Smallholder: Also Not A Politician

Allow your Maximum Leader to say something… There was a time when he thought he might get into politics and run for something. Well… Last night reminded him why he doesn’t have the patience to do it. He doubts he could remain civil to a voter who wanted to lecture him on the flawed science of global warming - as related to him by this friend of a friend who once studied meteorology at a community college for a semester. At some point your Maximum Leader would want to just strangle the lecturer. It is your Maximum Leader’s understanding that in a democracy, one can’t just go around strangling voters. Although, if the voter was an idiot one hopes an exception could be made…

The Maximum Leader’s murderous fantasy reminded me of my own consideration of higher office.

When I was in Maryland, NASCAR sought to have an industrial site near my community rezoned so they could build a new track. They arrogantly assumed that they could ram the rezoning down the throat of Anne Arundel County’s residents. They ran into a buzzsaw. My community got particularly active. During one public meeting, I ended up at the microphone as a spokesman for that community. As the next speaker after an hour-long bells and whistles presentation form NASCAR, I took apart their highly-paid lobbyist’s arguments piece by piece. There were around 700 people in the audience and I had them cheering and going nuts.

Your humble Smallholder is a rather shy individual. As an introvert, I don’t generally like to be in the public eye. Rage at the dishonesty of the developers propelled me forward. That said, during my twenty-minute demolition of the exaggerations, half-truths, bad science and outright lies of the NASCAR goons, I felt the rush that all demagogues cherish. I experience that rush in the classroom. Setting aside protestation of humility, I am a damn entertaining high school teacher. But in this instance, the numbers were so much greater and the response so vociferous, that the adrenelin started flowing and I started purposefully playing to the emotions of the crowd and designed applause lines on the fly.

After the meeting, I was approached to run against the incument councilman who had angered the community by not coming out against the project. It was flattering, but, like the Maximum Leader, I knew that I was unelectable.

Case in point: During the council campaign, a woman got up at the debate and asked the candidates what they were going to force the Naval Academy to keep the Naval Academy dairy open*.

If I had been on that stage, I would have answered:

“Absolutely nothing, you twit. Read the Constitution. The U.S. Navy is not accountable to a county council in any way, shape or form.”

I’d have answered the abortion and immigration questions the same way.

Additionally, we all know what happens to moderates**. I’d never get elected because I’d gore somebody’s ox everytime I opened my mouth. The middle position doesn’t garner much support.

And on some issues I’m well outside the mainstream. If someone asked my about getting tough on crime, I’d say that I was in favor of releasing drug offenders in order to make truly violent criminal serve a greater proportion of their sentences. The electable answer is to either a) build more prisons without raising taxes or to b) magically use government power overcome bad familial influence and install law-abiding values in the underclass.

If I honestly attempted to triage the importance of incarceration, I’d be painted as being pro-drug.

Loyal readers also know that my analysis of the immigration issue won’t win any votes. Our leadership on both sides of the aisle understands that illegal immigrants are crucial and beneficial to out society and that they don’t promote crime and that there is no way to seal the border. But try saying that out loud and see how well you do with the “wah! My unemployment isn’t the result of my own choices - it’s those brown-skinned for’ners!” crowd.

And when taxes come up, it’s likely that my TANSTAAFL response is unlikely to be favorably viewed by either side of the political divide.

Now, the Maximum Leader would like you to believe that I choose my candidate based on physical characteristics. In this he is as reliable as is customary. I frequently fault the insipid reasons behind the avergae voter’s ballot decision. In fact, a common refrain in my AP US history class is me channeling Jerry Seinfeld but instead of exclaiming “Newman!” I grit my teeth and declaim “Jacksonian Democracy!”

kennedynixondebate.jpg

The Kennedy-Nixon televised debate was a tipping point in American politics, but it would actually help Smallholder as a candidate.

Americans tend to evaluate candidates on how they look, and I have to admit, I’m a handsome, handsome man:

grizzly-adams.jpg

UPDATE: Thanks to Kevin, who reminded me I didn’t add the footnotes.

* The Naval Academy used to have a dairy in order to serve the cadets good raw milk in the days before pasteurization. Post World-War Two, the new highway systems and trucking brought store-bought milk right to the table, so the Naval Academy could have chosen to buy milk like any other food. However, tradition is strong at Annapolis and the U.S. Navy continued to operate a dairy farm until the 1990s. The farm set on land that was incredibly valuable for development. The U.S. Navy decided that operating the dairy was outside their mission and determined to shut it down. The good citizens of Anne Arundel were apoplectic. My God, the land might be sold to developers! And it was.

** As the Maximum Leader likes to point out, moderates are usually the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

3 Comments »

I know that isn’t you in the photo… You aren’t nearly as well groomed as that imposter. And, frankly, you can’t really pull of the cowboy hat look…



Kevin Kim said:

I saw a single asterisk and then a double asterisk in this post, and was expecting footnotes. Wha’ happened?

I agree that the moderate position doesn’t get a lot of support. People often prefer to commit the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Kevin



[…] I wish he had posted that before I posted my picture. […]



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