I have a problem. I’m considering entering politics and running for a seat in the Arizona legislature. Really, I am.
Early this past week I get this strange text from a first name-only female who says she’s a volunteer with the Democrats in Phoenix asking me if I’m interested in running for office. The text seems strangely anonymous and I wonder if there’s someone with a pulse behind it. I type ‘sure’ just because I’m curious and I’m standing behind my students hoping they don’t see me on my phone.
There’s a series of these back and forths between me and Robo-Volunteer in which I identify myself as a teacher and someone who cares about Arizona education and who, BTW, speaks Spanish. Let’s have a little fun with this I says to myself. The kids are watching a chunk of ‘Selma’ and King is inspiring me- hopefully them as well.
After a day or two of this textual banter, I decide I’m done with politics and delete the whole conversation. My last foray into politics ended poorly when I ran for President. A British senora says to me, “Oh Seth, don’t be daft!”
Well, the Robo-Texter came back and this time it was from a first name-only fella with the AZ Democrats who didn’t identify himself as a volunteer and listed all the elected positions available in my Cochise County. This peaks my interest again and I respond to him that the State House interests me more than Bisbee Mayor and that once, after I preached at a Unitarian Universalist church at which I played my rewrite of Neil Young’s Alabama and titled it ‘Arizona’ (about AZ schools) a women who held the seat I may run for came up to me and told me I should run for that office. First incredulous, and then flattered.
I had just started teaching and realized that I would have to quit my day job were I to be elected. It was fun to think about it, but I let it go some four or five years ago.
Now it’s back.
I texted Robo-Texter that I’m interested but that for this relationship mean anything to me I need contact with human being. He said they could make that happen and that’s where it is as of this writing.
Anyone who knows me and my writing knows that I put it out there. Whether my memoir (sorry for the pause on that work-in-progress. I’m building a loft bed for my daughter and getting episode 2 of the Vicar of Longborough ready for print) or my blog, I try to write what’s going on with me.
The possibility of helping to make law in Arizona interests me and I’d like you to know that. I think I could do an okay job at it. I understand how government works in theory and what the different branches are supposed to do. In theory, the whole undertaking is pretty sound and I’ve come to realize how much I care about it and want teenagers to as well. How government runs in practice es otra cosa (another thing).
Government is a bad word these days and has been one for some time. I happen to live in a state that has a lot of people who think that. They don’t want the government telling them when and wear to carry their guns. So, when you go to the pizzeria or Walmart, it’s not uncommon to see someone packing. Many of the people here don’t think the government should tell them where to send their kids to school and favor school choice, which means they favor private or charter schools. Many people in my state favor criminalizing abortion. The government should keep its hands off guns and schools, but not a woman. If I get elected, am I allowed to use the word incongruous when I’m at a committee meeting or speaking on the floor of the House?
If I get elected… . I have to run to get elected and running usually involves campaigning. I’ve just identified myself as unhappy with AZ laisse faire gun politics and no-brainer education politics and its-here goes-incongruous abortion politics. What’s going to happen when I show up at some candidate meet and greet and the gun-toters and the homeschoolers and the Pro-lifers show up and tell me how much they’ve enjoyed my writing? What is going to happen people? Have you thought this through? I have and the outcome is not pretty and leaves me no longer able to hold office for a variety of reasons.
Back to MLK. I like the film SELMA because it gives the viewer insight into the fear that he and other organizers had for doing what they thought was right. Maybe I should quit future tripping and just relax a bit. I would run because I care about my kids and the school they attend and I can tell you this. Both my kids and the school they attend need a lot of help. I mean mucho. Underskilled, underfunded, understaffed. You’d think I was teaching in a fucking submarine. [Dear Red team cyber operative tasked with scouring my available digital writing in order to upend my yet-to-begin campaign: If you’re looking for the dope to do me in, you don’t have to look very far. Try my blog: The Pegagogy of Profanity. That will disqualify me before I even get on the bull.]
If I do this, people. I will have to do it my way or I won’t be very good at it, have any fun, or be any fun to be around.
Back to dope. I just came up with a legislative idea. I’m going to try it out on you. Legalize marijuana. Let it rip. Look at the states that have done it. A few extra fender benders report the police, but CA, WA, OR, NV, CO and the ones I’m not listing have yet to leave the Union. It looks like its working. So, AZ needs to Go Green, legalize weed and tax the bejesus out of it. Should be fun to see how the anti-tax red-shirts practice incongruity when it comes to dope dollars.
When a kid gets popped at my school for weed-using, not seling-he or she gets suspended for a good chunk. We send him/her home, give them time to wash their clothes, clean out their backpack, catch up on their video games. Then they come back. Here’s my idea: From the Green Dollars the state receives as a result of legalization, I will propose legislation that mandates that any drug related school suspension requires the student to attend an online drug education course before returning to school. The dope dollars pays for the program and administration thereof. Adults can get high if they want, but adolescents smoking when their brain is still baking? Bad news. Bad news. I see the effects in my classroom. If you’re going to suspend the kids, teach them something. Careful with that stuff, chamacos. .
Even when I’m running for office, I’m still longwinded. I’ll keep ya’ll posted on what I decide. April 6th is the deadline for filing. The primary happens in August. Then the general in November. Just thought of something: My name could be on the same ballot at Donald Trump’s.
If I go into politics, am I allowed to use the word ‘surreal?’