Reason must prevail over hired hyenas
The real question is whether this will be one of those years when people lie to their pollsters. At this point, the polls show that Gov. Deval Patrick is pulling slightly ahead. If we are to believe the numbers, our incredibly decent and competent governor will win a second term.
The problem is that some people lie to their pollsters. That’s because most people are made up of some good and some, well, not so good. When the pressure is on and when they are very unhappy, without telling their mother or their pollster, they may walk into a voting both and go to the dark side. Some don’t like being out of work, some don’t like paying high taxes, some just don’t like anything. That’s when all bets are off. The last time I saw it happen, big time, was in 1994, the year of the famous Gingrich revolution. Across the line in New York state, Mario Cuomo, who was ahead in the polls, lost.
Now in New York, Mario’s son, Andrew, is running for governor against a man from Buffalo, Carl Paladino, who many think is a whack job. If I ever saw a guy looking for a fight, it’s Paladino. In his primary battle with a middle-of-the-road, moderate Republican Long Island guy named Rick Lazio, the two were running neck-and-neck in the primary. The polls declared it too close to call. But when the votes were counted, Paladino, with his message of cutting the hell out of the Medicaid program for the poor and old, slashing taxes, and installing term limits on everyone (he says that he’ll only serve one term), had slaughtered Lazio.
It is fascinating to me that our educated, thoughtful Western Massachusetts voters think Patrick is a great governor. If it were up to us, Patrick would win in a landslide. His problem is with the folks on the other side of the state, and to rework a Willie Sutton quote just a little, that’s where the votes are.
Another one of our hometown heroes, James Taylor, has been working his heart out in the east for his friend Deval. He’s helped him raise money, he’s sung for crowds. James and Kim Taylor have always been politically active. Sometimes when they support a Barack Obama, they are happy with the outcome. Sometimes, as in the case of John Kerry’s presidential bid, they lose. But these are two people who don’t invest their human capital based on their chances of winning or losing but on doing what is right. Think of it: They could go the greedy route and keep more and more of the money they’ve earned, but they have enough and are incredibly generous to others who have less.
Deval Patrick is a study in success. While other states are literally bankrupt, this very sane, even-keeled man has kept Massachusetts from going under. But the more dumbed-down the population, the more they fall for the screaming, hired hyenas like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. These hyena-people, hired hands of those upper one-percenters who want to keep everything and not share, are really quite stupid in the long run.
If you leave the middle class and the poor with nothing and keep it all, as in Monopoly, you risk eventual revolution. FDR knew that but was labeled a traitor to his class. The New York Times knows it and is labeled “liberal” although they are just smart capitalists who want to keep the American dream alive enough to perpetuate a system by giving everyone enough to survive. The hyenas have convinced the very people who need health care the most that Obama and Mitt Romney’s health care programs are evil socialism. Unbelievable. That’s what happens when you fail to educate people and the population doesn’t think about what’s good for them.
Of course, the hyenas don’t stop with candidates. They put propositions like Question 3 on the ballot. Why would you throw a monkey wrench into the Massachusetts success story except to make trouble? Deval Patrick has kept the Bay State from going the way of New York and California. Our schools and our roads are in relatively good shape. But there are always some who for their own reasons will make the job of a great governor that much harder in these hard times. They know that if you offer people a chance to pay less in taxes, they will go for the idea. It’s very seductive as well as stupid.
I hope the pollsters have it right. I hope our very good, soft-spoken Governor will prevail with his calm and steady hand. I hope the hyenas don’t scavenge on our bodies. I hope that the good in us all will prevail.
Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 10/16/10