On election day, I had lunch with my favorite conservative. Both of us politely, and with good humor, gave our reasons why the candidates of our choice should win, and speculated as to which of us would prevail. My guess was–he would. Of the 10 actual human beings I voted for, I was fairly confident that only one of them would win, giving me a score of 10%. As it happened, my score was 40%. Here’s how it played out, winners first:
Commissioner of Agriculture. The official title of this position is “Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services”. It’s one of only 3 Cabinet level positions in the State, the other two being Attorney General and CFO. Even the Secretary of State is no longer Cabinet level. I voted for the Republican, ergo I “won” (mark this day down on your calendar). Why did I vote for a Republican? Two reasons: because his Democratic opponent is a former mayor of Tallahassee and former head of the State Democratic Party (headquartered in Tallahassee), therefore, I have some familiarity with him and my assessment is that he is an expletives-deleted kind of guy. But more importantly perhaps, the Republican is a farmer.
State Senator. I voted for the Democrat, a guy who used to be the Superintendent of Schools here, who seems to be a generally widely well-regarded person. I don’t personally pay much attention to local school issues, although no doubt I should. On a theoretical level, it’s important. On a practical, day-to-day level, I don’t care. I’m still surprised, however, that he won, because he had a “DEM” next to his name. But this is Tallahassee, which technically is not part of Florida.
State Representative. I voted for the Democrat, and this was the only race I was fairly confident in. It is, however, a good thing that we didn’t have to do a write-in vote. Her name is Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda. Of course, her opponent was Kirk Headley-Perdue. Could have been a draw. This will be Vasilinda’s second term, and in her first term, she became famous for flip-flopping on the issue of near-shore drilling. (Flip-flopping being one of my favorite political accusations. Not flip-flopping requires you to maintain the same position you started with, even when new information emerges . Changing your mind, or apologizing, God Forbid, is a sign of weakness. Hold to your original position regardless, lest you be accused of the dreaded flip-flop.) In reality, Vasilinda is a champion of alternative energy, and she was willing to trade her vote for relaxing drilling regulations for concessions that would have increased incentives for alternative energy solutions. This is not only the environmentally good way to go, it would and will bring jobs to Florida (“jobs” being today’s code word). Plus, it wasn’t a bad trade. I’d prefer no near-shore drilling, but you don’t always get what you want. Compromise has turned into a four-letter word in our political climate, but that is in fact the only way anything ever gets done. People who believe that you should never compromise should grow up.
Circuit Court Judge. I broke my usual rule of not voting for judges, because how the hell do I know who would make a good judge? In this case, I had more information than usual and felt qualified to make a choice, and my choice won. Touch and go there.
More important than my “winning” votes, however, is the sentence I started this blog off with: “On election day, I had lunch with my favorite conservative”. That means, we sat down together and had a meal. We often disagreed, but we also agreed in some situations and we tried to find that common ground as often as we could. We didn’t scream. We didn’t draw any lines in the sand. We did not at any time suggest that the other person was an idiot. We literally have respect for one another. How old-fashioned of us.
Next up: Fakename’s losers.