9 October 2003

Hear Me, California!

Let me speak to you all individually, my Californian friends. Your Governor ought to be smart. Really smart. Preferably smarter than you. Not just savvy, not just clever, but the kind of book-readin', history knowin', problem solvin', degree earnin', flexibly thinkin' smart that will ensure a measured and creative approach to whatever arises. If George Bush has proved anything, it's that a likable Regular Guy can't really balance the budget, or protect our interests, or refrain from pissing off our allies, or navigate the tricky waters of domestic and global affairs. No, only in the movies can a Regular Guy do that. A Regular Guy (if he's lucky) can become a movie star, or work out a lot, or buy a baseball team, or get rich, or be the last person standing on a reality TV show. And yes, a Regular Guy can develop very strong 'leadership skills.' But a Regular Guy really, truly isn't qualified to run a major state or a nation. Please, please, stop electing Regular Guys. They're making things worse. Much, much worse.

Is Arnold dumb? Despite the horrible scripts he accepts, probably not. That's not the point. The point is that the unnominated, unqualified, and under-educated Candidate Schwarzenegger has given you absolutely no reason to think that he's got what it takes. Sometimes political outsiders are a boon. But sometimes they're outsiders for a reason. Arnold's given you nothing to go on except the obvious opinion that he's too Big to accept anything from the government of California short of the starring role.

This is probably a useless and overlong entry, and it's a little self-defeating: As a comedy writer, naturally, Arnold's election would be a windfall. But the same could be said for President Bush's rise to power, and at some point the tragedy of the decline of the United States of America starts to outweigh the punchline bonanza.

Curing Cailfornia's problems will take more than a broom and a movie script. They still have a deficit. They still need a 2/3 vote in each house of their legislature to pass a budget or increase taxes. The Enron allegations are still out there.

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