Through a Different Lens: This Mad Man’s Guide to Voting

Colleen and I have our traditions. I buy a nice merlot to share for when the Dodgers win the World Series. We are fortunate that fruit of the vine ages well. First day of school pictures every year, from the same spot. An obnoxious Santa bellowing ho-ho-ho through our Christmas dinner. Every year. Early morning latkes for every holiday because, why not?

Election Day brings the same routine every year. Before going to the elementary school to vote, Colleen takes a half hour to lace up her Wonder Woman star spangled banner knee high vinyl boots with six inch heels, and I predict how many people will tell her that they love her boots.

We take pride in our ritual of going through the voter guide the night before Election Day. We painstakingly assess the candidates for each office and then choose the democrat.

Once we mark up our sample ballots with our choices for President, Governor, Senator, Congressperson, State Assemblyperson, and City Councilperson we come to the roadblock. Candidates for district judge, city manager, water commissioner. You know, the people you never hear of, will never find out if they won or lost, and unlike those running for high office, there will be no Armageddon if any of these blokes lost.

If you follow these simple rules, you can get past this section with ease, fulfilling your responsibility as a voting citizen to choose the most qualified candidate.

Rule Number 1. Always choose the candidate who has your first name. This time around my wife was aghast when see saw that I hadn’t chosen a Colleen. “What’s up with this!” she scolded, “You’re not voting for Colleen?” My mistake. Humble apologies.

Rule Number 2. When voting for judges, always choose the women. They rule with compassion and are more likely to be soft on crime. I don’t know about you, but if one day I am arrested I sure hope the judge will be soft on crime. The best judges are those whose name ends with an “I”, like Jacki, Patti, Lori, Kathi, Wendi, and Dani. They all had boyfriends before they became lawyers and learned that “everyone makes mistakes” and can be forgiven.

Rule Number 3. Never vote for any man who uses an alphabetical letter instead of his first name. Think J. Edgar Hoover. “Oh, you’re given birth to a beautiful baby boy, Mrs Hoover. What will his name be?” “Mr. Hoover and I just love the name J.” Think H.R. Haldeman, the Watergate criminal. Your name is the only thing you’re born with and, for some of us, the only thing you’ll die with. These guys who marginalize their mothers by failing to use the names she gave them are more likely to have buzz haircuts and spank their children. No thank you! And why don’t women do this? “Vote for me, L. Susan Williams”. Say what?

Rule Number 4. Never vote for anyone who has quotation marks or parentheses in their name. Most likely, they weren’t born with punctuation. They’re most likely covering up for something and so they want you to think of them as a pal. Jim Miller doesn’t sound like a pal. But, James (Jim) Miller does. So does Robert “Bob” Marshall. Get it? You won’t find any of these guys at Whole Foods.

Choosing the right candidates who want your vote is a time consuming, daunting task, to be taken seriously. So, have a second shot of tequila before opening your sample ballot to make your choices. Follow the rules and you will have chosen wisely.