Voting in the primaries is so exciting. You know your vote is going to count, since almost no one turns out. You know it matters, since local politicians, unlike state or national ones, often manage to get things done.
So, bright and early this morning, I popped into my polling place, got my fancy new optical scan ballot, and went to a booth to fill it out. Progressives down the line, check, check, check. That much was easy. Then I got to a long list of names I'd never heard of all running for Judicial Convention Delegate. The instructions said, "Pick any eleven."
My pen poised in the air, I decided to do what I always do when I'm faced with a choice of strangers: Start with ladies and Jews and then, when I run out of those, pick the best names. (This is how I landed with my first doctor in New York, the unforgettable Democleia Gottesman.)
However, this morning though I found myself gripped by a crisis of confidence. What if "Benjamin Abelman" couldn't live up to the name? What if "Mercedes Neira" rode more like a Kia? As much as I loved the idea of "John Longo" marrying "Karen Johnson" for the sake of their future hyphenated children, how could I base my vote on a giggle?
In the end I didn't vote for anyone. A step forward for representational democracy? Who knows.
The Big Idea: Bill McKibben
3 hours ago