Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chicanonautica: Another Damn Election in Arizona

The midterm election was low key in Arizona. Hysteria and paranoia levels were remarkably low, though signs announced candidates as being against Obama -- and he wasn’t running for office in this state -- and repeated the word conservative.

There was no wooing of Latinos. I know when I’m being wooed, and it wasn’t happening.

The polling place at the library where I work was quiet. If the usual English as a Second Language class hadn’t been displaced, and I hadn't had to help move the tables and chairs, I might not have noticed it was even open.

The Republican winner of the race for governor, Doug Ducey, former CEO Cold Stone Creamery, played it cool. The joke going around is that voters expected free ice cream. He was anti-Obama anti-illegal immigration, and a businessman, who likes the term “job creator,” despite the fact that his business failed.

All things that a lot of Arizona voters like to hear. Especially the businessman thing. You keep hearing it: “Get a businessman in there -- that’ll fix things!”

They don’t remember Evan Mecham and Fife Symington, and what disasters they were.

The Democratic candidate, Fred DuVal, was practically invisible. I voted for him, but probably wouldn’t recognize him it if saw him on the street.

There was some of the usual Arizona weirdness: We kept getting calls from the same mysterious number. Out of morbid curiosity, my wife answered. Someone claiming to be taking a survey asked things like, “If you heard that Fred DuVal killed and ate Christian babies, would you still vote for him?” 

My wife said, “Yes.”

I would have been tempted to say something like, “Of course, the best thing about Christians is their nutritional value.” 

Back in West Covina, California,where I grew up, they practically knocked on your door and walked you to the polls. In Arizona they make voting hard, always moving polling places. Registered voters who have moved or gotten divorced often end up running around all over town. And I once saw a little Native American lady treated like a criminal because she showed up at the wrong precinct.

These days, my wife and I get early ballots.

And I vote, even though I know I’m outgunned and outnumbered, because when the rest of the world is dropping their jaws at what Arizona’s elected officials are doing, I can say that I voted against the bastards.

Besides, in my districts, we just elected Ruben Gallego to Congress, Martin Quezada to the State Senate, and Richard Andrade to the State House. 

Don’t tell anybody, but we’ve been electing Hispanic Democrats for a long time . . .

We’re in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jurisdiction, and who knows what would happen if he found out.

But then, I haven’t seen his deputies cruising around here lately. Maybe it’s all those rumors of cannibalism and human sacrifice. Or all the new businesses run by brown people who speak Spanish.

Ernest Hogan writes crazy books and stories. Living in Arizona helps.

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