Brick Endorses …

I don’t get this stuff about sports­man­ship. You play to win, don’t you? Say I’m play­ing short and Mother is on first and the bat­ter sin­gles to right. Mother comes fast around sec­ond with the win­ning run — Mother will have to go down. I’ll help her up, dust her off and say, ‘Mom, I’m sorry, but it was an acci­dent’ but she won’t of scored. Nobody asks how you hap­pened to lose. All they want to know is did you win. If I’m spit­ting at a crack in the wall for nick­els I still want to win. Any­body can come in sec­ond. Nice guys fin­ish last.”

– Util­ity infielder Leo Durocher, quoted in Non­con­for­mity by Nel­son Algren

Early vot­ing in Arkansas ends in a few hours. But the big day still awaits, so enthu­si­as­tic endorse­ments are not a bit too late. Print this and bring it to the polls Tuesday.

If you’ve already voted, you need not read fur­ther: Don’t tax yourself.

Tax your­self,” stated in the pos­i­tive or the neg­a­tive, need not be taken as a polit­i­cal endorsement.

Now that I’m free from the yoke of full-time employ­ment, I’m con­cur­rently free from the yoke of neu­tral­ity. I can endorse politi­cians for elec­tive office.

First: Grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions rarely are. Fol­low the money, and if that’s not as obvi­ous as, per­haps, the About page of their web­sites, assume their back­ers are pro­fes­sion­als and there­fore sneaky. Such groups, though, some­times are good for the cause, region or country.

Sec­ond: They’re all politi­cians, espe­cially those who cam­paign that they’re not. And to what point? Do you want lead­ers closer to the quaint­ness of self-taught artists or the con­fi­dence of college-educated physicians?

Third: Can­di­dates whom sup­port­ers call nice, as a top attribute, need only be a hair nicer than their oppo­nents. Is “nice” a suf­fi­cient qual­i­fi­ca­tion for some­one to doggedly defend your interests?

After those appe­tiz­ers, I’m itch­ing to tell every­one how to vote, and how I’ve come to these bril­liant con­clu­sions. Those who don’t know me well may be sur­prised — I’ve got picks from both major par­ties. Also, I’ll be vot­ing Green in one spot.

How­ever. As I was draft­ing bril­liant sen­tences over the past week, espe­cially about two races, a nested ques­tion squirted out: Why would I tell the world how I think on the var­i­ous elec­tions / what impact up or down from such a pub­lic account hap­pens to me per­son­ally / what impact on the bal­lots would my con­clu­sion have?

DiamondBrands Greenlight™ Strike Anywhere Kitchen MatchesMy giv­ing per­sonal polit­i­cal opin­ions won’t help or hurt me at this point. Friends and fam­ily will still care for me as much as they ever do. The hir­ers of cur­rent and for­mer jour­nal­ists (what­ever I am) see what Google already spews of and about me. Most of my stuff of recent years has been con­tained in my strike-anywhere Brick. The free-range blog helps in some instances and works against my inter­ests in oth­ers. I wouldn’t take a word of Brick back, even those morsels that I don’t feel as strongly about any­more, or at best find incau­tious. Maybe I’ve changed my mind with some; doubt it. That I like some can­di­dates over oth­ers mat­ters less than my milk­ing humor (or mere rumi­na­tions) from other sacred cows. So why endorse?

My pow­ers of per­sua­sion are min­i­mal, as are those of most essaysts. Let’s face it, online dandies, we enter­tain. At best we provoke.

The larger voices have lit­tle impact, too. For all of the pub­lic­ity in the last two weeks of promi­nent news­pa­pers mak­ing their pres­i­den­tial endorse­ments, these are long known to have lit­tle impact. Here is a list of such pro­nounce­ments. Check them against the win­ner Wednesday.

Some free time in these last few weeks, how­ever has been spent read­ing the impas­sioned opin­ions of other colum­nists. Actu­ally, I skim them. The ones that I read through are the thought­ful analy­ses, like John Avlon’s, even-handed yet strong.

For me to have made a thor­ough review of the con­tested cir­cuit judge seat or the guys run­ning for mayor, sat­is­fy­ing my require­ments as my own exact­ing edi­tor, would’ve required resources and drive, plus the opti­mism that what I think matters.

For me, elec­tion endorse­ments come to mere ego. Don’t get me wrong: I love ego or pride or van­ity — it and the other six deadly sins get your vir­tu­ous butt out of bed every morning.

As for my three points at the top, for heav­ens sake, they come down to: Vote as if you’re hir­ing some­one. Can they do the job or not? That includes a pres­i­dent and the staff they’ll likely bring — it has lit­tle to do with if you favor their pronouncements.

Still, I itch to say some­thing per­sonal. Any­one who wants to know how I’m vot­ing, call me for a coffee.

The wis­est words may come from this 10-minute video from the raja of sagac­ity, Robert Benchley:

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