An Open Letter to Dan Patrick
Dear Dan: I've been thinking about your modest proposal that seniors like me should be ready and willing to die in order to help boost the economy and get the stock market humming again. I have to admit that I have some qualms about this. So I decided to conduct a survey of some of my friends to see what others thought about it. Since we are all over 70, this seemed the perfect demographic to get some feedback for you. My survey was with a small "n" so it's not scientific. (By that I mean, I did not talk to very many people, and thus one should not generalize from what came out of the survey. But since you don't believe in science, I figure this won't make any difference to you). The data (that's the results, Dan) don't look very promising for you. No one was very enthusiastic about your idea. In fact, everyone was down right pissed off. I can say my data shows that 100% of the people I surveyed think your recommendation is a really crappy one. When I asked some open ended questions (that means they could make any general comments about your suggestion), I got responses like "crazy," "stupid," and "who is this fool?" And those were the nice comments. I thought it would not be polite to include comments that started with the f-word. I asked them if they just could "get over it." But they did not seem willing to do that. I'm just saying, Dan, you may have a problem getting the votes of my friends given the results of my survey. To try to avoid any bias, I looked at two other groups with an even smaller "n." (so I talked to fewer people in a different demographic.) My wife, Judy, and I face time with our sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughters most every day now as we practice social distancing, which I know is not a very popular idea of yours since it is based on science. But it does allow me to interact with them for survey purposes. I surveyed my two sons to see what they thought of your advice to seniors. They both said that they loved their Mom and me very much, that they wanted us to be around as long as possible, and that they would do everything in their power to help keep us alive. I found this very heartening. I mention this to you, Dan, as a cautionary tale. If my survey of my sons is correct, the very demographic group that you argue would benefit most from the quick exit of their parents and grandparents does not seem very supportive of it. And they vote. Then I went to an even younger demographic--my two granddaughters: Natalie Elaine, 8, and Samantha Erin, 2.5. Now I realize they don't vote, but they could ask some difficult-to-answer questions of their parents if Judy and I suddenly were not around any more. Natalie tells us that she misses us and can't wait to be together again. She wrote me a letter. Here it is. Dear Tex (yes, Tex is the name my granddaughters use for me, They call Judy, Nonna. I picked Tex because I love this state and all it has done for me and my family). Anyway... "Dear Tex, You are the best. I like you being my Grappa. I love you. I like when you babysit me. I like when we do things together. I have fun with you. from Natalie." We do have fun together. I do things like show her magic tricks--like how I make my left thumb disappear after I move my right hand over it. It's really good trick. I can show it to you so your grandchildren will have fun with you and miss you if you are gone. Samatha is just learning to talk and is very good at saying "Hi, Tex." She especially likes when I give her a horsey back ride. I know this because she laughs a lot. I assume she would miss this if I were not around. But since she can confirm that verbally yet, it is only my assumption. I know that you are running for re-election this year as Lt. Governor of our state. I think, given my surveys, that you need some help with messaging. I did get some suggestions to help get your message across. One of my friends suggested you run for "Lt. Guillotine." Could be kind of catchy. Another had a slogan for you: "Vote for me before you die." It's memorable. In any case, I hope the results of my surveys are useful in telling you what people really think.
Ray PS Don't count on my vote come September.