A Second Spring
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Fall is here and it’s beautiful, the best of times. I also like a couple of the other seasons. Winter is cozy, a nice time for baking, for reading in front of the fireplace, and it’s definitely the best season for sleeping. Spring is green and fresh and rejuvenating.
Summer, on the other hand, pretty much sucks. Summer gets hot. I hate hot. I can tolerate an occasional hot day, and that’s what we used to have here before we started frying the planet. This past summer we had days in the 80s. The 80s are for deranged individuals who like living in horrible places like Florida. The 80s have no business being in the Pacific Northwest.
We also get wildfire smoke in the summer, days and days of it. Climatologists tell us we can expect more big fires, another side effect of the climate change we’re causing. And we call ourselves an intelligent species?
But now fall is here, the queen of seasons, what Camus called “a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Smell that crisp autumn air. Look at that mellow autumn sun that has the good sense to start setting by dinner time, rather than hanging around until 10 o’clock at night. And it knows better than to blast through your bedroom window early in the morning when you could still use more sleep.
Yep, this is the good life, when the light is golden, the leaves turn glorious colors, migratory birds start coming back, the Whatcom Symphony, begins a new season, you can stash the garden tools, and the tourists go home.
I also like fall because that’s when we have general elections. I love voting. I am annoyed by people who don’t vote. I think they are slackers and ninnies. Every excuse I’ve ever heard for not voting is stupid.
“I don’t have time.” What? Your time is so valuable that you can’t darken in some spaces on a ballot and stick it in a prepaid postage envelope? Sorry, pal, but nobody is that important. Will Western civilization collapse while you take time off to fill out your ballot?
“I don’t like the candidates.” So what? You’re not picking your new best friend. You’re choosing the candidate who’s likely to do the most good or the least harm.
“Voting won’t change anything.” Seriously? Franklin Roosevelt got us social security. Herbert Hoover, his Republican opponent, opposed it. Lynden Johnson got us a Civil Rights Act and Medicare. Barry Goldwater, his Republican opponent, opposed them.
“There’s no difference between the two parties.” Really? See the item directly above.
“I don’t care about politics.” You should. Politics affect just about everything: your paycheck, your health care, the quality of your schools, the internet you use, the air you breathe.
There are numerous other reasons that people give for not voting, but they are equally stupid.
Wait a minute, I set out to write a column on the pleasures of autumn. I seem to have gotten off track. Oh well, as long we’re here, let’s close with a worthwhile action that voters in the 42nd District can take in next month’s election: Clear out the deadwood. That means all the incumbents.
State representatives Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys need to go. Van Werven is blinded by reactionary ideas that do more harm than good. According to the Washington State Labor Council she has voted against the interests of working people 84 percent of the time.
Vincent Buys is a gullible fellow who seems to have swallowed a lot of silly trickle-down economic theories and “miracle of the market-place” ideas that bear no relation whatsoever to the way the world actually works.
Check out their voting records at votesmart.org. Van Werven and Buys are not bad people; they just have bad ideas. They should be courteously shown to the door.
State Senator Doug Ericksen, on the other hand, is a bad person, an arrogant, opportunistic, self-serving corporate lackey. Doug should be kicked out the door. Most of his campaign funds come from corporations, energy companies, PACs and special interests. Apparently Doug keeps them happy, because they keep writing him checks. Look up Doug’s voting record too. While you’re at it, pair Doug’s name with “corporate contributions” or “corrupt,” Google it, then sit back for some enlightening reading. For a zany and surreal adventure, Google “Ericksen and Cambodia.”
OK, that’s it for now. Enjoy this beautiful autumn. And don’t be a slacker or a ninny. Be sure to vote.