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24 Hour Party People

2004-06-15 - 11:18 a.m.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the Democratic Party asking if I wanted to make a commercial for them.

It was not a personal e-mail. They did not have a big meeting and decide that what they really needed in order to win the election was the wit and wisdom of The Notorious RRZ, although there are people who work on Capitol Hill who read this diary. Well, one person. And he just quit to go to law school, but it is entirely possible that he was still working on Capitol Hill when they would have been making this decision, so, he could have conceivably put in a good word. Okay, not really.

The e-mail was sent out to a number of people who have been unfortunate enough to declare their political affiliation online. After the success of the call for anti-Bush ads, the Dems figured they'd give it a whirl and ask people to come up with an ad that could do one of two things:

1. Convince people to vote for Kerry.

2. Convince people that, as I believe their phrasing was, we need a change in our government, or in my words, that it is worth it to go to the polls in November and vote against Bush.

If I had any technical skill with video cameras, flash animation, or anything remotely related to filming a commercial, I would have sent in submission for the MoveOn ad and, when I think about it, the "Make Your Own Tori Video" contest. I don't know if I would have submitted to this contest.

However, I would love to see the first type of video, because I could really use a reason to vote for Kerry other than the fact that a vote for him might toss Bush out of office.

Once upon a time, I was an ardent Democrat. Through my mother, I come from a long line of liberals, dating back to the Spanish Inquisition, when our family was liberal enough to say, "Jews? We're not Jews! No, seriously, we ate paella with extra shellfish just last night! Leftovers? Oh, no, we ate it all. Mmm, shellfish! And pork, we ate pork too! Thanks, come back later, anytime, shalo--oh, fuck." Actually, I can neither confirm nor deny that my family's anti-clerical stance came from being kicked out of Spain with our copy of the Torah shoved in my great-great-great-etc grandmother's petticoats, as our family's Jewish origins are still only a hypothesis, but it's my mom's favorite explanation for why her relatives have always had a distaste for conservatism and religious fundamentalism. Regardless, the liberalism in my family finally crystallized in my mother, who went from barrio cheerleader to Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party in very little time.

Had my mother met my father a few years earlier, I might have had a taste of the heady days of Carter, when my mother was working in DC as part of what would one day be the Civil Rights Commission, and I would have identified the president as someone whom I could respect, admire, and even hope to meet one day. As was, I was born in 1980, which means I grew under Reagan.

Ah, Reagan. I wonder where you are right now. A small part of me hopes that you have found a better place. The larger part of me hopes you're being roasted on a spit.

I grew up HATING Ronald Reagan with a passion reserved for those who not only had the AUDACITY to interrupt my cartoons with his petty little announcements, but who had FIRED MY MOM. Fortunately, my mother and another of her colleagues sued the bastard and pointed out that her office was not under his jurisdiction, and she won. Unfortunately, he was able to dissolve her office entirely, but from that was the CRC born. My mother, actually, did little to instill the loathing of our 40th president in me. It was actually my grandmother, who, I sometimes think, may have been further to the left than my mother, who took the opportunity to mutter and glare at the screen whenever he was on TV. Had my grandfather still been alive, he might have reminded her of what he had said during the Eisenhower administration, that he was the president and deserved the respect of his nation. I think my grandmother would have slapped him.

I really wish she could have survived to see the events of the last week. She would have hated the fanfare, but she would have smiled quietly to herself when they finally put him in the ground.

Growing up in this environment, I developed a strong politcal awareness very early. It was a survival technique. If I wanted to spend time with my mom and understand even a fraction of what the people around her were saying, I had to learn things. Seeing my early aptitude, I think my mother began harboring dreams of my one day entering politics. She knew that it was a hard life, and one that, even before Clinton, demanded that the politician lead an unimpeachable life, literally, but it didn't stop her from picturing me as a senator, or a Supreme Court justice, or a president.

The problem was that, as I was able to speak with relative cogency on Iran Contra before I'd even learned all my multiplication tables, I got burned out on politics before I'd even entered high school, and Clinton's administration didn't do a lot to excite my interest. Like the rest of the country, I was enjoying our economic upswing with complacency and feeling annoyed that Republicans were trying to make us believe that not being able to keep your dick in your pants made you unfit to lead the country, when the author of our Declaration of Independence had a literal love slave for a significant portion of his life.

When you think about it, sleeping with an intern is nowhere near as horrifying as sleeping with someone whom you own, who can't say no.

It wasn't until 2000, though, that I finally gave up on my mother's party. Now, a lot of Democrats look back on the 2000 elections and a name comes to their mind, causing their jaws to clench and their knuckles to turn white and their breath to get heavier and heavier, like a bull waiting to charge. That name is Ralph Nader. I will grant that the Nader votes could hav won a number of states, but I am not about to accept the idea that it was Nader's fault that these people voted for him. If Democrats felt so alienated from Al Gore and the Democratic Pary that they were willing to make a statement, even in so crucial an election, by voting for Nader, then the Democratic Party needs to take a good long look at itself and figure out what it needs to do to win back its base. Anyone and everyone has a right to run for president provided they meet the requirements, which Nader did (and which, thank God, Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't). Everyone, in turn, has a right to vote for someone they want to see as president, and truth be told I didn't want to see Al Gore as president after he was so willing to pander to conservative dems that he chose the ever-repulsive Joe Lieberman as his running mate, and after he was so stupid as to distance himself from the president who had become synonymous with prosperity just because the guy had his dick sucked and lied about it.

Look, if my parents ever ask me directly about the wheres and whens and hows and whys and most of all whos of the I last had my dick sucked, I am going to lie. That doesn't make me a bad person.

Now I am faced in the same predicament I was last year. I am going to vote for someone in November that I don't want to vote for, and who will not run the country to anywhere near my satisfaction, and who is even more willing to kiss the standard round of Washington asses than Gore, all because I would rather bring Ronald Reagan back from the dead than have to look at that fucking idiot's fucking face one more fucking time.

I have only one hope.

Hackers of America, listen up. As long as we're going to be using electronic votes, we might as well have fun with it. Get together and get your asses into the voting system. Change all our votes. Pick someone who might actually do a good job of running the place. I still say that Michael Moore was right about Oprah for President. I think if her name were announced on that Tuesday night in November, America would cheer and millions of Americans who cast reluctant votes for Kerry and Bush would swear on the life of everyone they loved that they wrote in Oprah's name. Not only would Bush be out on his ass, but the Democrats would, for once, maybe, have to deal with the possibility that theirs might not be the only game in town for people who want to guarantee civil liberties, protect the environment, aid the poor, and work for peace.

Of course, it would mean a lot of pee on the floor at Kerry campaign headquarters. Now there's one party I'd let someone else clean up.

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previous - next

The End - 2005-02-11
Let's Go on With the Show - 2005-01-30
The Curse, and This Bee's a Keeper - 2005-02-01
Sisters Lolita and Matronic Explain It All for You - 2005-01-31
Cowboys and Medievalists - 2005-01-30

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