If You Tire of Throwing Cabbages

Back in March, my daughter was taking a government and civics class at the college. As part of it, she was required to attend a precinct caucus. She wasn’t 18, so I was her ticket in the door.

I wasn’t really sure what the difference between a Republican and a Democrat was; when the door keepers asked me who I was voting for, I had no idea.

Seriously–I think it says that, right next to my signature on the ballots, “Clueless”.

Somehow, out of the 60 odd people in the room, I ended up being sent to the Republican county convention as a delegate.

And then I was sent to the statewide one in Tacoma.

And then I was talked into running for PCO this fall.

After which, the current PCO stepped down and nominated me to fill his position.

And half an hour later, I was asked to chair the Candidates Committee.

And…

And…

And.

Every day, I wake up, and I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. I even TOLD the central committee, when they grilled me, before voting me in to fill in as PCO, that I didn’t know what I was doing. One wizened old gentleman asked me how I felt about term limits. I said I figured they had something to do with limiting… elected officials’… terms… in office? And still that blasted unanimous vote kicked in.

The thing is, every time I listen to a politician speak, I agree with (what I consider) the intelligent ones, and I tune out the kooks. Party affiliation has very little to do with it.  I have heard some intelligent people in every party–and some real idiots in every party. I just read a pamphlet written by the top dog (at some point) of the Republican national party, and it’s complete drivel. I’m not even sure it was ever proofread, or even read at all, for that matter. I think local state and county officials order boxes of it simply because of who wrote it, simply to have something glossy and colorful to hand out at the county fair.

Tell me they haven’t read it. Tell me it’s in circulation out of pure negligence. Please?

Just in case you’re on that committee, and you’re getting worried about that vote of confidence you gave me, understand this: I’m not saying I’m not a Republican–I’m just saying I’m not sure I understand what a Republican really is. I’m not sure any of the young people in this country are. And I think that might be the problem.

I think we–on both sides of the aisle–are relying too much on pompous drivel composed by old men who have been in positions of power for so long that nobody bothers to question the things they publish before disseminating them as doctrine. We are rallying to one flag or the other, a jackass here and a pachyderm there, without questioning what that symbol or this doctrine really calls for.

I don’t understand politics in this country thoroughly, yet. I don’t understand how the unfair and uncivil things that happen really happen, how unqualified individuals hold onto power, or why we permit it. Except that maybe we all feel unqualified to speak up, to lead out, to be counted–and so we hunker down and we shake our heads and we wait for somebody with half a brain in their heads to set things straight. As long as it’s not us. We are willing to throw our weight, or a bit of money, or even just a vote, in for that poor half-brained soul, whoever he or she is, should they step up, but please, don’t look for me to come forward.

Except, here I find myself. And I get the feeling that I’m supposed to do something worthwhile.

Yeesh… It was so much easier throwing rotten cabbages from the sidelines.


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