Iâ€™ve just been voted onto the Democratic Town Committee, which so far means baking brownies for the candidatesâ€™ forum on 12 May. The incumbent Democratic candidate for selectman (yes, thatâ€™s what theyâ€™re called here, even when female) is Peter Fish, who has a famous political name. His father and grandfather were well-known Republican congressmen in New York, and he is the first person I’ve met who simply adores campaigning, small-town or big-time. We’re fortunate: Peter is affable and knowledgable, and tuned in to the wide world.
The Republican candidate is a friend whoâ€™s been trying to get into politics for several years. Last fall he was running a long-shot race against the incumbent state representative and called to ask if he could put a sign on our lawn. We said â€˜noâ€™ then changed our minds, and ended up with â€œVeteran for Kerryâ€ (David was a medic during Viet Nam) and Jim Bashourâ€™s sign (which did not mention his Republican Party affiliation). And I left our â€œDean for Americaâ€ sign on the front porch, because I never could give up on the idea of a liberal social perspective combined with common sense, fiscal responsibility, and personal courage.
Last night juxtaposed local and global perfectly. We went to a local event for Peter Fish and had to listen to the neighborhood mums talk–and talk and talk–about the traffic (those of you who live in the city would have been in stitches). Then we went back home to CNN, which was running the UK election returns live. Fascinating to see the differences in style–in speech, in dress, and in the ability to wait a bit before calling the result. Even more interesting to try to understand what it all meant. My daughter, who was born in London, said, “England has a Monster Raving Looney Party? That’s awesome!”