This morning, on my way to the BART Station, I was accosted by a nice young lady frantically pleading the case for a candidate for the school board, one Natasha Hoehn. I accepted the piece of literature and went on my way, in a typical morning haze not really focusing on the spiel itself, since I was running late and needed to get to work. I did over-hear the woman talking to the next person and one thing she said about Ms. Hoehn caught my attention: "She's not a politician."
That statement bugged me so much that I turned around and actually chased the woman back up the street so I could confront her about this statement.
"What's wrong with being a politician?"
What annoyed me so much about someone giving me this malarkey on the corner of 16th and Mission in San Francisco was that it showed how much the repressive, anti-government right-wing agenda has filtered into the discourse.
Running for ANY office is a political act by it's very nature. And there's nothing wrong with that. Politics is not evil. Being a politician is not an inherently bad thing. For someone to say "She's not a politician" is to buy into the Republican meme that "the system is broken because of politicians." and we need (BARF!) "citizen legislators" to fix it.
The idea that "politicians" are bad is part of the same mind-set that says it's wrong or bad to be educated or experienced. And we all know the single worst epithet you can throw at someone these days is "elite."
I say BULLSHIT! Progressives must not buy into that meme. No one should apologize for being a politician and for being part of a political system. If the system is "broken," it is because people like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch are pumping billions and billions of dollars into Republican campaigns. Two words baby, Citizens United! Money is the problem, not people who actually have experience in working within the electoral system.
To quote the always cogent and erudite hllangel, "I want the person representing me to be the best, smartest, most persuasive mofo I can find."
So stand up, Natasha Hoehn for School Board and say it loud: I am a politician and I'm proud!
Who knows, I might even vote for you.
Thanks to hllangel for cutting through some of my clunkier prose.