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Will Texas Go Kinky?

Posted to Poetry and Politics






Forward From
For God and Country Music: Vote Kinkster for Governor
By Kinky Friedman

Why would anyone in his right mind want to get into politics? Now,
that's
a two-part question.

If I'm crazy enough to write this piece, I'm probably crazy enough to
get
into politics. I'm a little too smart to be governor of a large state,
but
I think I can handle it. I sure hope so, because in two year's time
I'll
either be governor of Texas or building a birdhouse at the Buttocks,
Texas, Home for the Bewildered. Only time will tell.

I will be running as an independent in that great bastion of
independence,
the Lone Star State. People here, like most everywhere else in the
world,
are tired of being lied to by career politicians. We're tired of
ribbon-cutters, of people who've been in politics so long that their
very
smiles have become little more than rictuses of greed and power. To
paraphrase the late Ronald Reagan, the other guy's got the experience —
that's why I'm running. Besides, as I often tell my future
constituents:
"I'm a Jew. I'll hire good people."

Now outside of Israel and Texas, that particular sentiment may not
resonate very well these days. But you must remember that Texas has a
humongous amount of spiritual elbow room, of wide-open spaces between
people's ears. Inside this aching expanse of geography, the citizenry
can
be both surprisingly progressive and traditional. On the progressive
side
would be someone like Buddy Holly, a young man living in the middle of
nowhere, with little or no outside input or influences, who creates an
original sound that influences The Beatles and the future of rock 'n'
roll. On the traditional side would be the fact that most Texans love
Jews. This, I suspect, is the result of a bonding that has occurred
because both groups wear their hats indoors.

Texans love the Holy Land, and they are some of the world's biggest
supporters of Israel. I, of course, intend to take full advantage of
this
sentiment. I've even considered hiring Orthodox rabbis to ring bells
outside shopping malls with collection buckets that read, "Vote for
Kinky."

Speaking of peyes, I have a Palestinian hairdresser in Houston. That's
why
I always wear a hat.

His name is Farouk Shami and he tried to straighten my hair recently,
which had the unfortunate result of making me look like Hitler as a
used-car salesman. Nevertheless, Farouk and I have come up with a new
product on the market this summer, Farouk & Friedman's Olive Oil, from
Farouk's family's olive groves south of Jerusalem, which have been
harvested since before the times of Jesus. One hundred percent of our
profits will go to Israeli and Palestinian children affected by the
conflict. We aim to show Arafat and Sharon how it can be done when we
work
together. And when I'm governor, Farouk, a man of deep and abiding
peace
and the father of the Chi iron, will be my ambassador to Israel.

Needless to say, the governor of Texas does very little heavy lifting.
That doesn't mean he couldn't be doing some spiritual lifting, and I
aspire to inspire before I expire. I want to fight the wussification of
Texas; we didn't get to be the Lone Star State by being politically
correct. I also plan to start a Texas Peace Corps, and that is not an
oxymoron. I will fight to see that no innocent man is killed on death
row,
and that includes Max Soffar, a Jewish inmate who's lived the past 23
years in solitary confinement for a conviction based solely upon his
long-ago recanted confession.

I've had a great deal of human experience in my life, and very little
political experience. When it comes to political matters, "Read my lips

I don't know." All I'm sure of is that the professional politicians
have
gotten us into the pathetic and apathetic situation we're in today.

In 2006, when I become the first independent governor of Texas, I aim
to
change all that. Remember, folks, it was the professionals who gave us
the
Titanic; it was the amateurs who gave us the Ark.



Richard "Kinky" Friedman, author of the forthcoming "'Scuse Me While I
Whip This Out" (HarperCollins), is a musician, philanthropist and, with
any luck, the next governor of Texas.