Paul's Political Perception

by Paul Chaplin

It's now the next morning and it's happened. He' s won. Every single national commentator has interviewed him and made the same joke -- "do we call you Governor The Body?" -- but he really is going to run this state.

What is Jesse's appeal? I think it's pretty simple. He looks happy and secure, and seems like he just says what he wants to say and doesn't care whether you agree with him.

That's it. I don't mean to belittle it, either, because it really is true: Most politicians seem, by contrast, desperate to never say anything with which anybody might disagree. And since people crave drama in politics more than almost anything -- more than tax cuts, more than child care subsidies, more even than wise transportation policy -- it's a problem when the two major candidates are as predictable and say as little as ours did.

Skip Humphrey, the Democrat, is the product of a kind of political widget factory that just keeps cranking these guys out, and with the single exception of Paul Wellstone, who is at least excitable, I can't figure out why we should be expected to vote for any of them.

The Republican? A former Democrat named Norm Coleman, and maybe he really is in command and stern in his beliefs yet flexible in his approach to problems, and comfortable with all people and delighted with the opportunity to lead, but boy his hair is poofy and his smile sure is forced. Seems like he's trying too hard. And about all he can ever say is "cut taxes, cut spending." That was new in 1980, Norm! And we don't need any more studies of gigantic pig farms!

Sorry, that was a digression, but it really is why I don't like the guy. He opposes a moratorium on huge pig farms, which are stinking up our state. To me, the fact that here in the Midwest we now have vast lakes of liquid pig excrement is in itself an environmental indicator. We don't need to know any more. As a society, we are giving our countryside over to pig shit. There's something wrong.

So anyway, I don't know if Jesse is going to do anything about that. Nobody here has any idea what he's going to do about anything, in fact. But it sure was fun to vote for him for a day.

[posted 11/98]

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