Poems inspired by Songs – 1 Little Alfy

In an earlier post (here), I said that I was going  to post, at some point,  some of the verses I wrote that were inspired by popular songwriters.  This first one (I think it’s obvious, but I’ll say it anyway) was inspired by the Beatles.

Little Alfy

Little Alfy, my boy, went down, don’t you know
To paint picture-shows in the sand.
Oh my.  Oh, my, my. Ain’t it grand, don’t you know
To paint picture-shows in the sand.

Little Alfy, my boy, went down, don’t you know
To paddle about and to play.
Oh my.  Oh, my, my. Ain’t it grand, don’t you know
To paddle about and to play.

Little Alfy, my boy, went down, in the sand, down to play.
Little Mary her picture to paint..
Oh my. Oh, my, my. Ain’t it grand, grand to play
To play about something you ain’t.

Little Alfy and Mary together did play
What a picture those sand dunes did see!
Oh my. Oh, my, my. Ain’t it grand, grand to play,
And paddle about in the sea.

 

 

Undecided Voters

In an earlier post,  I made the following statement: “Undecided voters are usually much more important to look at than those voters who have made up their minds,…but not always.  It’s time to explain what I meant.

Undecided voters are usually important, because the assumption is ( and studies have shown this) that once a person has chosen a candidate to vote for, they don’t switch to another candidate very often – for any reason.   Therefore, the theory is, if you can determine the demographics of the undecided voters, and if you have limited funds, your voter communications should focus on the undecideds.

But suppose you have good reason to believe that the undecided voters will not support your candidate.   Imagine, for example, that your candidate is running in a large field for several at-large City Council seats.   Further suppose that the majority of the undecided voters are Republican, that there are several Republicans running for Council, and that your candidate is a Democrat.   ( Even in non-partisan races, party preference matters.)   In these circumstances, your campaign should focus on turning out marginal democratic voters, rather on persuading the undecided.   In either case, it is useful to know who the undecided voters are.

Openness

The Fifth Principle of Political Life is Openness: information should be restricted only when necessary for the public interest.  By now, you will have figured out that I am inclined to think that this kind of idealistic statement needs some modification.   Sometimes, the modifications I make are to make sure the Principle is focused on policy and governance.   In this case, another theme of mine is also important – the politician as human being.

In the early sixties,  every reporter in Washington knew that John Kennedy was bringing women into the White House for what used to be described as illicit sexual purposes.  No one reported that he was doing so, because it was not considered germane to the public’s business.   By the 1990’s, Bill Clinton’s single sexual escapade with Monica Lewinsky was not only reported upon, it served as the basis for an impeachment trial.   This was shameful.  (Of course, Kennedy and Clinton’s activities were also shameful, but they were none of my business.)

All acts of public policy should be carried out in the open, with ample opportunity for public comment.   Private acts that do not affect the public’s interest should remain private.   Prurience is a natural human urge, but it is not a noble one.