editorial submission to LA Times--September 2, 2003

Buy My Vote

I taught government for more years than I will admit, in elementary schools, in high schools, in universities, even in jail. It took the current recall election to finally open my eyes. Now I get it. Government is just all about me. What can I, Dr Rich Gibson, get out of this? This is my deal: Buy My Vote. 

Really, I don’t mean buy my vote, exactly. That, of course, would be illegal. I am vigorously opposed to dishonest graft. Plus, I don’t have a lot of clout as a single voter. This is the real deal: I have 200 pals, enough to tip the ballot in California, where the recall could be won by a candidate with less than 15% of the vote total. Our 200 votes are worth a lot. We will, for a proper consideration, give you access to our ears, our minds, and the absolute certainty of the potential for our votes–for a reasonable gift, to offset our campaign costs. We will also listen carefully to those who wish to take us for a few rounds of golf, in Paris, or a training session in Budapest. Depending on the amount of the consideration, relative to others, we will take very, very, seriously your candidacy. Very, very , seriously. And, in good American tradition, we will stay focused on your candidacy, unless you are outbid.

There are those who will take offense at my forward looking proposal to stay the course of the recall. These people are statists, Big Government anti-free market undemocratic taxers, who want government to control the market. Our forward looking offer follows the  trends of marketing and deregulation that are clearly key to the common good. We are just moving the cost a bit down the food chain. Democracy is, after all, just shopping in disguise. If we cannot sell, ah, market consideration, for our votes, what can we peddle? What tyranny could be worse than a government interfering with an invisible hand offering a thoughtful gift to a concerned citizen?   So, write those checks, all 135 of you. Just make them out to Rich Gibson, San Diego State University, Social Studies Education. My good friends all trust me, as I surely trust each of you. Free at last!

Dr Rich Gibson
San Diego State


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