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No Tom, please don’t resubmit your $15 hour column, but this one on Democrat vs. Republican majorities on the city council and otherwise, is good reading

click to enlarge bigstock-political-donkey-and-elephant--85503875.jpg

I got an email the other day from a guy who asked, "Do you know how stupid you are?!"

That got me to thinking: Does anybody actually know how stupid he/she is? I tried to approach it scientifically, so, of course, I needed a graph. The person who is 0 percent stupid almost certainly knows that he is not stupid at all. However, the problem is that, at the same time, people who are all different degrees of stupid may very well believe that they are free from stupidity, as well.

It's like with drivers. Try this experiment: Ask every person you know to rate themselves asdrivers. By definition, just under 50 percent of all drivers must be below average. However, you might have to ask dozens of people before you find even one who will rate himself as such. If you ask five or six people, it's possible (but still unlikely) that all are above-average drivers. But, you'll probably find that, even as you get past 20 or 30 drivers, they will all identify themselves as above average. It's self-delusion at its most disheartening. (If bad drivers would recognize themselves as such, there's a chance that they might try to get better.)

Anyway, I sent the guy the stupidity graph. He must have liked it because he emailed me back. He asked whether I felt stupid agreeing with "everything that comes from the Democrat (sic) Party."

I immediately responded and told him that there is no such thing as the "Democrat" Party. Just like y'all don't belong to the Republic Party, I don't belong to the Democrat Party. They only people who use that stupid-ass term are morons; Rush Limbaugh (who fits in the first category and also has one by himself); and, sadly, my friend, Bruce Ash, who certainly knows better but does it anyway. Those Republicans who continue to use the phrase "Democrat Party" should put aside the childish antics and get back to the business at hand, that being the continued shrinking-down of the American middle class to a more-manageable size.

Then I told him that there are a couple things on which I agree with Republicans. (It must be noted that not all Republicans agree on everything. It's simply not possible.) I'm sure that there are some Republicans who support Dr. Ben Carson, while others look at him and want to tell him to go back to Kenya.

One of the things on which I agree with Republicans is that the manner in which City Council members are elected in Tucson is...oh, I don't know, let's go with insane. Having candidates nominated by ward and then elected by the entire city is, at the very least, unfair. I'm not sure who came up with this method and I'm puzzled as to why the courts continue to say it's okay.

One might think that, as a Democrat, I'd be happy with a mayor and City Council who are all Democrats. (First of all, I don't live in the city, so that tempers things a bit. Secondly, I'm not the biggest fan of a couple members of the current council and I lay at least some of the blame for Tucson's stagnation over the past 20 years at the feet of local politicians. And thirdly, I realize that a system that could create such a one-sided lineup in my favor could easily flip over to the other side,)

I mentioned this to radio talk-show host Emil Franzi and he said that there was once a time when the entire mayor and council group was Republican. Emil is like that guy whom Alex Haley sought out while searching for his roots. When Haley got to Juffure in Gambia, he listened to a griot (tribal historian). Emil is like that; he knows everything. If you sit there and listen to Emil long enough, you're bound to hear him say, "Kunta Kinte."

I looked it up and, sure enough, there it was. In 1962, Tucson Mayor Lewis Davis, a Republican, was joined by an all-Republican City Council (Charles Branin, Marvin Linner, James Kirk, William Reese, Ray Weaver, and G. Freeman Woods). And no, Mr. Kirk's middle initial was not T for Tiberius.

Now this was back in the day when Republicans believed in (and voted for) things like civil rights and voting rights. It's been a half-century and a lot has changed in that time. However, people who chortle over the fact that Democrats win every seat under the current system remind me of the short-sighted basketball coach who runs up the score when he has a good team, not realizing that the script could very easily be flipped in a year or two.

It was a rollercoaster ride back in the 1970s. In 1972, the mayor/council count was 2D/5R. Just four years later, it 5D/2R. That's probably a good thing in a vibrant community. Elected officials need to listen up or get booted out. I sincerely believe that Tucson would benefit from an elect-by-ward system.

The other (mostly Republican) thing that I agree with is the craziness of the push for a $15/hr. minimum wage. I've written that column twice already, but when I go back to read them, I can't believe how mean I sound. Maybe I'll tone it down a bit and submit it next week.

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