"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." — Henry David Thoreau
The gubernatorial recall here in California is more than just a media circus, it is proving to be a major distraction created by the partisan politics of the reigning federal duopoly. Unlike most people, I am not naive enough to overlook the fact the removal of duly elected governor is more about the reelecting George W. Bush than it is about representing the people of California in a sustainable way.
During a discussion regarding the political maneuvering surrounding the Gray Davis recall I was asked who I was planning to vote for on October 7th, without hesitation I replied Peter Camejo, the Green Party candidate. Suffice it to say that was not a popular answer. Talk about feeding frenzy. It's amazing how fast a gathering of normally tolerant and peaceful people can turn on someone who does not share their political opinion. It was if I had just declared a taste for dolphins or the flesh of baby harp seals.
The next question was so insulting it prompted this column. To be honest it wasn't really a question, it was poorly disguised attempts at linguistic tyranny. One I could not let pass. When I stated my support for Peter Camejo as the candidate the best represents my interests, as well as the environmental viability of Californian ecosystems, these friends asked, "How can you throw your vote away like that?" Ouch.
Trying to explain how an educated vote, placed with consideration and personal integrity is never wasted, I was rebuked for my lack of political savvy. Reminding them of my commitment to Green ideals and ecological wisdom, I again stated that in no way was my vote being wasted. This only angered my well-meaning critics. "Don't you realize that by not voting for Bustamante you are actually casting a vote for that nazi Schwarzenegger?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. So I decided it was time to give as good as I got.
Intent on busting their delusional bubble, I told them I could not vote for a Cruz Bustamante, due to his questionable dealings with the mobsters running California casinos, his support for giving undocumented foreign workers driving licenses at a time when we need less people on the road, not more. On a roll, I then suggested there is little difference between Arnold and Cruz's lack of concern for environmental issues such as deforestation, overpopulation, mass transit, renewable energy, and species preservation.
I am of the opinion it is not the Green Party's responsibility to save a Democratic administration from it's own incompetence. Every problem facing the state of California and the nation can be attributed directly to the unwillingness of Republicans and Democrats to admit they are pursuing a failing paradigm of graft and gratification.
Who but Republicans and Democrats should shoulder the blame over a state government that has long ago stopped being of the people, for the people, and by the people? Long ago the business of governance morphed into a corporate shell game, which pits citizens against each other in pursuit of rapidly diminishing resources. Knowing this, how could anyone actually hoping for representational governance vote to support the political compromises that has brought us to the point of bare knuckle politics, institutional gridlock, disregard of the electorate?
And just like I know there is no Santa Claus, I am clear that Republicans and Democrats are nothing more than conjoined twins unwilling to be separated. Why would they? And as long as Californians continue to accept the lesser of two evil choices as the only viable option, it makes no difference whether Cruz or Arnold gets to play top dog in Sacramento for the next three years. For that matter why would I vote to replace Gray with Cruz? Why not keep Gray?
I am voting for Peter Camejo because I want change in Sacramento. As governor Camejo will stand strong for a woman's reproductive rights, a living wage, ecological stewardship, peace and nonviolence, livable communities, social justice, electoral reform, and universal health care.
Peter Camejo and I share a vision for California that is worth fighting for. So instead of settling for a candidate who will win because he's a movie star, or win because he's has the best chance of beating the movie star, I am casting my vote for the person that best represents my ideals.