It's harder to vote in California than anywhere else I've lived. Not the actual voting process (vote by mail, yeah!), but what I'm required to know in order to vote the entire ballot. As an impassioned high school student studying the US Electoral system, I thought I believed in direct democracy. What's this stupid electoral college business?! Power to the people!!
Well, California has it and it's a mess!
Based on reading a few brief paragraphs (with rebuttals printed alongside) and a list of who supports or opposes a measure, I'm supposed to decide whether to legalize pot, continue to support clean energy, fund a project in my neighborhood, allow a simple majority to pass a budget, expand or contract the Congressional Redistricting group (measures in both directions were featured), restrict pensioning for government employees in my neighborhood, allow an $18 surcharge on car renewals to fund state parks... and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. That's not even touching WHO to vote for!
I hate that when it comes to city council members, I'm literally picking people based on their last names. "Ooh, that sounds Japanese, let's get some diversity into this rich, white board." I vowed to never be that person, but here I am. Sigh.
Anyway, watching Jerry Brown and Meg last night as the results came in, I thought about why he won. Disregarding all facts about California as a blue state, there were other elements. I've been buried alive in Meg mailings. One even had pictures of her with smiling Asians that had Korean translation alongside the English. She felt slick, wealthy and naive. After hardly ever voting, she promised her commitment to California. While spending MILLIONS, she preached fiscal responsibility. I don't even know what the housekeeper incident was (anyone?), but that obviously played into it. Jerry felt crusty, edgy and unscripted, but in this era, I think authenticity sells. His campaign managers were himself and his wife; Meg had 60 consultants.
Actually, I think that's part of the energy in the tea party campaigns. Authenticity. Not that they're right, but they are expressing a genuine passion through honest-feeling words that seem earthy and 'real'. We'll just see what they choose to build after all their tearing down speeches.
Anyone else have reactions to this election? Did you vote?
Just remember, someday YOU might want to run for governor and if you don't vote while you're an ordinary business tycoon, you won't look so good . . .