Those people who have read some of my articles on the Gropinator know that I’m not a huge fan. Frankly, if he had not entertained us so well in movies, there’s no way he would have been elected to become Governor of one of the largest states and largest economies in the world. In that sense, we screw ourselves. Seriously, what kind of criteria is that for deciding who should run things?
Recently, the Gropinator again put his foot in his mouth — in a small way — with comments that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of the “black blood” and “Latino blood” coursing through their veins. Next, we’ll put him in charge of some genetics project for these deep insights on the metaphysics of blood.
Yet it really is something of a small gaffe. It’s almost certainly taken out of context, for one thing. And as the alleged “target” of the comment — to the extent that there was any “target” — stated, people often describe themselves this way. Perhaps if the Gropinator had said something like “Austrians are inherently stupid and would always be lower-class citizens deserving of little respect because of the Austrian blood coursing through their veins,” then people (Austrians, at least) would have some right to be up in arms.
But that’s not what happened.
And that brings us to the point of “How Politicians Screw Us.”
Phil Angelides — for whom I suppose I’ll be forced to vote, simply because I can no longer stomach how the Gropinator is using us and want to see if someone else might do less damage — wants to highlight Schwarzeneggar’s words. Angelides apparently hopes we’re going to vote for him because our current governor sometimes says stupid things without thinking.
“Once again, Governor Schwarzenegger has used language that is deeply offensive to all Californians and embarrassed our state,” Angelides said in a statement.— ” Schwarzenegger: Cubans, Puerto Ricans ‘all very hot'” (September 8, 2006) CNN.com.
Sadly, as I said, I already pretty much feel stuck voting for Angelides because there’s no viable alternative to continue allowing Schwarzeneggar to terminate the few good things left about California. But this approach to campaigning by Angelides is inimical to the development of a non-dysfunctional democratic process. While politicians are busy talking about what horrible people their opponents are, we’re always going to be stuck in the position of having to vote for the lesser of two evils.
This, in fact, is exactly what people like Angelides are saying: “Vote for me because the other guy is a bad person who says mean things.”
Mr. Angelides. Mr. Angelides. What we really need — even if we don’t know it’s what we want — are politicians who will focus on themselves. I don’t want to vote for you because you’re someone who won’t talk about the “black blood” and the “Latino blood” or any other kind of bloods. I want someone I can vote for because they’ve got a message about themselves and what they will do for our state if elected.
Remember, Mr. Angelides, when you sling mud, everybody just gets muddy. Perhaps if you leave the little missteps alone and focus on the big picture instead, you’ll find people will stay focused on the good you can do, rather than the silly thing someone else — someone many of them like anyway — said.
We don’t need your encouragement to dislike the Gropinator. We do need to know why we should like you.