So, I met Rose Pugliese today. It was an experience that reminded me one should try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Rose is running for Mesa County Commissioner and I had heard a few things about her that seemed outrageous. Rose purportedly said, whilst running for the school board a while back, some ill-advised things about climate change and evolution as they relate to school curriculum. Today, she informed the Bagel Street Irregulars (AKA “the commies in the back room”), that she had been misquoted or something like that. In any case, that is old news and she seemed almost contrite in her explanation today.
I was impressed with the way Rose presents herself. She is articulate, educated and carries herself confidently. But…she suffers from MCMS… Mesa County Mis-infomation Syndrome. You see, Rose came here from out of town not too long ago and became immersed in one of the most pervasive and effective message machines on planet earth (well, at least in Colorado).
When asked her opinion about the future of oil shale (kerogen rock, actually) all she could say was… “I support all forms of energy development”. When pressed for more…she had nothing. It is because the MCrMM (Mesa County republican Message Machine) doesn’t get into messy, facty, details and such.
Not having a ready answer about energy issues might not be a problem if you are running for a county clerk position on Long Island, but when the goal is Mesa County Commissioner, this is required knowledge. But I don’t blame Rose. She is comfortably in the cupped hands of the republican party that can’t go into facty details, because those details always prove them wrong. So the candidate gets a brief primer from an O&G hotshot from Club 20 filling her head with bullshit talking points. It doesn’t really matter in most cases ’cause Rose doesn’t often talk to a crowd like the one she encountered this morning.
You see, you really don’t need to have actual information at your disposal when you talk to republican gatherings in Mesa County. They don’t want to hear it anyway, because the meme is set in stone here and those who speak out against it are treated as pariahs. I am often approached by progressives who move here and find they can’t talk to their neighbors because progressive thought is actively and angrily suppressed in this community.
Rose got an earful today and spent significant time writing down the things she was hearing. She even promised she would have an open mind (we heard that from Laura Bradford, too, once upon a time) and contact and listen to all sides when making decisions. Platitudes..? I can’t say, but she seemed sincere to me. We will see what develops in our next episode…”the Education of a Rose”.