Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » November 2004 » Data point for the functional death of democracy?

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11/18/2004: Data point for the functional death of democracy?

B.J. at the StoutDemBlog points us to an interesting local election phenomenon in LA, where voters appear to have elected a School Board candidate who did no campaigning and has barely been seen in his private life. As for his public life? He doesn't appear to have one: The Devil You Don't Know

Steve Rocco didn't file a candidate statement or mount a campaign for the school board. He's unknown to teachers and the district and only barely known to his neighbors. Nonetheless, the man being called a "mystery candidate" easily beat an opponent who is active, and relatively well known, in the Orange Unified School District. Now all that's left is to find him.

"Absolutely nobody, but nobody has seen this guy," said Paul Pruss, a middle school teacher and the president of the union. "The whole thing is just bizarre." ...

No one came to the door Friday at Rocco's home southeast of Los Angeles, where he lives with his bedridden parents. The front gate of the house is adorned with a fading Johnny Cash record album cover and 10 small American flags hang in the yard. Neighbors said they see him occasionally, usually on a bicycle....
Quoth B.J.:
Hey, if it works for the White House (and it does, as surveys showed most Bush voters were not aware of stands he has taken they disagree with, such as joining the ICC), then why not the school board? After some vicious campaigns, lots of us might have preferred voting for a total stranger we'd never heard from.
Not to disagree publicly, but there is a slight difference here; Bush, God help us, has been seen by Americans, and while a significant number of Americans are either too stupid or too willfully ignorant (or both) to bother to learn what he stood for, the fact of the matter is that for any American who wanted to learn what Bush stood for, there was plenty of information out there. In the election of Rocco we have a candidate about whom, apparently, there was not only no information but there wasn't even any available source of information to find out about him.

In fact, the facts we have here raise the intriguing possibility that Rocco may not even have known he was running for office--what's the possibility that someone filed for him as a joke?

At any rate, this gives me hope for the future if I ever lose my mind and decide to run for elective office in Memphis. Just file for office and the shut the fuck up, lay low, and hope I get enough of the apparent "not the other guys" vote. Given my political views and the demographics here, that's gotta get me more votes than actively campaigning....

Len on 11.18.04 @ 09:17 AM CST

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November 2004

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