For reasons that are as mysterious as the human mind itself, I found myself thinking this morning about how I almost ran for the Green Party several years ago.
When I say "almost," I mean one cup of coffee and one backyard meeting. Finito.
A lawyer, active in the Greens, asked a lawyer friend of mine to recommend a candidate.
The Green lawyer and I met over coffee. Of course, in this life one is usually flattered when asked to do almost anything. "Clean out the elephant pen? Wow! Thanks!"
A few nights later, I walked over to a house just 5 minutes from mine. On the back porch, amidst baying dogs and scrambling children, we future masters of the universe huddled. It took me several minutes to appreciate that this was an "interview" and that I was the "interviewee."
When "the committee" asked me about the Downtown East Side, I spoke, among other things, about "dope fiends."
And that was just about that.
The lawyer who had drafted me in the first place said, "I'm not comfortable with the way you speak about things." He was referring to my calling heroin addicts "dope fiends."
I said, "Well, dope fiends shoot dope. Drunks drink. Baby diddlers diddle babies. What's the problem?"
The problem is that the New Masters of the Universe, who will never get in office, are completely doctrinaire. You not only have to agree with them in general principle, but you have to look and walk and talk and smell like them as well.
In short, you have to BE one of them. If you are not, they are not "comfortable." (As soon as I hear someone say in a meeting that they are not "comfortable" with somethingorother, I get out my hatchet.)
I left the meeting soon thereafter, and walking back home I thought, "Well, these people drafted me because I am a Talk Show Host and I can talk my face off and I have the Gift of the Gab and I can sway audiences, but they don't like the way I talk and I should talk more like them. HUH?"
My lawyer friend who had recommended me in the first place was furious. "Who are these assholes?" etc...
I was too happy and relieved to be angry.