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December 9, 2005

Texas Joining the Circus

California elected an idiot actor as Governor. Minnesota elected an idiot professional wrestler. Kinky Friedman is running for Governor of Texas; Texas is joining the circus.

Some would suggest that as home of President Bush, and plenty of policies the rest of the country and indeed, world find odd, we have had our own ring in the circus for some time. They may be right, but it looks like there's a new clown in town.

This guy is apparently a "humorist" and recent columnist for Texas Monthly. Writing is a good skill for a governor to have, and there's no reason being a Governor and having a sense of humor should be mutually exclusive; but outside of that, I can't find anything on this guy's site that suggests he is qualified to hold this position. Some things I did find on his site:

This guy is obviously trying to make his site funny. OK. But it's hard to tell where he's being serious and where he's trying to make me laugh. Do Jewish people have a reputation for hiring "good people"? I guess I haven't been keeping up with my bigotry-disguised-as-compliments stereotypes, but does this sound like something a Governor says? What if he said, "I'm Black so I'll cook us all up a big mess of ribs"? Humorist, maybe. Governor? It's not sounding like it so far.

He's an Independent. Fantastic, me too. I can't remember the last time I got excited about a Republican or Democrat. It was probably back when I considered myself a Republican because I thought they wanted a smaller centralized government. After I woke up and realized this was just rhetoric, I tuned out. Anyway, since then, I've been standing ready to throw my vote at any Independent or minor-party candidate that crosses my ballot. Despite disagreeing with him on nearly every point in his platform I voted for Ralph Nader because I think the two dominant American political parties are a sham. All this to say, it's hard to get me turned-off about an Independent candidate, but "Kinky" pulls it off nicely. I like that he's trying to differentiate himself from "politics as usual", but there is one quality that I have yet to see from him: competence.

If anyone is still reading, I'm sure you're thinking that this guy is so obviously a joke that he won't get anywhere and quietly lose. Well, I wish that were true. Unfortunately, I've seen him on the news, he apparently has a couple of spots on CMT (which is like MTV for country-folk and as you might imagine is pretty popular in Texas), and I've seen some of his fliers floating around my office. And that's my issue: He's an independent candidate that seems to be getting some attention, but is acting like a knob. So next time an Independent or minor-party candidate comes along, the knob label is going to be applied to them, too.

It seems to me from reading what little I can find about his ideas that he is just taking the Independent moniker because he's an eccentric liberal running for Governor in a state where liberals have been used for target practice for the past 25 years.

So Kinky will be taking his place beside Larry Flynt, Gary Coleman, assorted porn stars, "professional" wrestlers, and actors with accents as election-time ringmasters; and he's dragging Texas along for the ride. And maybe I'm wrong about him; maybe he's great, smart, articulate, and the right man for the job, but I think his campaign is flawed and is going to do more damage to Independent politics and Texas' reputation.

Posted 14 years, 9 months ago on December 9, 2005
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