Published Oct 10, 2003

(Because what headline writer would voluntarily use “Schwarzenegger”?)

I’m a Democrat. A big-time one. I’m a Democrat because, where I came from, the Republicans try to prevent African-Americans from voting and regularly support explicitly racist platforms. But, all in all, I’m not that unhappy with the result of our last election.

Part of it is simply the natural feeling of being a supporter of the party that lost during bad times. If Arnold is the right choice, then he’ll fix a lot of things, the economy will get better, and I’ll be able to earn more money and have a more comfortable life. Ain’t nothing wrong with that outcome. And if Arnold turns out to be the wrong guy for the job, then I get to say “I told you so.” Plus the Dems win back the statehouse in 3 years. Ain’t too much wrong with that either.

But that’s not the biggest part of my motivation. The biggest part is that, hey, democracy (small d) actually worked!

Look at who we elected: a pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, pro-choice Republican. How’d that guy get out of a primary? Oh, he didn’t. A year ago, the GOP fielded a very weak Bill Simon against Gray Davis, inevitably losing, when they could have possibly won with Dick Riordan. But Dick (as he likes to be called) was too far to the left on social issues to make it out of the primaries. We skipped the primaries, and the majority of Californians got the governor they wanted.

And, even before the election, we had dialog we never would have had because of the many fringe candidates in the election. Think Arianna Huffington didn’t spice things up? Heck, even Mary Carey apparently had a lot to say!

The lesson here is clear. We need to have this kind of open registration and race for future statewide offices. Folks worry about somebody winning with only a plurality of votes, but isn’t it better to have somebody win with less than 50% of the votes from 70% of the electorate (as voted in this election), than it is for the winner to get just over 50% of the votes with only about a 40% turnout (Davis vs. Simon)?

So roll on our recall election! Let’s have ‘em every few years!