...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Guerrilla candidates.

Kinky Friedman’s running for Texas governor in 2006. You remember him—leader of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys? Country with a satiric bite? Great article in last week’s New Yorker (sorry, not online). Got me reflecting on other guerrilla candidates and the state of politics in the USA.

Frustration motivates initial support for odd-ball (non-politician but well-known) candidate. Voters talk about “sending a message.” They even sincerely hope for positive change in the hands of some familiar outsider. Candidate opens mouth, inserts foot (Perot, Robertson), fades fast.

Or wins, gets brief honeymoon, opens mouth, fails to make miracles during honeymoon, becomes pariah—approval rating plummets—morphs into ordinary politician, isn’t reelected (Jesse Ventura).

Kinky’s got the Ventura pol team working for him now, says the New Yorker piece, which means, (a) he’s trying to get serious, (b) already is, or, (c) has chosen carpetbagging handlers, will let them handle him, and will lose.

We sure need some fresh non-party-establishment, non-standard-political-marketing breezes blowing through our strained democracy. Wasn’t the Internet supposed to produce some creative upheaval? Howard Dean? Nah, right phenomenon, wrong guy.

Kinky Friedman? Christopher Walken? Bring ‘em on.

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