Need a Change of Pace? Run for U.S. Senate

by on June 7, 2022 · 1 comment

in California, Election, Ocean Beach

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla

By Joni Halpern

Perhaps people just want it on their resumé.  Or maybe they want it written on their tombstone.  Whatever the motivation, there seem to be innumerable candidates for public office whose qualifications are so sparse and potentially unsuitable that you hope and pray your fellow voters will take a hard look at them before voting.

Take the upcoming U.S. Senate race.  You may not like Democrats as a general rule, or current U.S. Senator Alex Padilla in particular, but the guy is a bona fide graduate in engineering from MIT with a lot of experience in public policy. It appears that for some of the others on the long list of candidates for California’s contribution to the U.S. Senate, if they had one point of I.Q. less, they’d need watering.

Some of the candidates on that list seem like they haven’t worked in years, which is not to say they are without talent, but it does suggest their first six years as Senator might be their first real job.  Several of those candidates call themselves “consultants.”  We never know the identity of people who consult them, and we never know what folks consult them about.  For instance, has the owner of a floral business called them to ask how to propagate ferns?  Has an educational institution asked them how to convince middle school students to join the school band?  Has someone asked them how to breed butterflies from the caterpillars on their dill plants?

Some candidates tell us they have the answers to all our problems – baby formula, war, attendance at the Summit of the Americas, etc.  You name it, they have a solution that the American people have never thought of.  Many of these omniscient candidates are not so far out of college.  We don’t even know how they did in college.  Did they learn anything?  Do they realize that Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell won’t even let them use the Senate bathrooms?  Yet we are invited to trust them with the country’s future.

Other candidates are like pufferfish; they puff themselves up to look more daunting.  Some candidates brag that they run several businesses, and while they are effortlessly making tons of money, they also have time to be preachers or medical practitioners or train other candidates to Make America Great Again.  They are very hazy in referring to their endorsements.  Lots of pictures on their websites where they are attending meetings of the PTA or the Town Council or the Church of the Primrose Warriors.  But virtually no recognizable names to support their candidacy.  We don’t even know if their endorsers are still alive.  Maybe their names came off the headstones of the local cemetery.

Then there are candidates who just want a change of career.  They’re tired of being chiropractors or low-level placeholders in big organizations.  They want to be somebody.  They want to write their names in the public consciousness and save us from those with experience. They have big ideas. They want to feel the sweep of their hand wiping out vote-by-mail, making the U.S. government adopt crypto-currency, legislating the notion that climate change is a hoax, or changing our government from “a capitalist government” to a “worker’s and farmer’s government,”  as one senatorial candidate put it.  Most of their ideas have never been tested, but they’re willing to try them out on us.

Yet the candidate for U.S. Senate who really caught my eye was the one who referred to himself as a mathematician who has “used my super genius brain to the benefit of American students.”  I bet he’d make a humble public servant.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Gormlie June 8, 2022 at 11:49 am

This is a great tongue-in-cheek piece as Joni points out some of the individuals who ran for Calif’s senator.


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