A Man by the Road

Yesterday as I drove to work, along the side of the road on the on-ramp to the interstate there stood a man. Two, actually. They were standing next to a pickup truck with a large campaign sign, and they were each holding campaign signs. The one being campaigned for was one of the two, and he was waving and grinning so hard that even passing him by at around 40mph, I could tell his jaw was hurting.

This is our county commissioner. In the primary election a few weeks ago, he was forced into a runoff by another local political figure with whom he frequently butted heads. The other figure was our former chief of county police, and although neither broke 50%, the former chief won by 13 votes. Not to be confused with the race for the Sheriff’s office, but don’t get me started on that.

Today, again, said commissioner was out by the side of the road, waving. This time he had a lot more people there with him, waving. So many, in fact, that people who would normally be charging down the on-ramp at 40mph were slowing to about 15. This caused a massive traffic jam. 

It struck me, as I drifted by, that the commissioner was sending an odd sort of message. Here he was, trying to win back the confidence of a populace by waving at them as they sped past to head downtown to where the real jobs are. My county hasn’t been a place for solid middle class jobs for a long damn time now. That’s not his fault, really, but in his position he’s going to take a lot of the flak for it. Of course, nobody but me would look at it this way. His hope is probably that people will see him and think “wow, he’s an ok guy standing out here and doing this, I’ll vote for him.” We’ll see if that works.

For me, in the end, it raised a question. “What the fuck am I still doing here?”