Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Road Forks

These are my (probably) my last words to the googlegroup formed for Maine State House candidates. I loved campaigning and wanted another outcome. That said, the State House might be difficult territory in the foreseeable future for a Lefty McLenin like myself.


From dog avoidance strategy to campaign advice and encouragement, to Terry's stark words and Matt's sweet farewell, this googlegroup has been a touchstone for a newbie candidate. Though I was one who, for personal mini-drama-esque reasons, failed to run the campaign I would have liked, I found the sense of support, camaraderie and high jinx here to be fine fodder.

In the last hours of our email group's existence, I stand and salute you all. I salute your engagement, belief in the common good, kindness, humor, focus, intelligence and sense of social justice. Thank you for including me in the effort to move Maine's people toward a higher standard of education, health and egalitarianism. That any one of your number might find my words and work of high enough quality to stand alongside yours still makes me swoon a little.

The realities of Tuesday's party shift have only just begun to sink in with me. As one of the uninitiated, I can only guess at the devastation some must be feeling. For instance, it hardly seems possibly that another AG could begin to do a comparable job, regardless of party affiliation.

The candidates' experience of wearing our hearts and minds on our sleeves for all to see, cannot be duplicated any other way and, win or lose, I would not have missed it for the world. 

Regardless of what political work I do next, whether writing and carping from the riverbanks, or wading again into the rapids, my understanding of those rapids has been exponentially increased by floating a small section and landing safely on a District #53 sandbar. Those of you still in your rafts and kayaks head to Class 5, rock-strewn State House halls with my admiration, gratitude and support. I trust you all have your helmets strapped on tightly.

If you need a paddle, let me know. I have long arms and am a good swimmer.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

Lee Roberts

Former candidate for Dist. #53, Alna, Dresden, Pittston and Wiscasset.


Dale Hinote said...

Lefty McLenin? Great Caesar's ghost! No wonder I voted for Les Fossel.

Don't misappropriate the term liberal. Be proud to be a socialist. Tell us what you believe in; anyone can use babies and platitudes.

I'm really glad you ran for office, but as a libertarian centrist I'm equally pleased not to have voted for you.

May our minds and our options always stay open.

Dale Hinote

Lee Roberts said...

Dear Mr. Hinote:

Thank-you, a little.

Comrade Leola

Dale Hinote said...

Comrade Leola,

Most of the confusion and part of the ignorance in American political life comes from the mis-use (and I think this is usually hyphenated in modern American English, while thank-you is not) of political terminology.

Everyone in this country born alive is supposed to be either a little liberal or conservative.

Horseshit. We create categories of A and B and set up a dichotomy in place of a range of thought.

I think this is more accurate:

Barry Goldwater--right-wing liberal.
Junior Bush--conservative.
Senior Bush--conservative liberal.
Bill Clinton (and probably Hillary, too)--left-wing conservative.
Barack Obama--left-wing liberal.
Chellie Pingree--social democrat.
Leola Roberts--democratic socialist.

Since all of you are Americans and none of you are fascists or communists in the employ of a foreign power(possibly excepting some Bushes or Clintons), let your barks and howls resound across the land.

We went to high school with each other for a while. A day or two after seeing some material your campaign sent to my libertarian uncle, I remembered who you were. I thought about voting for you, but I would have had to phone or e-mail you even to find out you were a Democrat.

There was no substance there.

Oh, well.

You will have better luck next time!

Citizen Hinote