I’ll start with a confession: In the 2000 presidential election, I voted for a third-party candidate. Living in Jesse Helms’ North Carolina, this wasn’t a particularly consequential choice, but my vote did put me on the wrong side of history. I wish I could say I cast a vote for the one candidate who could’ve defeated Bush and prevented much of what occurred during that administration, but I can’t. So, in this admittedly small way, I empathize with Trump voters who find themselves in existential crisis this week.

I have heard from people who voted for Trump, either in 2016…


So this arrived this week, serendipitously with today’s proposal from Beto O’Rourke to legalize and tax marijuana, release and expunge the records of those convicted of marijuana possession, and help businesses that sell marijuana use banks.

Beto co-wrote it in 2011 during his last term on El Paso’s city council with a fellow council member, Susie Byrd.

It’s a fascinatingly well-researched piece of journalism that really digs into cartel economics and into the dynamics of violence that surround the drug trade. Per the back cover, a portion of the proceeds from the book goes to Centra Santa Catalina, a faith-based…


Caveat: I’m not registered with any political party. I’d prefer political parties were outlawed, but, failing that, I’ll reluctantly accept multi-party rule. But very reluctantly: political parties exist to win power, not ideological arguments. Republicans are just more shameless about it, and enjoy the advantage of a larger proportion of single-issue voters in their tent. Regardless, the “we” in this post refers to anyone who opposes single-party rule.

So Beto lost and, amid all the good news that the balance of power was somewhat righted last night, let’s acknowledge that bummer for what it is.

Today, the Austin American Statesman…


Around 1 a.m. on Election Night, I got up from the couch and began walking around the house, pausing at all the “Vote for Hillary” signs my 7-year-old son had made and taped on our walls. Something deeper than heartbreak overtook me.

Everything my wife, I and his teachers had been teaching him for years, and will continue to teach him, about decent human behavior had just been flouted by the election of Donald Trump to the most powerful post on the planet. All these life lessons from adults, who then turned around and made a racist, misogynistic bully the…


On Election Night 2008, I was lying in a hotel bed in New York, watching the results come in to conclude a presidential race about which, up until that point, I’d felt my typical ambivalence. That sentiment begs an explanation, but the distinctions I drew then between the candidates then seem so quaint compared to the starkness of today’s race that perhaps you’ll forgive me if I leave that obligation untended. My qualifiers were “mice nuts,” as a friend of mine likes to say. Or, per another, “distinctions without a difference.”

Back to that moment: As Barack Obama predictably defeated…

Tommy Perkins

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store