Candidate Clearance Sale: Time For A Change
by Patricia Draznin

Every election year we exercise our inalienable right to turn a truckload of campaign posters into lawn art. And to receive dozens of caring, pre-recorded phone messages reminding us that our votes are important enough to receive dozens of pre-recorded phone messages. And as I tune in to the political campaign ads, I understand why America’s foremost responsibility is to spread democracy everywhere immediately, just to generate empathy.

Every Election Day is spiked with voter confidence as we choose our next State Representatives, County Supervisors, Soil Commissioners, and Fourth-Period Hallway Monitors, who all proclaim, “It’s Time for a Change,” an overused but improved slogan over “We Like Ike.” Because every candidate worth their hanging chad denounces their opponent like he’s Caligula or Tom Cruise. While they present themselves as Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Clark Kent and Lois Lane rolled into one Super Civil Hero, who can deliver us from Evil into a bright Red or Blue Utopia, where the sun always shines and the lattés are foamy. Where cars run on crabgrass and the taxes are low. Where terrorists quiver at the sound of our national anthem—as do so many of us whose Utopia includes voting this unsingable tune out of office.

After the polls close, we stand firmly behind our newly elected officials, at least until they’re sworn in. Or until the first sex scandal, whichever comes first. And if we question their loyalties we can write them, and they will write back: “Dear Constituent, Thank you for your concern regarding the nuclear-powered Toys for Tots program, which I‘ll mention at the next Nukes-R-Us lobby luncheon. PS: Thanks for the third pay raise in six months and the onsite theme park for my grandson’s preschool. DUDE!”

Which brings us to our favorite part of the column where Oh Zone Analysts are standing by for your penetrating questions on the voting process.

Q: What is the history of voting in America? The democratic voting process was invented in 1776 during a wild Independence Day party, when the Founding Fathers couldn’t decide which toppings to order on the pizza, and a servant suggested a show of hands.

Q: Who is allowed to vote? 200 years ago you had to be male, white, and wealthy to vote. But today, thanks to a series of Constitutional amendments, any American citizen can vote except residents of the District of Columbia, where being white, wealthy and The Messiah won’t score you a ballot. (TRUE! Look it up.)

Q: Who can run for president? Any natural US citizen, regardless of race, intensity of religion, or past-president he is related to.

With midterm elections over, candidates are available at discount clearance prices. Or we could store them until the next election, when we can exercise our inalienable right to sign up for a safari to Botswana until the campaign is over.

Copyright 2006 Patricia Draznin


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