Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Rare Coinhabitant ...and A Sense of

      the mystical saguaro exists in only 4 places-
the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the Whipple Mountains of San Bernardino County of California, the Mexican state of Sonora and Imperial County California
     These images come from Arizona, where the Sonoran Desert is home to the largest population.
    The icon of the desert southwest often live to exceed 150 years. Those with arms, produce their first after 50-75 years. 
       They dwell from the valley floor to the top of buttes and share the space with other cacti, and a plethora of birds and creatures including lizards, sidewinder snakes, scorpions, rats, squirrels, tortoises and cotton tails. One walks with care in this desert. 

  the chola 
 the barrel cactus

sentries of the desert  

the sense of the voter
     I used to get paid to pay close attention to political campaigns,  now I do it out of habit. 
     Back when I thought it was the true national sport, we spent time on buses, flew on planes, and we took turns in small groups of having close up access to the candidate after which we would write what is called the pool report, that was then distributed to all media. 
     All of us also did reporting we called "the Sense of The Voter." David Broder of the Washington Post was probably the best. You go out and talk to everyday people, mostly listening. Today there is social media and attitude driven cable nets also crowding the traditional media and press corp in reach for the public.
     It's always changing, not only in personality but in the nature of the campaign. It is, if you will, the appeal to the soul of the US. What we see these days speaks volumes about how we have changed, and what we've left behind.
     I think we've devalued our national experience by not doing a good job of teaching civics, government, and critical reasoning.  We need wise "understanding media and persuasion classes."    
      Politics has become a profession, and a cash cow industry. Public service is not the prime motivator, no, now it is personal, financial or ideological. That is how it is.
     So this old boy offers a "sense of the electorate" to any candidate or organization.  The nexus of your strategy, the focus of your attention should be the women and men who are working, but struggling as they see the future shrink away and diminish just as the middle class is in decline. If I were to put a face before you, I would post a working woman. What are her needs and expectations and how can the federal government play a responsible role?
       Next to that would be a picture of a family, however it is constituted. How are they doing? Can they afford health care, or sending children to college, what kind of retirement future do they have? Do they have benefits? 
       The economic balance is out of kilter and there are bad consequences for all including the selfish class at the top. The divide in wealth, and the corrupt and broken tax code bears the omen of a struggle and demise that would be profound.
       There are other matters that cannot be ignored: Climate, personal freedom and dignity, a clam and steady hand in our role in the world community and a more civilized way achieving common good.  But the key is to hear and know the needs of what we used to call Middle Class America and to guarantee its existence and future. Everyone still deserves an American Dream, and a sense of security. 
     In 2016 there was a pandering or an ignoring. A winning candidate should act on their behalf, by offering ideas, with sound economic footing, showing a path and explaining how things can be paid for. Be specific. Most voters, especially hard working women and men know as much or more than the many politicians who have been bought and sold by the money that bets on government outcome="follow the money!" 
      Whatever color, race, sex, gender, age, origin, or whatever there are basic needs. Too many of us are not getting a fair shake. A public servant can work to change that. Start there.
        That I think would be a winning strategy by an insurgent Republican or Democratic candidate.

a hard working boat
the Ragamuffin of Los Osos
people work for their living here

      See you down the trail.


  1. Dear Tom, what you have written here is eloquent and true. I'm not certain generations behind us have been taught the whole history of politics and civics. Morality and equality is no longer paramount to the curriculum. In another century, we were instructed in the power of the vote, the occasional uncorrected administrative disregard of competence. We were taught that sometimes we the people must pull our shoulders from under a corrupt or divisive administration, and let it come down. I sure hope that concept reenters our educational system.

  2. After watching two nights of Democratic debates, I think my current favorites, in order, are Harris, Castro, Buttigieg, Biden, Warren and (so my wife tells me but I have doubts) Booker. I think my dream ticket (at present) would be Harris & either Castro or Buttigieg.

  3. I enjoyed taking a trip to the desert with your photos. While I have never lived in the low desert, I spent many years in the high desert and there’s a part of it I miss.

    As for your writings, I started off thinking about the book “The Boys on the Bus” which was about journalist covering political campaigns. I like your starting point as I am totally fed up with most of our elected officials.

  4. The Democrats have always been piss poor at marketing their ideology -- compared to the Republicans, their "sales approach" is almost non existent. The new buzzword for them now should be "Hybrid Government". Many other countries are already doing it -- some by choice, some by accident. When it comes to life's necessities (and we all know what those are), a socialist approach (government by the people FOR the people) is the only answer. When it comes to everything else, may the best man win, within reason and an adherence to ethical business practice. When the Rush Limbaugh/Trump crowd get over the WORD socialist and see that even our Police and Fire depts , Armed forces our non-profit SERVICES are in fact, socialist in concept -- maybe they'll end up "getting it". Not picking a primary favorite but if you were to envision the actual Trump/Opponent debates -- Buttigieg would have him flustered. I fear the others (maybe except for Warren) could be victims of his childish aggression.

  5. On my months-long road trip of 6 years ago, Joshua Tree was among my favorite area, along with Organ Pipe. I wrote a couple posts about both of them.
    I agree with Bruce's choices, in fact they are the same as my oldest daughter's, who is pretty politically savvy.
    The 'correspondant' who I'd like to have had in his prime in 2016, was Hunter Thompson, and read his coverage of trump.

  6. awesome article.
    thanks for sharing :)