Monday, July 04, 2011

Trying Honesty...

Let's Try Honesty


Keith Taylor

Loch David Crane just sent a letter announcing his intention to run for mayor of San Diego. He has no chance, but he's got my support. San Diego would be better off with a mayor of his stature and imagination. This is an open letter to my hero:

Dear Loch: Sorry I cannot give you more encouragement, but you aren't going to be elected. Mayors of cities the size of San Diego are bought by the folks who own the country -- the corporations. They aren't about to open their pockets to a man so honest he won't claim supernatural powers to pull rabbits out of a hat.

Of course that doesn't mean your effort has to be in vain. Richard Rider, who could be your inspiration in losing elections, pointed out that in 1940 Socialist perennial presidential candidate Norman Thomas was asked if he'd run for a seventh time. Thomas remarked that he didn't need to. Everything the Socialists had fought for in 1916 had been enacted by Republicans and Democrats by 1940.

And of course it's true. We can't always effect change but we can sit quietly by as it evolves. Uh, don't use the word "evolve" in your campaign. Let God take credit for it all. Then folks will admire your sagacity.

In your campaign you ought not have any problem getting plenty of attention from the media. They love the flamboyant over the mundane. Be sure to use your startrike, USS Enterprise, the one connoting the starship not CVN-69.

I remember you got some great publicity when you used the contraption to give a lift to Mike Aguirre. He needed a ride so he could make his commitment to both the Rock and Roll Marathon and his engagement to speak at the graduation ceremony of the Thomas Jefferson Law School.

Perhaps some sort of reenactment of that would be appropriate. The publicity might be even more effective if you took Mike off somewhere, say in Oklahoma, and left him there. Mike has little political capital. His record didn't inspire voters in his own run for mayor. I'm telling ya being honest just isn't going to do much for you on election day.

First you're gonna need a platform. No, don't promise to fix the impressive debt racked up by your predecessors. That can't be done unless we get more money and that means taxes, and taxes are more deadly than cuss words at a Mormon prayer meeting. Also don't promise a commitment to the new library. That's only of interest to folks who actually read, a rapidly shrinking part of our population.

One issue will ensure the inevitable, your defeat. It will also ensure all sorts of attention which can be used after honesty comes back into vogue.

Come out in support of the Constitution. Demand the city obey the law and take down the cross from Mt. Soledad. While it is true that most San Diegans are Christians, a significant minority are not. Furthermore they're getting restless at listening to talk show hosts shoving a decidedly sectarian symbol in their faces then claiming the symbol as a reason to make decisions based on belief not rational thought.

Just think of the wacko things we've done in the name of God. Then when someone objects, pseudo pious leaders claim symbols as validation for whatever they choose to believe and do.

Suck it up Loch and take a giant stand for the minority of us who don't believe. Be the leader who makes his decisions based on science and facts rather than obeisance to a being who hasn't shown up for two thousand years.

You won't ride that idea into the mayor's mansion (do we have one?) but you aren't going to win anyhow. Let's use your candidacy to help advance ideas not superstition. Believe me you won't have much competition.

The cross issue is an open and shut case. It was placed atop the mountain on Easter Sunday 1954 and dedicated to "our lord and savior, Jesus Christ." Each Easter thereafter an Easter sunrise service was held atop the mountain.

Then in 1989 my good friend Phil Paulson and his co-litigant Howard Kristner sued to have it removed from public property. In 1993 the decision in favor of the plaintiffs was handed down by Gordon Thompson, a judge for the United States District Court. Suddenly -- almost supernaturally -- plaques started appearing on the base of the cross.

We had us a retroactive war memorial. History and truth be damned! The cross is still there, still mocking those of us who don't accept a symbol which also has been used to as a reason for 2000 years of crusades, wars, inquisitions, book burning, slavery and other misdemeanors.

But in the eyes of the courts the case has been settled. The thing left to do is lead a charge to get San Diego to obey the law.

Naturally there will be a last ditch stand by those who insist we shun critical thinking and embrace dogma. Leading the charge are Maureen O'Connor and Roger Hedgecock, two former mayors who have pledged to defend the symbol from destruction by lying down in front of the bulldozers.

That alone would be worth the effort. Just think of Maureen and Roger lying down together. In a moment of passion they might do to each other what they did to the city while in office.


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