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Surprisingly, Yes

by Dawn Smith Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 6:32 AM
bgraffiti@anet.net 213 251 9164

Perhaps being a traditional liberal and voting No don't always go hand-in-hand.

I am the only liberal I know who will be voting Yes on the recall. I have worked in social services for most of my life, have participated in Americorps programs, run a youth center, and worked closely with Common Cause. This decision, one that seems to be the first that I make in direct opposition to most of my peers, is certainly one I make with reservations. It is the first time I will knowingly make a decision against the Move On stance and that of various other programs I so highly respect. I feel that the recall has become tied in to partisan politics in a way that doesn’t do justice to its symbolism for America. Yes, the recall was put forth by a wealthy, self-interested Republican. Yes, voting yes on the recall may put Arnold in power. But to me, the recall is symbolic of something much bigger. It represents that when the people are unhappy, they can make their voices heard. When change needs to happen, those who might not otherwise involve themselves politically will come forth. Some peers and I are doing a documentary on the fringe candidates of the election. While we initially presumed these candidates would be characters and not much more – that they would enable us to easily mock the absurdity of our current political position- these individuals proved us wrong. Every one of them, from the performance artist dressed all in blue, to the guy in the clown suit, from the dirty filmmaker with the afro, to the other Michael Jackson, has been incredibly intelligent, insightful, and passionate. Involvement in the political process seems to have, universally, improved their lives and made them more aware and dedicated. Though I find it infuriating that the media has allowed these exceptional individuals little airtime, and that when they are exposed, it is often as inaccurate caricatures, still, the attention to the recall has been tremendous. Ironically, we would not have had the number of candidates we do had the last election turn out not been so pitifully low. And now, citizens are expected to swarm to the voting booths tomorrow. The absentee ballots have come in in record numbers. I’m disappointed at the high number of votes Arnold will receive. He may be a decent man, but I have not once heard him offer any specifics on how he will handle any of the vital concerns of Californians. I don’t feel he is the best choice. And I agree whole-heartedly with those who feel Bush should be recalled long before Davis. But I look around me and see people excited about politics who never seemed to give a damn before. I see individuals running for office who are elated to finally have their voices heard. I see young people animatedly discussing the prospects. And Davis, it seems ,is finally easing up a little on his dogmatic tendencies, weighing a little more what is of real value to the people. To me, the recall symbolizes the heart of Democracy: it means that we can express dissent, that we can talk about the issues that are not being addressed, and those that need to be. So for now, in the interest of expression, of voices having an outlet for free speech, for diversity, for humanity, I will vote, almost wholeheartedly, YES.
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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
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Yes is right Green Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 11:40 AM
Republican Takeover Succeeds Mark Gladden Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003 at 7:36 AM
^ whoo-hoo Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003 at 7:41 AM
wooo-hooo's salary Mark Gladden Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003 at 8:12 AM
Mark wh Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003 at 8:32 AM
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