Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Toast To Our Republic

On the way home from work today, I stopped into a local church.

There wasn't a prayer meeting; that church was my polling place to vote in the Primary Election.

I have done a decent job of keeping Skiving Off non-political. Hell, for the last year or so I have done a decent job of keeping Skiving Off non-existent. However, today I want to talk about politics.

When I was younger I was involved in politics. Sometimes I worked as a Poll Challenger, and other times I offered to drive the old, insane, left handed, or the disenfranchised to the polls.

Then, I figured out that no matter who was elected, my life didn't really change. So I stopped wasting my time worrying about politicians. I still vote. I just don't expect to ever see a modern day Jeff Smith (not the Frugal Gourmet) go to Washington in Capra-esque form and filibuster on behalf of my needs.

Which brings us to today.

Rather than just show up at the poll and ignorantly cast my ballot for candidates with the most virile sounding names, I pulled up a website that allowed me to make side by side comparisons of the candidates' answers to a list of standard questions.

The last question was, "Have you ever been arrested? If so, explain."

It seemed everyone was answering, "NO."

Then, I saw a guy running for Congress who said he was busted for DUI 15 years ago. He said it was the worst thing in his life. He said it changed him, and he is better because of it.

That is who I chose to represent me in Washington.

Fifteen years ago when I was a much younger fellow, I had some idealistic notions of what a politician should be. Back then I likely never would have considered voting for a guy who got busted for DUI when he was in his 20's.

So it is interesting to me that today I chose this guy specifically because of his arrest. I didn't give a hoot about his kids. (George Carlin taught me a long time ago that Politicians always want us to know their reproductive organs work.) I didn't care what church he goes to. NOPE. For me, I just hoped that having been busted for DUI 15 years ago, this guy might be less likely to be a high and mighty, holier-than-thou, pompous prick than all the other guys on the ballot. So I decided to give him a shot.

As I left the church, one little old lady was handing out cookies. I turned down the one she offered. Another lady had stickers that said, "I voted today." My first thought was to ask, "Are stickers the only thing you have, or is there a remote chance I am the lucky voter who has won a lap dance?" Nevertheless, I suppressed that urge, took my sticker, and walked to the car.

It was only then that I realized that I may have just played a role in helping to kill the next Mary Jo Kopechne.


Just when I was starting to think my vote doesn't matter...