Column: We all could use a little Kinky in our lives

Why the hell not?

It’s a valid question. Maybe more valid than you realize.

“Why the hell not?” is the campaign slogan of humorist and mystery writer Richard “Kinky” Friedman, a man running for governor of Texas in 2006 as an Independent.

Sure, the election is taking place in the far-off world of Texas, the land of tumbleweeds and baked toast. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have an effect here in Illinois.

If Friedman is able to win this election, or even make a good run at it, it will help show that the American people are ready to get away from the two-party system that has divided a nation evenly into Democrats and Republicans and filled the pockets of countless big corporation executives along the way.

Now, the two-party system is still quite popular. It helps us break down issues into edible bits. Abortion bad. Gay marriage good. Prayer in school bad. Executions good. One side or the other.

But what about those who are for gay marriage and for prayer in school, like Kinky. Allowing gays to marry is a big no-no for Republicans, while allowing prayer in school is a big no-no for Democrats. What if, just maybe, we looked at each candidate as an individual rather than a member of a party?

I am not a member of any political party. I vote for the best candidate, the man or woman who I think will do the most good for society regardless of his or her political affiliation. And if I lived in Texas, I’d vote for Kinky. He’s for teacher salary increases, use of renewable energy sources like biodiesel and a children’s health insurance program funded by the government.

Also, his name is Kinky. If he won, he’d be the first Governor Kinky in our country’s history. Milestone? Heck, yeah!

For a few years now, members of the Democratic Party have been looking to Illinois Senator Barack Obama as their savior.

Why? Because you can tell he actually believes in the things he says just by listening to him for a minute. It’s almost enough to stun you. “Wait! Hold on! Was he just honest with us?”

Obama is easily one of the best officials the Democratic Party has at the moment. He may be the very best. He just recently asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether big oil corporations are knowingly restricting consumer access to alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, while many in his party are happy to sit back and let big oil do what it wants.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Republican Senator John McCain is a proponent of campaign finance reform and taking care of the environment. A presidential campaign between these two would quite simply blow the mind of every young American who has never actually seen a decent presidential debate before.

So, the next time you vote, and I know it’s going to be a little while from now, look more at the person’s name than the party next to it. In fact, ignore the party if at all possible. It would be very Kinky of you.

And, if you need one more reason, why the hell not?

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