Up until a few days ago I wondered what the hell their problem was up there in Alaska. No more. I’d forgotten what it must be like to live in a world without spring and summer. The last few days have been a terrific reminder. Winter has settled in here in Western Maryland and made itself comfortable. If the ungodly goddamn chill in the air wasn’t enough of a clue, I drove by a bank yesterday and when the sign switched from the time to the temperature it only had to light up one fucking digit. And that digit was a 4.
Had you crossed paths with me this past fall, you might have heard me bitterly muttering something like “fucking Alaska” under my breath. Not anymore, though, ‘cause now I get it. I used to question how one state, especially one home to such awesome natural beauty, could be so fucked up. No more. I just needed that little reminder of the cold, and suddenly it didn’t seem the slightest bit odd to me that those folks would elect people like Don Young, Ted Stevens and Sarah Palin to their highest political offices. The voters are frozen. They aren’t interested in grappling with complex questions of governmental philosophy and weighing the potential consequences of their choices; they’re cold.
I understand. I’ve been there. Up until about age 14 I went hunting every year with my father. A long time ago, some genius decided that deer hunting season ought to be in the middle of winter. So I would march out into the woods with Dad, find a nice tree to sit at the bottom of, and get busy freezing to death. My toes and fingers would go numb almost immediately. By the time a deer walked by, if one ever did, I wasn’t thinking about making a clean kill-shot just above the shoulder, or adjusting for the gun pulling a little high and to the left, or whatever — if the animal had gotten close enough, I’d have beaten it to death with a fallen limb, sliced it open and crawled inside its belly to escape the piercing, penetrating, soul-killing cold.
Elections in Alaska go much the same way, I presume. It’s so damn cold up there all the time, plus they’re always being chased around by grizzlies, which can’t do anything good for a person’s state of mind. That first Tuesday of November rolls around and the Alaskans, being by and large a responsible and civic-minded people, throw on their puffy coats and ridiculous furry hats, and trudge down to their local polling place, which for the average Alaskan is located six hours away by single-engine plane. By the time they reach the poll they’re so cold and so tired and so anxious to just go home, that they aren’t worried about stuff like who’s in what party, or who will enable the continued rape of their state’s natural resources and who won’t — they’ve come to elect somebody to something, and that’s what they’re going to do, come hell or high water.
It’s at this point that Sarah Palin, or Don Young, or some other crook/lunatic gives a wave and a smile and says, “I’m somebody! And look, there’s my name right there on your ballot! Why don’tcha just vote for me so you can go on home? It’ll just take a sec!”
Now that I’ve explained it, it makes perfect sense. Right?