who were just surrendered to a shelter in Hopkinton as the tracks
closed. There they were kept in little cages, smaller than the ones I
found at Wonderland when I checked out the ballot issue; away from their
trainers who cared for them, away from the fun of racing, hoping to be
adopted, like all those other homeless dogs, many of whom have been
displaced by the recession. The greyhounds looked sad, which is how I
feel. They didn't look angry though; that's just me, no longer so much a
5. Get the
new book by William D. Eggers and John O'Leary, "If We Can Put a Man on
the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government." I promise this will
give you the nonpartisan understanding everyone needs to be a competent
issues voter and find some real solutions.
the question that so many of us have been asking each other: What the
heck is going on here?! And it's great fun to read besides.
6. Once you
have considered all of the above, vote! Your vote counts. In the coming
U.S. Senate election on Jan. 19, pitting Republican Scott Brown against
Coakley, it can change the course of history.