Saturday, April 7, 2012

7 April 2012 A sea change in Tennessee

Sea change
  1.   A striking change, as in appearance, often for the better.
  2.   any major transformation or alteration.
  3.    a transformation brought about by the sea.
Definitions 1 & 2 are applicable in this submission.
          The last time I voted for a candidate in a national election was in 1972 when I allowed myself to hope that McGovern might actually have sufficient support to defeat the incumbent Nixon.  At that point in time I believed Nixon to be the least worthy person to ever hold the office of POTUS.  There have been several Republicans in that office since Nixon’s resignation, and each of them have, in some manner, made Nixon look more realistic, more humane, and more concerned with the well-being of the American populace.  As for honesty, none of them are worthy of emulation.
          This year I suddenly find myself in the position of wanting to vote for a candidate standing for election to the Senate from Tennessee.  At a time when the state of Tennessee seems to be leading the red states in a charge to reverse the flow of time, in efforts to wipe out all social, cultural, educational, and legal progress since the 1850s, a progressive candidate worthy of election, willing to drag the state and the nation into the 21st century with the rest of the world’s industrialized nations, has appeared upon the stage. 
          The incumbent Senator, an entrenched example of ineffectual GOP subservience to the moneyed class, is opposed to conservation of natural resources (unless the GOP backers profit handsomely as those resources are sold off to corporations).  He is willing to vote the teavangelist/GOP party lines on climate change, clean air and water, education, health care, and to allow theocrats to take over the nation. 
          Recently I was introduced to a progressive woman who appears to be the direct antithesis of all things GOP/teavangelist.  She has the intellect to understand technical problems, the capability to explain those problems in day-to-day language for the average voter, the belief in science as a core solution to many of our national problems, and support for women in the teavangelists’ effort to overturn the 20th century.  She is currently involved with local concerns as well as national concerns.  She is an example of what a United States Senator should be.  She is someone I can happily and confidently vote for.
          Park Overall stands head and shoulders above the usual candidate.  When she speaks, she says what she believes.  If she doesn’t have an immediate answer to a question, she admits it, looks for answer before bullshitting like our current crop of legislators.  Gloria and I were privileged to see some of her deliberation process as she decided to run for Senator.  She asked the right questions and answered them honestly, as she made a difficult choice.
          She’s already done something I never expected to have happen again.  She’s offered a candidacy to me and people like me who expected never to see our republic function honestly and openly again.  For the first time since 1972, I will be able to vote for someone, not against everyone. 
          Park Overall, thank you for undertaking a difficult and brutal campaign process.  When the votes are counted in November, I hope the numbers fall in your favor.  However, win or not, you will have restored some of the honor to the electoral process that the GOP/teavangelists have been destroying since the end of the Civil War.  Tennessee needs more people like Park Overall in public and private life.  The 21st century is taking place in the rest of the nation.  We need to make Tennessee into the modern state it can be.  Electing Park Overall to the Senate is the first step we all can make together.

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