A Tale of Two Candidates
At the time of writing this article, October 05, 2003, the latest poll, taken before recent allegations about sex and Hitler, showed Schwarzenegger winning over Davis in the campaign of taking/holding the highest gubernatorial office of California. In a brief speech I presented to the monthly public meeting of Kamal Cultural Foundation in San Diego, I explained why this recall was against the interests of all minorities, including Iranians.
A number of audiences urged me to do the same for a wider audience. So, I placed a call to a show where Mr. Kourosh Hamidi, one of Iranian candidates, who supported Arnold, was a guest. Both the host and the guest were receptive.
First off as a quasi course of politics 101, it is interesting to note that based on the poll, this democratic election is going to have a rather strange result in which the loser, Davis, will have substantially MORE votes than the winner, Schwarzenegger!
Here is how it works: Davis is not a candidate, so his votes are the ones for NO recall. According to the poll, he will get about 40% of the vote. Obviously it is not more than 50% and he will be defeated. Then, a candidate, amongst 131 remaining wannabe governors, who has the highest number of votes, will be elected to the office. The same poll shows Schwarzenegger will get about 30% of the vote and will be the winner!
Wow! Watch Democracy in Action. The incumbent, Davis, who still represents 40% of the voters is thrown out of the office, and the alleged sex offender and Hitler lover will be the governor with only 30% of the vote, if not 18% [(100-40) X 30%].
How could that happen?! Well, welcome to the world of democracy in 21st century. Deception in politics is no longer a monopoly of less developed countries! In fact, they learn it from the master! Remember how our beloved Bush-olsaltaneh was selected to the high office.
Republicans badly wanted California under their control for the presidential election next year. So one of them Mr. Darrell Issa used about $2 million of his own money to recall Davis. It was a win win situation for republicans.
First, even if the recall was defeated, they would exhaust democrats’ resources to fight the recall leaving them far less resourceful for the presidential election in a state so vital to them. Then, as a natural outcome of divided minorities, a lot of opportunists would rush to the registrar office to file their papers as candidates. What could be better than using them to republican advantage?
Almost all these 179 candidates would do their best to tap on their respected people’s national/ethnic pride to ask their fellow kinfolks to vote “yes” on recall, a clear republican aim to oust Davis. At the same time, none of them would even make a percentage point to be a threat to the republican candidate, Schwarzenegger. Had it been only one democrat, Davis, and one republican, Schwarzenegger, the latter would’ve had no chance to win.
It is interesting to note that these same republicans, who turned the biggest surplus in American History of National Budget, to the biggest deficit any nation has ever known, want to take care of California’s deficit! Well, they deceived American people to a vicious war to justify the national budget deficit, not to solve it. Hey, no republican ever wants to stop his cronies from pillaging Iraq or any nation for that matter.
History repeats itself; con men do the war, youths get killed. It is, of course, American pride to have ordinary citizens lose their loved ones in the war. But, it is big companies like Halliburton and Bechtel to enjoy the loot! They would never stop giving tax breaks to the wealthy either. So the very same special interest that fooled Davis to this mess would enjoy the ride even more having their own servant in the office. Especially when he is a mucho kind of idiot!
Thus, ordinary Californians will have to take the tab. But this time it would not be a military war for occupation. It would be a civil clean up to cut the so called excesses. As much as it sounds reasonable, it would be first and outmost against any and all benefits any minority receives from the budget, i.e. MediCal that so many elders and low income families need.
The so called “terminator” specifically stated that he would review the budget line item by line item to decide which one to cut, and which one to keep.
Oh yes, who would care if the actor cuts any blood stream going to the life support of this hated middle easterners who took refuge to one of the most desirable state of the nation. They only wanted our brains and our money, not our elder relatives to be a burden on their public fund! The same thing is true about other minorities, i.e. Blacks, Mexican, Indians, etc.
So what about their help for the recall? Well, they did it for their own candidates not republicans! They lost. Didn’t they? And in the world of politics you take one step at a time. If republicans need minorities again, they know how to fool them for the next election. They have done it over and over.
Now aside from empty promises, and abusive elevation of the minority’s ethnic or national heritage, a minority candidate can make a difference only, and I mean ONLY, if he is intelligent and devoted enough to realize his interest is bound to the interest of his people. And if there is a conflict between the two, he would be willing to serve the interest of his people against his personal self interest. It can only happen in taking part in what I call political transactions. A political transaction is not short selling what you believe in, but trying to make the best out of the REALITY of a losing situation.
I take the blame for not doing my share to help our interests, but I wish the so called Iranian media, especially radio and television, would’ve explored the opportunity to our people. There are two Iranian gubernatorial candidates in this recall.
Each one of the candidates should’ve dropped from the race in favor of one of the most likely winners, i.e. one in favor of republicans, and the other in favor of democrats. Doing so would have guaranteed us a resounding voice regardless of who votes for whom. Well, Mr. Hamidi took the opportunity to do it for the terminator. Even though, I strongly oppose his choice of the candidate, I think Mr. Hamidi is intelligently realistic to make a difference in our favor. Whether he does it or not remains to be seen, but he sure is on the right track.
A lot of people have asked me how I would vote. I would definitely vote NO to recall. At the same time I would vote for Mr. Badiozamani. Not that I believe in him. Quite to the contrary, I am totally against him. And to make the record clear, I’ve known him for about two decades. He did not hesitate to claim being the founder of Persian Cultural Center that he knew, as well as everyone else in the know, that I was the key architect, chairman of the board, and the co founder of this non-profit organization. I even wrote the article of incorporation.
While so many caring Iranians helped this organization one way or the other, Mr. Badiozamani was not even a board member. He was not even a part of the coalition when all non-profit groups joined me to pull our strength together to make Persian Cultural Center a viable non-profit organization some fifteen years ago. Yet when I called the show, that was apparently a paid infomercial, to correct him, he played with words to imply that I was wrong not he, where I had no chance for a rebuttal.
So, the only reason I would vote for Mr. Badiozamani is for our political interest. I wish he was half as realistic as Mr. Hamidi, and would’ve followed his strategy so that the anticipated low Iranian turn out would’ve been obfuscated, but he is already intoxicated by the trivial mundane glamour he loves so much. He will have no chance to win, so he will not be a threat, but the number of votes he will receive is critical not only to the credibility of Mr. Hamidi’s pact with Schwarzenegger, but also the voice of Iranian Americans as a minority.
Whether you like it or not, should he receive only a humiliating number of votes, it will be our failure, even if it is not used against us. The only drawback is if he uses our votes against our political interest. I was unable to foresee it plausible because our votes are valid ONLY for this election. He is not our representative to use it for anything else.
Furthermore, it is in his best interest to join our collective political interest, at least to the point where he can secure an ambitious position for himself. I would certainly watch him for future politics. I hope he would change for the better. I will also do my share to help well qualified Iranian Americans represent us.
October 05, 2003