Republicans back big name for big reasons

By
October 16, 2003

Mills College Weekly

In light of the recent California gubernatorial recall and
election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as California’s new Governor, I
can’t help but wonder, what happened?

Clearly many Californians were unhappy with Gov. Davis’
performance and they blame him for the largest state deficit in the
nation.

But how does a Hollywood movie star, with virtually no political
track record and no real platform (at least not one that he’s
willing to talk about until he’s in office), get elected by a
landslide to run the fifth largest economy in the world?

California voters have historically fluctuated in party support.
With the presidential election nearing, Bush knows that he needs a
strong Republican influence in larger states if he wants to win
them, hence California.

He’d probably create a reason to have a recall in Florida if Jeb
Bush was a Democrat, but it seems the Bush family has been getting
their ducks in a row for quite sometime now, and this follows
suit.

So the laundry list of reasons for recalling Gov. Davis was
issued, and the Republicans knew they’d have to get just the right
man for the job.

They had choices, some with more political experience than
Schwarzenegger, such as State Senator, Tom McClintock, others were
more widely recognized and experienced in the business world, such
as Bill Simon and Peter Ueberroth.

So, why Arnold? Only one good answer to that question: name
recognition, folks, plain and simple.

The Republicans may or may not be directly responsible for the
recall. What they are responsible for is using an insulting
strategy to get a Republican in office.

The Republicans were banking on the fact that citizens of this
great state would vote for an action film star, (ever notice the
lack of dialogue in his roles? There’s a reason for that.) They
were counting on people being caught up in the lifestyle of someone
rich and famous.

These were great attributes, and what’s more was the fact that
he’s married into one of the most beloved political families in the
nation, the Kennedy’s. We mustn’t forget his lovely television
broadcasting wife, Maria Shriver.

The Republicans were counting on the depth of our
decision-making to be quite shallow and uninformed, or worse yet,
to not care about becoming informed.

They counted on the fact that people would care more about a big
name action hero than the real issues. I thought, “That’s so
insulting, what a slap in the face.

They must think that Californians are so shallow and too
self-absorbed to take the time to put much thought into political
issues.”

Then the worse possible thing happened. We proved them
right!

After the election, I talked to people about how this could have
happened, (call me sheltered, I live in the Bay Area). Much to my
dismay, the following reasons were given for supporting Arnold:

One student said that her father was voting for Schwarzenegger
because “he thought that he could defend us against the
terrorists.” Sounds like he’s seen a few too many Terminator
movies!

Another student said that one of her friends, a U.C. student,
voted for Schwarzenegger because “he wanted to have ‘The
Terminator’s’ signature on his diploma.”

I’d like to ask him, “Why Arnold, what about Larry Flynt or Gary
Coleman?”

Maybe they aren’t quite as famous as Arnie, but they are
certainly notable characters in their own right.

One other student said that her very left, liberal father told
her after Arnold’s win, “he is a Kennedy you know honey.” Oh, that
must make him qualified!

No matter how unhappy I am with the election, I do hope that
Arnie can make our state “golden ” again. Just one question, when
an actor becomes a politician, is he still acting, or is it just
that the two are interchangeable nowadays?


Republicans back big name for big reasons was published on October 16, 2003 in Opinions

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