by Chason Gordon
– The Capitol Hill Times –
Just because the election is next week, doesn’t mean we have to talk about politics. We could talk about the streetcar, the light rail station, or those new “apodments” springing up around the hill. It was just Halloween. That’s a thing. Did everyone have a good Halloween? Was your costume very different from your normal appearance? I hope so. These are all possible topics. Last week my editor sent an email to all the writers saying he wanted to devote this issue to the local elections, and then he sent one to me saying I could write about the new iPad or something. You see how I’m treated?
I can write about politics! I’m not scared! Of course, when you give a political opinion, you run the risk of alienating your readers. I don’t want people to hate me for my political opinions; I want them to hate me for who I am.
Various newspapers in Seattle have been throwing their support behind certain candidates. These are known as endorsements. Like me, you’re probably wondering how an inanimate object like a newspaper can endorse something. Who are we going to hear from next: a pamphlet, a brochure, or a toaster? If a toaster told me who I should vote for, I’d shove some bread in his slots and tell him to never forget his place! (I’m very sick at the moment, so if things appear weird, blame it on the Acetaminophen.)
It’s funny that newspapers will endorse a candidate and then expect you to take their reporting seriously. How does that work exactly? Do you keep the editorial writers and the reporters in separate rooms? Is there an airlock so partisanship and bias stay quarantined? Because I’m pretty sure the endorsements influence other parts of the newspaper. For instance, if I was a doctor and I didn’t like my patient, do you really think I’d give him the good medicine? There’s probably a better analogy out there.
I don’t even know the difference between an endorsement, a recommendation, and vouching for someone, and besides, it’s a lot of commitment. If I endorse somebody and they screw up, am I going to be killed like Pacino at the end of “Donnie Brasco?” This is why any potential endorsement of mine would be made with a great deal of exit room. It would sound like this:
“After reviewing the issues, I have decided to endorse Kip Higglebottom for president. I mean, I recommend him, but I don’t necessarily vouch for the guy. He could be good, I don’t know. And I’m not saying his opponent, Rutabaga Jones, is a bad person. They both seem alright. It’s just, you know, Higglebottom has good experience, although I don’t know the guy personally. I met him once at a party and he seemed cool. Look, do what you want.”
I should come to a decision, because the entire political world is waiting to see who the Times will endorse. We all feel the pressure. At our last editorial meeting, I slammed the latest poll numbers on the table and said, “How are we going to play this? There’s no way we’re coming out unscathed. I say we open the barn door and let the horses run wild.” “You would say that,” quipped my editor, “but I have people to answer to. This ain’t civics class.” The other writers had no idea what we were talking about.
The race that worries me most is the one for superintendent of public instruction. Perhaps you think the race for president or governor is more important, but every time I read a science fiction novel, the Superintendent runs everything. This race is shaping up to be the scariest of all, because Mr. Randy I. Dorn is running unopposed. You believe that? How is it possible, in this jobless economy, that a man has no opponent for a job? Something is up.
If we look at the record, it appears that Mr. Dorn is also the current superintendent. Well, isn’t that convenient? I bet the first thing he did as superintendent was to make sure he ran unopposed. Politicians make me sick.
Looking back, it appears that I went this entire article without taking a stand. Anyone can give their opinion on something, but it takes a brave person, an honorable person, to put up walls and keep them there. Besides, people change. It’s much easier to endorse an object, like pie. Pie never lets you down. Pie never says one thing and does another. Pie always looks you in the eye and speaks from the heart, unlike cake.