Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2006 Issue

Can A Writer Be A Governor?

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Kinky still looks like Kinky. He wears his trademark black hat, black clothes, and still has a cigar stuffed in his mouth. Of course he can't smoke it now, at least not inside a university auditorium. So he kind of chews on it and fiddles with it. If he were allowed to smoke, he would, though it would offend many voters, but it is his willingness to offend that makes him sort of a feasible candidate. Kinky is his own man, and in an era when most politicians seem to be essentially bought and sold by some special interest or other, he at least brings some integrity to this avocation. If some of his ideas seem strange, they are at least his ideas, not those of someone who paid him a lot of money.

Are politicians controlled by money? We'll let you decide, but Kinky is fond of pointing out that in the last Texas governor's race, the major parties spent $100 million to win a job that pays $100,000 a year. Why did they do that?

Kinky's platform, oddly enough, is based on common sense. Texas is mired in an education crisis, attempting to come up with desperately needed funds. Kinky's platform is simple: casino gambling. This may run afoul of some of Texas' more conservative values, but the candidate points out that Texans are either crossing state borders, or gambling illegally anyway, so why not take advantage of this reality to solve the state's major financial crisis?

Kinky wants to see Texas, so long the nation's oil capital, lead the way in renewable energy. He promises to put fellow country singer Willie Nelson in charge of this program. Nelson is a major supporter of alternate fuels, and his "Bio-Willie" biodiesel gas stations are already dotted across the Texas landscape. Of course, he notes that appointing Willie Nelson to this office may cause some problems for his drug enforcement image, the country singer also being known for supposed use of alternate substances as well as alternate fuels.

Beyond this, the candidate is sort of short on specifics, but wants to see better healthcare, drug treatment, schools, and the like. He does not come across as the most knowledgeable candidate on the details of the issues, but he does come across as the candidate with the greatest real concern for the people and the state, rather than some special interest. He probably has at least one thing in his bag to offend everyone, and he wouldn't be Kinky if he didn't, but you do walk away from his speech feeling he is honest, and that is refreshing in the world of politics. In defending his limited experience, Kinky points out that politics is the one occupation where people get worse as they get more experienced. Constantly running for reelection saps the good intentions they had when first entering the field. Besides which, he says he will appoint the best people to government jobs, not people with the most influence or money, so there is no need for him to know everything.

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