Today is Election Day. It is a good day to set the record straight.
The media has dubbed Republican candidate for Governor of New York, Carl Paladino, as “Crazy Carl.” The media has a way with words. The way is usually prejudicial, deceptive, and intentional. The intent is to put ideas in people’s minds even if they are false as long as they are profitable. I take great pains to think for myself because the media takes great pains to sway public opinion.
So, let’s set the record, according to me, straight about “Crazy Carl.” Carl Paladino is NOT crazy. He entered New York’s gubernatorial race with a specific strategy. It was to be different from the traditional run-of-the-rat-race politician. It may not have been a good strategy or it may not have been the right time for such an unconventional strategy. Either way, the “Crazy Carl Effect” has had positive and negative effects upon me.
Inspiration – Carl Paladino came out of nowhere to run for Governor of New York. This is not to say that Buffalo is nowhere. Buffalo is beautiful. Paladino came out of nowhere in politics. He is a business and military man. Yet, he won the Republican primary over the experienced politician, Rick Lazio. He did this with his strategy to be different from the traditional politician. He didn’t talk double-talk. He spoke, straight, to the people and it worked. It is inspirational to see that a political “outsider” can step inside of our dysfunctional political atmosphere and succeed.
Realism – Carl Paladino brought realism into the political arena. He wasn’t playing the usual game of sucking up to people in power. He did exactly the opposite. He spoke out against some heavy-hitters such as Sheldon Silver. Paladino may have been playing his own game, but he was playing it real. It is refreshing to see realism in our obnoxiously phony political world.
Grassroots Spirit – At first, Paladino came on strong as a man for the people. He was going to fight the present corrupt government, with a metaphorical baseball bat made of everyday people, for the people. With this goal, his straight talk, realism, and clear difference from the usual politician, he was able to rally a grassroots movement. To see people stand up against a government they are dissatisfied with is to see democracy’s heart.
The positive aspects of Carl Paladino’s run for governor are not crazy.
Low-Ball Politics – Carl Paladino may have had good intentions to fight the good fight but he fought it dirty. Name-calling, false accusations, bigoted remarks, and unsavory sexual innuendo all became part of the campaign. They earned Paladino the name “Crazy Carl.” It reminded me that in our modern society we are not judged any differently than we were in Puritanical society. Intentions, qualifications, and all other attributes play second fiddle to moral fortitude.
Personality Flaws – Carl Paladino possesses certain personality flaws unbefitting public office. He is rude, crude, and rough around the edges. He lacks finesse. He spoke, straight, to the people, all right, too straight. He was real, too real. He allowed aspects of himself to show to the people that would have been better left unseen. This reminded me that no matter what you may be or know, people only know what you show.
Human Frailty – During his campaign, Carl Paladino not only lost sight of the ball, he dropped his bat. He took his strategy to be different from other politicians too far. He took his “Paladino for the People” fight too far. He was out of control. Then, he had to defend his actions and tone his renegade persona down. He became so toned down, gone was the fight for the people. The baseball bat was lying at his feet and he couldn’t pick it up. This human frailty is not specific to political candidates. It happens in every profession. And it could happen to me, or you, tomorrow.
The biggest effect the “Crazy Carl Effect” had upon me was that I learned much from both its positive and negative effects.