« Home | Demand peace. » | Smoke a joint? Go to jail. Rape a child? Here's so... » | Oh, great. » | You're doing a heck of a job, Dubie » | O'Reilly - Get U.S. out of Iraq "as fast as humanl... » | May God Bless the Peacemakers » | US Christians denounce Iraq war » | Not in my name! » | Court: Govt. must release all documents » | Nobody likes a crumbled cookie ... »

So, who cares about apathy anyway?

The Webster Retort
By Stephen Webster
Investigative Reporter
Publication date:
Mar. 10, 2006

So, who cares about apathy anyway?

So, this year’s primary elections have just ended. And I have to say, being a reporter covering this area’s local elections for the first time has been quite an experience. I’ve never seen so many white people as happy to have been given a passive, unenthusiastic half-nod of the head. I am amazed at how disengaging our brand of (mostly) Republican politics can be. Oh, don’t hate me. I just call it like I see it. And if the official results of last night’s vote are any measure, 94.97% of my county agrees.

Okay, so there is always something to be said of low voter turnout. Most folks are just sick of the games being played with our tax dollars. And I cannot fault our local politicos for that; at least, not entirely. We’ve got a pseudo-fascist flinging money, blood and oil around in Washington like a child hitting himself on the head with a rattle. And our governor, whom I can only think to refer to as Jeremy Hilary Boob, Ph.D (c’mon, you’ve seen Yellow Submarine – The Nowhere Man???), cannot seem to accomplish anything with his own roadies running the circus.

Damnit, we need to shake things up a bit.

Now, hear me out. We live in Texas. By very definition, we are weird, and most of us are quite proud of that fact. I have called this state my home since I was born. The word Texas, interestingly enough, is not of Spanish origin. It comes from the Hasini Indian word “tejas,” which means friends. That being said, we don’t have very many of them right now.

We’re first in executions, property taxes and toll roads. Seventeen percent of Texans live below the poverty line. Worse still, that number accounts for 10 full percent of the nation’s poorest. And like a rotten olive on top of a sludge sunday, we’ve found our way to the bottom of the education racket. Texas schools are an embarrassment, and the good teachers are bailing out en masse. And who could blame them? Gov. Boob is about as effective as a rodeo clown with no makeup or legs!

Until I reached my 20’s, I was never very proud to call myself a Texan. I could not read this land’s subtext. I failed to appreciate the strange charm of a hot summer night amongst the cicada calls and highway traffic. I’ve always liked pecans, but I’ve never appreciated cracking ‘em. And those roadside outposts we call towns … well, I spent most of my childhood bouncing between several of those.

Months ago, I attended a Kinky Friedman campaign rally in Ft. Worth. I came away with a smile and a t-shirt, knowing full well that Kinky is the man for the job. Though, it should be said that it is easy to persuade a thirsty man with a glass of water.

Let’s be perfectly honest here: I am a liberal, straight up, with a shot of whiskey. I do not like the parties, though, and I hate inflated government pork-barrel spending. I say, a man can’t survive unless he learns to balance his checkbook. You could say I was pre-conditioned to like Kinky, even though I disagree with about half of his opinions on the issues.

For instance … The guy voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, supports placing religious artifacts in government buildings (“We’ll call ‘em the 10 Suggestions”), wants to construct a wall between Texas and Mexico, and has been quite fuzzy on whether he supports a woman’s right to chose. So, he straddles the divide on different issues than I, but that is still okay with me. One thing we do agree on is the monopoly both parties have on this process.

Texas politics are governed by the Three P’s: Party People Pay. Just like that, they’re on the ballot. Independent candidates for Governor are forced to collect over 45,000 signatures from registered voters over the course of two months. To make things more complicated, those signing the petition cannot have voted in the primaries. But, for better or worse, nobody cared enough to vote in those.

It is not often that a politician says something like, “We have a government of the money, by the money and for the money. That’s not the American dream.” Honesty of that caliber is a rare commodity. Any man willing to stand in front of the press and stick his finger directly in the eye of our national oligarchy is good enough to get not just my vote, but my signature and personal endorsement. C’mon folks, sign The Kinkster’s petition! How hard could it be? You can find the petition drive location nearest to you on the web at KinkyFriedman.com.

As Friedman says, “Why the Hell Not?” If you can think of a good answer to that question, congratulations: you’re a bigger nerd than I.

Stephen Webster is an Investigative Reporter and Syndicated Columnist with The News Connection, a Staff Columnist with George W. Bush’s hometown weekly The Lone Star Iconoclast, and a former Contributor to The Dallas Morning News’ Science & Technology section.

Links to this post

Create a Link

The Weird, Turned Pro.

Created by The Gonzo Muckraker
Based in Dallas, Texas
More about the author.

Stories I'm Digging today ...