Say it out loud a couple of times so you understand that it really happened.
Let it sink in.
Note the feeling, if any, in the pit of your stomach while you consider the potential ramifications of a political neophyte governing the largest state in the country, in charge of one of the largest economies in the world.
Identify the feeling you get from knowing such responsibility has been entrusted to someone whose positions on most issues are vague at best, and whose platform was that he'd go to Sacramento to "knock heads together" and "kick some serious butt."
Now, ask yourself how much attention you've paid to the nine Democrats lined up for the blessing to take on President George W. Bush a year from now.
How much, if anything, do you know about each of them and how much of that knowledge came from your own research? Can you name them all? Do you know what they stand for, what they're advocating and how their past records jibe or conflict with what they're saying now? Did you know that one of them, Bob Graham, an early "top-tier" candidate, has already thrown in the towel thanks to lack of momentum in his campaign?
With that in mind, there was a great op-ed in last week's Cambridge Chronicle:
Dennis Kucinich, on the other hand, who is a more progressive choice than [Howard] Dean, has received very little recognition in the media. Why? It knows he's running. It should tell us who he is and what he stands for, and let us decide if we want to support him or not. It should tell us that Kucinich has been even more unwavering in his opposition to the Iraq war than has Dean, the supposed "anti-war" candidate. It should tell us that Kucinich proposes a plan for universal health care that would cover everyone, while Dean proposes a piecemeal plan that would still leave many Americans uninsured. It should tell us that Kucinich supports the environmental Kyoto treaty, while Dean opposes the treaty subject to stronger calls for emission reductions by developing nations (this even though the U.S. is by far the greatest contributor to, and developing nations largely victims of, such emissions). Instead, all we're really told about Kucinich is that he can't win. Some democracy we're in when the media decides for us who can or can't become our President!
The same media that gave Schwarzenegger an unprecedented amount of NATIONAL coverage and, the LA Times' last-ditch efforts notwithstanding, a relatively free ride that rivaled Bush's heyday in the weeks after 9/11.
Of course, this rant assumes that anyone reading it a) thinks things need to change, and b) believes things can change.
PS: Look for my mayoral campaign to kick off sometime next summer. I'm going down to City Hall to kick some serious metaphors and knock some allegories around. Cowboy up!