Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why Don't You Run?

That was Big Cuter's query last night on the phone.  After a lengthy and painful discussion of men treating women badly, centered on his feelings of helplessness and desire to do more.... but what??, we moved on to politicians behaving badly, which led to Martha McSally, my non-representing Representative, and her decision to vacate her seat and run for the Senate.

Why don't you run, Mom? 

I was ready with my response, because I've been thinking about it over the last few months.  The answer has two parts.

Part One - I don't want to mount a campaign.  I remember talking to Lynne Woolsey, our Congresswoman when we lived in Marin.  She kept calling and asking for money.  I kept saying No. Finally, I broke down and told her that we wouldn't be sending her any money, that the big donation I'd given her months before was only done to secure the signed-by-Bill-Bradley-basketball that was on auction at the fundraiser my friend held for her. 

And then I wondered Don't you have anything else to do besides making these calls?  Y'know, like legislating?  There was a significant pause, a significant sigh, and then, in a tone unlike the rest of her call, she muttered Three to four hours a day.... every day

I don't remember how we ended the conversation.  I do know that she stopped calling.  I also remembered that pause and sigh.

So, Big Cuter, in answer to your question, the thought of spending 20 hours a week dialing for dollars holds no appeal for me.  I ran unopposed for the school board, and that's as much electioneering as I am interested in doing.  None.

Part Two - I don't think I'll make that much of a difference. 

Would I enjoy the work?  Perhaps.  I like policy and figuring out solutions to intractable problems.  I'm not much for listening to opponents who are clearly wrong, and that seems to be a big part of any legislator's job.  I'm not that good at keeping my opinions to myself, which may be why he thinks I ought to run for office but which would not make for a very effective term in office.

More than that, though, is that I think I can make more of a difference here in my little corner of the world, where 360 elementary school kids are amused and delighted and thrilled to see me when I show up on campus.  I hold hands and tie shoes and read stories. I'll plant a garden and we'll eat Prince-grown veggies together and they'll take home starters for their own gardens, if they want to shorten the distance between farm and table. 

I'm a comforting hand to hold when recess is just too much.  I'm a solver of problems and a wiper of tears.  I'm a shoulder for teachers to lean upon.  The world is marginally better because I am ensconced in that small school.  I can see the difference I make, each and every day.  I just don't think that being one of 435 would be as significant.

So, thanks for the vote of confidence, and for thinking that your mother should serve the greater good.  For now, I'm happy tidying up right here in Tucson.


  1. You are where you are needed, doing what is needed. It is enough.

    1. As are you! We do what we can where we can and, as you say, it is enough.


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