May 7, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 19

Dr. Wes

Four score and seven years ago, we laid out a plan to implement freedom. We’re going to phase it in

By Dr. Wes Browning

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A brief fictitious biography of Mayor Ed Murray based on a mere thread, a fragment, of reality: Originally, the soul that would eventually be that of Edward B. Murray was scheduled to be conceived in 1946. But, sensing that the plan was hasty and rash, he assembled a committee of stakeholders. Well, they weren’t the living stakeholders for whom it really mattered, just a bunch of other unborn souls he hung out with. Anyway, after deliberating for months he came up with a plan in which his conception would occur by stages. The entire conception would be phased in over the course of seven years. The Powers That Be agreed to the plan just because seven sounded suitably Biblical.

He was eventually born as little Eddie B. Latedly Murray on May 2, 1955.

Born in Aberdeen, Eddie spent most of his youth in the Alki neighborhood of West Seattle, where he learned at an early age what “Alki” meant, and it resonated deeply with him. Like all of us, when he was young many people asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. At first he would say, “a New Yorker!” Then, as his mind grew more subtle, he began to say, “You know what? I’ll get back to you on that, in a few years.”

Finally, he realized that he was precisely the stuff of which politicians are made. Therefore, he would be mayor of Seattle, whenever he got around to it. He circulated a press release within his immediate family to that effect. His mayorship would be phased in, over the next five decades.

Eddie was not always a good student. Well, maybe he was, how should I know? But I’m going to say he wasn’t because it makes the next bit work.

So, he came home from sixth grade with a below C-average report card. His parents were duly concerned. They told him it was very important to them that he get his grades up to an A-average, and that it should be important to him, as well. “After all, you’ll never be able to be mayor of Seattle with grades like these.”

Eddie agreed to a 15-step plan that would begin with a few years’ delay for all the stakeholders to get ready for the changes that would need to take place and then proceed with incremental raises in his grade average of two tenths of one-tenth of one point per semester over seven years.

His parents were very pleased. “Now you’re acting like a future mayor!”

Ultimately, Ed Murray succeeded in entering the University of Portland. There, after an unknown period of time and deliberation, he chose to major in sociology, and he learned the root meaning of the word “progressive,” and he saw that it was good. He decided he was meant for progressive politics, because progress means you never have to get to any destination, just be a little closer every day.

Of course, no one’s life proceeds in a straight line, and there are always trials and tribulations in the way, but luckily for Edward a layaway plan was always an option.

Ed Murray was a key sponsor of the Washington state same-sex marriage bill, which became law much more quickly than anyone might have imagined when the passage of Referendum 74 overcame objections to it. While Ed was no doubt pleased that the law passed, he clearly realized the problems that could arise if too much progress continued to happen too fast. How would a politician keep the successes coming? 

He became mayor of Seattle on New Year’s Day of this year, 2014, and already by 2021 he will have succeeded in getting the minimum wage to a liveable $15 an hour. Could he have scheduled it any sooner? Sure, but what would he do to impress us in the intervening seven years?

If only the rest of us could put our lives on hold that long.



"Stakeholders" is the greatest weasel-word of all time.

jose ornelas | submitted on 05/14/2014, 10:18pm

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